Laura Lewis, Principal Investigator

Laura Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and will join the faculty in EECS and IMES at MIT in 2023. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from MIT and conducted postdoctoral research as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. She is the recipient of the Society for Neuroscience Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award, the One Mind Rising Star Award, the 1907 Trailblazer Award, the Sloan Fellowship, the Searle Scholar Award, the McKnight Scholar Award, and the Pew Biomedical Scholar Award.

Daniel Gomez, Postdoctoral Researcher

Daniel completed his Ph.D. (Engineering Physics / Neuroscience) at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour of the Radboud University Nijmegen. His thesis project, part of a collaboration between the Donders Institute and Siemens Healthcare, focused on optimising fMRI pulse sequences and analysis pipelines developed in academia and bringing them to the industry. Besides MR pulse sequence programming, he has more recently started investigating the potential of ultra-fast fMRI to enable novel data analysis techniques for both task and resting-state fMRI .

Ewa Beldzik, Postdoctoral Researcher

Ewa is a cognitive neuroscientist who received her Ph.D. at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Her previous project was focused on exploring the nature of the medial frontal cortex activity in conflict tasks using the simultaneous EEG-fMRI technique. She is also interested in the mechanisms behind sleep-debt-related vigilance deterioration. Her current goal in the Lewis Lab is to investigate the neural underpinning of the local sleep phenomenon in awake subjects.

Len Jacob, Postdoctoral Researcher

Len received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In his dissertation work, he used EEG, machine learning, and computational modeling to show how short-term synaptic depression contributes to the temporal parsing of perceptual information, making new stimuli more salient by suppressing the neural response to repeated stimuli. Now, he is particularly interested in deep learning applications to neuroscience and memory consolidation during sleep.

Beverly Setzer, Graduate Student

Beverly Setzer is a student in the graduate program for neuroscience at Boston University. She received her BS in Mathematics with a minor in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University in 2018. As a part of NC State’s Biomathematics Research Training Group, she helped develop a method for detecting hidden nodes in neuronal networks using non-linear Kalman filtering and worked in a neuroscience lab where she studied the effects of Estrogen on medium spiny neuron excitability. Her research interests include investigating neural dynamics through modeling and data analysis techniques. She is a Hariri Institute for Computing Graduate Student Fellow.

Zinong Yang, Graduate Student

Zinong Yang is currently a graduate student in the Graduate Program for Neuroscience at Boston University. She graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2017 with a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience and a minor in Philosophy. During her undergraduate years, she worked as a research assistant studying visual long-term memory and testing new P300 speller. After graduating, she spent two years as a lab assistant investigating the role of gamma synchronization and cross-frequency interaction in working memory. Her research interests include signal processing and multi-scale neuroscience. 

Josh Levitt, Graduate Student

Josh is a PhD student in the biomedical engineering department at BU. He also has a MS in biomedical engineering from Brown University and a BS in biology from Bates College. While at Brown, as part of the Pain and Neural Circuits Laboratory, he studied how we can use EEG to better measure and diagnose pain, and helped develop new ways to identify EEG artifacts. His interests include signal processing and machine learning.

Sydney Bailes, Graduate Student

Sydney is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She received her BS in Biomedical Engineering at George Washington University in 2019 where she participated in research related to infrared imaging for breast cancer detection. Her interests include signal processing, functional brain connectivity, and the study of neurodegenerative diseases.

Makaila Banks, Graduate Student

Makaila Banks is a student in the graduate program for neuroscience at Boston University. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester as a McNair Scholar. During her undergraduate years she researched attention modulation of the primate visual system, temporal vision processing in humans, and reward system circuitry in mice. Her research interests include investigating how respiratory patterns can alter neural dynamics and how this can be used to improve cognition, specifically in humans with psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Baarbod Ashenagar, Graduate Student

Baarbod is a PhD student in the biomedical engineering department at Boston University. He obtained a BS from Florida International University in 2019, while doing research in Dr. Nikolaos Tsoukias’s Biotransport lab. His research involved mathematical modeling of neurovascular coupling mechanisms, blood flow regulation in the brain, and calcium dynamics. His current research interests in the Lewis Lab include Cerebral Spinal Fluid dynamics and its relationship to waste clearance mechanisms, aging, disease, and neurovascular coupling. Aside from learning about the brain, he enjoys playing soccer, video games, and cooking.

Stephanie Williams, Graduate Student

Stephanie is a PhD student in the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition program. She received a BA in Neuroscience from the University of Chicago, where she worked in the Awh-Vogel lab investigating interactions between attention and working memory. Her research interests include understanding the relationship between neural activity, systemic physiology, blood flow, and cerebrospinal fluid flow across different arousal states. She is also interested in understanding the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation therapy for individuals with depression. Her research is supported by an NDSEG fellowship.  


Nicholas Cicero, Graduate Student

Nicholas is a student in the graduate program for neuroscience at Boston University. He received his B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University in 2020. As a research assistant and lab manager in the Affect and Cognition Lab at Cornell he helped collect and analyze functional MRI data in younger, middle, and older healthy adults. With this data he characterized altered functional coupling between brainstem and subcortical areas during selective attention and long-term memory. He additionally helped analyze resting-state functional MRI data in relation to measures of heart rate variability and gut microbiome species. His primary research interests are applying functional neuroimaging techniques to understand temporal and spatial dynamics of subcortical and brainstem nuclei.

Harrison Fisher, Graduate Student

Harrison Fisher is a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Boston University. He received his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Math from Bowdoin College in 2017. Between Bowdoin and BU, Harrison worked as a research technologist in the Napadow Lab at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, using functional connectivity analyses of fMRI data to explore the effects of non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation and gut-brain interaction functional dyspesia. His research interests include signal processing, computational modeling, and studying interactions between physiology and neural signals.

Courtney Zambello, Lab Manager

Courtney Zambello is the Lab Manager in the Lewis Lab. She received her Master of Public Health from Boston University with a concentration in Program Management. She was a scholar athlete at Merrimack College and graduated with a B.S. in Health Sciences and as a Board-Certified Athletic Trainer. She previously worked as a Triage Specialist at Boston University in the Heathway Division and as the Head Athletic Trainer at Pembroke High School, specializing in concussion protocols. Courtney currently volunteers for the World Health Organization assisting in generating a user-friendly database regarding drug pricing transparency on the global scale.


Jessica Yee, Clinical Research Coordinator

Jessica recently graduated from UMass Amherst, where she received her BS in Psychology and Neuroscience. At UMass, she worked in the Learning Lab to investigate self regulation in children using EEG. She also completed an independent project where she examined the predictive role of frontal EEG asymmetry on anxiety and depression. In addition to her work at the Learning Lab, she also worked in the Human Performance Lab at UMass studying driving and attention related behaviors in young adults with and without ADHD.

Dabriel Zimmerman, Clinical Research Coordinator

Dabriel recently graduated from the University of South Carolina where she received a BS from the Honors College in Psychology and Biology. At USC she conducted research utilizing diffusion tensor imaging and tractography to study brain changes across the lifespan in the Richards Infant Development.

Stephanie Anawke, Research Assistant

Stephanie is a recent graduate who majored in neuroscience and minored in math. While in undergrad, she became interested in computational neuroscience, leading her to investigate the function of beta waves in decision-making at the Chand Lab and to study how mice compute visual motion through the Janelia Research Program. She is interested in learning more about computational methods and models applied in the field of clinical research and medicine.

Nicole Tacugue, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nicole Tacugue is working in the Lewis Lab through Boston University's Directed Study program. She is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in psychology, expected to graduate in 2021. She has previously worked at Boston Medical Center as an administrative assistant for the department of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. Currently, she combines her interests in artistic design and neuroscience by creating informational graphics for the BU Undergraduate Neuroscience program's social media.

Zenia Valdiviezo, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zenia is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. She is expected to graduate in 2022. Her interests include coding and computational modeling, particularly in computational modeling in relation to whole-brain activity and neural dynamics. She is currently involved with assisting in the collection of neuroimaging data for the sleep deprivation studies as well as general data analysis for previous and concurrent studies.

Julia Hua, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Julia is an undergraduate student majoring in computer engineering at BU. She is expected to graduate in 2024 and hopes to be a programmer in the medical device industry. Outside of school, her interests include painting and baking.

May Aon, Undergraduate Research Assistant

May is an undergraduate student studying biomedical engineering at Boston University. She is originally from Cairo, Egypt. Her interests include the rehabilitation of individuals recovering from neurological disorders and the effects of sleep deprivation on one's mood. Currently, May is assisting in data collection for sleep deprivation studies. She plans on graduating in 2024

Taylor Ly, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Taylor is an undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical Engineering, expected to graduate in 2023. They are currently assisting in collecting data for the sleep deprivation studies. Their interests include signal processing and computational modeling, and outside of class they enjoy playing soccer and Minecraft.

Nicole Leonard, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nicole is an undergraduate student majoring in neuroscience with a minor in human physiology at BU, expected to graduate in 2023. Her interests include understanding the neuropathology of Parkinson's Disease and the effects of sleep deprivation on neurodegenerative disorders. She is currently assisting in data collection for the sleep deprivation studies.

Emilia Schimmelpfennig, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emilia is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Philosophy at Boston University, expecting to graduate in 2024. She is currently assisting in collecting data for the sleep deprivation studies. Her interests include studying the relationship between the physical body and mind as well as the effects of sleep deprivation on the mental state. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and hiking.

Iris Vinal, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Iris is an undergraduate student studying Neuroscience and is expected to graduate in 2023. Her interests include studying the effects of psychological disorders on brain signals. Outside of school, she likes to go on hikes with her dogs and paint.

Irene Zhu, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Irene is an undergraduate student studying Physics and is expected to graduate in 2023. Her interest include studying the brain using imaging methods such as MRI. Outside of school, she likes skating and playing volleyball.

Lab Alumni: 

Zenia Valdiviezo, undergraduate research assistant (current: PhD student, Dartmouth)

Nicole Tacague, undergraduate research assistant (current: Master's student, Tufts)

Zach Diamandis, lab manager (current: PhD student, Caltech)

Jeff Tsang, BME MS thesis student (current: Support Engineer, Blackrock Systems)

Nina Fultz, research assistant (current: MD-PhD student, Wayne State)

Jingyuan Chen, co-mentored postdoc (current: K99 Fellow, MGH/Harvard Medical School)

Uday Agrawal, MD thesis student (current: Medical Resident, MGH)

Kanupriya Gupta, research assistant (current: MD student, University of Pittsburgh)