About Our Research Staff


patrickmcnamara3_sq276Patrick McNamara, PhD, Principle Investigator

TO SEE DR. MCNAMARA’S CURRENT WORK, CLICK HERE: cognitiveneuroscienceofreligion.org

To contact Dr. McNamara, please email pmcnamar3@gmail.com.

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. His most recent book, Dreams and Visions: How Religious Ideas Emerge in Sleep and Dreams, can be found on Amazon.

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.






20160322 B. Teed Headshot
Brian Teed, Head Research Assistant

Brian holds a BA in Sociology from Birmingham-Southern College and Master’s of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. He helps to keep the lab running on a day to day basis and her interests lie in the relationship between religious cognition and neurodegenerative disease and dreams. Brian 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