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Lab Members



Emilie T. Reas, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Neurosciences
Dr. Emilie Reas is Principal Investigator of the Reas Lab and Assistant Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Neurosciences. She received her bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Neurosciences from UC San Diego. Her research interests comprise two complementary aims: first, to identify the earliest brain changes that precipitate cognitive decline in aging and neurodegenerative disease; and second, to characterize the risk factors for these brain and cognitive changes. Ultimately, her work aims to develop more sensitive tools to accurately detect early pathological brain changes and to identify associated risk factors. Outside of the lab, she is an avid distance runner and coach, and enjoys writing, traveling the globe, and playing with her puppy.



Charlotte Rivera, B.S.

Lab Manager
Charlotte completed her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego where she received her B.S. in Clinical Psychology. She joined Drs. Emilie Reas and Sarah Banks in 2021 as a laboratory manager, assisting with the coordination of their ongoing research projects. Outside of the laboratory, Charlotte can be found lifting heavy things at your local powerlifting gym and eating protein bars.






Kenneth Rostowsky, B.S.

Staff Research Associate
Kenneth Rostowsky holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California. His interests are in research that aids prognostication of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and related neurodegenerative conditions. His research interests also include longitudinal investigation of pathological findings revealed by multimodal neuroimaging methods. Outside of the laboratory he enjoys playing music, biking, and programming.






 Curtis Triebswetter, B.S.

Staff Research Associate
Curtis graduated with a bachelor's degree in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego, before going on to complete a post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. At the National Institute on Aging, he studied how various genetic and demographic characteristics affect the aging human brain using an array of magnetic resonance imaging techniques. His research interests include identifying new biomarkers for small vessel ischemic disease and Alzheimer's disease, with a particular interest in gaining a better understanding of disease-state cerebrovasculature. Curtis spends most of his free time volunteering with local food banks, questing for the perfect al pastor taco, or testing the limits of his cardiovascular system by running, cycling, or swimming.





Austin Alderson Myers, M.A.

Staff Research Associate
Austin completed his M.A. in Psychology studying at San Diego State University. At SDSU, his previous research looked to investigate functional dysregulation of prefrontal networks in binge drinking young adults using fMRI and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy imaging techniques. He now has transitioned into investigating how COVID-19 infection may compound ongoing structural and cerebrovascular changes in older adults using MRI in conjunction with genetic biomarkers. In his free time, Austin spends much of his time pretending that he’ll one day become a professional DJ, cooking delicious dinners with his wife Sarah, and being ignored by his two cats.





Qian Shen, Ph.D.

Staff Research Associate
Qian Shen earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami. She is proficient in MRI structural/functional imaging processing and MEG/EEG data analysis. She is experienced with AFNI, FreeSurfer, FSL, SPM, Neuromag, Linux Shell programming, MATLAB, stimuli delivery, experiment control program Neurobehavioral Systems (Presentation) and Psychtoolbox. Her primary research interest is detecting neurofunctional/neuroanatomical changes and revealing their relationships with cognitive and disease symptoms in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Outside of the lab she enjoys hiking and trying different food with friends.




Adam Niese, Ph.D.

System Administrator
Adam is a Staff Research Associate 1 in the Radiology department at UCSD. He got his Ph.D from the University of Iowa researching EEG and Visual Working Memory. Server management and familiarity with multiple operating systems was an emergent research need, and has been the core of his research support at UC Davis and UCSD since.




Amaryllis Tsiknia, B.S., M.S.

Staff Research Associate
Amaryllis graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Cognitive Science, and then completed her graduate training in Neuroimaging and Informatics at USC. At the lab she collected and analyzed multimodal neuroimaging data using in-house scripts and other software tools such as Freesurfer and Rocketship. Outside of the lab, you will find her crocheting, playing tennis or trying to convince herself to become vegan. Amaryllis is now pursuing her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Southern California.