Our Team

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Francesca Bagnato is a dual-board (European and American) neurology certified physician, currently on faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Dr. Bagnato sees patients with neuroimmunological diseases at the Neuroimmunology Clinic of VUMC as well as the Nashville VA HealthCare System. She joined Vanderbilt in October 2015 where she is now the Head of the Neuroimaging Program of the Neuroimmunology Division, Co-Director of Research-MSCoE-East for the VA and Associate Vice-Chair of Research at VUMC. Dr. Bagnato has authored more than 100 publication focused on MS.  

Research Students

  • Jiacheng Wang is a second-year Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University majoring in computer science in Prof Oguz lab. He is passionate about exploring the potential application of machine learning/deep learning in physiological and pathological conditions.

    Jiacheng runs several projects aimed at developing automated segmentation of  paramagnetic rim lesions, leptomeningeal enhancement foci and white matter lesions on 7T MRI under limited human annotations scenarios. 

Research Coordinators

  • Taegan has her B.S. in Public Health from the University of Alabama. Taegan enrolls participants, obtains consent, and assists with 7T MRI scans. Taegan is interested in gaining further knowledge in the progression of multiple sclerosis observed through MRI methods and performs image analyses of mice with experimental multiple sclerosis. 

  • Caroline graduated from Belmont University with her B.S in biology and psychology. Caroline follows alongside patients through the research process by working to recruit patients and assist with their MRIs. She hopes to learn more about the progression and functioning of multiple sclerosis through the use of MRI technology. 

     

Clinical-Research Team

  • Dr. Carynn Koch completed her undergraduate education at University of Southern Indiana and medical education at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She then joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she trained in neurology and served as Chief Neurology Resident during her last year. Dr. Koch is a clinical fellow sponsored by the National MS Society, with plans to pursue a career in the comprehensive management of multiple sclerosis. Dr. Koch is also engaged in a research project studying the longitudinal outcome of lesions with and without a central vein sign. 

Alumni

Amalie Chen, M.D.

Previous position: undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Position in the lab: research medical student (school of medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine) and awardee of the clinical mentorship of the National MS Society (summer of 2018). 

Current position: Neurology chief resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Margareta A Clarke, Ph.D

Previous position: PhD at the University of Nottingham, England. Awardee of the ECTRIMS-MAGNIMS research fellowship.

Position in the lab: National Multiple Sclerosis Society post-doctoral fellow (2019-2022).

Adriana Morales, B.S.

Previous position: sophomore undergraduate student at Duke University.

Position in the lab: summer student (2021).

Current position: senior undergraduate student at Duke University.

Keejin Yoon, B.A.

Previous position: undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University.

Position in the lab: undergraduate research student (2020-2021).  

Current position: medical student (MS-I) at University of Central Florida.

Kelsey Barter, M.D.

Previous Position: Medical student at Vanderbilt University 

Position in Lab: Medical research student

Following Position: Medical resident at Washington University 

Rachael Cheeck, M.S., M.D.

Previous Position: Medical student at Meharry Medical College

Position in Lab: Medical research student

Following Position: Child Neurology resident at Baylor University 

Bryan Hernandez, B.S.

Previous Position: Undergraduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso

Position in Lab: Undergraduate research student

Following Position: Post-baccalaureate student at Vanderbilt-Ingram Center

Faraaz Kazimuddin, B.S.

Previous Position: Undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University

Position in Lab: Undergraduate research student

Following Position: Post-baccalaureate student at the National Institute of Health

Salma Ashshareef, M.S.

Previous Position: Masters student in Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge program 

Position in Lab: Research coordinator

Following Position: PhD student at the University of Texas