Meet The Team


Zahra M. Aghajan, PhD
Post-Doctoral Scholar

Zahra Aghajan, PhD, is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychiatry. She obtained her PhD in physics from UCLA under the supervision of Dr. Mayank R. Mehta, conducting a comparative study of the rodent hippocampal activity in real and virtual environments. Her research interests are investigating the neural correlates of spatial representation and the underlying mechanisms of learning and memory.

Leonardo Christov-Moore, PhD
Post-Doctoral Student

Leonardo Christov-Moore, PhD, is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychiatry. He completed his PhD in the laboratory of Dr.Marco Iacoboni , studying the relationship between neural resonance and social behaviors like sharing and moral judgment. He is currently interested in using neuroimaging and individualized neuromodulation to improve memory function in clinical populations and enhance our understanding of empathy and social cognition.

Tyler James Wishard, B.S.
Graduate Student Researcher

Tyler James Wishard (Ty), is a neuroscience graduate student in the Department of Psychiatry. He obtained his Bachelor’s in physiology and neuroscience from UC San Diego. His research interests are focused on neural circuitry important for learning and memory in humans, particularly how age affects structural changes in brain integrity with the hopes of elucidating track-based targets for guided neurostimulation.


Uros Topalovic, M.S.
Graduate Student Researcher

Uros Topalovic, is a PhD student at the Department of Electrical and Compuer Engineering. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from University of Belgrade, Serbia. His research is a mix of engineering and neuroscience, which includes neural signal processing, data analysis and neuromodulating systems hardware/embedded implementations.

Diane Villaroman, B.S.
Programmer Analyst

Diane integrates the field of Neuroscience with tools of modern technology, specifically Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality and image processing. She is passionate about using computer science for medical image analysis, educational purposes and understanding the functions of the human brain through a variety of paradigms.

Sonja Hiller, M.S.
Lab Manager

Sonja is a Staff Research Associate at the Semel Institute and Department of Neurosurgery. With a background in Biotechnology and Project Management, she is interested in decoding electrical brain signals, applying Virtual Reality to simulate Real World memory tasks, and investigating how stimulation of the brain can improve memory. Other research interests include neuroimaging & image analysis.