Beau M. Ances, MD, PhD

Dr. Ances is the inaugural Daniel J Brennan MD Professor of Neurology. He is an author on over 200 publications and his work has been cited by numerous media outlets (including the Associated Press, US News and World Report, Science, Time, Discover, etc.) and PBS documentaries (including Alzheimer’s Disease: Every Minute Counts). Clinically, Dr. Ances sees patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings with a variety of neurodegenerative diseases (including AD, DS-AD, ADAD, HAND, CJD, AIME, and neurological complications from COVID19).

Elizabeth Westerhaus, MA

Liz holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from St. Louis University, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Adult Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and has been at WashU since 2001. She worked in the mental health field for 20 years (the last 10 of which were spent at the WashU Dept. of Psychiatry) before migrating to the Dept. of Neurology to work with Dr. Ances in 2011. Liz currently serves as the Ances lab manager, supervising coordinators in the recruitment, enrollment, and acquisition of data for their studies; maintaining all regulatory approvals for the lab (IRB, RDRC, IND, DUA/MTA, etc.); maintaining all personnel files; overseeing the lab’s budget; and assisting with grant writing, post-award fund management, and other administrative functions.


Sarah A. Cooley, PhD

Sarah Cooley is a Research Statistician in the Ances lab. She completed her PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2016 working under Dr. Robert Paul in a lab studying changes in the brain during healthy aging. She began working with Dr. Ances in 2016 as a data analyst on projects examining cognition and structural brain changes in older people living HIV. Her research interests include changes in the aging brain, and how changes in the brain due to aging and/or HIV might impact cognitive outcomes and activities of daily living.

Brittany M. Nelson, BS

Brittany Nelson is a Clinical Research Coordinator for Dr. Ances. She studied psychology at University of Missouri – St. Louis. She is currently working on the Down Syndrome studies. She was the lead Coordinator on the Exercise Study in the Ances Lab at Washington University and has worked in the Ances Lab since 2014. Brittany has experience working with older adults as well as adolescents. She is the resident REDCap advisor for the lab as well as the website designer and manages the social media accounts. Brittany is also a certified yoga instructor and has a Siamese cat named Yakmaine and a coonhound puppy named Infinity.

Regina L. Thompson, BA

Regina Thompson holds a BA in mathematics from Saint Louis University. She has worked at Washington University in St. Louis since 2002, and joined the Ances Lab in 2014. Regina has extensive experience in project management, performing neuropsychological assessments, and collecting MRI and PET neuroimaging data. She recruits and works with research participants across all age groups on multiple NIH-funded projects. She also coordinates the CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) study for the Washington University site and is certified to perform neurocognitive assessments through University of California San Diego. Additionally, she assists with budgets, grant management, and other administrative functions for the Ances Lab.

Patricia Reid

Patricia Reid is a Clinical Research Coordinator for the CHAMPS Study (Cannabis, HIV and Mental Processing Systems). Pat studied sociology and public policy while also working in the fields of social services and healthy aging. She joined the Ances Lab in June 2022 after working in substance use disorder research with the Psychiatry department at Washington University. When not working, Pat spends much of her time with her family – often chasing after her two children – outdoors as much as possible.

Olga Del Rosario, BS, MD

Olga is a clinical coordinator in the Ances Lab.

Neuroimaging Staff

Jeremy F. Strain, PhD

Jeremy is research faculty currently positioned at Washington University in St. Louis. His work has consisted of deciphering anatomical correlates of cognitive change. During his graduate studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, his research revolved around using structural imaging markers to differentiate between variants of dementia (Alzheimer disease and frontotemporal dementia, or FTD) to assist in clinical diagnosis. The bulk of this research was devoted to identifying localized regions of impaired white matter that uniquely coincided with FTD pathology. Additionally, Jeremy transitioned to studying the impact of concussions, but retained an emphasis on brain-behavior relationships.

Kalen Petersen, PhD

Kalen Petersen is a post-doctoral fellow in the Ances lab. He studied biology at the University of Tulsa, and completed his Imaging Science PhD at Vanderbilt University. His work is focused on structure-function relationships in neurological disorders, and he currently studies the effects of HIV on brain aging.

Peter Millar, PhD

Pete is a postdoc in the Ances Lab. He completed his PhD in Psychological & Brain Sciences at Wash U in 2020, working with Dr. Dave Balota. He is interested in using neuroimaging (mainly functional and structural MRI) to study the effects of aging and Alzheimer disease on the brain and how they relate to cognition.

Karin Meeker, PhD

Dr. Karin Meeker is a post-doctoral researcher in the Ances lab. She completed her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Saint Louis University. Her primary goal is to further the understanding of disease pathogenesis and progression of Alzheimer disease (AD) using multimodal methods. Since beginning her position, Karin’s work has largely focused on the utilization of emerging markers of inflammation and neurodegeneration to determine how they are associated and interact with established neuroimaging biomarkers of AD. She is also interested in ethno-racial differences in AD biomarkers and the effects of social determinants of health.

Omar H Butt, MD, PhD

Omar is a neuro-oncology fellow who works in both the departments of neurology and medicine (division of oncology). He has a MS in molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University and an MD & PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2019, he completed his neurology residency here at Washington University in Saint Louis where he also served as chief resident. Omar has broad interests in multi-modal imaging and the integration of plasma and cerebral spinal fluid into understanding cognition changes in cancer, secondary due to cancer therapies, and in preclinical Alzheimer Disease (AD).

Julie Wisch, PhD

Julie Wisch is a Senior Neuroimaging Engineer in the Ances lab. She studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iowa, and completed her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Missouri. Her research primarily looks at the intersection of real world biomarkers for Alzheimer Disease and neuroimaging data.

June Roman

June Roman is an IT Project Manager in the Ances Lab. She is a programmer with several years of experience in software development, product support, tech mentorship and leadership.  She emphasizes improving workflows and processes,  maintainability, and creating the conditions for better collaboration and an inclusive work environment. June loves the slow and steady joy of seeing a long project come into shape, whether that project is a software application, a thriving aquarium, a growing houseplant, or a knitted shawl.

Sharmila Thippabhotla, MS

Sharmila is a programmer in the Ances Lab. She studied MS in Computer Science at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, specializing in computer vision. She is interested in medical image processing, statistical analysis and machine learning.

Babatunde Adeyemo

Babatunde Adeyemo is a Neuroimaging Enginner with experience in data acquisition optimization (electro-neurophysiology, rsfMRI), hardware design/development and data analysis (Signal Processing, Statistical Modeling, Machine Learning, Graph Theory and other Non Linear methods). His interests lie in developing methods for subject/group characterization and analysis of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative states.

James Kennedy, PhD

James Kennedy is a staff scientist in the Ances lab. He earned his PhD in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2013 and completed postdocs at the University of Minnesota and WUSTL’s psychiatry department before moving to neurology. He has experience in functional and structural imaging, behavioral genetics, and longitudinal modeling of imaging data.

Marta Stojanovic, PhD

She completed her PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis in 2022, working with Dr. Denise Head. Her primary goal is to characterize cognitive and brain aging, as well as factors that influence cognitive and brain health, using both behavioral and neuroscientific methods. She is particularly interested in understanding how lifestyle factors, especially physical activity, influence healthy and pathological aging processes.

Adam Anderson, BS

Adam Anderson is a Neuroimaging Engineer in the Ances Lab. He studied Bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, and his main research areas of interest are in neuroscience and imaging technologies.


Tina Lu

Tina is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis studying microbiology and anthropology. She is interested in how different spheres of social determinants of health affect brain aging, particularly in persons living with HIV, and is currently focused on investigating the impact of early life stress. Her interest in neurological disorder has encouraged her to pursue medical school in the future with hopes of working with the older adult population. Tina enjoys spending her free time listening to and playing music, hiking, and honing her iPhone photography skills.

Anna Curtis

Anna is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis studying neuroscience, psychology, and design. She is currently researching the impacts of statin medications on cognition and brain volumetrics in people living with HIV. Outside of the lab Anna competes with the track and field team and spends her free time hanging out with friends.

Malavika Pillai

Malavika is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis pursuing a BA in Neuroscience. She is currently focused on analyzing ethno-racial differences in biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and investigating how these differences are impacted by social determinants of health. She joined the Ances Lab in early 2022 and is excited to continue investigating and learning about biomarkers of AD while combining her interest in neurodegenerative diseases with her background in computer science. Outside of the lab, Malavika is a volunteer EMT with the WashU Emergency Support Team and likes to walk through St. Louis with friends and play the piano in her free time.

Cynthia Yan

Cynthia is a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis studying computer science and bioinformatics. She is interested in using her background in computer science to analyze large data sets related to neurodegenerative disease. Currently, she is researching the relationships between biomarkers, brain volume, and cognition in persons with HIV. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys competing with the WashU Club Tennis team, playing flute, and volunteering with Buddy Up Tennis.

Uma Kaushik

Uma is a second-year undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis studying Neuroscience, Studio Art, and Healthcare Management. She joined the Ances Lab in 2022 and is interested in the intersection of genetic diseases and Alzheimer disease as well as how changes in the brain are affected by HIV. Her passion for the complexity of the brain led her to pursue medical school where she hopes to become a neurosurgeon. In her free time, Uma enjoys playing Rugby, hiking, listening to music, and traveling.

Kiana Angela Macharia

Kiana Angela is a third-year undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis studying Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology (PNP) and Writing. She joined the Ances Lab in the Fall of 2022 and is currently focused on how neuroimaging methods (like structural and functional MRI) can be used to observe the development of AD biomarkers in specific populations. Her interest in the changing brain has motivated her to pursue medical school after the completion of her undergraduate studies. Outside of lab, Kiana Angela enjoys volunteering on WashU’s Emergency Support Team as an EMT, listening to music, and writing poetry.