Meet The Team


Matthias Stangl, PhD
Post-Doctoral Scholar

Matthias completed his PhD at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, focusing on the neuronal and computational mechanisms that explain age-related spatial navigation deficits. In his postdoc research at UCLA, he combines virtual reality technologies with electrophysiological recordings in humans, in order to investigate the neurobiological underpinnings of spatial navigation and episodic memory functions.

Cory Inman, PhD
Post-Doctoral Scholar

Cory completed his PhD and initial postdoc at Emory University under the supervision of Dr. Stephan Hamann, studying the dynamic functional networks that underlie autobiographical memory retrieval. He then transitioned to studying memory enhancement via direct brain stimulation in epilepsy patients with Drs. Bob Gross and Jon Willie, and is now interested in translating these direct brain stimulation techniques to enhance memory in the real-world.

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.

Sabrina Levy
Graduate Student Researcher

Sabrina Levy is a bioengineering MSTP graduate student. She completed her bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley and as a research assistant at Stanford University, she studied how modulating neural circuits can promote recovery after stroke. She is excited to understand how the hippocampus integrates memory, spatial navigation, and time during real-world activities.

Jay Gill
Graduate Student Researcher

Jay is an MSTP student in the Neurosciences Interdepartmental PhD program. Jay received a BA from UPenn and an ScM from Brown University. Under the joint mentorship of Nanthia Suthana and Jonathan Kao he utilizes computational techniques to characterize differences in amydgala representations of emotion amongst patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation for PTSD, epilepsy and other conditions.


Mollie Bayda
Graduate Student Researcher

Mollie Bayda is a Ph.D. student in the Cognitive Neuroscience Area of the Department of Psychology. She earned B.A. degrees in English and Psychology at Mills College. She is fascinated by the electrophysiology of memory phenomena, how memory representations change over time, and how memory may be boosted using stimulation techniques.

Daniel Batista, M.F.A.
Programmer Analyst

Daniel Batista is an Aeronautics simulation engineer, game developer, programmer, 3D animator, mocap technician and Kung Fu instructor. While getting his Master of Fine Arts at USC in Interactive Media & Games, he worked as a graduate research assistant in the Game Innovation Lab. He is passionate about using technology to address serious problems and turning complex tasks into something fun and entertaining.

Sonja Hiller, M.S.
Lab Manager

Sonja is a Research Associate at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. With a background in Biotechnology and Project Management, she is supporting all major research projects in the lab and interested in applying Virtual Reality to simulate Real World memory tasks.


Zahra M. Aghajan, PhD

Zahra Aghajan, PhD, 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 while a postdoc in Dr. Suthana’s lab were investigating the neural correlates of spatial representation and the underlying mechanisms of learning and memory.

Leonardo Christov-Moore, PhD

Leonardo Christov-Moore, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute. He completed his PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Marco Iacoboni. While a postdoc in Dr. Suthana’s lab he used neuroimaging and individualized neuromodulation to investigate memory function in clinical populations and enhance our understanding of empathy and social cognition.