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Behavioral Research and Assessment in Neuropsychology (BRAIN) Lab


Dr. Rayna Hirst


Openings: 2-3 new members to join the lab annually.

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Topics:  This lab focuses on research in neuropsychology and clinical assessment. Current research topics include the influence of chronic marijuana use on cognition, the neuropsychological effects of sport-related concussion, and factors that influence the valid and reliable neuropsychological assessment of patients. Dr. Hirst’s research has focused on factors that can impact the legitimacy of clinical neuropsychological assessment, such as the examinee’s motivation to perform well; she has identified motivational statements that can enhance cognitive performance in chronic marijuana users. Her research also identified that most people can guess, at levels significantly greater than chance, whether a photograph is of a cannabis user or a non-user, simply based on appearance – a phenomenon she refers to as the “jay-dar”. As Dr. Hirst is interested in all topics related to neuropsychological performance (e.g., memory impairment, executive dysfunction), as well as the clinical process of neuropsychological assessment (e.g., standards of practice in using validity testing during assessment), she is also open to exploring diverse research ideas with students in her research lab. 

These research projects allow students to gain a significant amount of neuropsychological assessment experience and training hours, as well as develop research skills in writing literature reviews, designing a study, recruiting subjects and administering tests, entering data, conducting statistical analyses, presenting at professional conferences, and writing manuscripts. Students will be encouraged to conduct their own research projects and compete for student awards and grants. Co- and eventual first-authorship on manuscripts is encouraged. This training is aimed to help students become a more independent researcher, with the goal of conducting original research and data collection for their dissertation projects.  Please see Dr. Hirst's publications for an example of the types of research studies/manuscripts that students can contribute to.

Members of this lab are expected to have strong conscientiousness, excellent communication with lab supervisor and members, and a high degree of responsibility and accountability. Mentorship support is strong and lab goals are flexible to meet the student’s needs.

How to Apply:

Admission to the lab is dependent upon goodness of fit of the applicant’s research interests with the lab’s ongoing research, academic merit of the applicant, and professionalism of the applicant. Interested PAU students are asked to submit the following items to Dr. Hirst by the PAU Research Lab Application due date:

  • One or two page cover letter describing past research experience, how and why the student became interested in neuropsychology/assessment, a description of specific current ongoing projects in this lab that the student would like to contribute to, and a description of additional specific research or clinical interests in neuropsychology and assessment 
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Unofficial transcript
  • A writing sample (e.g., a paper submitted for a graduate-level course) 
Notification: Students accepted into the lab will be notified by email at the PAU Research Lab Notification date and time.

Admitted 2019:

Aubrey Deneen ( - Aubrey graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and an emphasis in Neuroscience. She is currently a fifth-year Clinical Psychology PhD student in the Neuropsychology Area of Emphasis. Aubrey is primarily involved in the lab’s pediatric sport concussion study. Her clinical experience includes both outpatient and inpatient neuropsychological assessment and cognitive rehabilitation. Currently, she is training at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Acute Rehab track working with individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or burn injury. Aubrey is also interested in working with the athlete population. As an undergraduate, she participated in competitive snow-ski racing and experienced first-hand the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional toll that head injuries can have on athletes. As for career goals, she plans to continue inpatient acute rehabilitation work and ideally work with any NCAA and/or professional sports leagues conducting neuropsychological testing for sport-related concussions.

Yelena MarkivYelena Markiv ( - Yelena received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology with a major area of study in neuropsychology. Yelena is completing her internship training at the UCSD/VA Psychology Internship Training Program and will be completing a lifespan neuropsychology fellowship at the Chesapeake Postdoctoral Neuropsychology Training Consortium after graduation. Within the BRAIN Lab, Yelena is primarily involved in the pediatric sports concussion study. She is interested in neurorehabilitation and neuropsychological assessment across the lifespan. Yelena completed her most recent practicum training at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Geropsychiatry Community Living Center, and at the UCSF Neurodevelopmental Assessment and Imaging Laboratory. Her career goal is to become a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist who conducts assessments and provides treatment to individuals across the lifespan in a multidisciplinary medical setting.

Admitted 2020:

Rachel Murley ( – Rachel graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Research Psychology and in Biology. Rachel also obtained a Master of Science in Psychology from PAU’s online master’s program before transferring to the Ph.D. program. She is currently a fifth-year doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Neuropsychology. Her current practicum is with Summit Center in Walnut Creek and she is doing a supplemental practicum at the UCSF Neurodevelopmental Assessment and Imaging Lab (NAIL). Rachel’s primary focus in the BRAIN lab is with the pediatric sports concussion database, but has contributed to other projects as well. She is also interested in conducting research and doing clinical work with pediatric populations that have neurodevelopmental disorders. For her long-term goals, Rachel hopes to pursue a career as a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in pediatrics while working in either a hospital setting in the rehabilitation and trauma unit and/or an academic medical center.

Jakob HopperJakob Hopper ( - Jakob graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He is a fifth-year Ph.D. student at Palo Alto University. He was a student therapist at the Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic, a specialty clinic at The Gronowski Center that offers affordable and affirming psychological services for LGBTQ+ individuals. During his second practicum, he was a student therapist at De Anza College. Currently, Jakob is at the San Jose Job Corps for his practicum and has continued working at De Anza as a master’s level therapist for a part-time job. He is in the LGBTQ+ and Trauma emphases at PAU. His ultimate goal is clinical practice with a blend of community mental health and private practice. Within the BRAIN lab, Jakob’s involvement centers around the lab’s cannabis research, with the addition of topics related to trauma and LGBTQ+ identities. 

Haig Pilavjian ( - Haig Pilavjian graduated from the University of California San Diego and received his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015. He received his Master’s degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2017. Prior to attending Palo Alto University, Haig has acted as a research assistant at the San Diego VA’s Military Sexual Trauma clinic, volunteer on a national suicide crisis line, and as a psychometrist/psychological assistant for the forensic-neuropsychological Sports Concussion Institute and Nexus Clinical Solutions. Haig is currently a fourth-year clinical psychology PhD student within the neuropsychology emphasis. He presently is working on his dissertation project involving members of the Palo Alto VA and the BRAIN lab. It will entail an item-level analysis of neuropsychological assessments which assess auditory comprehension and several other cognitive domains. Haig has also contributed to various BRAIN lab projects investigating the neuropsychological effects of cannabis use, and surveys which assessed for changes to the selection criteria for competitive neuropsychology internship applicants after the COVID-19 pandemic. Haig’s major focus has consistently been on the veteran population. He hopes to advance research on areas which would benefit the veteran population such as substance use/abuse and traumatic brain injury. He also hopes to use his training in neuropsychology to support the veteran community as an aspiring neuropsychologist.

Admitted 2021:

Julius FlowersJulius Flowers ( - Julius graduated from the City University of New York (CUNY), Silbermann School of Social Workwith a Master of Social Work and the CUNY, Lehman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a minor in Psychology. Additionally, he is a licensed Social Worker.  He is currently a fourth-year PhD student at Palo Alto University with an emphasis in Neuropsychology. His current  practicum is at Palo Alto VA Medical Center, in the memory clinic unit. Julius’s primary research focus in the BRAIN lab has been on construct validity studies , performance validity testing, he is involved with an Asian American cultural sensitivity study, a neuropsychology burnout survey, an ADHD study, and generally utilizes the sports concussion database. Julius is interested in studying neurological pathology, sleep disturbance, and neurodiversity across the life span in populations with mTBI, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. His current clinical interest includes working with adults and older adults with Dementia’s, mTBI, and neurodevelopmental comorbidities. Julius plans on becoming a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist who primarily conducts research and provides assessments and psychotherapy in a minimal capacity. In his personal life, he mediates daily and enjoys traveling.

Bradley Forbes ( - Bradley received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. He is currently a third-year PhD student at Palo Alto University pursuing an emphasis in Health Psychology. Bradley's primary research focus in the BRAIN has been in the successful marijuana use study, measuring the functionality of chronic marijuana users. Bradley is currently researching the neurological and psychological outcomes of COVID-19 among older adults. Bradley is currently completing practicum placements at San Francisco Neuropsychology and UC Davis Alzheimer's Research Center, Walnut Creek. Clinically, Braldey is interested in working in an inpatient setting, focusing on health psychology and the connection between complex medical diagnosis and mental health. Outside of the lab, Bradley is an avid cyclist and enjoys reading. 

Ashlynn Steinbaugh ( - Ashlynn graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Biology. She is currently a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology. Her current practicum is at UCSF Pediatric Neuropsychology Program in Pediatrics. Ashlynn’s primary research involvement in the BRAIN lab has been with the pediatric sports concussion database and working on survey studies looking at the current cultural practices and training within the field with Asian American patient populations and burnout among neuropsychologists and graduate students. Her main research interests include studying professional practices and neuropsychological assessment in pediatric populations. Ashlynn’s long-term career goals include becoming a board-certified clinical pediatric neuropsychologist. Outside the lab, Ashlynn loves going on hikes, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. 

Admitted 2022:

Talamahe’a (Tarah) Tupou ( - Tarah graduated from University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She received her Master of Science degree at Palo Alto University before transferring into the doctoral program. She is now a third-year doctoral student at Palo Alto University -pursuing the emphasis in neuropsychology- with her current practicum placement at the PAVA: CLC Livermore Division. Tarah’s main involvement in the BRAIN lab include collaborations on topics such as cross-cultural neuropsychology and pediatric sports concussion. Additionally, Tarah’s research and clinical interests lie in neurodegenerative disease, advancing knowledge, more broadly, serving Indigenous peoples, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (NHPI) populations, and other underserved communities. Tarah aspires to be a board-certified neuropsychologist administering assessments, conducting research, and engaging in community outreach with populations across the lifespan. In her spare time, Tarah loves playing volleyball, singing, and reuniting with family and friends when traveling throughout the South Pacific.

Michael (Mickey) Ellis-Stockley ( - Mickey earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Central Michigan University and a master’s in clinical psychology from the University of Detroit. Prior to attending PAU, Mickey worked as a registered psychology associate at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD, where he coordinated a large research study examining concussion recovery in youth athletes. He is currently a third year PhD student in clinical psychology and is in the neuropsychology area of emphasis. Mickey is completing a neuropsychology practicum at Highland Hospital, as well as two supplemental neuropsychology practica at the Child Mind Institute and Stanford University School of Medicine. In the BRAIN lab, he is primarily involved in the sport concussion study; trained to administer and score the assessment battery, and utilizes the existing data to generate poster presentations. He has defended his dissertation proposal, which examines the influence of open-skilled and contact sport participation on core executive functions and mood. Further, he has contributed to manuscripts investigating burnout among neuropsychologists and cultural sensitivity with the Asian American population. Mickey aspires to be a board-certified neuropsychologist who has a strong foundation in acquired and degenerative brain conditions. He hopes to eventually work with high level athletes, across the lifespan, who have experienced sport-related head and/or musculoskeletal injury. 

Daniel Baldini Daniel Baldini ( - Daniel earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in Psychology with a research emphasis. He is currently a second-year student at PAU. Prior to attending PAU, Daniel worked in several different research labs. At UNR, Daniel worked under the Nevada State Undergraduate Research award in Dr. Yueran Yang’s lab to write and publish a first author mansucript in social psychology research. After graduating, he worked as a volunteer in the BRAIN lab, as well as an externship student in the Attention, Impulsivity and Regulation lab at the University of California, Davis and a graduate student volunteer in the Adamson lab at Stanford/Palo Alto VA. In all labs he has worked at, he has been able to help assist in publishing, with a heavy focus on training in clinical research protocol. Daniel’s main career goal is to become a forensic neuropsychologist and work as an expert witness in civil injury cases. In the BRAIN lab, Daniel’s primary research interest, across all studiesd in the lab, is to research ways to improve the field of neuropsychology’s interpretation of performanc validity testing, which he hopes to spend his career doing.

Admitted 2023:

Henry Sebastian EveHenry Sebastian Eve ( is a second-year student from Milan, Italy, at Palo Alto University, pursuing the Neuropsychology track. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Honors from Boston University and gained diverse research, teaching, and clinical experience. At Boston University and McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Henry contributed to research projects on learning models and preclinical behavioral psychopharmacology. He has worked with individuals across various developmental stages, including children, adolescents, and young adults with neurodevelopmental disorders and other psychiatric comorbidities in underserved communities in the Greater Boston Area, as well as experience providing brain injury rehabilitation services to adults and geriatric populations with neurocognitive impairment and aphasias. Currently, Henry is involved in research projects investigating the effects of cannabis on cognitive functioning and quality of life, sports-related concussion /participation on cognitive functioning, as well as burnout among graduate students. Ultimately, Henry aspires to become a board-certified lifespan neuropsychologist working in multidisciplinary settings, such as academic research hospitals, contributing to cutting-edge translational research. In his downtime, Henry enjoys socializing, cooking, music, sports and board games, and the great outdoors.

Annie Lakhani Annie Lakhani ( - Annie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before her doctoral journey at Palo Alto University, Annie actively contributed to both clinical and research realms, focusing on interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She also streamlined modalities that incorporated adverse childhood experiences and trauma-informed care, and worked to promote access to mental healthcare services. Annie is currently a second-year doctoral student specializing in neuropsychology. She is deeply engaged in the BRAIN lab, where she collaborates on diverse research projects spanning successful marijuana use, graduate student burnout, and sport-related concussion. With a keen interest in pediatric neuropsychology and child and adolescent mental health, Annie aims to become a board-certified clinical pediatric neuropsychologist. Beyond her academic pursuits, Annie enjoys exploring the outdoors, spending time with friends, and indulging in the company of her beloved kitty, Frankie.

Kiara SummersKiara Summers ( - Kiara graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, and minors in Spanish and Biology. She is currently a second year PhD student pursuing an emphasis in neuropsychology. Kiara is interested in trauma, concussion and traumatic brain injuries, neurodiversity and neurodevelompmental disorders, diagnostic comorbididites, mindfulness, assessment, and cultural and ethnic factors. Within the BRAIN Lab, Kiara is primarily involved in the Sports Concussion and Assessment Validity research. Kiara aspires to become a board certified clinical neuropsychologist that conducts assessments and provides treatment across the lifespan, with a particular interest in working with marginalized communities. Outside of lab and pursuing her goals, Kiara loves to try new restaurants, go to comedy shows, explore the Bay Area. 

Lillian Sayaovong VangLillian Sayaovong Vang ( graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, Pre-Medicine. Lillian entered into the program with experience as a mental health specialist at an inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric hospital and has conducted research at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Human Development Center with Dr. Melissa Coolong-Chaffin on reading interventions with children. She is currently a second-year PhD student at PAU with an emphasis in neuropsychology. Lillian aspires to work with children and adolescents in administering neuropsychological assessments as a board-certified clinical pediatric neuropsychologist in the future. Lillian’s work in the BRAIN lab has included work with cultural sensitivity practices in neuropsychological practices, successful marijuana use, graduate school burnout, and sport-related concussions with children and adolescents. Her research interests include working with Southeast Asian American populations, specifically Hmong populations, and culturally sensitive practices in clinical neuropsychology. Outside of the graduate program, Lillian enjoys trying new foods, spending time with friends, playing volleyball, and taking photos.


Admitted 2018:

Jennifer Adler ( - Jen graduated with her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University in June of 2022 where she completed the Neuropsychology Emphasis. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology with a double minor in Sociology and Health from University of Arizona. As part of the BRAIN lab, Jen worked on the Sport Concussion Study and completed her dissertation looking at the test-retest reliability of neuropsychological assessments in non-injured youth athletes. Jen completed her pre-doctoral internship at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego in their Neuropsychology Track. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at UCSD/San Diego VA in the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH) investigating the interplay of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurodegenerative disease processes. Jen’s primary interests include TBI, neurodegenerative risk factors, sport concussion, repetitive head impact, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). She recently received grant funding for a pilot study investigating the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in Veterans with post-acute mTBI, and is hoping to receive a Career Development Award (CDA) grant to further investigate a mindfulness-based intervention for post-acute mTBI in Veterans.

Ryan C. Thompson, PhDRyan C. Thompson, PhD ( - Ryan is a Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Medicine (Neurology Department) and a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease Center. He aims to become a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, researcher, and professor in an academic medical center. His research interests include healthy aging, dementia worry, early detection of cognitive decline, non-pharmacological interventions for persons with dementia, and psychosocial interventions for care partners of persons with dementia. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University, master’s degree from The College of William and Mary, and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University (PAU), including a major area of study in clinical neuropsychology. He completed neuropsychological practica at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, and VA Palo Alto, and he completed his predoctoral internship at Dartmouth Health/Geisel School of Medicine in the Adult Neuropsychology Track. He has authored manuscripts and conference abstracts on a range of topics in neuropsychology, such as performance validity testing, mild traumatic brain injury, and neuropsychology internship selection criteria. His dissertation focused on developing a composite score of embedded validity indicators in a sample of healthy youth athletes. He taught courses at PAU in the undergraduate psychology and graduate counseling programs, and he has held leadership positions in national organizations, including the National Academy of Neuropsychology (Chair of the Trainee Committee), American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (Trainee Co-Chair of the Student Affairs Committee), and Association of Psychological Science (Student Notebook Editor).

Sana Arastu ( - Sana graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2016 with a Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Science and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. She is currently in her final year as a clinical psychology PhD student at Palo Alto University with a major area of study in neuropsychology. She is currently completing her pre-doctoral internship in neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology at Baylor College of Medicine/TIRR Memorial Hermann. Sana's research interests include studying how cultural factors, such as ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic background, may relate to neuropsychological performances in minority and underserved populations. Her dissertation sought to understand how cultural factors among Asian Indian immigrants in the U.S may impact performances on a commonly used cognitive screener. In the past, Sana has completed a variety of clinical practicum training in both neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Hospital Acute Rehabilitation, Palo Alto VA Memory Clinic, Stanford Neurocognitive Assessment clinic, and at Hume Center’s South Asian Community Health Promotions Center. Her long-term career goals involve becoming a board certified neuropsychologist, clinically specializing in neuropsychological rehabilitation, lecturing as an adjunct faculty member, and engaging in advocacy work for improvements in neuropsychological training and practices with minoritized populations. 

Sara MarkusonSara Markuson ( - Sara graduated from the University of Montana, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis in research and in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. In the BRAIN Lab, Sara primarily contributed to the youth sport concussion study. She completed practicum at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland 5585/Consultation & Liaison Team, the UCSF in the Pediatric Brain Centers General Pediatric Neuropsychology track, and the UCSF Neurodevelopmental Assessment and Imaging Lab. Sara obtained her PhD in clinical psychology with the neuropsychology emphasis at PAU.  She completed a pediatric focused neuropsychology internship at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT. Sara is currently a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Her research and clinical interests are in pediatric populations who experience complex medical conditions which impact brain functioning. Sara is an adjunct faculty member at PAU and currently teaches an undergraduate course focused on learning and memory. Ultimately, she plans to work in an academic medical setting and to achieve board certification as a pediatric neuropsychologist. In her free time, Sara runs, skis, hikes, and bikes with her partner and their pup, Lillie. 

Admitted 2017:

Naomi Kaswan, PhDNaomi Kaswan, PhD (pronouns: she/they - - Naomi is currently completing a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Neuropsychology at the San Mateo Medical Center in San Mateo, CA. In their work at SMMC, Naomi provides neuropsychological assessment and brief-intervention services to adults and older adults, often utilizing certified medical interpreters to provide services in non-English languages (e.g., Spanish, Burmese, Arabic, etc.). Naomi obtained their PhD in Clinical Psychology with a Major Area of Study in Neuropsychology at Palo Alto University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center in Huntington, WV, where she provided outpatient neuropsychological assessment, individual and group therapy, and integrated behavioral health services to Veterans in rural Appalachia. Naomi’s pre-doctoral training also included working with interdisciplinary teams in schools, community mental health centers, and medical facilities to provide culturally informed neuropsychological assessment and therapeutic interventions to populations across the lifespan. Her dissertation examined the utility of neuropsychological validity assessment measures within a youth athlete population. Naomi’s clinical interests include the impacts of acquired brain injury and complex medical presentations on cognitive functioning. In their spare time, Naomi enjoys attending Renaissance Faires, spending time with loved ones, and cooking. 

Felipe Granados ( - Felipe graduated from California State University, Stanislaus, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He worked as a PhD student pursuing an emphasis in neuropsychology. As part of the BRAIN lab, Felipe worked on posters from a successful cannabis use database. Additionally, he has also reviewed manuscripts submitted for peer review before publication. Ultimately, Felipe is interested in being a bilingual, Spanish-speaking clinical neuropsychologist, working with elderly Latinx patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders.

Admitted 2016:

Colin Brown ( Colin completed a neuropsychology internship at the James J Peters VAMC in the Bronx, NY, and postdoctoral residency at the Bay Pines VA Health Care System. He is currently a neuropsychologist at the Bay Pines VA Health Care System. 

Rachel Santiago ( - Rachel is a fifth-year student in the neuropsychology emphasis. She is interested in working with the older adult population, Veterans, and individuals with brain injuries. Rachel is primarily involved in the Sport Concussion study and is currently working on a case study manuscript examining cognitive performance subsequent to multiple concussions.

Jessica Watson ( - Jessica has completed the Neuropsychology area of emphasis and has published published manuscripts on neuropsychologist’s beliefs regarding the cognitive effects of cannabis, as well as examiner expectancy effects. Her current research involves the lab’s pediatric sport concussion program, examining the frequency of “abnormal” (i.e., low) scores in baseline tests of healthy youth to differentiate between statistical and clinical significance. Her research also assesses parents’ and coaches’ knowledge and attitudes of sport related concussion management. She is working towards completing her dissertation, examining the level of agreement across pediatric neuropsychologists regarding assessment practices. She has represented the lab both in the US and abroad, and in 2018 she was awarded the Edith Kaplan Scholarship, presented by The National Academy of Neuropsychology’s Women in Leadership Committee.

Dylan Vaughn ( – Dylan graduated from the PhD Clinical Psychology program at PAU, Neuropsychology Area of Emphasis. Currently, he is a first-year postdoctoral fellow under the neuropsychology program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. He provides inpatient and outpatient assessment services for patients living with a variety of psychiatric and neurological/complex medical conditions. He completed his internship under the adult neuropsychology track at the California Pacific Medical Center/Sutter Health in San Francisco, California. He worked on two projects within the BRAIN Lab: the neurocognitive effects of cannabis use and the long-term effects of sport-related concussions in child/adolescent populations. He has published research on neurocognitive differences by sex in cannabis users (also his dissertation topic), expectancy effects as it relates to performance on neuropsychological evaluations in cannabis users, methodological implications and sampling bias in cannabis research, and neuropsychologists ability to discriminate cannabis users versus non-users. He is currently working on multiple research projects affiliated with McMaster University including the longitudinal effects of cannabis use on cognitive functioning, concurrent head injury rates for those presenting with substance use, and a case study evaluating advanced neuroimaging techniques for a  patient with bilateral hippocampal dysfunction. When he is not working, you can find Dylan in the Canadian wilderness foraging and birding with his girlfriend and dog.

Admitted 2015:

Casey Conaboy ( Casey was a fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at PAU and completed the Neuropsychology Area of Emphasis. Casey was primarily involved in the Sport Concussion Study and interested in the influence that different identities (e.g., socioeconomic status) may have on risk levels regarding concussion and recovery.

Admitted 2014:

Alexis Rosen ( – Alexis graduated from the PhD Clinical Psychology program at PAU, Neuropsychology Area of Emphasis. She is now a clinical neuropsychologist providing cognitive rehabilitation and assessment services at VA Northern California Healthcare System - Martinez. Alexis completed her internship at the Memphis VA Medical Center in the Neuropsychology Major Area of Study and a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychology at the Department of State Hospitals - Patton. 

Zoe Quittner (

Admitted 2013:

(Lauren) Taighlor Whittington (

Richard Enriquez ( - Richard completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University with an emphasis in Diversity and Community Mental health (DCMH). He completed his predoctoral internship at San Jose State University, postdoctoral residency at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and is currently working as a full-time staff psychologist at UCSC. Richard’s clinical interests include alcohol and other drug use, religion and spirituality, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. He has experience with a wide range of populations and settings, including ethnically diverse populations, adult populations (ages 18-61), LGBTQ-identified clients, residential substance treatment, community mental health, and college counseling.  His research interests include investigating raters’ accuracy to assess cannabis use status, observer-expectancy effects in cannabis user population, and protective factors related to the initiation and problematic use of cannabis. His dissertation was “Childhood Religious Affiliation Type as Predictor of Initiation and Stability of Cannabis Use.”

Cecilia Han, Ph.D., ABPP-CN ( - Cecilia is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist. She established her own private practice, Brain & Behavior Care, which is located at Ellicott City, MD.  She provides neuropsychology services and medical-legal consultation services for individuals 18+ with acquired brain injuries including TBI/concussion, stroke, hypoxic/anoxic injuries, epilepsy, neurodegenerative conditions/dementia, other neurological conditions, and/or associated neuropsychiatric conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety, chronic pain, and PTSD. She graduated from PAU in 2018. She completed her fellowship at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and internship at NYU Rusk Rehabilitation. Her clinical interests include adult neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology, with a research interest in cognitive rehabilitation following acquired brain injuries.

Anna Teague, PhD ( - Dr. Teague graduated from PAU in 2018. She is currently a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Assistant Clinical Professor (Affiliated) in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford Health Care. In her clinical role, she conducts outpatient neuropsychological evaluations with adults with a wide variety of neurological and neurosurgical conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, cerebrovascular pathology, epilepsy, concussion and TBI, autoimmune and demyelinating disorders, and CNS and non-CNS cancers. She also assists with clinical trials through the Neurosurgery Department and training neurology residents. Dr. Teague completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Washington DC VA Medical Center, and her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia.

Julie Gretler ( - Julie completed her predoctoral internship, as well as her postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the University of Missouri. Her clinical and research interests include neurorehabilitation and neuropsychological assessment.

 Admitted 2012:

Stephanie Gade (

Laura Rathke

Louise Sodos, Ph.D. ( - Louise graduated from PAU in 2016. Her dissertation was “Enhancement of Cognitive Performance in Chronic Cannabis Users: Temporary versus Isolated Effects of a Motivational Statement.” She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in clinical/military psychology at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC). She is now an active duty U.S. Army licensed clinical psychologist.