Emergency BU Alert Boston University's Charles River Campus is cancelling evening classes on Monday, February 8, 2016. All academic and administrative activities (e.g. classes, seminars and meetings) that are scheduled to take place before 5:00 PM will meet as scheduled. Academic and administrative operations that are normally scheduled to occur after 5:00 PM will be cancelled. For detailed information on the Boston University Medical Campus, please go to: http://www.bu.edu/ehs/comm Please note: Employees in essential services must report as scheduled. Essential services include, but are not limited to, University Police, Facilities Management and Planning, University Dining Services, University Mail Services, Student Health Services, Environmental Health & Safety and Network Services. For the latest information please go to: http://www.bu.edu/today

About Our Research Staff


patrickmcnamara3_sq276Patrick McNamara, PhD, Principle Investigator

Dr. McNamara has been working for many years studying the connection between Parkinson’s and religiosity. Our current study is set to replicate his previous findings as well as extend them. His other main interests lie in sleep and dreams, particularly in REM Sleep. He is also one of the founding directors of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion.

Dr. McNamara’s CV

More on Dr. McNamara can found be here





durso1smallRaymon Durso, MD

Dr. Durso is the Parkinson’s specialist on our study. He refers the majority of our patients to us and has neurology clinics at all three campus of the VA, where he sees a variety of neurological disorders.






wesleywildman1_sq271Wesley Wildman, Phd

Dr. Wildman is a founding director of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion and is the director of the religion and science PhD program at Boston University. He teaches philosophy, theology, religion, and ethics, and is also a key mentor for our doctoral students. More on Dr. Wildman can be found here.






ed_modestino_sq500Edward Modestino, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Modestino is our neuroimaging expert. His focus is the analysis of our neuroimaging data and his career in neuroscience has focused on using neuroimaging (fMRI) and electrophysiology (i.e., EEG, SC, and plethysmography) as tools to study cognition, attention and perception, with a particular interest in altered states of consciousness and religious experiences. He is also a  Research Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Religious Cognition at Boston University and of Neurology at the BU School of Medicine. Dr. Modestino takes the lead on our Doctrinal vs. Experiential project.






minsky_squareApril Minsky, Head Research Assistant

April graduated from Simmons College with a bachelors in psychology. She helps to keep the lab running on a day to day basis and her interests lie in sleep and dreams and impulsivity in Parkinson’s. Previously she has also done work with PTSD and M.S. April often works with Dreamboard projects and also assists with the impulsivity project.







Jonathan-Morgan-150x150Jonathan Morgan, Doctoral Fellow

Jonathan is a doctoral student in the religion and science program at Boston University, where he received his masters in psychology and theology. He is particularly interested in understanding spirituality and its relationship to mental health, and has a strong focus on the impulsivity aspect of our study, particularly delayed discounting. Jonathan is also a regular contributor to Exploring My Religion







Chris Halloran, Doctoral Fellow

Chris Halloran is a doctoral candidate in BU’s Religion & Science track. He focuses on the role of brain dopamine in the comprehension of religious concepts and theory of mind. His interests include the formulation of a science-driven metaphysical and epistemological pragmatist theory of religion and the intersection of science with religious and “non-religious” (cf. Humanist) communities in 21st century American politics, education, and media. He also takes the lead in our religious priming project.






someone01_sq500Karishma Smart, Masters Thesis Student

Karishma is a Boston University graduate student pursuing a MS in Medical Sciences. Her current research interests include cognition in Parkinson’s disease. Her focus is looking at SPECT DAT scans in Parkinson’s Disease. She hopes to pursue a career in clinical neuroscience research.






someone03_sq500Alina Gusev, Research Assistant

Alina work’s as a part-time research assistant with us. She graduated from UMass with a psychology degree and is currently pursuing her masters in psychology as well. Alina focuses on the sleep and dream studies with our lab.






Lab Interns and Volunteers

  • Victoria Pae
  • Michelle Potter
  • Allison Richards
  • Clarinda Blais
  • Chisom Chukwumerije


  • Erica Harris, PhD, MPH
  • Paul Butler, MD/PhD, MTS

LEN Lab Staff Alumni

  • Hailee Reeves
  • Chioma Amenechi
  • Rafael Ayala
  • Patricia Johnson
  • Ephraim Josephs
  • Deirdre McLaren
  • Vanessa Van Doren
  • Ari Fodeman

LEN Lab Graduate Student Alumni

  • Noelle Ebel
  • Brian Jenkin
  • Priti Nath
  • Manish Ramani
  • Noel Warwick
  • Nik Zanetti

LEN Lab Research Assistant Alumni

  • Emily Abrams
  • Donna Alvino
  • Andrea Avalos
  • Catherine Beauharnais
  • Christopher Dallas-Koziol
  • Emily Duggan
  • Samantha Gauvin
  • Jessica George
  • Jessica Ghofrani
  • Lena Giang
  • Katherine Hendley
  • Michael Josephs
  • Anna Kookoolis
  • Mike Ma
  • Jocelyn Sarmiento
  • Alveena Shah
  • Sarah Varghese
  • Sasha Zaitsev
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine