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.

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 in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley. She is interested in analyzing physiological signatures of information processing during real-world activities and, ultimately, hopes to understand how these processes are affected in disease states.

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 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.

Leonardo Christov-Moore, PhD

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.