Fatima Salah Amtashar joined the lab in 2017 as a Research Technician focusing primarily on sample handling and processing for the Memory and Aging Project. After two years, she went on to complete her Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Drexel University and returned to WashU in 2021, where she joined the Evers lab in the Anesthesia Department studying GABA receptors. In 2023 she rejoined our lab as a Staff Scientist.
Fatima received her BS in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from UMSL in 2017, where she spent 2 years working in AD research. While not at work Fatima loves to regroup with her Iraqi roots by working on her Arabic calligraphy and learning to cook traditional meals. She is very involved in her local Islamic Community Center and is always in search of new hiking trails in the area.
Clinical Laboratory Assistant II
Zach Bonacorsi is a Navy veteran who served for five years as a corpsman, performing clerical, clinical and emergency medicine duties throughout his service, as well as one deployment to Afghanistan.
Bonacorsi joined the team as a clinical laboratory assistant in August 2022.
When not working, he is usually spending most of his time doing one of his many passions, like playing and writing music, acting and working out. He's also an avid gamer and loves animals. He and his wife have a retired racing greyhound and three cats.
Kristy Collins joined the Memory and Aging Project (MAP) team as a Project Manager in September 2022. She previously was an academic advisor at the Olin Business School from 2017 – 2022. She received her BS in Psychology from Missouri State University and her MA in School Counseling from Lindenwood University.
She is a St. Louis native and enjoys reading books, traveling, weight training, and spending time with her husband, two children, and her dog.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Sibonginkhosi Dlamini is a postdoctoral researcher and neuroscientist in the Memory and Aging Project (MAP) for the Knight ADRC. She completed her PhD program in pediatric traumatic brain injury at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She joined the lab in 2021. Her objective in the lab is to develop and validate assays to evaluate candidate plasma and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers that predict risk for preclinical and symptomatic Alzheimer disease.
Dlamini enjoys volunteering at her local church and is involved in several outreach programs. She loves playing sports, particularly boxing, spending time in her garden taking care of her plants and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
Clinical Coordinator I
Alex Groves started working in the lab in February of 2019 as a lab assistant. He has worked hard to keep moving up to a more prominent position in the lab. He is currently working on going back to school to get his Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
Outside of work, Groves likes to spend time with his friends and family, including his son, Louis. He is involved with coaching and helping with his son’s sports and other activities. Groves enjoys fishing, video games, and going to live concerts. Groves loves spending time with the study participants and hopes to keep making a difference in the world!
Research Lab Manager
Rachel Henson joined the lab in the spring of 2017 as a Senior Technician and now manages laboratory operations for the Knight ADRC Fluid Biomarker Core including the processing, storage, distribution, and analysis of plasma and CSF samples collected for projects in Memory and Aging. She received a BS in Biology from Webster University in 2010 and an MS in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Oregon State University 2017 and has over ten years of core facility experience. Outside of the lab,Henson loves to cook, learn new languages and plays the keyboard in an 80’s cover band.
Bill Knight joined the Fagan lab in May of 2022. Previously he was a research assistant and lab manager for Dr. Jinbin Xu’s lab in radiology from 2018-2022, as well as a research technician in Dr. Gerald Dorn’s lab in Pharmacogenomics from 2017-2018. Knight has a BS in biology and a BA in psychology both from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and he recently graduated with an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in 2021.
Knight manages projects for external collaborations and the DIAN Observational study; he is, also, the Biomarker Core archivist for the DIAN Trials Unit studies. Additionally, he assists with the various administrative, financial and operational needs of the Fagan lab.
In his free time, Knight enjoys traveling, relaxing with his fiancé, dog and cat, as well as practicing and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Clinical Laboratory Assistant I
Kensa is currently working towards a Bachelor’s of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Lindenwood University with anticipated graduation in December of ‘23. She has worked in a clinical setting as a Certified Nursing Assistant for over 5 years. Kensa also interned for Lindenwood’s WISE program, an innovative intergenerational technological course. Kensa’s passion for geriatrics is seen in her professional development endeavors.
Kensa joined the lab in June of 2023. This is her first time working in a research lab and she is eager to learn and lend a helping hand. Upon graduation she plans to continue gaining research and clinical experience, within the geriatrics realm, while she pursues further education.
Kensa is originally from Wisconsin and came to the Saint Louis area to compete for Lindenwood’s Varsity Collegiate Cycling Team, where she also served as team captain. Her hobbies include cycling and competing in Ironman Triathlons. Outside of school and collegiate athletics, she volunteers with Girl Scouts and assists girls working towards their Gold Award.
Statistical Data Analyst II
Benjamin Saef is a Statistical Data Analyst in support of various projects under the umbrella of the Memory and Aging Project (MAP). He completed his Master’s in Science in Biostatistics at Washington University’s School of Medicine (WUSM) in 2012 specializing in statistical genetics. He has since worked as a data analyst and bioinformatics specialist in support of many projects across labs in WUSM and at National Jewish Health investigating adiposity, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and upper-respiratory diseases. Saef joined the lab in summer of 2021 and currently performs data analysis, figure creation and data handling related to late-onset sporadic Alzheimer disease biomarkers.
When not working Saef likes learning new languages, cooking, playing video games, reading and visiting botanic gardens.
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator
In her role as a senior clinical research coordinator, Sushi Sathyan is responsible for all aspects of lumbar puncture procedures. With over 20 years of research experience working with human subjects, Sathyan has the proven ability to engage and foster relationships with study participants. She loves working with study participant and is grateful to be part of this valuable research. She has been with the Fluid Biomarker Core since 2006.
When not working, Sathyan loves to cook, read, work out, do yoga, make handmade cards for sick kids in hospitals, serve the under-privileged and play with her grand puppy Louie.
Senior Research Technician
Jasmine Stewart’s current role as a Senior Research Technician is rewarding and fulfilling; she assists the team with processing samples, pulling samples for projects and post doc requests, and also assists with assay testing and result documentation. She has previously worked in radiochemistry as a data analyst processing environmental samples for radioactivity and ensuring safe levels for sample collection. She also has 6 years’ worth of experience in toxicology processing and resulting specimen accessioning for the judicial system.
She joined the Washington University team in January of 2022 where she worked in dermatopathology as a Clinical Support Specialist II. She transferred to Neurology as a part of the Memory and Aging Project (MAP) for the Knight ADRC team in March of 2023 where she continues to learn about Alzheimer disease and early detection.
When not working Jasmine enjoys spending quality time with her son and family, listening to music, reading a good book, writing poetry, playing basketball and other sports, swimming, dancing and traveling.
Clinical Laboratory Assistant II
Blake Vogler is a research technician in the Memory and Aging Project (MAP) for the Knight ADRC. Vogler joined the MAP team in July of 2021 after being a Laboratory Animal Technician where he took care of thousands of mice for research. When not at working in the lab, Vogler is a professional dog trainer with his three dogs, Hagrid, Ed and Lord Stanley. Vogler loves to watch hockey (LGB), play on his computer and ride his bike.
Senior Research Technician
Katie joined the lab in the summer of 2018 and assists in sample management and analysis, assay development and scientific writing. She graduated from Saint Louis University in 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Science in biology. In addition to working part time in the lab, Katie is an editorial assistant at Acta Biomaterialia, where she helps to facilitate the peer review process.
When not working, Katie volunteers for WashU’s science communications network, InPrint, where she is an editor and the group’s secretary. While she hopes to continue her education in the future, she currently enjoys her free time, which she spends reading, writing or dancing around her bedroom to Celine Dion.