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Leadership

Executive Team

Sandi Chapman with blue jacket and green/blue lights, horizontal. Founder and Chief Director, Center for BrainHealth, Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor

Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project

Dr. Sandi Chapman is one of the nation’s preeminent cognitive neuroscientists furthering our understanding of what makes the brain stronger, faster and last longer.

Stephen White in a brown sports coat with blue and green lights, vertical. Chief Operating Officer

Stephen B. White, JD

Chief Operating Officer

With over 15 years as an executive in commercial healthcare products and services, combined with experience as a commercial attorney and CPA, Steve White sees brain health and performance as the next “big thing” to improve how we all think, work and live.

Daniel Krawczyk in a black blazer with green and blue lights, vertical. Deputy Director, Debbie and Jim Francis Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Daniel Krawczyk, PhD

Deputy Director of Research Professor at UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Dr. Dan Krawczyk is a professor of psychology and neuroscience focusing on research aimed at improving reasoning and decision making and holds the Debbie and Jim Francis Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Alfred Abundo in a gray blazer with green lights, vertical. Director of Finance.

Alfred Abundo, CPA, CGMA

Director of Finance

Al Abundo works for the BrainHealth® Center’s finance and HR operations and is a member of the Center’s executive team. He is a strong advocate of the Center’s mission and is critical to the success of the life-changing science being done at the Center.

Jeremy Gray, PHD is wearing a white dress shirt with green and blue lights, vertical. IT manager

Jeremy Gray, PhD

Director of Information Technology

In an evolving career as a research scientist, educator, and IT executive, Dr. Jeremy Gray seeks to systematize knowledge and empower people across formal and informal groups. Technology both liberates and constrains how people work, and how they work together.

Ruth Fitzgibbons is wearing a tan blazer with blue and green lights, vertical. Communications Consultant

Ruth Fitzgibbons

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Ruth Fitzgibbons joined the Executive Team of the Center for BrainHealth in 2019 to help shepherd its bold vision of unlocking human potential around the globe through improved brain health and performance.

Research & Education

Tandra T. Allen is wearing a gray blouse with lights, Vertical.  Head of Virtual Training Programs.

Tandra Allen, MS, CCC-SLP

Assistant Director of Research

Tandra Allen has led and developed social-cognitive research studies focused on advancing one’s overall social health. Her clinical research areas include using virtual technology to train social-cognitive skills as well as evaluating the brain systems that change as result of high-level reasoning training.

Vince Calhoun in a striped blue dress shirt, vertical. Jane and Bud Smith Chair

Vince Calhoun, PhD

Jane and Bud Smith Chair

Dr. Vince Calhoun leverages data in unprecedented ways to help improve individual cognitive function and optimize the performance of the human brain.

Sandi Chapman with blue jacket and green/blue lights, horizontal. Founder and Chief Director, Center for BrainHealth, Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor

Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project

Dr. Sandi Chapman is one of the nation’s preeminent cognitive neuroscientists furthering our understanding of what makes the brain stronger, faster and last longer.

Lori Cook in a blue blouse with blue lights, vertical. Director of Clinical Research, BrainHealth Research; Head of Research, The BrainHealth Project; Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Lori Cook, PhD, CCC-SLP

Director of Clinical Research Head of Research, The BrainHealth Project Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Dr. Lori Cook, in her roles as both a clinician and research scientist, has focused largely on the long-term recovery of youth after brain injury, including supporting athletes with persistent effects of concussion.

Mark D'Espocito in a light-blue dress shirt in front of a red brick wall. Distinguished BrainHealth Scientist; Collaborator, The BrainHealth Project

Mark D’Esposito, MD

Distinguished BrainHealth Scientist Collaborator, The BrainHealth Project

In his medical career, Dr. Mark D'Esposito has seen the amazing success that has been achieved promoting cardiac health. We now have the technology and tools to achieve this same kind of success promoting health for the most important organ in the body–the brain.

Francesca Filbey in dark blue blouse with lights, vertical. Professor and Director of Cognitive Neuroscience Research of Addictive Disorders; Bert Moore Chair; Associate Provost, UT Dallas

Francesca Filbey, PhD

Bert Moore Endowed Chair and Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Director, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory of Addictive Disorders

Dr. Francesca Filbey is a world-renowned expert in the brain mechanisms of addictive disorders. The significance of her research is in advancing the understanding of brain mechanisms to identify targets for prevention and intervention.

Julie Fratantoni in a black blazer with blue lights, vertical. Head of Operations, The BrainHealth Project. Head of Operations, The BrainHealth Project™, Research Scientist, BrainHealth Research.

Julie Fratantoni, PhD, CCC-SLP

Julie Fratantoni, PhD, CCC-SLP Head of Operations, The BrainHealth Project Research Scientist

Dr. Julie Fratantoni is a cognitive neuroscientist and head of operations for The BrainHealth Project – a ten-year, longitudinal research study seeking to define, measure and improve brain health and performance across the lifespan. She manages user experience, content creation and development of the online BrainHealth Project dashboard.

Jacque Gamino in front of green lights, vertical. Director of Adolescent Reasoning Initiative, Assistant Research Professor

Jacquelyn Gamino, PhD

Director of Adolescent Reasoning Initiative Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Jacquelyn Gamino has worked with middle and high schools to enhance student academic performance in the near term and ultimately, lifelong success.

Maria Johnson is wearing a blue, floral blouse with blue lights, Vertical. Director of Youth and Family Innovations- hero (?)

Maria Johnson, MA, CCC-SLP

Director, Youth & Family Innovations Lead Research Clinician and Trainer, Charisma Virtual Social Training

Maria Johnson is committed to connecting and assisting youth and young adult organizations, clinicians, teachers and families discover how to best support social, emotional and cognitive brain health of neurodiverse minds.

Daniel Krawczyk in a black blazer with green and blue lights, vertical. Deputy Director, Debbie and Jim Francis Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Daniel Krawczyk, PhD

Deputy Director of Research Professor at UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Dr. Dan Krawczyk is a professor of psychology and neuroscience focusing on research aimed at improving reasoning and decision making and holds the Debbie and Jim Francis Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Dr. David Lary in a suit in front of computers, vertical. Professor of Physics in the Hanson Center for Space Sciences; Founding Director of MINTS (Multi-Use Multi-scale Integrated Interactive Intelligent Sensing and Simulation in Service of  Society); Center for Brain Health Investigator

David Lary, PhD

BrainHealth Investigator Professor of Physics, Hanson Center for Space Sciences Founding Director, MINTS

Dr. David Lary's research primarily focuses on machine learning and data driven insights using observation and automation with a focus in human health.

Dr. Geoff Ling in front of multicolored background, closeup, vertical. Co-leader, The BrainHealth Project.

Geoff Ling, MD, PhD

Jean Ann Brock BrainHealth Project Co-Leader

When I was in the military, we referred to ‘left of boom’ as staying ahead of a potentially catastrophic event. For the first time ever, we have a way to stay ‘left of boom’ when it comes to our brain’s health and fitness – and it’s backed by a body of science that is growing by leaps and bounds.

Michael Merzenich in a light blue dress shirt in office. Distinguished Collaborator

Michael Merzenich, PhD

Distinguished BrainHealth Collaborator

Dr. Michael Merrzenich believes we can truly change how our society manages brain health. Novel, small-scale cognitive training programs have yielded exciting breakthroughs – showing it is possible to improve cognitive performance and real-world function in healthy adults as well as people with clinically significant cognitive disorders.

Bonnie Pitman w/ multicolored scarf in front of blue, green lights, vertical. Director Art-Brain Innovations, Center for BrainHealthDistinguished, Scholar in Residence for The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH)

Bonnie Pitman

Director Art-Brain Innovations Distinguished Scholar in Residence for The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH)

As director of art-brain innovations at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, Bonnie expands her research and teaching of the art of observation, meditation, and compassion. Her Power of Observation initiative connects neurological research with the experience and process of seeing, looking and observing.

Audette Rackley is wearing a tan blouse with blue lights, vertical. Assistant Director of Strength-Based Programs

Audette Rackley, MS, CCC-SLP

Assistant Director, Strengths-Based Programs Research Clinician

As assistant director of strengths-based programs, Audette Rackley's current focus is impacting the broader Alzheimer’s community via online delivery of our strengths-based program for early Alzheimer’s and spearheading an online research initiative targeting brain health for caregivers.

Dr. Ian Robertson at the Center for BrianHealth, vertical. T Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair, Center for BrainHealth; Co-Leader, the Brainhealth Project.

Ian Robertson, PhD

T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair Co-Leader, the BrainHealth Project

Dr. Ian Robertson is a leading researcher in the field of mind's attention systems to maximize and reshape the capacity giving every person sense of control over their emotions.

Dr. Bart Rypma is wearing a suit with gray background, horizontal- Hero. Close-up.

Bart Rypma, PhD

Principal Investigator Professor, Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas Meadows Foundation Endowed Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Director, UT Dallas BrainHealth Imaging Center

Dr. Bart Rypma’s research is aimed at exploring the cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms of human memory and how these are affected by aging and disease. He uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe the activity of younger and older adults as they perform cognitive tasks.

Jeffrey Spence portrait, white background, vertical. Director of Biostatistics at the Center for BrainHealth.

Jeffrey S. Spence, PhD

Director of Biostatistics

Dr. Jeff Spence’s research interest, for which he has received NIH funding, involves the development of theory and methodology applied to analyses of functional neuroimaging studies of the human brain.

Aaron Tate in a patterned button-down against a white background, vertical. Head of Technology Services

Aaron Tate

Director of Emerging Technology

Aaron Tate is committed to getting Center for BrainHealth’s groundbreaking research out of the laboratory and into the hands of those who it will benefit most. Aaron is Co-Creator, Charisma™ Training Platform and Technology Lead on The BrainHeath Project.

Erin Venza in a black blouse with lights, vertical. Lead Clinician

Erin Venza, MS, CCC-SLP

Head of Clinical Operations

Erin Venza’s work at the Center for BrainHealth was initially centered around optimizing function and recovery in light of a brain disease or disorder. Much of her current efforts are focused on overseeing content creation and support for The BrainHealth Project.

Stacy Quiroz Vernon in a blue blouse and black cardigan with blue lights, vertical. Clinical Program Manager

Stacy Vernon, LPC, NCC

Head of Adult Assessment

As head of adult assessment for the Center for BrainHealth, Stacy Vernon leads the adult assessment program. She also trains and supervises the BrainHealth Project coaching team.

Jennifer Zientz in a light blue blouse with green and blue lights, vertical. Head of Clinical Services; Deputy Director, Performance

Jennifer Zientz, MS, CCC-SLP

Deputy Director of Programs and Head of Clinical Services

Jennifer Zientz’s work focuses on the translation of Center for BrainHealth® research to improve how people think, work and live.

Jane Wigginton, MD

Chief Medical Advisor

As chief medical advisor, Dr. Jane Wigginton serves as the “go-to” medical expert at the Center for BrainHealth®. She assists with clinical trials, research protocols, client evaluations, and recommendations for care.

Operations

Alfred Abundo in a gray blazer with green lights, vertical. Director of Finance.

Alfred Abundo, CPA, CGMA

Director of Finance

Al Abundo works for the BrainHealth® Center’s finance and HR operations and is a member of the Center’s executive team. He is a strong advocate of the Center’s mission and is critical to the success of the life-changing science being done at the Center.

Jeremy Gray, PHD is wearing a white dress shirt with green and blue lights, vertical. IT manager

Jeremy Gray, PhD

Director of Information Technology

In an evolving career as a research scientist, educator, and IT executive, Dr. Jeremy Gray seeks to systematize knowledge and empower people across formal and informal groups. Technology both liberates and constrains how people work, and how they work together.

Julie Heckman is wearing a red blouse with green and blue lights, vertical. Assistant Director of Development- hero (?)

Julie Carter Heckmann

Assistant Director of Development

Julie Carter Heckman leads the development team in securing financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations for BrainHealth’s scientific research and translational programming.

Stephanie Hoefken in a white blouse with red, orange, blue lights, vertical. Director, Communications and Marketing

Stephanie Hoefken

Director of Communications and Marketing

Stories of transformation abound here. Working on – and even leading – innovative research has shaped the careers of emerging scientists. Participating in our programs has improved the quality of life for thousands of people, from all walks of life.

Cecilia Perez-Verdia in a gray blazer with blue and green lights, vertical. Digital Brand Manager.

Cecilia Perez-Verdia

Digital Brand Manager

It's exciting to use my strategy and marketing experience to build awareness for such an incredible mission.

Josh Parker is wearing a navy suit with blue and green lights, vertical. Business Development Manager

Joshua C. Parker

Head of Business Development

Josh Parker has been involved with the Center for BrainHealth since 2013, after leaving the Army, he joined the Warrior Initiative.

Cindy Samuelson is wearing a black blouse with lights, Vertical. Assistant Director of Sponsored Research

Cindy Samuelsen

Assistant Director of Sponsored Research Research Sponsored Projects

Cindy Samuelsen has experience in research and healthcare administration. Her research expertise includes grant submissions, research regulatory issues, financial management and facility and personnel management.

Aaron Tate in a patterned button-down against a white background, vertical. Head of Technology Services

Aaron Tate

Director of Emerging Technology

Aaron Tate is committed to getting Center for BrainHealth’s groundbreaking research out of the laboratory and into the hands of those who it will benefit most. Aaron is Co-Creator, Charisma™ Training Platform and Technology Lead on The BrainHeath Project.

Stephen White in a brown sports coat with blue and green lights, vertical. Chief Operating Officer

Stephen B. White, JD

Chief Operating Officer

With over 15 years as an executive in commercial healthcare products and services, combined with experience as a commercial attorney and CPA, Steve White sees brain health and performance as the next “big thing” to improve how we all think, work and live.

Jennifer Zientz in a light blue blouse with green and blue lights, vertical. Head of Clinical Services; Deputy Director, Performance

Jennifer Zientz, MS, CCC-SLP

Deputy Director of Programs and Head of Clinical Services

Jennifer Zientz’s work focuses on the translation of Center for BrainHealth® research to improve how people think, work and live.