The ADAPT Lab team stands in front of the Neurological Institute entrance.

Our Team

Current Members

  • Aubrey S. Johnson

    • Clinical Research Program Manager

    Aubrey Johnson is the Clinical Research Program Manager of the Alzheimer's Disease and PET (ADAPT) imaging lab. She graduated from Smith College in 2018 with a double major in neuroscience and dance. Currently Aubrey has two ongoing projects within the ADAPT lab: “Differential acquisition of 18F-Florbetaben imaging” and “Racial differences in MK6240 off target binding.” She has also coauthored 14 other papers and presentations during her almost six years with the ADAPT (formerly Kreisl) Lab. Her first authored paper ,"Psychotic symptoms are associated with elevated tau PET signal in the amygdala independent of Alzheimer's disease clinical severity and amyloid burden" is currently under review for publication. She is currently focusing on data analysis and participant visits and is excited to be heading to medical school in the fall of 2024.

    Aubrey S. Johnson
  • Anna Smith

    • Clinical Research Coordinator

    Anna Smith is a Clinical Research Coordinator for the ADAPT imaging lab. She graduated from New York University in 2021 with a major in neuroscience and minor in psychology. She currently focuses on data analysis as well as recruitment and participant visits for the lab. Anna is working on her own project titled, "Tau burden is associated with sleep disordered breathing in adults with Down syndrome" which was presented at AAIC 2023. In her free time, she enjoys laying in a hammock in the park and reading.

    Anna Smith
  • Diana S. Guzmán

    • Clinical Research Coordinator

    Diana Guzmán (she/her) is a Clinical Research Coordinator within the ADAPT imaging lab (formerly known as the Kreisl lab). She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in health science and peace and justice studies. Diana works to ensure regulatory compliance of all research conducted within the lab, which includes corresponding with the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the FDA, and the Joint Radiation Safety Committee (JRSC). Diana also conducts research participant study appointments, including administering neuropsychological test batteries and overseeing neuroimaging visits. Diana is working on her own project titled, "Moderate alcohol use, total brain volume, and white matter hyperintensities among racially and ethnically diverse middle-aged adults" which she presented at AAIC 2023.  She is currently a student in the premedical post-baccalaureate program at Columbia University and will be applying to medical school.

    Diana S. Guzmán
  • Amara Okafor

    • Research Assistant

    Amara Okafor (she/her) is a research assistant in the ADAPT Lab. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022 with a major in neuroscience and minors in Healthcare management and Chemistry. She currently focuses on recruitment and participant visits along with the regulatory side of the lab. Her research interests include lifestyle contributions to disease, the effect of social determinants of  health, and aging and dementia. She will be beginning medical school in the fall of 2024. In her free time her hobbies include cooking and dabbling in graphic design.

  • Hannah Houlihan

    • Research Assistant

    Hannah Houlihan (she/her) is a research assistant in the ADAPT imaging lab. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2022 with a major in neuroscience and minor in cognitive science. Hannah focuses on running participant visits as well as image data analysis. Hannah hopes to continue onto a neuroscience PhD program in the future. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, going to the beach, and going hiking.

  • Lauren Heuer

    • Research Assistant

    Lauren Heuer is a research assistant for the ADAPT imaging lab. She graduated from Williams College in 2020 with a double major in biology and anthropology and an honors thesis in neuroscience. Currently, Lauren focuses on running participant visits for the lab and is certified to conduct neuropsychological testing for our studies. She also assists with neuroimaging processing of the lab’s MRI and PET scan data. Lauren is exploring an interest in cognitive neuroscience and plans to apply to medical school in the future.

  • Daniel Talmasov, MD

    • Study Physician and Clinical Fellow

    Daniel Talmasov is a physician-neuroscientist with dual training in neurology and psychiatry. Dr. Talmasov’s research applies core neurologic principles to understand how distinct and stereotyped clusters of psychiatric symptoms emerge from the interactions of specific disease processes and neuroanatomic networks subserving human behavior. Dr. Talmasov’s work in the ADAPT lab aims to clarify how clinical heterogeneity in the psychiatric manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease relates to the relative burdens of proteinopathy, atrophy, and inflammation in the brains of affected individuals.

    Dr. Talmasov trained in psychiatry at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School program, and in Neurology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Dr. Talmasov is presently a clinical fellow in Columbia’s Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry fellowship program and concurrently a T32 research fellow in late-life neuropsychiatric disorders.

  • William C. Kreisl, MD

    • Founder and Consultant

    Dr. William Kreisl founded the precursor to the ADAPT lab in 2016 when he submitted his junior researcher grant to begin studying PET within Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias at Columbia. He then applied for further funding to start the two major studies currently enrolling. Dr. Kreisl has since moved on from academia but remains involved in the ADAPT lab as a consultant.

    William C. Kreisl, MD
  • Patrick Lao, PhD

    • Principal Investigator

    Patrick Lao is an assistant professor in the neurology department at Columbia University. He obtained his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where his thesis work focused on PET imaging, including performing radiochemistry for studies of Alzheimer’s disease. He completed his postdoctoral training at Columbia University, incorporating vascular MRI into studies of Alzheimer’s disease. His research interests include understanding how contextual factors, like sleep and psychosocial stressors, impact the complex disease course.

    Patrick Lao, PhD

Former Lab Members

  • Samantha M. Rossano, PhD

    • Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • Galen Ziaggi

    • Research Coordinator
  • Andrew E. Roetman

    • Research Assistant
  • Zeljko Tomljanovic

    • Research Coordinator
  • Julia Klein

    • Research Assistant
  • Elena Golub

    • Research Assistant