Virginia Sturm, Ph.D.
Virginia Sturm, PhD is an Assistant Professor and neuropsychologist at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Sturm is the director of the CAN Lab, an affiliate of the Center for Psychophysiology and Behavior (CPB). After undergraduate work at Georgetown University, she received her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF. Her research focuses on identifying the neural systems that support emotion and social behavior and how these systems break down in neurodegenerative disease.
Isabel Sible is a research coordinator at the CAN Lab. Isabel graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 with a BA degree in Cognitive Science. While at Cal, she volunteered in Dr. Robert Levenson's Berkeley Psychophysiology Lab, exploring social and emotional changes that can occur in neurodegenerative diseases. During her last year at Cal, Isabel completed an Honor's Thesis in Dr. Robert Knight's Cognitive Neuroscience Lab that focused on reconstructing music from intra-cranial recordings of the human brain. Isabel joined the Memory and Aging Center in May 2015.
Nik is a medical student in the UC Berkeley - UCSF Joint Medical Program, focusing his master’s work on developing a model of pathophysiology for FTD-MND. He graduated from New York University with a degree in psychology and is a former UCSF Memory and Aging Center research coordinator.
Oriel Fong is a volunteer in the CAN Lab. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 2014 with a BA degree in Psychology. She also volunteers through San Francisco Education Fund as a Spanish tutor at one of their focus schools. As an individual with a multicultural background, she is interested in the cultural differences of aging and how different types of dementia affect a person's life.
Cassie is a volunteer in the CAN lab. She is currently finishing her undergraduate studies in psychology at San Francisco State University. In addition to her academics, she currently works in Mental and Behavioral Health Administration for Contra Costa County, where she assists with innovative mental health program analysis and outcome measures, and provides support to the Mental Health Services Act Program Manager and stakeholder body. When not at work, she has been volunteering as a state-certified Crisis Intervention Counselor for the non-profit domestic violence awareness and prevention organization STAND! for Families Free of Violence since 2009. She is planning on pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology, with a specialization in forensics.
Megan Frank is a volunteer in the CAN lab. Megan graduated from University of California, Merced in 2015 with a BA degree in Psychology. While at Merced, she volunteered in both Dr. Eric Walle’s Interpersonal Development lab and Dr. Jeffery Gilger’s Consortium for Research on Atypical Development and Learning lab, exploring how adults depict emotions and how adults maintain resiliency before and after a manipulation. Megan plans to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology, with a neuropsychology concentration.
Christina Veziris is a volunteer in the CAN lab. She is a freshman psychology major at the University of San Francisco. Her experience as a volunteer at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital has led her to have a special interest in emotions and facial expressions, and she hopes to continue this research in the future.
CAN Lab Alumni
Samantha is a volunteer at the CAN lab. She is currently an undergraduate attending UC San Diego, majoring in Physiology and Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology. While at school she spends time studying, joining campus organizations that assist the elderly and address societal stigmas on mental health, and volunteering at a local hospital. During her summers back in the Bay Area, she enjoys helping neurological researchers at UCSF with their work however she can, and has recently discovered a desire to understand the social and emotional changes associated with neurodegenerative disease. Hoping to continue learning about the brain in general, Samantha plans to pursue a degree in medicine, potentially specializing in neurology.
Jessica Zakrzewski, M.A.
Jessica Zakrzewski is the lab manager for the CPB. Jessica graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2003 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. While at Minnesota, Jessica worked with Dr. Charles Nelson in his cognitive developmental neuroscience lab on a behavioral study on infant fear reactivity. After graduating she worked as a psychophysiologist at the Minnesota Center for Twin & Family Research and a project coordinator at the Injury Prevention Research Center at the University of North Carolina. In 2008 Jessica received her masters of research in psychology from the University of Manchester where she focused in her master's work on conceptual knowledge differentiation and vulnerability to depression. Jessica joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2010.
Alice Hua is a research coordinator at the CAN Lab. Alice graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 with a BA degree in psychology. While at Cal, she volunteered at the Matthew Walker Sleep & Neuroimaging Lab and Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab, exploring the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive tasks as well as testing three-year-old's spatial cognition strategies. Alice later joined the Greater Good Science Center where she investigated and published digests on gratitude, mindfulness and empathy. Before joining the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, Alice worked for the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) examining San Francisco nightlife.
Harika Reddy is a volunteer at the CAN Lab. Harika is currently an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Integrative Biology. Prior to this, she volunteered at the Emotion Lab at University of California, Irvine, studying the differences in emotions across the lifespan. At Berkeley, Harika has volunteered at the Matthew Walker Sleep & Neuroimaging Lab, examining the role of sleep on memory and emotions. Harika is interested in various fields of medicine, including neurology and psychology, and plans to pursue a career in medicine after graduating from Berkeley.
Lily Gordon is a volunteer at the CAN Lab. Lily is currently attending Brown University in Providence, RI. She is an undergraduate studying biology and anthropology in the Program in Liberal Medical Education at Brown. She plans to pursue a career in medicine and eventually return to the Bay Area.
Tracy Jerard is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University with a specialization in neuropsychology. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Denver with a major in psychology and minor in wellness and human biology. Tracy's current interests include emotion, personality and social cognition in individuals with neurodegenerative disease.
Kaitlin Johnson, Ph.D.
Kaitlin Johnson is a volunteer in the CAN Lab. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a PhD in linguistics and a cognitive science minor. While still writing her dissertation, she relocated to San Francisco with her husband so he could pursue fame and fortune at an internet startup. With two grandparents who suffered from dementia, Kaitlin has a personal interest in aging and cognition. She teaches linguistics part-time at Holy Names University.