Director: Scott M. Hayes, Ph.D.


Dr. Hayes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and a core member of Ohio State’s Chronic Brain Injury Initiative. He graduated from Skidmore College (Biology, Psychology) and completed his doctoral work in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology) at the University of Arizona.  He completed an NRSA-funded cognitive neuroscience-clinical neuropsychology postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University and the Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke University Medical Center.  As a Department of Veterans Affairs Career Development Awardee, Dr. Hayes worked at the Boston University Memory Disorders Research Center and served as the Associate Director for the Neuroimaging Research for Veterans Center at VA Boston Healthcare System. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and private foundations. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Hayes clinical interests include neuropsychological assessment of age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, microvascular disease, and frontotemporal dementia, as well as medial temporal lobe amnesia. Outside of the lab, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, competing in Spartan races, and watching the Buckeyes! email: twitter: @scotthayesphd

Graduate Students


Jessica Stark is a 5th year clinical psychology graduate student. Her research interests are focused on early identification of cognitive decline and interventions to promote healthy aging. Jessica’s goal is to promote individualized treatments to prevent or ameliorate cognitive dysfunction, and to educate our aging population through community outreach. In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, and exploring new cities.

Matthew Stauder is a 3rd year graduate student in Clinical Psychology. He graduated in the Ohio State University Class of 2018 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. After graduation, Matthew coordinated clinical trials in the Neurological Clinical Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research interests involve advancing our understanding and promotion of brain health – physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning – throughout the adult lifespan. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys all sorts of exercise and sports, reading about history and current events, and listening to comedy podcasts.

Annie Lee is a 3rd year Clinical Psychology graduate student. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019 with a B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology, and a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience. Following graduation, she worked at the WashingtonUniversity School of Medicine, running MRI scans, and working with diffusion and EEG data. Her research interests include early detection and prevention of cognitive aging. In her free time, she enjoys finding new restaurants and cafes, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Jessica Cloud is a 2nd year graduate student in the Cognitive Neuroscience program. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2018 with a B.A. concentrating in Psychology and Computer Science. Following graduation, she worked at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, focused primarily on the collection and analysis of MRI and EEG data. Her research interests include identifying modifiable factors related to healthy brain aging. In her free time, she enjoys riding horses, hiking, and spending time with her many animals.

Grace Amadon is a 1st year graduate student in Clinical Psychology interested in improving classification of traumatic brain injury and understanding the reciprocal impact health behaviors (e.g., physical activity) have on long-term brain health. In 2021, she earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Humanities in Medicine at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and went on to work as a post-baccalaureate research coordinator in the Brain Injury Research Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Outside of work and school, you can find Grace in the gym, out exploring the city, or playing with her golden retriever, Breck.   

Olivia Horn is a 1st year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program. She earned a B.S. from the University of Georgia in 2021 and spent the following years conducting research on preclinical Alzheimer’s disease at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her research interests focus on early detection of cognitive decline and lifestyle factors that impact healthy brain aging. Outside of the lab, she can be found reading, hiking, or spinning a flag.




Research Assistants


Abigail Bowsher joined the Buckeye Brain Aging Lab in June 2022. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2022 with a B.A. in Psychology and a Certificate in Forensic Populations. Her research interests include age-related cognitive decline, the early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease & mild cognitive impairment, and the implementation of practices to promote healthy aging. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and exploring new places with family and friends.


Jillian Graham graduated in May 2023 from Belmont University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and started in the lab in May 2023 as well. Her research focuses on investigating sex differences in various risk factors for Alzheimer’s Disease, with an emphasis on determining why women have a higher diagnostic rate compared to men. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, finding new restaurants, and spending time with her friends, family, and cat, Dixie.


Noor Chaudhry joined the BBAL in May 2023. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2023 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. Her research interests include all things social psychology, with a current interest in the effect of cognitive decline on social cognition, as well as the protective effects of social support on healthy brain aging and physical and mental wellbeing. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying to make art and music, watching Netflix, and hanging out with her family and friends.



Undergraduate Students


Michael Melville joined the B-BAL in the spring of 2021.  He is a senior undergraduate student studying biochemistry at The Ohio State University and plans to attend medical school after graduation.  Michael is interested in understanding the complex relationship between factors such as physical activity, exercise, BMI, cerebral spinal fluid biomarkers, and many more variables that may predict variance in cognitive and functional decline in older adults.  He hopes to better understand this variance to facilitate timely intervention in clinical settings as well as raise awareness of certain modifiable factors that may result in better outcomes with cognitive and functional abilities.  Outside of the lab, he enjoys working out, playing Euchre, reading books, mentoring, and going to coffee shops.

 Carisa Tanner joined the B-BAL in spring of 2023. She is an undergraduate junior studying psychology at the Ohio State University and she plans to attend medical school after graduation. She has been a General Chemistry TA since August 2022 and she loves teaching others/mentoring. She is interested in understanding the relationships between sleep and other every day influences that can shape a person’s mind and cognitive decline. She looks forward to studying neuroimaging and how it can serve as predictive factors for this decline. In her free time, she enjoy playing volleyball, spending time with friends, traveling, and reading.

Emma Weisgerber joined the B-BAL in the summer of 2023. She is an undergraduate junior pursuing a dual degree in psychology and biology with a minor in American Sign Language. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school. She is interested in treatments for cognitive decline, particularly in relation to neurodegenerative disorders and brain injury. She is also interested in the relationship between physical activity levels and memory. In her free time, she enjoys diving, coaching her dive teams, watching any Buckeye sporting event, going to the gym, reading, and listening to AJR.


Olivia Eshleman joined the B-BAL in the spring of 2023. She is an undergraduate junior studying Neuroscience at the Ohio State University. Olivia is interested in understanding the relationship between computational speed of the brain and lifestyle choices, particularly through various forms of imaging. In her free time, Olivia enjoys tennis, gardening, playing video games, and knitting.


Lucas Ecker joined the BBAL Lab in the spring of 2023. He is currently a senior undergraduate student at The Ohio State University studying psychology and he plans to further my education by attending either graduate or medical school after graduation. He is interested in better understanding how physical health, as a result of physical activity and sleep patterns, is linked to mental health and cognitive decline in older adults. He hopes that by learning these relationships, he can better understand the preventive measures that will lead to more beneficial health outcomes as we age. Outside of the lab, he enjoys coaching, swimming, reading, and listening to music.


Jasmeet Hayes, The MINDSET Lab at The Ohio State University

Jeff Volek, The Volek Low Carb Lab at The Ohio State University

William Kraemer, Neuroscience/Neuromuscular Lab at The Ohio State University

Dan Merfeld, Department of Otolaryngology at The Ohio State University

Jimmy Onate, MOvES Lab at The Ohio State University

Lab Alumni

Research Assistants

Kelly Hiersche (Summer 2019 – Fall 2021)

  • Attending graduate school in Ohio State’s Cognitive Neuroscience program

Alex Hasselbach (Summer 2019 – Spring 2022)

  • Attending medical school at the University of Toledo 


Collin Todd: Spring 2021 – Fall 2022; attending OSU Medical School

Alexa Shin: Summer 2021 – Fall 2022; attending University of Toledo Medical School

Shana de Wet: Spring 2021 – Fall 2022; applying to law school

Laney Saggar: Spring 2019 – Spring 2021; attending OSU Medical School

Alexis Berry: Spring 2020 – Fall 2020

Nicole Tacsar: Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

Jess Horvat: Fall 2018 – Summer 2019

Sam Kalmar: Fall 2018 – Spring 2019