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

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.

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).

Anna H. Boerwinkle, BS

Anna Boerwinkle began working in the Ances lab as a research technician after graduating from Washington University in 2017 with a B.S. in Systems Science and Engineering. She is interested in neurology and got involved in neuroimaging research to combine this interest with her engineering background. Anna‘s primary research is evaluating neuroinflammation in people living with HIV using PET imaging. She is also responsible for processing the FreeSurfers and PET scans for the HIV projects.

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.

Wiete Fehner, M.Sc

Wiete Fehner is a first year PhD student in the Imaging Science program at WashU and is currently doing her rotation in the Ances Lab. She graduated from the University of Turku (Finland) in 2020 with a M.Sc. in Human Neuroscience. Her research focused on utilizing optical imaging (fNIRS) and fMRI to investigate the auditory cortex with application in the clinical context. In general, Wiete is interested in neuroimaging techniques and using neuroimaging in the context of clinical populations.

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.