Meet our neuroscience consultants
Alex Kaula, PhD,
Alex joined Francesca Cormack and Nick Taptiklis in his role as R&D Scientist in September 2020, and is helping them to develop new tasks and analysis methods, particularly on the NeuroVocalix platform. His PhD was completed at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, where his work focused on brain mechanisms of memory and attention. He used neuroimaging and cognitive experiments to address how systems in the brain manage competing demands, and modelled the impact on memory formation of managing multiple concurrent tasks.
Senior Consultant and Co-inventor of CANTAB®
Prof. Sahakian is the co-inventor of the CANTAB® and Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge. Her research is aimed at understanding the neural basis of cognitive, emotional and behavioural dysfunction in order to develop more effective pharmacological and psychological treatments. The focus of her research is in early detection, differential diagnosis and proof of concept studies using cognitive enhancing drugs. She has published over 300 papers in the area of Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, Depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse and Schizophrenia.
Ed joined Cambridge Cognition as a Clinical Scientist following his PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology in the Department of Psychosis Studies at King’s College London. His project concerned the relationship between cognitive deficits and antipsychotic treatment response in first episode psychosis and treatment resistant schizophrenia samples. Throughout his PhD, Ed gained experience in being part of numerous collaborations, most notably that of the international collaborative effort of the STRATA-G (Schizophrenia: Treatment Resistance and Therapeutic Advances) study, which aimed to identify cognitive, genetic and clinical predictors of treatment response in first episode psychosis. During this time Ed also worked as a Visiting Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at City, University of London as well as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist in an outpatient clinic for psychosis. Ed received his BSc in Psychology from King’s College London in 2018 with his dissertation concerning the relationship between alexithymia and interoception within an EEG (electroencephalogram) paradigm. In joining Cambridge Cognition Ed brings his expertise and understanding of collecting, analysing and summarizing cognitive and clinical data within schizophrenia and other psychosis-related disorders.
Eleanor joined Cambridge Cognition as an Operational Scientist after completing her BA in Natural Sciences (Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour) from the University of Cambridge. She is particularly interested in the interaction between metabolism and cognition, and ADHD in adults.
As Director of Statistical Science, Elizabeth works with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic clients to develop statistical analysis protocols for the analysis of cognitive endpoints in clinical trials and observational research studies. Since joining Cambridge Cognition in 2017, Elizabeth has supported the development of clinical trial enrichment tools, implemented Bayesian methodologies and conducted statistical analysis across a range of clinical trial designs and CNS disorders. Elizabeth has a keen interest in the application of longitudinal analysis techniques and machine learning to clinical cohorts and is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. Elizabeth received her PhD in Biostatistics and Health Informatics from King’s College London.
Emily joined Cambridge Cognition in 2017 after completing a BSc in Psychology at Loughborough University. She has supported the use of CANTAB within academic research institutions and has used this understanding to support the delivery and execution of CANTAB within clinical trials since joining the Clinical Science team as Operational Scientist in 2019. As Operational Scientist, Emily uses her knowledge to support clinical studies across all stages of development from input into the protocol design through study conduct to data review, custom data outputs, statistical analysis, and data interpretation.
Her main interests are the effect of emotion on cognition and the consequences of this in the development and experience of mood and anxiety-related disorders.
Fiona joined Cambridge Cognition in May 2019 to head the Clinical Science team globally. She has a 25 year career in multi-national pharmaceutical companies and biotech SMEs. Her experience is across multiple therapeutic areas and includes roles of increasing responsibility in clinical development, global clinical operations and project leadership of major respiratory assets within GSK. She has also worked in early stage development, most recently to develop a drug and diagnostic for Alzheimers’ disease. She has assumed responsibility for the Operations team in Cambridge Cognition and is now COO. Fiona and her team support cognitive studies across all stages of development from input into the protocol design through study conduct to data analysis & reporting.
Francesca is Chief Scientist at Cambridge Cognition. She has extensive experience of statistics, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive test development in a range of clinical populations. Since joining Cambridge Cognition in 2014, Francesca has worked to develop novel cognitive testing methodology to support high-frequency, near patient testing using digital technology, providing researchers and healthcare providers with unique insights into cognitive health. Francesca obtained a PhD in Dementia with Lewy Bodies at Newcastle University, followed by post-doctoral and academic positions at University College London and at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge. She maintains academic collaborations focused on neurological disorders, ageing and dementia.
John is a clinical scientist at Cambridge Cognition, where he consults for pharmaceutical companies and academic investigators as well as contributes to ongoing internal research projects. John received his doctorate from Louisiana State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Boston Healthcare System. He has published extensively in the development and implementation of digital tools and devices used to measure cognitive and daily functioning in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, traumatic brain injury and other neurological conditions. In addition to his research background, John is also a Boston-based licensed clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist. He has a decade of experience spent conducting neuropsychological evaluations in various hospitals and other healthcare settings.
Kenton has over 18 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical experience with involvement in all aspects of the industry from drug discovery and clinical development through to pre-commercialization. Prior to joining Cambridge Cognition, Kenton served as Chief Scientific Officer for New Mexico-based biotech Zocere Inc. where he worked on developing a neuroprotectant drug designed to combat brain injury resulting from stroke. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for Exonate Limited, a start-up founded in 2013 at the University of Nottingham. From 1998 to 2012, Kenton worked at Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Salt Lake City and served in a variety of roles including Senior Director of Clinical Affairs, Chief Scientist of the tarenflurbil clinical development program (an investigational drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, developed through Phase 3), Director of Neurodegeneration Therapeutics Discovery and Director of Strategic In-licensing and Scientific Evaluation. Kenton received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Sloan-Kettering Division of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCLA School of Medicine and was awarded fellowships from the Leukemia Society of America and the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research.
Martina joined Cambridge Cognition as clinical scientist after collaborating as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham on a project focused on the effects of anxiety and sleep deprivation on cognitive and social abilities. Her PhD in Cognitive Psychology was completed at the University of Kent, where she investigated social cognitive abilities and their relationship with executive functions by using a variety of techniques such as eye-tracking and EEG. She has also developed a cognitive training protocol aimed to train executive functions across the lifespan. Martina brings her expertise in cognitive abilities and a broad background and interest in cognition in health and disease, with interest and experience in mental health and various CNS disorders.
Michele is Director of Neuroscience (R&D) at Cambridge Cognition. She has over 15 years in academic research experience in Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Neurology. She has expertise in cognitive test design, cognition, data science, population health and brain imaging. Michele obtained a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge. She worked in labs in Singapore and Australia, researching cognitive and brain changes in ageing, stroke and dementia. At the University of Oxford, she worked as a senior research scientist in Cognitive Neurology, investigating cognition and brain network changes across neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, small vessel disease, Parkinson’s disease, limbic encephalitis and mild and subjective cognitive impairment.
Nathan Cashdollar, PhD, Director of Digital Neuroscience
With over a decade of experience in both academic and clinical research, Nathan develops scientifically valid and clinically sensitive digital solutions for measuring cognitive performance in health care and clinical trial research environments. Over the past 15 years, Nathan has had a breadth of Cognitive Neuroscience research experience using a synergy of novel methodology and clinical populations, across multiple institutions in North America, Europe and the United Kingdom.
His experience ranges from establishing in vivo bio-markers to track disease progression, to creating computational modeling approaches characterising human cognitive processes and even performing functional neuroimaging on California Sea Lions suffering from neurological damage. With this advanced insight into brain/behaviour relationships, Nathan now provides comprehensive scientific consultancy and potentiates the development of digital innovations for clinical trial experimentation in order to optimise design, outcome and ultimately to help those in need.
As Head of R&D Technology, Nick develops innovative technological solutions to scientific and health challenges; exploring new methods for measuring cognition at scale by leveraging consumer hardware, crowd-sourcing, cloud infrastructure and analytics. Since joining Cambridge Cognition in 2010, Nick has brought experience in translating scientific research into innovative mobile products and solutions. He is interested in helping realise the potential for mobile and wearable technology to transform the treatment of mental health disorders. He has pioneered new methods of cognitive testing outside of the laboratory using off-the-shelf consumer devices and has developed integrated cloud-based analytic solutions combining physiological and cognitive data. Nick’s past experience includes machine-vision, 3D database visualisation, voice recognition, security, Bluetooth content distribution, and many consumer-focused mobile apps.
Prof. Robbins is the co-inventor of the CANTAB. He is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Head of the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge. He is also Director of the Cambridge University MRC-Wellcome Trust funded Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), the main objective of which is to inter-relate basic and clinical research in psychiatry and neurology. Professor Robbins is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Royal Society. He has published over 600 peer-reviewed papers and 70 chapters in scientific journals and has co-edited 6 books.
Yasmin joined Cambridge Cognition as an Operational Scientist in May 2022 after working as a Senior Statistical Analyst for a language assessment company for over four years. Her expertise in Item Response Theory and associated software such as Winsteps led her to be a key driver in the maintenance and optimization of high stakes test used worldwide including the scoring set up, as well as the development of new assessments for a wide range of cohorts. Yasmin holds a 1st class honours BSc in Natural Sciences (majoring in Maths and Chemistry) from The University of Nottingham and is currently completing an MSc in Psychology & Neuroscience of Mental Health at King’s College London. She is also a trained Mental Health First Aider, and has a keen interest in the prevalence, onset, and management of mental health disorders including mood and eating disorders.