A/Prof Alex Bahar-Fuchs (co-leader)
I am a researcher and clinician specializing in the field of cognitive ageing. My early work furthered our understanding of olfactory cognitive processes and their relevance to the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
More recently, my research interests have broadened and include the development, evaluation and synthesis of non-pharmacological interventions aimed at primary and secondary prevention of cognitive decline and dementia, often using emerging technologies.. I obtained my BA in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology from Ben-Gurion University in Israel, and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology here at the University of Melbourne. I then completed a PhD in clinical neuropsychology at Monash University along with all requirements of an MA in clinical neuropsychology. I completed postdoctoral training at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health, and Wellbeing at the Australian National University. Between July 2014 and December 2016, I was based at the Joseph Sagol Centre for Neuroscience at Sheba Medical Centre, Israel, as part of an NHMRC Overseas-Based Clinical Early Career Fellowship. In 2017, I was awarded a Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council. I am a founding member and Chair of CIDER - an International Working Group, focused on the advancement of methodological quality of cognition-focused intervention trials for people at risk of dementia. I am also the Chair (2016-2019) of the Non-Pharmacological Interventions Professional Interest Area (PIA) of the International Society for the Advancement of Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART).
Dr Amit Lampit (co-leader)
I am a CR Roper Senior Research Fellow and clinical neuroscientist specialising in cognitive training across the lifespan and brain disorders, clinical trials and research synthesis. Since completing my PhD at the University of Sydney (2014) I published >50 peer-reviewed papers, many in leading journals such as PLOS Medicin e, the American Journal of Psychiatry and Neurology, cited >2500 times (h-index 20), and awarded >$3.5 million in competitive funding as chief investigator.
I Previously held a NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship (2016-2019) and joined the University of Melbourne in 2018 to co-found the CITE research group. I hold a dual position as Director (evidence synthesis) at the National Disability Insurance Agency, and am an affiliated researcher at the Biostatistics & Clinical Epidemiology node at the Methods and Implementation Support for Clinical and Health research Hub (MISCH). I previously held a dual position as senior research fellow at the Department of Neurology, Charité University Hospital Berlin (2017-2020).
Julieta Sabates (PhD student)
I am a PhD candidate at the Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age at The University of Melbourne. Before moving to Australia, I completed a 6-year degree in Psychology at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), and two postgraduate specialisation clinical degrees in Schizophrenia. I joined the Cognitive Interventions Technologies and Evaluations (CITE) Research Group in 2017 and realised while I was working as a research assistant that I wanted a career in academia. I started my PhD in 2019, where I am focusing on cognitive interventions for neuropsychiatric symptoms of people with young-onset dementia. My main research interests include psychosocial interventions, young-onset dementia, neuropsychiatric symptoms, psychotic disorders and severe mental-illnesses in general.
Leila Nategh (PhD student)
I am a PhD student with CITE and hold an International PhD Scholarship from the University of Melbourne. I have a master's degree in Cognitive Rehabilitation at Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran, where I compared the impact of two different cognitive interventions (memory or attention) in episodic memory of patients at the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
What I love the most is designing and implementing efficient cognitive rehabilitation protocols to save clinical resources while increasing participation of patients in cognitive training. My PhD thesis entitled “cognitive interventions: why, how, and where can be more effective?” opens up a world of opportunities for me to pursue this interest. I hope it brings benefits to patients, healthcare professionals, and communities as a whole.
Katharine Huynh (PhD student)
I am a PhD student at Monash University, supported by the Australian Government RTP Stipend Scholarship. I previously completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours Class I with University Medal) at the University of Sydney, and recently worked as a research assistant at Neuroscience Research Australia. I am interested in the use of neuroimaging biomarkers and non-pharmacological interventions in populations with cognitive impairment and dementia. My Honours thesis used neuroimaging techniques to characterise white matter hyperintensities in patients with frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. My PhD project will focus on the effects of cognitive training on clinical outcomes and brain networks in Huntington’s disease.
Halie Wang (Master of Clinical Neuropsychology student)
I am currently studying Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) at the University of Melbourne. I previously completed the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours Class I) at the University of Queensland. My honours thesis focused on investigating the influence of social hierarchy on face processing using EEG. My current Master’s research focuses on the effects of olfactory training in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment. My research interests include neurodegenerative disorders, mood disorders and psychosocial interventions
Atid Shahak (Honours student)
I am an enthusiastic fourth year psychology student at The University of Melbourne, excited to learn and grow in a shared environment with others. I completed my Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Melbourne in 2019, and then went on to complete my Graduate Diploma in Psychology. My Honours thesis is on different psychological factors (e.g. mood and stereotypes) impacting cognition and memory in older individuals. I am currently fascinated by the teleology of emotions and their expression in everyday life.
Katrina Luzinat (research assistant)
I am currently studying a Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) at the University of Melbourne. My research for this program will focus on the effects of olfactory training in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Previously, I completed an Honours degree at Monash University and was involved in qualitative research exploring family experiences of paediatric acquired brain injury (ABI). My research interests include early detection of neurodegenerative conditions, the role of peer support in recovery from ABI and understanding psychogenic causes of neuropsychological impairment.
Marnie Drake (research assistant)
I am a 4th Year Honours Psychology student at the University of Melbourne. Previously, I graduated from the Australian National University with a focus on languages and linguistics. After graduating, I have worked as an English teacher in South Korea for the past year and decided to complete my undergraduate sequence in Psychology online whilst living abroad. Now that I am back home in Australia, I am enjoying focusing on my Honours thesis, where I am studying the effects of stereotypes on older adults’ perceptions of their memory performance. I am particularly interested in developmental neuropsychology across the lifespan, and I currently work as a support worker for children with disabilities.
Nathalie Launder (research assistant)
I am currently studying a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this, I studied biology and premedical coursework at New York University Abu Dhabi before relocating back to Melbourne and shifting my focus to psychology. My research interests include the development and evaluation of non-pharmacological interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental illness, as well as understanding the causes of neuropsychological impairment in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and the role of non-pharmacological interventions in neuropsychological rehabilitation from mTBI.
Courtney Chesser (research assistant)
I am currently working as a research assistant at the CITE research group. In my spare time I also volunteer for a mental health promotion and wellbeing foundation that focuses on supporting young people. In 2021 I completed my Honours degree in Psychology at Monash University, where my thesis focused on stroke and young onset neurocognitive disorder populations. My honours project explored whether factors such as age, cognitive impairment, or computer skills influence performance across telehealth and in-person administration of neuropsychology assessments. My broad research interests include neurocognitive disorders, older adults and the impact of cognitive decline in these populations.
Eve Millington (research assistant)
I am currently completing my Master of Psychology (Clinical) in Melbourne and working as a research assistant at the CITE research group. My masters thesis completed in 2021 investigated the relationship between hoarding disorder and grief. In 2017 I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Honours) with my thesis focusing on extreme music and emotion regulation. I enjoy involvement in both clinical work and research.
Dr Anna Wolf (postdoctoral fellow)
Dr Mary Castellani (research assistant)
Ruth Minkov (research assistant)
Christopher Dong (Honours student)
Benjamin Hodge (Honours student)
Hilary Farmer (Honours student)
Viviana Sastre Gomez (MC-BMEDSC student)