Ettenhofer Laboratory

Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research

NOTE: Dr. Ettenhofer is not accepting new graduate students at this time.

Welcome to the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research. Our mission is to improve clinical care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other neurocognitive conditions, and to enhance neurocognitive knowledge and expertise within the Department of Defense and the nation as a whole. Our approach is guided by scientific and clinical foundations within psychology and cognitive neuroscience, along with a desire to leverage technology to bolster progress in military medicine and public health. Recent areas of emphasis include: enhanced measurement of attention and executive functions using eye tracking; identification of reduced cognitive efficacy through integrating eye tracking, fMRI, and EEG; and remediation of deficits in cognition and driving after TBI using virtual reality simulation. Our team of students, staff, fellows, and volunteers embodies our commitment to excellence in pursuit of these goals.


Graduate Students

David Barry

David Barry

CPT David Barry, M.S., (U.S. Army) is a 5th Year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at USUHS, currently completing his clinical internship at Madigan Army Medical Center. David attended Vanderbilt University on a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Engineering Science in 2006. After college, he commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army's Corps of Engineers. From 2007-2010, David served as a combat engineer Platoon Leader, Battalion Engineer, and Battalion Logistics Officer (S4) for 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. In addition to duty assignments at Fort Hood, TX and Fort Carson, CO, David served a 12-month combat tour in eastern Baghdad, Iraq from March 2008-March 2009. While deployed, David planned and conducted route clearance missions to clear roads of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and later led construction missions to reinforce key positions in his Battalion's Area of Operations. During his four years in the Ettenhofer Lab, David researched methods to assess neurocognitive performance using eye tracking systems. To do this, David used the Bethesda Eye & Attention Measure (BEAM), a computer-based, eye-tracking program that David and Dr. Ettenhofer co-designed, piloted, and patented. David's dissertation research focused on using eye movements to detect invalid responding in neurocognitive assessment. David can be contacted at david.m.barry.mil@mail.mil.

Lindsay Reinhardt

Lindsay Reinhardt

Lindsay Reinhardt (Civilian) is a 5th year graduate student working toward a Ph.D. in Medical and Clinical Psychology at USUHS. For her undergraduate studies, Lyn attended U.C. San Diego, where she earned her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in dance. After college, she spent time in various labs as a research assistant, most recently in the Stress and Neuroimaging Lab at the VA Hospital/UC San Diego studying Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Depression and PTSD in returning OEF/OIF veterans. She continues this research at USUHS through the investigation of TBI (and PTSD) in the Ettenhofer Neurocognitive Research Lab, with the goal of finding better diagnostic algorithms and optimally individualized treatments. For the past 4 years Lyn has also been training and assisting in neuroimaging analysis at NICoE (a center for active duty service members with TBI and deployment-related psychological health conditions), where she completed her Master's thesis work investigating neural activation patterns of various cognitive and emotional symptoms associated with TBI. She is continuing this important research through additional collaborative studies of TBI using neuroimaging for her dissertation, and she has been involved in collaborations with other labs including a study of eye-tracking and PTSD at the DC VAMC. Lyn completed a clinical externship at Johns Hopkins University SoM Outpatient Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation, as well as practicum placements at the Behavioral Health Clinic at Fort Meade and a civilian program for adults with severe mental illness. This year she is working at Fort Belvoir in Adult Behavioral Health as well as in the COOPH program at the Warrior Clinic. Lyn can be contacted at lindsay.reinhardt@usuhs.edu.

Katherine Lunsford

Katherine Lunsford

1LT Kate Lunsford, M.S., (U.S. Army) is a 3rd year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at USUHS. For her undergraduate studies, Kate attended Aurora University in Aurora, IL, where she played soccer for the Spartans and earned a B.A. in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and Physiology in 2010. During her summers in college, she worked as a research intern for Dr. Lee Shapiro's seizure lab at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, TX. After college, Kate attended Loyola University-Maryland in Baltimore, MD where she completed her M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology. During her graduate studies, Kate was a neuropsychology research extern, working under Dr. Chris Vaughn and Dr. Gerry Gioia, at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She primarily worked on neuroimaging studies and gave ImPACT tests to student athletes in the Maryland-DC-Northern Virginia area at the Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery & Education (SCORE) Clinic. Kate was commissioned in June 2012 as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. She has presented posters for the American Psychological Association, Midwest Psychological Association, and Scott and White Memorial Hospital. Kate's dissertation research focuses on the implementation of the BEAM in acute concussion populations to track injury and recovery. Kate can be contacted at katherine.lunsford@usuhs.edu.

Brian Guise

Brian Guise

CPT Brian Guise, M.S., (U.S. Army) is a 2nd year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at USUHS. For his undergraduate studies, Brian attended Louisiana State University on a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship, where he earned a B.S. in Psychology in 2005. After college, he commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Louisiana Army National Guard as a Military Intelligence (MI) Officer. From 2005-2013, Brian served as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, MI Company Operations Officer, and Detachment Commander for the 415th MI Battalion. During this time, Brian also worked as a psychometrist in a private neuropsychology clinic, administering and scoring neuropsychological tests in primarily Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and chronic pain populations. Brian attended the University of New Orleans, where he earned his M.S. in Applied Biopsychology in 2010. His research focused on TBI, primarily factors related to persistent symptomatology in mild TBI. In the Ettenhofer Lab, Brian's research focuses on virtual reality (VR) driving simulation, with the ultimate goal of using virtual reality driving simulation as a cognitive rehabilitation tool to aid service member recovery. Brian can be contacted at brian.guise@usuhs.edu.

Jamie Hershaw

Jamie Hershaw

Jamie Hershaw, M.A., (Civilian) is a 2nd year graduate student in the Medical Psychology Ph.D. program at USUHS. As an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary ('11), Jamie studied psychology and conducted research using EEG/ERP technique to study timing deficits in schizotypy and cognitive control in aging. In 2013, she received an MA in Experimental Psychology from the College of William and Mary. Her research focused on using EEG/ERP and eye tracking methodologies to study executive function in normal aging and developing practical neurometrics to identify cognitive deficits in clinical settings. Jamie is currently working on a project designed to combine efficient, inexpensive, and practical methodologies (namely, EEG and eye-tracking) to detect mild traumatic brain injury in active duty service members and veterans with the ultimate goal of incorporating these methodologies into clinical and medical settings. Her research interests are in the application of clinically practical neuroscientific methodologies to the diagnosis and evaluation of various neuropsychological deficits. Jamie has presented posters at meetings of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Society for Psychophysiological Research, and the Association for Psychological Science. She can be reached at jamie.hershaw@usuhs.edu.


Post-doctoral Fellows

Ashley Safford

Ashley Safford, Ph.D.

Ashley Safford, Ph.D., (Civilian) is a postdoctoral fellow in the the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research at USUHS. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from George Mason University with a focus on cognitive neuroscience utilizing neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG, source localization) and psychophysiological methods to examine how brain regions involved in top-down control processes (such as attention) influence sensory regions, specifically for complex visual perception. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University at Buffalo, her work used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and neuropsychological tools to investigate dopamine neurotransmission in several neuropsychiatric disorders including Tourette Syndrome, Addiction and PTSD. Her current research interests include employing neuroimaging technologies to better understand the neurophysiological basis of the various cognitive deficits observed in traumatic brain injury, ultimately leading to better methods of assessment and treatment. Ashley can be contacted at ashley.safford.ctr@usuhs.edu.

Shawn Nelson Schmitt

Shawn Nelson Schmitt

Shawn Nelson Schmitt, Ph.D., (Civilian) is a neuropsychology postdoctoral fellow in the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research at USUHS. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Gallaudet University with a focus on neuropsychology. Shawn trained as an extern at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital and at the National Cancer Institute at NIH before completing his clinical internship in the Neuropsychology Track at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. At Brown, he completed rotations at the Providence VA Medical Center and Rhode Island Hospital, where he evaluated veterans and civilians for questions of dementia, psychiatric conditions, and chronic medical illnesses. Shawn's clinical interests involve cultural and linguistic factors in the selection, administration, and interpretation of neuropsychological tests with diverse and underserved populations. His current research interests include developing a practical and flexible approach to the rehabilitation of driving and other higher-level skills in people who have experienced traumatic brain injury. Shawn can be contacted at shawn.nelson-schmitt.ctr@usuhs.edu.


Staff

Jessica Kegel

Jessica Kegel

Jessica Kegel, M.A., (Civilian) is a Program Manager for the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research. Following the completion of her B.A. in Psychology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2008, Jessica began working in psychopharmacological research. Jessica coordinated phase 3 clinical trials with participants suffering from various psychological disorders (primarily Schizophrenia and Major Depressive Disorder). After two years, Jessica transitioned into a position at the Veterans Affairs Maryland Exercise and Robotics Center of Excellence (MERCE) where she assisted with studies assessing the effect of exercise on cognition in stroke survivors. During this time, Jessica began working on an M.A. in Experimental Psychology at Towson University. She conducted her thesis research at the Baltimore VA Medical Health Center examining the relationship between executive function and coping in stroke survivors. After completing her graduate degree in 2013, Jessica moved to her current position at the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research. Her primary responsibilities include coordinating current and upcoming research efforts and other administrative responsibilities within the laboratory. Jessica can be contacted at jessica.kegel.ctr@usuhs.edu.

 

Dmitry MirochnitchenkoDmitry Mirochnitchenko

Dmitry Mirochnitchenko, M.S., (Civilian) is Program Manager of the NeuroDRIVE Project at the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research. Fascinated by technology from an early age, his interest in computers inspired him to start an IT company as a college sophomore while studying psychology at Rutgers University. After earning his BS degree, Dmitry moved on to graduate studies at Loyola College in Maryland where he developed an appetite for clinical work and neurocognitive assessment. After receiving his MS in Clinical Psychology, Dmitry resolved to combine his passion for technology with his concentration in psychology when he took up a research project at the Bloomberg School of Johns Hopkins University, to develop integrated technologies to assist in the diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and to study the impact of the social and physical environment on aging health.  Shortly after, he was invited to work for the Department of Defense at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences on the development of novel computer-based diagnostic systems for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Since then, he has advanced to a management role on a number of exciting projects including clinical trials of military health and fitness programs, and large scale biomarker studies of PTSD and TBI. Currently, his work revolves around the development of a Virtual Reality Driving Simulator as a diagnostic and treatment modality for Military service members and civilians suffering from TBI. Dmitry can be contacted at dmitry.mirochnitchenko.ctr@usuhs.edu.

 

Brian Brandler

Brian Brandler

Brian Brandler, M.A., (Civilian) is a Research Assistant in the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University in 2008, and a Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology from American University in 2013. Brian’s career thus far has centered around translational research, aiming to bridge the gap between published findings and clinical intervention. To this end, he has supported research involving a variety of clinical populations such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and research institutions including Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins University. Brian can be contacted at brian.brandler.ctr@usuhs.edu.

 

 

 

Evelyn CorderoEvelyn Cordero

Evelyn Cordero, B.S., (Civilian) is a Research Assistant in the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research at USUHS as well as a graduate student in the M.A. program at American University. Her thesis work concerns visual processing within the population with mild traumatic brain injury. Before transitioning into her role in Dr. Ettenhofer’s lab, she worked for the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis. Her primary responsibilities included collecting and analyzing MRI data as well as eye tracking data to better understand the cognitive processes within the Fragile X population as well as the structural differences between those with Fragile X Syndrome and typical populations. In her current position, she is tasked with the collection and processing of data at the lab’s Twinbrook location and at National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Evelyn can be contacted at evelyn.cordero.ctr@usuhs.edu.

 

Doug Girard

Doug Girard

Doug Girard, Psy.D., (Civilian) works in the the Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocognitive Research as a software developer. He received a B.S.E. in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2004, and subsequently worked as a Program Manager at Microsoft Corporation on the company's distributed composite applications platform. He later worked at the University of Washington and at New York University, studying the neural bases of ADHD, interpersonal and emotional deficits in autism, and punishment learning. Doug has worked with the Ettenhofer lab since 2010, helping to develop computer-based performance tasks for assessment of traumatic brain injury and cognitive effort, as well as custom data analysis software. Doug received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Loyola University Maryland in 2014 and now splits his time between ongoing software development work for the Ettenhofer lab and private practice work as a psychotherapist.

 

 


Volunteers

Sardeep VirkSardeep Virk

Sardeep Virk, M.A., (Civilian) is a Volunteer in Ettenhofer Laboratory for Neurocogntive Research. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Global Studies from Pennsylvania State University in 2012, and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2015. While working on her M.A., Sardeep worked with adults with mental illness, intellectual disability, and/or traumatic brain injury to build their social skills by leading and encouraging interaction with their community. She also worked with those individuals to improve their motor function and cognition through the use of Artworks, group therapy, and individual therapy. Her current interests correlate with her duties at Dr. Ettenhofer’s lab. She is interested in working with individuals with traumatic brain injury, gaining research experience, training to administer neuropsychology assessments, and working with eye-tracking equipment and EEG. Sardeep can be contacted at sardeep.virk@usuhs.edu.