Ally Lab Members


Brandon Ally, PhD
Laboratory Director

Dr. Ally is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Psychology, and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University. By training, he is a clinical neuropsychologist, with advanced research training in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. In addition to running the Memory Disorders Research Laboratory, Dr. Ally also sees patients in the Neurology-based Memory Disorders Clinic at Vanderbilt (TVC Neurology). To read Dr. Ally's biographical sketch and learn more about his training and work, please visit his webpage linked below.

Dr. Ally's webpage
Email Dr. Ally

Elise Bradley, PhD
Clinical Neuropsychology Fellow

Dr. Elise Bradley received her M.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Palo Alto University. She completed her predoctoral internship with an emphasis in neuropsychology at the Vanderbilt University/Veteran's Affairs Internship in Professional Psychology and is completing her postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology under the mentorship of Dr. Brandon Ally and Dr. Scott Wylie. Prior to relocating to Nashville, she held neuropsychological practicum placements in Polytrauma at the Palo Alto Veteran's Affairs Medical Center and in Adult Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City, CA. Dr. Bradley conducts neuropsychological assessments for adults with memory disorders, movement disorders, and for those experiencing deficits that stem from CVA, anoxia, and a variety of other etiologies. She is also interested in providing cognitive rehabilitation for patients who experience debilitating neuropsychological deficits, and in brief supportive therapy for their family and caregivers.

Email Elise


Erin Hussey, EdM
Laboratory Manager

Erin received her master's degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard University and her bachelor's degree in Psychology from St. Anselm's College. Erin has worked as a research assistant and, for the past 4 years, as Dr. Ally's lab manager. Erin has also served as a neuropsychology assistant in the Memory Disorders Clinic at VUMC, where she has gained vast experience administering neuropsychological assessments to patients with an array of presenting problems. Her main research ineterests focus on how memory and cognition are affected by both healthy and diseased aging. She has presented her work at national and international meetings.

Email Erin

Joseph Kim
Graduate Student

Joe received his B.A. in Psychology fromthe University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is currently a third year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at Vanderbilt. He is currently working as a practicum trainee under Dr. Ally's supervision in the Cognitive Disorders Clinic. Joe's primary research interests focus on the interplay bewteen affect and core cognitive functions like memory.

Email Joe


Philip Ko, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Ko received his PhD from Vanderbilt Univeristy in Cognitive Psychology and Vision Sciences. His research focuses on understanding the interaction between visual perception and long term memory in patients with healthy and diseased memory. Most receently, Dr. Ko was awarded the National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging to investigate visual working memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Email Dr. Ko
Dr. Ko's CV


Jim Kragel
Graduate Student

Jim received his B.S. from Duke University in Biomedical Engineering. He is currently in his first year of the Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience track of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Vanderbilt. His research interests focus on using multivariate analysis techniques to understand the organization of episodic memory in healthy and memory disordered populations.

Email Jim

Emily Mason
Graduate Student

Emily received her B.A. from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Biology and Biochemistry. After receiving her bachelor's degree, Emily worked as a research assistant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where she focused on insulin-like growth factors in aging. She is currently a second year graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (Neuroscience Track) at Vanderbilt. Her research interests focus on using high-field MRI to understand neurotransmitter dysfunction in healthy and diseased aging. Emily was recently named a Vanderbilt Brain Institute Scholar and was recently admitted to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Certificate Program in Molecular Medicine.

Email Emily

Robert Molitor
Research Assistant

Robert receieved his B.S. in psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. During his time as an undergraduate, he worked in multiple labs ranging from cognitive psychology to clinical/community psychology. After completing his degree, Robert moved to Nashville to work as a research assistant in Dr. Adriane Seiffert's Perception, Attention & Control Labat Vanderbilt. His research interests include memory functioning, specifically the malleability of memory. Ultimately, he plans to attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in psychology or cognitive neuroscience and to master the art of the perfect Chipotle burrito.

Email Robert




Andrew Budson, MD
Boston University

Dr. Budson is a Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. By training, he is a cognitive and behavioral neurologist with specialization in memory disorders and dementia. He has a long history of research in the cognitive disorders of aging. Dr. Budson's research is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIH). Dr. Budson's specific research interests include understanding how memory breaks down in Alzheimer's disease, false memory, and the role of different cortical lesions in episodic memory function. In addition to his duties as Director of the CTCN, Dr. Budson is the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Boston VA Healthcare System.

Visit Dr. Budson's Lab

Manus Donahue, PhD
Vanderbilt University

Dr. Donahue is an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Physics at Vanderbilt University. His research is focused on methodological development and application of noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging approaches for measuring physiological parameters such as cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, oxygen extraction fraction, pH, neural inhibition, and the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen in the human brain. Clinically, Dr. Donahue is interested in using high-field (7 Tesla) imaging identifying physiological adjustments in individuals genetically pre-disposed for Alzheimer's disease and using regional perfusion imaging and arterial blood volume mapping to understand hemodynamic compensation strategies in patients with large and small vessel disease.

Visit Dr. Donahue's Lab

Sean Polyn, PhD
Vanderbilt University

Dr. Polyn is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. His laboratory isinterested in the cognitive and neural dynamics of the human memory system, and more specifically, how we use this system to search through our memories of recently learned material.

Visit Dr. Polyn's Lab

David Wolk, MD
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Wolk is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Assistant Director of the Memory Center at the University of Pennsylvania. His research currently focuses on memory changes in healthy aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and AD using Event-Related Potentials (a form of EEG), MRI (including structural and functional measures), and novel psychometric testing. It is hoped that these methods will contribute to early detection and intervention with emerging treatment modalities.

Visit Dr. Wolk's Page