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brainLENS

Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute
401 Parnassus Ave, Box 0984
San Francisco, CA 94143

Shipping Address:
Fumiko Hoeft
Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute
401 Parnassus Ave, Room A316
San Francisco, CA 94143

(415) 476-9861

We are located on the Parnassus Avenue UCSF campus, on the first floor of Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute.

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Parking

Street parking is available within a couple blocks if parking less than 2 hours. Parking is also available in the parking structures across the street from Langley Porter, along Parnassus Avenue and within a block from our building. Parking in these structures, however, is rather expensive, with daily rates ranging from $22-28.

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The Team
Director
Fumiko Hoeft MD PhD

Dr. Fumiko Hoeft is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Director of BrainLENS at UCSF. She is a psychiatrist and developmental cognitive neuroscientist, and trained at institutions including, Keio Univ (Tokyo), Harvard, Caltech and Stanford. She is interested in using machine learning algorithms, graph theoretical analysis and multimodal neuroimaging techniques to understand how the brain develops and functions, particularly in healthy children, in those with learning differences (dyslexia), socio-emotional challenges and with gifts & talents. For some of Dr. Hoeft’s research interest, please see Current Research. Dr. Hoeft is also Scientific Advisor to the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC) and holds positions at Yale University’s Haskins Laboratory, Stanford University School of Medicine’s Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research (CIBSR), and Keio University’s Department of Neuropsychiatry.

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Full Curriculum Vitae




Postdoctoral Scholar
Olga Kepinska

Olga obtained her PhD in Linguistics at the Leiden University in the Netherlands (2017). Her main interests are second language acquisition, bilingualism and neurolinguistics. Her PhD focussed on neural mechanisms and brain structures underlying individual differences in foreign language acquisition. She investigated neural correlates of the analytical component of language aptitude using fMRI, DTI and EEG.



Postdoctoral Scholar
Florence Bouhali

Florence received her PhD in Cognitive Science at the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris (2017). Her main interest lies in understanding how our brains accommodate reading acquisition so well, while paradoxically writing is such a recent cultural inventions at the scale of evolution that it cannot have influenced our phylogenetic development.



Postdoctoral Scholar
Nikola Vukovic

Nikola received his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2015 from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. His primary research interest are the brain mechanisms which allow us to learn language and process word meaning or semantics. To this end, he uses a range of techniques including non-invasive brain stimulation, M/EEG, as well as functional MRI and Diffusion-Kurtosis Imaging.
www.nikola.me



Postdoctoral Scholar
Cheng Wang

Cheng received her B.S. in Psychology from East China Normal University and did her M.S. in Social Neuroscience in Peking University. She then attained a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is interested in neural and genetic mechanisms underlying reading and language processes, as well as intergenerational transmission patterns in reading and emotional regulation.



Lab Manager & Precision Learning Center Research Associate
Isabel Sunshine

Isabel received her B.A. in Science and Society from Brown University in Providence, RI and a certificate in pre-medical studies from Mills College in Oakland, CA. She is most passionate about working with children and has a particular interest in understanding the socio-historical context for contemporary health disparities in the U.S.



Family Brain Program Coordinator & Precision Learning Center Research Associate
Ella Pyle

Ella received her B.A. in Psychology from The New School in NYC and her M.A. from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.  She is interested in the neural development of psychological disorders during early childhood and its relationship to various cognitive, socioemotional, and cultural factors.



Bilingual Project Manager
Jocelyn Caballero

Jocelyn received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish at the University of San Francisco. She is interested in the child’s multifaceted development in relation to the way maladaptive environments influence their neural maturation, essentially marking language as a preliminary form of brain connectivity.



Neuropsychological Assessment Lead
Kelsey Maki

Kelsey received her B.S. in Human Development from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She is currently a Psy.D. Clinical Psychology student at the University of San Francisco. She is interested in the development of socio-emotional skills, and how children and their families use these skills to navigate adversity.



Bilingual Project Research Assistant
Safiyyah Bachar

Safiyyah received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of San Francisco. She is interested in the neural bases for language attrition in children and its effects on memory and learning.



Socio-Emotional Project Manager
Stephanie Haft

Stephanie received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA. She is interested in the interactive aspects of environment, biology, and socioemotional characteristics that lead to maladaptive outcomes in some children and resilience in others.



Licensed Psychologist
Anna Sapozhnikova

Dr. Sapozhnikova received her Ph.D. in Clinical Science from UC Berkeley, where she studied genetic, behavioral and neurological correlates of emotional functioning as well as the impact of neurodegenerative diseases on marriage.  Dr. Sapozhnikova completed her clinical internship at the San Francisco VA and her postdoctoral training at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.



Visiting Graduate Student
Christina Mueller

Christina received her M.S. degree in psychology from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. She is a graduate student in the Medical/Clinical Psychology program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with a focus on neuropsychology. Her research is developing techniques to visualize neuroinflammatory and immune processes in patients with various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, using Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Positron Emission Tomography with novel radioligands.



Summer Intern
Chloe LeBlanc

Chloe just finished her freshman year at University of Michigan and plans to pursue a B.S. in a STEM related field. She has a strong interest in neuroscience and is passionate about children’s education, particularly reading acquisition in the brain.



Summer Intern
Tiffany Chen

Tiffany is a rising sophomore at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. She is pursuing a B.A. in Neuroscience and is interested in the processes of learning and memory formation, as well as issues of environmental justice and health inequity.



Summer Intern
Nikki Solanki

Nikki is a rising junior at The Harker Upper School in San Jose, California. Over the past few years, she has been introduced to and has developed a keen interest in biological fields, including genetics, neuroscience, and computational biology, which she aspires to pursue in college.



Precision Learning Center & Dyslexia Center Coordinator
Megan Chung

Megan received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley. She completed her honors thesis about how parent’s emotion discussion affect Chinese immigrant children’s socio-emotional outcome with Dr. Qing Zhou. She is particularly interested in how cultural factors can affect at risk children’s socio-emotional development.


Affiliates



Assistant Professor
Roeland Hancock

Roeland has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Arizona and B.S. in mathematics. He is interested in the neurobiological factors underlying individual variability in language processing and the application of new mathematical and computational techniques to understanding these processes. Roeland is currently Associate Director of the Brain Imaging Research Center at UCONN.



Assistant Professor
Maaike Vandermosten

Maaike Vandermosten obtained a joint PhD in Psychology and Educational Sciences and Biomedical Sciences (2012) at the University of Leuven (Belgium). Maaike is interested in developmental neuroscience, with a specific focus on reading, language and auditory processing. Maaike is affiliated to KU Leuven and appointed as a visiting scholar to the University of San Francisco, University of Maastricht and University of Geneva.



Assistant Professor
Smadar Patael

Smadar received her B.A. in communication disorders from Tel Aviv University, and did her M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Bar Ilan University, Israel. Smadar’s research focuses on the cognitive and neurological aspects of language disorders and language creativity.



Postdoctoral Scholar
Zhichao Xia

Zhichao received his B.S. in Psychology from Qingdao University. He received his Ph.D. in Basic Psychology at Beijing Normal University. His recent work focuses on understanding the cognitive and neural mechanism underlying reading development and factors impairing it.



Graduate Student
Oliver Sawi

Oliver received his B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University. He is currently a Ph.D. Student in Psychology, Neurobiology of Language at the University of Connecticut. His work focuses on the development of cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying reading, particularly in bilingualism and biliteracy, and the application to education.



Graduate Student
Rebecca Marks

Rebecca received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan in the Combined Program in Education & Psychology. Her research focuses on the neural correlates of single-word reading development in monolingual and bilingual children.


Neuropsych Research Assistants

Kimberly Blears, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Courtney Chappell, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Sabrina Diaz, Undergraduate Student (University of San Francisco)
Natasha Gerber, Graduate Student (University of San Francisco)
Marta González Catalán, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Meri Gukasyan, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Courtney Hurd, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Kewei Jiang, Undergraduate Student (UC Berkeley)
Jenna Khoury, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Dustin Lam, Undergraduate Student (UC Davis)
Ashley Liu, Undergraduate Student (University of San Francisco)
Jazmin Llamas, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Yanting Luo, Postbacc
Emily Mak, Postbacc
Hokwun Ng, Postbacc
May Ngo, Undergraduate Student (University of San Francisco)
Mariana Olivo-Urbina, Undergraduate Student (UC Berkeley)
Mercedes Palacios, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Celeste Poe, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Shikha Saggi, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Alaa Sakallah, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Taylor Stephens, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Mia Tornel, Postbacc
Kendal Vaarwerk, Graduate Student (University of San Francisco)
Elizabeth Verduzco, Reading Specialist (LearnUp)
Nicole Wilberding, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)
Briahna Yuodsnukis, Graduate Student (Palo Alto University)



Volunteers

Michael Carter PhD (Consultant, Twin Learning LLC)
Thalia Cruzat (Undergrad, UC Berkeley)
Jaelyn Edwards (Postbacc)
Isabella Hamilton (Research Coordinator, Kaiser Permanente)
Austin Jewison (Associate, Cal Academy of Sciences)
Chloe Jones (Undergrad, Univ of San Francisco)
Vy Le (Undergrad, UC Berkeley)
Alex Lu (Research Associate, PLOS)
Alexis Metcalfe (Undergrad, Univ of San Francisco)
Justin Murtiff (Postbacc)
Kacee Ngo (Undergrad, UC Berkeley)
Linch-Chi Nguyen (TMS Tech, Palo Alto Neurofeedback )
Thuyvi Nguyen (Undergrad, UC Berkeley)
Devin Pontious (Undergrad, UC Berkeley)
Dylan Powell (Undergrad, Univ of San Francisco)
Francesca Tencza (Undergrad, Univ of San Francisco)
Lynn Yang (Undergrad, UC Berkeley)






Partners
Bay Area Discovery Museum & Center for Childhood Creativity
The mission of the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM; Sausalito, CA) is to ignite and advance creative thinking for children. Situatied within the museum, the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC) bridges the gap between academic research in the fields of neuroscience, education, psychology, and creativity studies with the practitioners charged with raising a generation of future innovators. BADM, the CCC, and brainLENS collaborate on a number of workshops, white papers, and other outreach events.
Website
Charles Armstrong School
The Charles Armstrong School, located in Belmont, California, is an independent, non-profit, co-educational lower and middle day school specializing in teaching students with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia. The Armstrong School has a history of collaboration with the UCSF Dyslexia Center - Steve Carnevale and David Evans, UCSF Dyslexia Center Board Co-Chairs are past presidents of the Charles Armstrong School Board and Jessica Miller, head of the school is also on the Dyslexia Center Board.
Website
Chartwell School
Chartwell School is a full K-12 program designed to empower students with language-based learning differences, including dyslexia. Chartwell partners with UCSF brainLENS on several socio-emotional projects.
Website
Children's Health Council / Sand Hill School
Believing in the promise and potential of every child and teen, CHC specializes in ADHD, Learning Differences, Anxiety & Depression and Autism. brainLENS and CHC/Sand Hill partner on socio-emotional projects.
Website
Eye to Eye
Eye to Eye manages a network of mentoring programs that pairs LD/ADHD elementary and middle school students with similarly identified college and high school students. The partnership between Eye to Eye and brainLENS, funded by the Oak Foundation, will spark an initiative for rigorous and nation-wide evaluation of the effect of one-to-one mentoring on social and emotional learning in LD adolescents in 50 chapters spanning 20 states.
Website
Kildonan School
The Kildonan School is a private coeducational boarding and day school in Amenia, New York offering daily one-to-one Orton-Gillingham language remediation and a college preparatory curriculum for students in grades 2-12 and PG. The Kildonan School partners with brainLENS through talks, workshops, and socio-emotional surveys.
Website
Nueva School
The Nueva School is a private school, with two campuses, one in Hillsborough, and one in San Mateo, California, serving students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Nueva and brainLENS collaborate on the biennial Innovative Learning Conference, which provides meaningful resources and inspiring direction for educators, researchers, parents, students, and others.
Website
Parent Education Network
Parents Education Network (PEN) is a coalition of parents collaborating with educators, students and the community to empower and bring academic and life success to students with learning and attention differences.
Website
Stanford Schwab Learning Center
The Schwab Learning Center (SLC) is part of the Student Affairs department at Stanford University, and focuses on student strengths and innovative tools to address student needs. SLC is designed to reflect current priorities in the fields of Dyslexia, ADHD, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and research on the neuroscience of learning.
Website
Synapse School
Synapse School combines social-emotional learning, leading-edge academics, and the practice of innovation to develop gifted learners into the change makers of tomorrow. Synapse and brainLENS partner on SEL projects.
Website
UniSkript Research & Literacy Institute
LENS has teamed up with UniSkript Research & Literacy Institute (URLI; uniskript.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving literacy through a new linguistic and literacy technology known as UniSkript. UniSkript enables functional literacy in illiterates in three to six hours and fluency in days.
Website

Collaborators
Alumni

Jessica Black, PhD (‘08-‘10 Postdoc, Stanford University, currently Assist Prof at Boston College)
Melissa Castaneda (Undergraduate Volunteer, University of San Francisco)
Ryan Chu (Postbacc)
Emily Dennis, PhD (‘06-‘07 Undergraduate RA, Whitman College)
Miro Drahos, MS (’12-’13 Research Engineer)
Priscilla Duong (‘14 -‘18 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD Program)
Emily Farris, PhD (‘12-‘13 Postdoc, currently Assis Prof at UT Permian Basin Psychology)
Haley Friesch, Bowdoin College (Summer 2016)
Alexander Gantman, PsyD (‘05-‘08 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Naoki Hashimoto, PhD (’14-’14 Visiting Scientist, Japan)
Joshua Heitzmann, PhD (‘06-‘09 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Candy Ho, PsyD (‘05-‘08 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Hadi Hosseini, PhD (‘11 Senior Postdoc, Stanford)
Lisa Hoyman, MS (’14-’15 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Marina Kaminetskaya (’12-’14 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Nobuhisa Kobayashi, MD, PhD (‘06-‘07 Postdoc, Stanford University)
Kaori Koshiishi, MD, PhD (‘05-‘06 Stanford Visiting Scientist)
Samika Kumar, UC Berkeley (Summer 2015 and 2016)
Emily Kutner, PhD (‘11-‘14 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD Program)
Janosch Linkersdoerfer, PhD (‘15-‘16 Visiting Postdoc, German Instfor Internatl Edu Research)
Kan Long, BA (‘12-‘13 Research Assitant, Boston University)
Rociel Martinez, PhD (‘09-‘12, Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Alexis Metcalfe (Undergraduate Volunteer, University of San Francisco)
Supriya Molina Wunsh (‘15-‘16, Bilingual Project Manager)
Lauren Murray, Lick High School (Summer 2015)
Chelsea Myers (‘12-‘15 Lab Manager, Harvard Mind Brain and Education Masters program)
Masanori Nagamine, MD, PhD (‘08-‘09 Postdoc, Stanford University)
Myriam Oliver, PhD (‘16-‘18 Postdoc, UCSF)
Natalie Oropeza (Graduate Student, Palo Alto University)
Ruriko Otsuka MD (‘17 Visiting Resident of Keio University Japan)
Geneva Pohl, Urban School (Summer 2015)
Lorena Portillo (Undergraduate Volunteer, San Jose State)
Stuart Red, PhD (‘08-‘09 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Meera Santhanam, Nueva High School (Summer 2016)
Carolyn Sawyer, MD (’10 Medical Student, UCSF)
Joshua Silva-Roland, UC Santa Cruz (Summer 2015)
Vanessa Singh, PhD (’15 Postdoc, UCSF, currently at Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience)
Crystine Serrone, MS (‘09-‘11 Graduate Student, San Jose State University)
Teresa Soriano, MA (’11-’14, Research Assistant)
Leanne Stanley, PhD (‘08-‘11 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Akari Shwin, MD (’13-’14, Medical Student Research Intern)
Lisa Sugiura, PhD (‘06-‘07 Visiting Scientist, Stanford University)
Isaac Taitz (Graduate Student, Palo Alto University)
Natalie Tamburello, MA (‘11 Undergraduate RA, Whitman College)
Hiroko Tanaka, PhD (‘07-‘12, Graduate Student, Palo Alto Univ, PGSP PhD Program; ‘15-‘17 Pediatric Neuropsychologist)
Alexandra Thurston, PhD (‘08-‘12, Graduate Student, Palo Alto Univ, PGSP PhD program)
Melinda Tran (Undergraduate Volunteer, UC Davis)
Mandeep Tumber (‘09-‘12, Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Moe Phyu Tun, PhD (’09 Medical Student, Des Moines University)
Ariana Vargas, UC Berkeley (Summer 2015)
Cheng Wang, PhD (’14-’16 Postdoc)
Bun Yamagata, MD, PhD (‘10-‘12 Postdoc, Stanford University)
Nahal Zakerani, PhD (‘07-‘10 Graduate Student, Palo Alto University, PGSP PhD program)
Leo Zekelman (‘17-‘18 Bilingual Project Manager)