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Our Team

Whitney Wharton, PhD
Cognitive Neuroscientist
Principal Investigator

Dr. Wharton is a cognitive neuroscientist specializing in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related disorders. She received her BA from the University of Texas at Austin and went on to complete her doctoral training at The George Washington University in Washington DC. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Her research focuses on the influence of vascular risk factors on Alzheimer’s biomarkers in individuals who are at risk for the disease due to a parental history. She conducts both observational and clinical trials that investigate the extent to which blood pressure and blood pressure medications act on brain systems known to be involved in AD neuropathology. Dr. Wharton is currently conducting an NIH/NIA funded study investigating the influence of peripheral arterial function on AD biomarkers by measuring beta-amyloid levels and blood flow in the brain in individuals at risk for AD. She is also conducting a clinical trial which will determine the effects of an FDA approved blood pressure medication on Alzheimer's Disease biomarkers in African Americans. Her secondary area of research involves the influence of sex hormones and hormone therapy on cognition and AD neuropathology.

Whitney Wharton

Danielle D. Verble, MA
Research Projects Manager

Danielle joined Emory as a Clinical Research Coordinator in March 2016 following Research Recruiter and Coordinator positions with the University of Pittsburgh, a pharmaceutical contract research organization (CRO) and University of Central Florida. Danielle received her B.A. in Psychology from Stetson University and M.A. in Mental Health Counseling with the University of Central Florida. Her research background includes the HHS funded Supporting Healthy Marriage project, NIMH funded Pittsburgh Girls Study, and numerous Phase One pharmaceutical studies.  

Danielle Verble

Morgan Hecker, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator I

Morgan first joined Emory in 2018 as a clinical research coordinator with the Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center after developing her research skills as a laboratory technologist with Boehringer Ingelheim. Morgan received her B.A. in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University. Her research includes work with the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, as well as the Vanderbilt Diabetes and Endocrinology department in which she contributed to a paper that was published in American Journal of Physiology.

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Winnie N. Jacobs, MPH
Clinical Research Coordinator I

Winnie joined Emory as a clinical research coordinator I in February 2020. Previously, Winnie worked for Duke University School of Medicine established cord blood program at Grady Memorial Hospital as a Cord Blood Research Coordinator. She received her B.S in Molecular Cell Biology from Dominican University of CA and a Master in Public Health (MPH) with a Community Health concentration from West Chester University. Winnie has a huge interest in the research field of Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention and the role AD plays in clinical research.

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Andrea Kippels, MSN, BSN
Nurse Practitioner

Andrea Kippels earned a BSN from Northwestern State University of Louisiana, MSN (Nursing Education, Psychiatry/Geriatrics) and Post-Masters Certificate (FNP) from Emory University. She has 20 years of experience as a Nurse Practitioner in Geriatrics and Cognitive Disorders. Since 2003, Andie has provided clinical management, education, and support for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and Frontotemporal Dementia. She has facilitated educational support groups with Mild Cognitive Impairment clients and their families. She coordinates clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and FTD.

Andrea Kippels

Harry Huang
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Harry is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Emory University from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. He is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology (NBB) and he is very interested in the research field of Alzheimer’s Disease and the role of clinical research in AD research. He is also a volunteer at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he plans to attend medical school.

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McKayla Williams
Undergraduate Research Assistant

McKayla Williams is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Emory University from Los Angeles, California. She is a double major in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and African American studies and plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science. Her interests include neurosociology and how adversity can affect brain structure, predispositions to mental illness, and intergroup interaction. After receiving her undergraduate degree, McKayla plans on going to graduate school to further pursue her interests.

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Leanne Jeong
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Leanne Jeong is a 2nd year undergraduate student at Emory University from Dothan, Alabama. She is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Music. As a Music major, she is on the piano performing track. She loves being involved on campus as a part of the residential hall advisor team, volunteering with GlobeMed, and playing on the club ultimate frisbee team. Her academic interests lie in neurodegenerative diseases and music therapy. She has traveled to Ghana for a medical internship during the summer of 2017 and was an Intel International Science and Engineering Fair representative for Alabama. 

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Jaime Schechner
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jaime is a 3rd year undergraduate student at Emory University from Lexington, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology (NBB) and Sociology. Her academic interests include Alzheimer’s research and how different neurodegenerative diseases impact minority communities. On campus, Jaime volunteers to teach kids with Down Syndrome how to read, helps facilitate art projects for children living in the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, plays on the club field hockey team, and is a part of Greek Life. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend graduate school for genetic counseling.

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Carolyn Zhou
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Carolyn is a second-year undergraduate student at Emory University from Bellevue, Washington. She is a Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology major and Economics minor. She is interested in the relationships between vascular factors like stroke and Alzheimer’s. On campus, she is involved in club volleyball and was heavily involved with the Women in STEM club on the Oxford Campus. She is currently on the pre-med track and plans to attend medical school after graduation.

Carolyn Zhou Bio Pic

Veena Kumar, MD
Medical Student Research Assistant 2018/2019

Veena is an Emory Medical School graduate and a Neurology Resident at Case Western Reserve. She is originally from Princeton, New Jersey and went to Columbia University where she earned a B.A. in Ethnomusicology and Biology in 2014. Before joining medical school she spent a year studying neurologic speech pathways with MRI at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. In addition to being a medical student, Veena is a classically trained Indian singer and violinist who have performed concerts across the tri-state area and India.

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COLLABORATORS:

Felicia Goldstein, PhD

Website

Felicia Goldstein

Ihab Hajjar, MD, MS

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Ihab Hajjar

Patrick Kehoe, PhD

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Patrick Kehoe

Henrik Zetterberg, MD, PhD

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Henrik Zetterberg

Malu Tansey, PhD

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Malu Tansey

William Hu, MD, PhD

Website

William Hu

Madeleine Hackney, PhD

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MH

Joe Nocera, PhD

Website

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 Jason Flatt, PhD MPH

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Jason Flatt

 Sevil Yasar, MD PhD

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Joel Anderson, PhD

Website

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Monica Parker, MD

monica parker
Lab Alumni:
Veronique King
Clinical Research Coordinator
Alexandra Nutaitis
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sonum Tharwani
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Alexandra Brown
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Ryan Shin
Undergraduate Research Assistant