University of Nebraska Medical Center

Completed CoNDA Projects

The Impact of Aging on the Neural and Behavioral Bases of Empathy

Janelle Beadle, PhD
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Dr. Beadle completed her CoNDA Research Project in January 2023. She completed her doctoral training in neuroscience at the University of Iowa under the mentorship of Drs. Daniel Tranel and Sergio Paradiso. Following this, she completed postdoctoral training in social neuroscience under the mentorship of Dr. Angela Gutchess at Brandeis University. The final phase of her postdoctoral training was completed back at the University of Iowa under the mentorship of Drs. Melissa Duff and Laurie McCormack and focused on the neural bases of social cognition. Her current work examines the neural and psychological bases of empathy through studies of patients with acquired brain injury, psychiatric disease, and healthy aging.

Ontogeny of Attention Dysfunction in Early Childhood

Anastasia N. Kerr-German, PhD
Boys Town National Research Hospital

Dr. Kerr-German completed her CoNDA Pilot Project in January 2023. Anastasia Kerr-German graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2019 with a PhD in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Development Cognitive Neuroscience. She is currently faculty at Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Director of the Brain, Executive Functioning, and Attention Research (BEAR) Laboratory in the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning. One of the goals of her research program is to understand how children’s brains process the information in the world around them and what individual factors might lead to different developmental trajectoriesand long-term outcomes for psychopathology. To explore these questions, she utilizes methods such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), eye-tracking, and hyper-scanning. Currently, she is exploring the relationship between early developing attentional processing and executive functioning in toddlers, risk for ADHD in toddlers, and the relationship between functional connectivity and ocular-motor control and behavior in children ages 2 to 7 years old as well as those with an ADHD diagnosis.

Age-Specific Impacts in Neurocognitive Outcomes Following Prolonged Social Isolation

Aaryn Mustoe, PhD
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Dr. Mustoe is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and a Research Associate at the Callitrichid Research Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He received his BS degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a PhD in Neuroscience and Behavior from UNO, and was a postdoctoral researcher at UNO/University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr Mustoe is trained as a behavioral endocrinologist and pharmacologist and studies neural, hormonal, and behavioral mechanisms underlying individual differences in prosocial behavior and vulnerabilities and resilience to social stressors.

Neuromagnetic Signatures of Down Syndrome

Max Kurz, PhD
Boys Town National Research Hospital

Dr. Kurz completed his CoNDA Pilot Project in 2021. Dr. Kurz is a scientist in the Institute for Human Neuroscience and Director of the Physiology of Walking & Engineering Rehabilitation (PoWER) Laboratory. His research program uses a blend of multimodal neuroimaging (EEG, MEG, sMRI) and advanced biomechanical engineering methods to uncover the neurophysiology of how individuals make cognitive-motor decisions, integrate sensory information and generate motor actions. Primary areas of interest include igniting beneficial neuroplasticity in children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (i.e., cerebral palsy, Down syndrome) for improved mobility. In addition, his research is directed at the development of innovative rehabilitative solutions that can eliminate barriers and unlocking an individual's true potential.

Immunometabolism in Parkinson’s Disease: Peripheral Marker and Correlation with Neuroimaging

Kelly Stauch, PhD
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Stauch completed her CoNDA Pilot Project in 2021. Dr. Stauch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences at UNMC. Her research examines the mechanisms leading to bioenergetic dysfunction and the role this plays in modulating pathogenesis of brain injury, aging, and neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Her CoNDA Pilot Project utilized her expertise and novel reproducible rat model of PDto elucidate the relationship of peripheral and neuroimaging biomarkers to PD disease course.