STEPHANIE LEAL CONTACT INFORMATION 3400 N Charles St, Ames Hall 110 Baltimore, MD 21218 email@example.com 213.215.6743 RESEARCH INTERESTS I am interested in the neurobiology of memory in the context of aging and dementia. In particular, I investigate long-term memory mechanisms of the hippocampus and how these processes change over the lifespan. A related interest is the significant comorbidity of depression and Alzheimer’s disease, two disorders that share many features in terms of long-term memory loss and hippocampal vulnerability. In order to better understand this comorbidity, I study memory for emotional events and how these processes are altered in depressed individuals over the lifespan. I apply high-resolution neuroimaging techniques (structural, functional, and diffusion) to examine contributions of hippocampal subfields and surrounding regions such as the amygdala to such memory phenomena and age-related dysfunction. EDUCATION 2011 - 2016 Ph.D. (expected) Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences 2011 – 2013 M.A. Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences 2007 - 2011 B.S. University of California, Santa Barbara Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology RESEARCH & PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 9/11 – present Graduate Research Assistant, Neuroscience of Memory, Aging, and Dementia Lab (PI: Michael Yassa) Johns Hopkins School of Arts and Sciences Research topics: Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying emotional memory (dys)function in the human medial temporal lobe in healthy and depressed young and older adults. I use experimental psychology and highresolution neuroimaging tools to address these questions. 7/10 – 7/11 Research Assistant, Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, (PI: Michael Miller) University of California, Santa Barbara Responsibilities: Assisted in acquiring behavioral and fMRI data from episodic memory tasks in depressed young and older adults. 7/10 – 7/11 Caregiver, Senior Helpers Responsibilities: Provide services such as companionship, medication reminders, driving to/from places, and other general assistance. Gained experience in working with older adults with epilepsy and dementia. 3/09 – 9/10 Research Assistant, Behavioral Pharmacology Lab, (PI: Aaron Ettenberg) University of California, Santa Barbara Responsibilities: Performed experiments using animal models to identify the neurobiological substrates that underlie motivated behaviors such as nicotine addiction. Sectioned rodent brains using a cryostat, mounted them on slides, and stained cell bodies of the brain using immunohistochemistry methods. 1/09 – 9/10 Research Assistant, Behavioral Pharmacology Lab, (PI: Osnat Ben Shahar) University of California, Santa Barbara Responsibilities: Performed experiments using animal models to better understand the neural mechanisms underlying stimulant abuse. Performed intravenous catheter surgery on rats as well as sectioned the rodent brains with a cryostat and mounted them on slides. 9/08 – 12/08 Research Assistant, Vision & Image Understanding Lab (PI: Miguel Eckstein) University of California, Santa Barbara Responsibilities: Focused on trying to understand the brain mechanisms by which humans deploy attention and eye movements. Learned how to use eyetracking technology. TEACHING 2/14 – 5/14 2/13 – 5/13 9/12 – 12/12 2/12 – 5/12 10/23/13 11/20/13 Teaching Assistant, Foundations of Mind, Dr. Lisa Feigenson Teaching Assistant, Psychology of Aging, Dr. Michela Gallagher Teaching Assistant, Psychopharmacology, Dr. Linda Gorman Teaching Assistant, Functional Human Neuroanatomy, Dr. Susan Courtney Guest Lecture, False Memory, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Guest Lecture, Emotion and Fear, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory HONORS & AWARDS 2014 2013 – present 2013 2012 – 2013 2011 – 2014 2011 2011 2011 2009 – 2011 Fellowship, Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, UCSB Pre-doctoral Fellow, Research Training in Age-Related Cognitive Disorders Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Walter L. Clark Student Collaborative Research Award, JHU Robert S. and Dorothy L. Waldrop Graduate Fellowship, JHU Distinction in the Psychology Major, UCSB Exceptional Academic Performance in the Psychology Major, UCSB High Honors (top 6% upon graduation), UCSB Dean’s Honors, UCSB (all quarters) INTERNSHIPS 6/09 – 9/09 So. Sacramento Neurological Medical Association Internship under Dr. Firdos Sheikh where I learned about patient care and general neurological tests (EEG, EMG). Gained insight into many neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. ACADEMIC SERVICE 2011 – 2014 TA Committee for Psychological & Brain Sciences Department 2013 – 2014 Colloquium Committee for Psychological & Brain Sciences Department 2012 – 2014 Active Minds President and Founder of Active Minds on the JHU campus. Hold events and activities that raise awareness of mental health issues. 2012 – 2014 JHU Counseling Center Advisory Board This group provides feedback to the Counseling Center about JHU programs and services. They also offer suggestions about ways to enhance student life. 2009 – 2011 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Vice-President and Co-Founder of AMSA on the UCSB campus. Took on the task of starting up an organization on campus to help those in need of assistance in applying to graduate and medical school. Gained leadership experience and increased my organization and communication skills. RELEVANT TRAINING & COURSEWORK 6/14 – 7/14 8/13 – 5/14 8/13 8/12 3/12 12/11 Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience (2-week course) Seminar in Aging, Cognition, and Neurodegenerative Disorders Training Course in fMRI (2-week workshop, travel award) MRI Studio Training (2-day workshop) SPM8 for Basic and Clinical Investigators (5-day workshop) Network Analysis: Functional Connectivity (5-day workshop) PUBLICATIONS Leal, S.L., Yassa, M.A. (2013) Perturbations of Neural Circuitry in Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Ageing Research Reviews. 12(3): 823-831. Leal, S.L., Tighe, S.K., & Yassa, M.A. (2014). Asymmetric effects of emotion on mnemonic interference. Neurobiology of Learning & Memory. 111: 41-48. Leal, S.L., Tighe, S.K., Jones, Craig K., Yassa, M.A. (2014). Pattern separation of emotional information in hippocampal dentate/CA3. Hippocampus. 24: 1146-1155. Anderson, B.A., Leal, S.L., Hall, M.G., Yassa, M.A., Yantis, S. The attribution of value-based attentional priority in individuals with depressive symptoms. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 14(4), 1221-1227. Leal, S.L., Yassa, M.A. (2014). Effects of aging on mnemonic discrimination of emotional information. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128(5), 539-547. POSTER PRESENTATIONS Leal, S., Yassa, M. (2014). Effects of aging on mnemonic discrimination of emotional information. Society for Neuroscience. Carlos, K., Leal, S., Roberts, J., Yassa, M. (2014). The effect of reward on discrimination in a visual pattern separation task. UCI MSTP Retreat, Lake Arrowhead. Anderson, B. A., Leal, S. L., Hall, M. G., Yassa, M. A., & Yantis, S. (2014). The attribution of valuebased attentional priority in individuals with depressive symptoms. Paper presented at the annual Object Perception, Attention, and Memory (OPAM) conference, Long Beach, CA. Partow, C., Leal, S.L., & Yassa, M. (2014). The Relationship Between Sleep Hours, Emotional Memory, and Neurophysiological Response. JHU PURA Recognition Ceremony. Leal, S.L., Tighe, S.K., Jones, C.K, Yassa, M.A. (2013). High-resolution fMRI Reveals Amygdala and Hippocampal Dentate/CA3 Dynamics During Emotional Pattern Separation. Society for Neuroscience. Tighe, S., Leal, S.L., Stark, S.M., Stark, C.E., Yassa, M.A. (2013). Resting State fMRI Functional Connectivity in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment. International Neuropsychological Society. Leal, S. , Tighe, S., Stark, S.M., Stark, C.E., Yassa, M.A. (2013). Age-related alterations in intrinsic functional connectivity networks measured with resting state fMRI. International Neuropsychological Society. Leal, S.L., McNary, G., Levitt, E., & Yassa, M.A. (2012). A dual role for amygdala-mediated emotional modulation of hippocampal pattern separation. Society for Neuroscience. Yassa, M.A., Leal, S.L., McNary, G., & Levitt, E. (2012). Pattern separation of negative emotional stimuli is enhanced in depressed adults. Society for Neuroscience. Tighe, S., Leal, S.L., Stark, S., Stark, C., Lyketsos, C., & Yassa, M. (2012). Anterior cingulate connectivity in depressed, cognitively impaired older adults. International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology. TALKS Leal, S.L. (2014). Emotional modulation of memory in depression and cognitive aging. UCI NeuroBlitz. Leal, S.L. (2014). Emotional modulation of memory: Alterations in the medial temporal lobe. UCI NeuroBlitz. Leal, S.L. (2014). Emotional modulation of memory: Alterations in the medial temporal lobe. Psychological & Brain Sciences Seminar. Leal, S.L. (2013). Pattern separation of emotional information. Psychological & Brain Sciences Biopsychology Area Seminar. Leal, S.L. (2013). Amygdala-mediated emotional modulation of hippocampal pattern separation. Psychological & Brain Sciences Seminar. Leal, S.L. (2013). Amygdala-mediated emotional modulation of hippocampal pattern separation. Datablitz presented at the Winter Conference for Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, Park City, UT. Leal, S.L. (2012). Amygdala-mediated emotional modulation of hippocampal memory. Psychological & Brain Sciences Biopsychology Area Seminar. Leal, S.L. (2012). Emotional modulation of hippocampal memory. Psychological & Brain Sciences Cognitive Area Seminar. Leal, S.L. (2011). Emotional modulation of hippocampal memory in healthy and depressed adults. Psychological & Brain Sciences Seminar.