KU ADC Staff

Diane Cunningham

Diane is a native and lifelong resident of Shawnee Mission, Kansas. She graduated from JCCC with an Associates of Arts Degree. She has more than years of experience as an executive administrative assistant in several settings including education, programs for youth ministry and medicine. Diane plays a key role in our department's operation by serving as Dr. Jeffrey Burns' Senior Executive Administrative Assistant.

Angela Van Sciver

Angela Van Sciver has been with the University of Kansas Medical Center since May 1998 and joined the KU Alzheimer and Memory Program in November 2009. Her current research projects with the KU Alzheimer and Memory Program are looking at the effect of aerobic exercise on memory.

Angela has a background in fitness and health promotion and more than 20 years teaching experience as a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She received an associate of arts degree in Health & Physical Education from Dekalb College in Atlanta and bachelor of arts degrees (2) in Biology and Natural Science from Park University in Parkville, Mo. She is currently certified as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and Pilates mat instructor. Angela's other research and career interests include fitness for special populations including older adults, people with physical and/or psychiatric/mental disabilities, as well as diabetes prevention and management

Angela is a currently a research assistant acting as an exercise interventionist on the Trial of Exercise for Aging and Memory (TEAM) and the Alzheimer's Disease Exercise Program Trial (ADEPT) studies.  She tends to the day-to-day operations of the exercise interventions by closely tracking participants throughout the study and providing guidance. She provides oversight to the YMCA study personal trainers and acts as a liaison for study participants, the YMCA trainers and other study staff.

Some of her past research projects include Project Workout on Wheels (WOW), an exercise program for wheelchair users, Recovering Energy through Nutrition and Exercise for Weight loss (RENEW), for people with serious mental illness and Learning Potential in People with Schizophrenia. She also played a key role in development and writing of several manuals on exercise and weight loss as well as development and facilitation of an internet course for training allied health professionals to develop and deliver health promotion programs to people with serious mental illness.

Phyllis Switzer

Phyllis Switzer is the Psychometrician for the Alzheimer and Memory Center, and the Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Research Program and Memory Clinic.

As a trained psychometrician, she has performed psychometric assessments and testing for a variety of neurological studies in clinical settings, investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored clinical trials  for Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. 

She was instrumental in the formation of the Alzheimer's Disease Caregiver Support Group at the University of Kansas Medical Center and acts as the facilitator for the monthly meetings.

Lewis Hutfles

Lewis began his research at KU Medical Center two years ago at Hoglund Brain Imaging Center under the guidance of Dr. Carmen Cirstea. He specifically spent his time studying the response systems of stroke-affected patients to that of training by integrating the use of the fMRI (functional MRI). Around this time, Lewis also began his assistance in research for Dr. Jeffery Burns and the KU Alzheimer and Memory Program.

By using the program MIPAV (Medical Image Processing, Analysis, and Visualization), Lewis is currently tracing images of white matter lesions in the human brain. The goal of this research is to see if there is any link or relationship between white matter atrophy and other health risk factors that may be contributing to these lesions such as age, sex, hypertension, and most notably Alzheimer's disease. As of December 2009, Lewis has joined the KU Alzheimer and Memory Program full time and has taken on clinical duties in addition to his research with white matter.

Lewis is also currently finishing up with his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He hopes to integrate his experiences in the clinic and in research to help prepare him for entry into medical school, and to someday help fight Alzheimer's disease and better serve those families in the community that are affected from this disease. Lewis lives in Kansas City, where he enjoys spending time with his wife and watching sports.

Hilary Dubinsky

Hilary is a psychometrician for the Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Research Program. After obtaining a BA in psychology from Drake University, she joined the KU Neurology Department in 2007 as a clinical studies coordinator.

As a coordinator, Hilary worked exclusively with Huntington's disease. Over four years, she recruited 100+ subjects to take part in a multi-national HD trial, making KU one of the top five recruiting sites out of 40+ international sites. Hilary also coordinated multiple clinical drug trials aimed at stopping the cognitive-behavioral decline of individuals living with HD.

In August 2011, Hilary left coordinating when she returned to school full-time and began working solely as a psychometrician within the ADC. She lives in the Kansas City suburbs and is pursuing a second degree in nursing.

Becky Bothwell, M.S., CCRP

Becky joined the KUMC Alzheimer's Disease Center in October 2011.  She has eight years of experience in academic clinical research conduct and administration, including Phase I, II, and III industry-sponsored clinical trials and investigator-initiated projects. While she is new to the ADC, she is not new to the University of Kansas Medical Center, having worked as a research associate in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education and a clinical research coordinator in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Becky earned her B.S. in occupational yherapy from Creighton University in 1992 and worked in low vision rehabilitation and neuro-rehabilitation before becoming involved in clinical research. In May 2007, she completed her M.S. in educational psychology and research at the University of Kansas. She is certified as a clinical research professional and is a member of the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA).

Paul Welch

Paul is a research assistant involved with various studies conducted at the University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center. Prior to working with the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center, Paul worked in the laboratory setting at KUMC carrying out animal, bacterial and human tissue research.

He received a bachelor's of science degree in genetics from the University of Kansas and completed both a master's in public health and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences at KUMC. Paul is interested in preventive medicine and is an avid reader and writer.

Rodrigo Perea

Rodrigo Perea first worked with the Alzheimer's Disease Center as a neuroimaging research assistant from February 2010 to December 2010. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering and a master's in biomedical engineering from the University of Kansas. As of August, 2011 he is a Ph.D. candidate in the bioengineering program working with Dr. Robyn Honea in her Brain Imaging and Neurogenetics Lab.

His main research interest comprises white matter degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease using different diffusion tensor imaging methodologies such as tract based spatial statistics and probabilistic tractography. He is studying Alzheimer's disease based upon his motivation to continue his education with neuroscience and data image processing. He hopes to further develop his engineering experience and combine it with the KU Alzheimer's Disease research center to serve the community and learn from the program, his co-workers and mentor.

When not working, Rodrigo is an avid sports player who enjoys playing soccer, tennis or going on bike rides.  He also enjoys watching sports and is a devout Jayhawk fan.

Camille Gray, MPH

Camille is a clinical research coordinator in the Clinical Trials Unit of the Alzheimer's Disease Center.  A Kansas City native, she has earned dual Bachelor's degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Most recently, she spent five years living in Washington, D.C., where she earned her master's degree in public health and also worked in research administration, nonprofit and academic positions. Camille is most interested in community health outreach and preventive medicine and enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Sadie and Bella. 

Sylvie Assa

Sylvie joined the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center in July 2012.  She is a Research Clinical Trial Certificate Program graduate through the KUMC School of Nursing. She has more than 100 clinical research practicum hours at KU and Quintiles.

Before joining the KU ADC team, she worked as a certified Pharmacy Technician for OPTUM RX, a United Health Care mail-order pharmacy based in Overland Park since September 2007. Sylvie is originally from the Ivory Coast, located in West Africa. She graduated from the University of Abidjan with a master's degree in geography. She is bilingual: French (native speaker) and English.

Ashley Thompson

Ashley joined the team at the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center in June 2012. She is Dr. Burns' administrative assistant and a patient navigator who assists participants through the ADC study process.

Ashley earned her bachelor's in business administration degree from Baker University in 2011. She has a background in pharmacy, where she worked as a Senior Certified Pharmacy Technician at Walgreens for seven years. Ashley also worked as an office manager of LDMS Inc., a local small business that specializes in data processing for direct mail for five years.

Ashley enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Tom, children, Brady and Ella, and fur-babies, Sophie and Skyler.

Last modified: Dec 02, 2013