Dr. Simone V. Gill is the Lab Director. Her interests are in the areas of adaptation and development. She is particularly interested in understanding how types of practice and motor experience affect infants’, children’s, and adults’ ability to adapt to change. Her focus is on capturing the trajectory of change over multiple, nested time scales: across sessions, within sessions, within trials, and in the transition from trial to trial. In her current work, she has used walking to examine how infants and adults modify their gait to cope with changes in the environment and with changes in their body dimensions. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Society for Research in Child Development. CV
Laura Keegan is the current lab manager. She received her bachelors degree in Psychology and Cognitive Science from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. During her undergraduate years, she volunteered as a research assistant in UMass Boston’s Baby Lab investigating the development of memory and attention in infants and toddlers. Her research interests focus primarily on the coping mechanisms of children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression. In the future, Laura hopes to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Daekyoo Kim is a PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program. He received a B.S. in Exercise Science from Korea University. He is currently interested in understanding the causality between biomechanical mechanisms and obesity-associated balance and gait impairments. His goals are to develop the novel methods to detect fall recovery mechanisms and identify effective intervention strategies aimed at people who have been obese and have lost weight.
Danny Shin received his Master of Occupational Therapy from Wayne State University. He is a PhD student working with Dr. Simone Gill in the Motor Development Lab, investigating how people’s bodies and environmental demands influence gait and motor functioning across the lifespan. He is interested in motor control and motor learning principles regarding task-specific training, and high repetition to encourage neuroplasticity to rehabilitate movement disorders. He participated at the 2016 AOTA/NBCOT National Student Conclave as a panelist to provide peer perspective for the clinical experience.
Maria Ayoub is a first year PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and spent her undergraduate years as a research assistant in the UMD Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Laboratory. Her current interests lie at the intersection of movement performance and human cognition and how these components interact during dual tasking. She hopes to incorporate neuroimaging into her research, as well as investigate motor and cognitive performance in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Jan Stasinski was the lab manager from July 2017- May 2018. Before joining the Lab he received M.A.’s in Neurocognitive Psychology and Philosophy in Warsaw, Poland. His main interest and responsibility in the Lab are neuroimaging (fMRI) and effects of obesity on cognitive functions. Scientifically, he is also interested in higher cognitive functioning and interdisciplinary questions about the nature of consciousness. Outside of work Jan enjoys playing basketball, kickboxing and traveling.
Jacob Pratt was the Lab Manager from January 2015 to June 2017. He received a B.S. in psychology from Northeastern University in December of 2014. Prior to starting in the lab, he was working in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital looking at PTSD, PTG, and memory fragmentation in 9/11 survivors. His interests are in both physical and mental coping mechanisms, utilized over time, after a traumatic/significant event. In his free time, Jake likes to play ultimate frisbee, play with his puppy and two cats, and read science fiction books. He is now pursuing his PsyD in Clinical Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.
Martinelli Valcin is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. As a Neuroscience major with a minor in Music Education, he has a primary interest in the neurological origins of human development, and other relevant, interconnected biomedical applications. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in biomedical sciences, followed by attendance to medical school. With great interest in research projects ranging in many fields, he aspires to be a contributing factor to the future of healthcare holistically. During less hectic times, Martinelli is usually in a studio making music, graphic designing, or hanging out with his buddies.
Jacqueline Valenzuela is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Human Physiology (SAR ’18). After graduation, she plans to attend medical school to further pursue her dreams of becoming a licensed physician. As a new addition to the lab, she is excited to gain more experience in research and assist with various projects on how the human body, along with the environment, influences motor development. When Jackie isn’t buried under schoolwork, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends/family, and trying new foods.
Misha Vessali is currently a senior studying business administration. His goal is to enter medical school and practice as an interventional cardiologist. He enjoys powerlifting and he eats five meals per day.
Zoe Yang was the Research Assistant from summer 2015 to summer 2016. Zoe received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College and received her Masters from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is learning about motor development and adaptation through upcoming gait and neuroimaging projects. She is interested in cognitive development and its relationship with language and motor skills in the brain. In her free time, Zoe enjoys trying new technology, reading and writing stories, and taking photos. She is now working to receive her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California Davis.
Abigail Horgan is an undergraduate volunteer in the lab. She is a freshman majoring in Human Physiology (SAR ’20). In the future, she would like to go to medical school, with the hopes of someday working in pediatrics. She is excited to use the lab’s advanced technology to analyze the biomechanics of walking and to work with faculty and students from a wide range of disciplines. In her free time, Abi enjoys shopping in Boston, going to the beach, and hanging out with her friends.
Reuben Horace is an undergraduate volunteer in the lab. He student athlete on the track and field team competing in both the discus and hammer throw. Reuben is currently majoring in Health Science (SAR’16)with a minor in chemistry. In the future, he hopes to go on to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. He is excited to learn more about the different aspects of motor development and how they influence our involvement in daily activities. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, playing tennis, and hanging out with friends.
Joshua Smith-Sreen is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences (’19) and Kilachand Honors College (’19). He is a Biology major and International Relations minor interested in pursuing a career in public health. Josh spent his summer of 2016 as a research assistant at the Brinsmade Lab examining S. aureus transcriptional activity at Georgetown University. In joining the Motor Development lab, he is excited to explore the world of motor development and cognitive science, and to contribute actively to ongoing research. In his free time, Joshua enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with his friends.
Lena Huang is a recent graduate of the Human Physiology program. She has been a member of this lab since Fall of 2014 and has been awarded a UROP grant for her recent study in using PAMSys sensors to understand the quantity and quality of peoples’ movements in environments, outside of the lab setting. After graduating, she hopes to study medicine and public health. In her own free time, Lena enjoys playing volleyball and walking around New York City.
Sarah Lukose is a graduate of Sargent College in the Behavior and Health program hoping to go to graduate school to become an occupational therapist. She is hoping to work with children or veterans after becoming an occupational therapist. In her free time she likes to play soccer and quidditch and go sailing on the Charles.
Austin Liou is an undergraduate volunteer in the Motor Development Lab. He is a junior majoring in Human Physiology (SAR ’17). By joining the lab, he hopes gain more experience working in a research environment by exploring the field of human motion. He is particularly interested in the physiological aspects of functional movement and anatomy. In the future, he hopes to apply for a PhD program relating to the field of physiology. In his free time, Austin enjoys cooking, drawing, playing the ukulele, and spending time with family and friends.
Kimsun Barber is an undergraduate volunteer in the lab. She is a senior in the Behavior and Health program (SAR ’17). After graduation, she is planning to go to graduate school for occupational therapy. By joining this lab, she hopes to gain more knowledge about how our physiology and environment interact with each other to influence our motor development. In her free time, Kimsun enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, traveling, and hiking.
Kimberly Valdez is an undergraduate volunteer in the lab. She is currently a senior in Sargent studying Behavior and Health. After graduation, she plans on taking a gap year to work and travel, before applying to Occupational Therapy programs. Kimberly hopes to become a pediatric OT and eventually a Neonatal therapist. Kimberly is looking forward to gaining research experience and learning about different aspects and factors that influence motor development. During her free time, Kim likes to play volleyball, spend time with family/friends, shop and of course watch Netflix.
Amy Jobling was an undergraduate student from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Having completed the first two years of her Psychology degree, Amy worked as a research assistant in the lab for the 2015-2016 academic year. Outside of the lab, Amy enjoys playing field hockey and exploring Boston with her friends. Before returning to the UK, she had the opportunity to travel around the USA.
Amelia Stuart was an undergraduate student from England studying psychology. She performed an internship in the Motor Development Lab for one year and was excited to experience Boston for the first time. With little previous experience in motor development research was able to learn about the different designs, methods and analysis that is carried out in the lab. In the future she would love to be involved in research so this was a great learning experience for her.
Grace Chang is a recent graduate, with a bachelor of science in behavior and health program at SAR. During her time in the lab Grace was interested in learning about motor development and assisted in data analysis. She aspires to become a pediatrics occupational therapist one day. In her free time she enjoys to running, traveling, and finding new places to eat.
Pu Xia is a recent graduate of BU and occasionally volunteers in the lab. He graduated with a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has been working in the lab since Feb 2012 . He wants to be a neurosurgeon although his dream was to be a cook when he was a child. He loves cooking and he always cook for his friends. He also loves traveling and fencing (saber).
Samantha Watts was an undergraduate volunteer in the motor development lab. She is a recent graduate, with a major in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with a minor in public health. In the future, she hopes to go on to medical school. She started working in the lab in the fall of 2014, and worked in the lab until she graduated in 2016.
Broni Bashinskaya was a masters student working towards a M.S. in Medical Sciences from Boston University School of Medicine. She has since completed her masters degree. Broni investigated the role obesity plays on walking and balance while crossing obstacles. Prior to joining the lab, she earned a B.A. in Biology with a Specialization in Neuroscience from Boston University. As an undergraduate, Broni spent time running experiments at the Sensorimotor Integration Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, collaborating with physician-scientists on several research journal publications, and volunteering at Christopher’s Haven (a home for kids with cancer). In her free time, Broni enjoys running, hiking, playing with her dog, and spending time with her family.
Nicole Woo was an undergraduate volunteer in the lab. She graduated with a major in Psychology (CAS ’15) and is considering pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy. As a new addition to the lab she was excited to learn more about the different aspects of motor development and how they influence our involvement in daily activities. She is still thinking about her post-graduation plans but is confident she will come to a decision in the near future. She hopes to compete in The Amazing Race with her boyfriend someday but in the meantime, she enjoys exploring Boston’s wide variety of restaurants and coffee shops with her friends.
Adena Feitelson is a graduate of the 5-year BS/MS Occupational Therapy program at Sargent College. She was particularly excited to be involved in the Motor Development Lab because of her interest in anatomy, physiology, and functional movement. She had no prior experience in research, but was eager to learn more about the research and publication processes. In her spare time Adena likes to swim, write, and read historical non-fiction.
Paige Pajarillo was an undergraduate volunteer in the lab. Enrolled in both Sargent College (’18) and the Kilachand Honors College (’18), she majors in Human Physiology while planning on attending medical school in the future. Paige plans on becoming a surgeon, specializing in either plastic, cardiothoracic, or neurosurgery. When she isn’t pursuing academic interests, Paige is volunteering in medical settings, reading popular science books, scrapbooking or exploring Boston with her friends.
Jiaxu Guo was an undergraduate Psychology major, class of 2015, in the College of Arts and Sciences. Before joining the lab in the summer of 2012 she did not have much research experience and was excited when the first project she worked on involved helping a collaborating researcher in Israel analyze and make sense of her data. She thinks that working in the lab was a very good experience for her.
Amanda Potts was an undergraduate student (Class of 2014) majoring in Health Science and in Human Physiology. As a new addition to the lab she was interested in learning more about motor development and how genes can influence the ways in which children aquire motor skills. After she graduated she planned on pursuing a career as a physicians assistant, with a specialty in orthopedic surgery. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, playing volleyball, and softball, and hanging out with her friends.
Archana Narain is currently working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Renal Department as a Clinical Research Coordinator. During her time in the lab, Archana conducted an independent on the effect of overweight BMI on walking safety in adults. After her work at brigham and Women’s Hospital, she hopes to go to medical school to become a physician.
Cagla Buyukkoc received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Biology from BU (Dean’s List) in May of 2014. After graduating, she began pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Cagla is currently doing research in the biological and behavioral factors that influence body weight at the Johns Hopkins at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is also heavily involved in non-profit work in the Baltimore community. She speaks English and Turkish and is hoping to live and work in Turkey in the future. Her interests include developing new medical technologies in Baltimore’s Design For America chapter and international human rights/healthcare work.
Ganesh Balaji is an undergraduate who volunteered in the lab. He is a junior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. He worked in the lab since the summer of 2012 up until the fall of 2014. After college he plans on attending medical school, so that he can pursue his dream of being an invasive cardiologist. Additionally, he has been an avid tennis player since the age of seven and still enjoys playing tennis often.
Mike Walsh is the former Lab Manager for the Motor Development Lab. He received a B.S. with High Honors in Kinesiology from University of Maryland College Park in December 2011. While attending Maryland he worked in the Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Laboratory and completed a thesis project examining how gross motor sequence tasks are learned. His research interest lies in how physical fitness and exercise affect learning and adaptation of cognitive motor tasks. Mike currently attending the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine pursuing a D.O. degree. In the future he aspires to enter a career in emergency medicine or sports medicine.
Elizabeth Munsell received her masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University, and has since been working as a licensed occupational therapist in the Cambridge Public School System (Cambridge, MA) and at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (Charlestown, MA). She also holds an adjunct faculty position at Boston University’s Occupational Therapy Department, where she teach two courses for graduate level occupational therapy students. One course is on Kinesiology and the other is on research methods. She has been involved in investigating the therapeutic effects of dance through developing an integrated dance program for children with and without developmental disabilities, and serving as a consultant to help a local modern dance company begin a dance program for adults with Parkinson’s disease.
Larissa Sachs has continued to stay in the Boston area since graduating from BU. She has been working at Franciscan Hospital for Children as an occupational therapist for the past three years. During her time at the lab, Larissa ran an independent study on motor adaptation.
Isha Vora is currently working full time at Johns Hopkins Hospital as an acute care occupational therapist and is occasionally doing work in acute rehab in the greater Philadelphia area. She completed her masters thesis in the motor development lab.
Christopher Fundora was awarded the UROP grant as an undergraduate at Boston University. The grant was to study the arch height and walking velocity of adults at the Museum of Science in Boston. He aims to go to medical school when he graduates.
Denis Nakkeeran is a human physiology major in Sargent College at Boston University. During his time in the lab, Denis participated in carrying out the Museum of Science research project on arch height and walking velocity. He hopes to go to medical school after graduating.
John Usseglio is a human physiology major in Sargent College at Boston University. During his time in the lab, Denis participated in carrying out the Museum of Science research project on arch height and walking velocity. He hopes to go to medical school after graduating.
Parvati Dhurvas has known that she wanted to become a doctor since elementary school. Although she had no idea in what field of medicine she would enter, she always knew she would make her dream come true. Today, she is a Sophomore Psyschology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She still plans on entering medical school after graduation from BU, and works hard everyday to make it a reality. When she is not in school, she has a variety of interests that keep her grounded. She is very devoted to her culture and loves to immerse herself in everything it has to offer. Some of her favorite things to do in life are travel (especially to India to visit family), spend time with her family and friends, read, dance, play soccer, watch movies, and play with her dog Toby. She is a strict believer in living everyday in the present, and not dwelling on the past or fearing the future.