Faculty and Staff

W Brooks William (Bill) Brooks, Ph.D., Director
Department of Neurology
913-588-9075, wbrooks@kumc.edu
Research publications

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Dr. Brooks was awarded his Ph.D. by Griffith University in Australia. His research work focused on technique development in MR spectroscopy with a specific focus on biological systems. He built on this in post-doctoral work during which he designed and patented one of the first techniques for spatially localized spectroscopy to be employed in humans. In 1991, he joined the Center for Non-Invasive Diagnosis (now MIND Imaging Center) at the University of New Mexico and spent the next decade applying MR imaging and spectroscopy to the study of injury and disease. These studies have shown that biological markers of brain metabolism can predict cognitive function in both normal brain function and in disease. Dr Brooks’ specific research interests include normal function and recovery from traumatic brain injury. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 patents, and is funded to study traumatic brain injury.


I Choi In-Young Choi, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Neurology
913-588-0174, ichoi@kumc.edu

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Dr. Choi received her Ph.D. in Biophysics at the University of Minnesota. After her postdoctoral training at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota, she continued her research in the Department of Medical Physics at the Nathan Kline Institute as a senior research scientist and also served as a Section Leader for MR Spectroscopy at the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging. Dr. Choi’s research focuses largely on in vivo brain energy metabolism using noninvasive neuroimaging techniques. The primary focus of Dr. Choi’s current research is development of novel magnetic resonance techniques to provide quantitative assessment of regional distribution of neurotransmitters and antioxidants in the brain and its application to clinical research to understand the role of oxidative stress in aging, neurological and psychiatric disorders.

K Gustafson Kathleen Gustafson, Ph.D., Director of Fetal Magnetoencephalography
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
913-588-0065, kgustafson@kumc.edu

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Dr. Gustafson was awarded a Ph.D. in Visual Electrophysiology in 1994 for describing abnormalities in retinal signal processing in human subjects with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and mouse models with dystrophin mutations. This work led to the co-discovery of a new dystrophin isoform found only in retina (Dp260). Prior to joining the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center, she was the Director of the Vision Science Laboratory at The Children's Mercy Hospital and Assistant Professor of Rehabilitative Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine for nineteen years. She is the Director of the Hoglund Prenatal Evaluation Laboratory (HOPE) and Interim Director of the Cortical Magnetoencephalography Laboratory. She is also responsible for research investigations related to Vision Science. Dr. Gustafson was awarded 3 patents for her involvement in a multi-center trial that showed the nutritional content of a new premature infant formula was essential for optimal infant visual development and 2 patents for her work on a dystrophin transgene. She has published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, co-authored 3 book chapters and was the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded randomized clinical trial designed to study the effects of maternal DHA supplementation on fetal cardiac autonomic control.


J Harris Janna Harris, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor
913-588-9077, jharris2@kumc.edu

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Dr. Harris received her PhD in Neurobiology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Her doctoral research focused on the role of specific extracellular matrix proteoglycans in adaptive synaptic plasticity following brain trauma. Dr. Harris joined the team at Hoglund in 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow. She recently accepted a faculty position at HBIC and KUMC's  department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. She is currently investigating pathophysiologic mechanisms of traumatic brain injury in models, evaluating the effectiveness of targeted therapies using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy along with behavioral and anatomical endpoints.


S Lee Phil Lee, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
913-588-0454, plee2@kumc.edu

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Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. in Biophysical Sciences and Medical Physics from University of Minnesota. His research topic was the physiological bases of functional MRI signals. Dr. Lee completed his postdoctoral training at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research in University of Minnesota. His research continued at the Nathan Kline Institute as a senior research scientist and focused on the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease using MRI by visualizing ß-amyloid plaques in the brain. Dr. Lee’s current research interests include the characterization and understanding of biological processes in the brain in vivo at the cellular and molecular level using magnetic resonance. Dr. Lee also works on the development of novel MR imaging techniques for early diagnosis and identification of changes in functional and physiological aspects of neurodegenerative diseases during the disease progression.

L Martin Laura Martin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Associate Director of Functional MRI
Department of Preventive Medicine
913-588-7279, lmartin2@kumc.edu

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Dr. Martin received her Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in Cognitive Neuroscience from Rice University. Her training included coursework in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. In addition, she has attended the Dartmouth Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience and MGH’s Functional MRI Visiting Fellowship. Dr. Martin’s graduate work focused on the neural systems of reward processing and individual differences related to impulsivity. Specifically, her doctoral dissertation, which was funded by a predoctoral NRSA training fellowship, examined both event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as related to reward prediction and action-monitoring among high and low impulsive college students. This line of research is currently being expanded to clinical populations with impulse control disorders such as nicotine addiction and obesity. Dr. Martin’s research has been presented at meetings of the Society of Psychophysiological Research and Cognitive Neuroscience meetings.

Robin Aupperle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, (Volunteer Faculty Affiliate)
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
913-588-9070, raupperle@kumc.edu

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Dr. Aupperle trained at the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center as a Graduate Research Assistant in Dr. Cary Savage's lab during her doctoral studies at the University of Kansas. Dr. Aupperle recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and has recently taken a faculty appointment at the University of Missouri, Kansas City in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Aupperle continues to collaborate closely with HBIC and KUMC researchers and currently has 2 studies involving HBIC. Her research focus includes the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand neurobiological substrates of PTSD and anxiety disorders. In particular, her interests focus on the use of approach-avoidance conflict concepts to better understand behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders.

A Bruce Amanda Bruce, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, (Volunteer Faculty Affiliate)
Department of Preventive Medicine
913-588-9070, abruce-vfa@kumc.edu

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Dr. Bruce received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University after completing an APA-accredited internship in Clinical Psychology at the Boston VA Healthcare System. Currently, Dr. Bruce is doing research related to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and childhood obesity. Her interests also include neuroeconomics and neuromarketing of food-related stimuli. Clinically, Dr. Bruce has experience with psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioral interventions in a wide variety of patient populations (i.e. obesity, mood disorders, anxiety disorders).


Postgraduate Fellows

Peter, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Senior Research Associate
913-588-9070, padany@kumc.edu

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Dr. Adany received his PhD of Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas in 2012. His doctoral research focused on development of biomedical imaging techniques for nonlinear optical spectroscopy. Dr. Adany joined Hoglund Brain Imaging Center in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. His research interests center on developing new signal processing strategies for magnetic resonance spectroscopy/imaging (MRS/MRI). The aim of his research is to develop innovative signal processing techniques that will allow quantitative measurement of tissue-specific brain metabolism and physiological processes in the living human brain to advance our understanding of disease processes and the efficacy of treatments.

Ke Liao Ke Liao, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
913-588-9070, kliao@kumc.edu

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Dr. Liao received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Sichuan University, China in year 2006. His PhD dissertation research work was supported by the Chinese National Science Foundation. After that, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Before joining Hoglund Brain Imaging Center KUMC in 2012, he finished his postdoctoral research work at University of Oklahoma in computational neuroscience. He is membership of Chinese Association for System Simulation and IEEE. The focuses of his research are on the design of novel cortical source reconstruction algorithms for MEG/EEG inverse problems and the design of human-brain interface. He is currently working on the event-related potentials (ERP) responses of children with different levels of nutrition.

Graduate students

Research Support personnel

L Blanck Lori Blanck, R.EEG/EP T., Senior Research Associate, MEG Lab Manager
913-588-3140, lblanck@kumc.edu

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Lori Blanck earned her certificate in Electroneurodiagnostic Technology from Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA in 1984. She has over 20 years experience in EEG, Evoked Potentials and Intraoperative Monitoring as well as research investigations involving visual development in pre-term and term infants. She worked as a technologist at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles before moving to the Kansas City area where she worked at The Children's Mercy Hospital, Neurophysiology Laboratory and then the Vision Science Laboratory in 1990. Lori joined the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center in 2003 as MEG Laboratory Manager and oversees research involving nutrition and infant visual development, fetal magnetocardiology and cortical MEG/EEG studies.

F Hunsinger Franklin Hunsinger R.T. ® (MR) ARRT
913-588-9090, fhunsinger@kumc.edu

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Frank graduated from the U.S. Army's X-Ray School in 1991, were he spent 16 years working for an Orthopaedic group doing X-rays and MRIs. He spent the last three years working for mobile MRI companies performing MRIs for the military and a veteran’s hospital. Frank is affiliated with ARRT and ASRT. He joined HBIC in 2010 and is currently involved in research MRI scans.

Rebecca  Lepping Rebecca Lepping, Ph.D., fMRI Manager
913-588-0287, rlepping@kumc.edu

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Dr. Lepping holds a Master of Arts degree in psychology of music (2004) from the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England, and a Master of Arts degree in piano performance (2008) from the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She received her doctoral degree in cognitive psychology at the University of Kansas in 2013, and was a graduate research assistant at the Center for Health Behavior Neuroscience. During her research career, she has been involved in a variety of neuroimaging studies of obesity, traumatic brain injury, and memory in aging musicians. Her dissertation work used music as an affective probe to study the neural basis of emotion processing in depression and other psychiatric disorders. She uses both fMRI and ERP methodologies in her research in affective neuroscience, studying emotion by examining the cognitive and affective etiology and symptomatology of depression. She is currently exploring additional neuroimaging and data analytic techniques, including arterial spin labeling (ASL), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and brain morphometry (VBM).

J Lierman Jo Ann Lierman, RNC, ARNP, Ph.D., Nurse Clinician and Study Coordinator
913-588-0060, jlierman@kumc.edu

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Dr. Lierman is a nationally certified clinical specialist in medical-surgical nursing and an advanced registered nurse practitioner in the state of Kansas and Missouri. She has been in practice for over 25 years in community-based as well as acute care settings. She has been on faculty at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, as well as Graceland College School of Nursing. Dr. Lierman has been involved in research studies in the areas of patient education, perioperative care, and the development of critical thinking in undergraduate nursing students. Dr. Lierman received her BSN from Graceland College, MN from the University of Kansas, Ed.S. from the University of Missouri, and Ph.D. in adult education and curriculum development from the University of Missouri.

Vlad Papa

Vlad Papa, B.A., Research Assistant

913-588-0173, vpapa@kumc.edu 

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Vlad received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kansas in December 2010. He focused on brain function and behavior and was the first Undergraduate Research Assistant to complete the entire process of creating a study through data analysis at Hoglund. Vlad joined HBIC in January 2011. He is responsible for assisting Dr. Martin with tasks involving her research: such as programming, recruiting participants, and analyzing data.

Allan Schmitt, R.T., (R) (MR), Laboratory Director

913-588-9070, aschmitt@kumc.edu 

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Allan graduated with Honors from Houston Community College with an AAS in Radiography. He has 16 years experience ranging from Level 1 trauma to clinical research and drug trials. Allan is affiliated with ARRT, ASRT, ISMRM, and Phi Theta Kappa.

Erica Sherry Erica Sherry, BS.,  Research Assistant
913-588-9070, esherry@kumc.edu

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Administrative personnel

Justine Karungi Justine Karungi, MBA, Assistant Director
913-588-9067, jkarungi@kumc.edu

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Justine received a Bachelors degree in Statistics and Quantitative Economics and has an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Avila University, Kansas City, Missouri. Justine directs the operational, administrative, financial, human resources and research administration functions of the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center. Justine is also involved in several institutional and professional development and service activities, including serving on the mentoring committee for the American College of Health Care Executives (KAHCE chapter) and the National Council for University Research Administrators(NCURA). Justine previously served as Vice Chair for the KUMC School of Medicine Administrators' agenda committee and volunteers for the KUMC Moms in Medicine and Science, a sub-group of the KUMC Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS)

M Thorp Melinda King, Administrative Assistant

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Melinda earned her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science, with an emphasis in Psychology from Sterling College in 2005. She joined HBIC in 2009 and currently works as an Administrative Assistant where she assists with the Center’s various administrative functions, including processing purchasing requisitions, faculty and staff travel and reimbursements.

Kristen Peterson Kristen Peterson, Senior Coordinator

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Kristy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Baker University in 2009 and is currently furthering her studies in nursing.  She joined HBIC as a Senior Coordinator in April 2012.  She is responsible for assisting with the Center's  pre-award functions of grant applications, coordinating various administrative functions and maintaining administrative databases.

Last modified: Mar 13, 2014