PhD Students


The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) supports medical and graduate students in mastering the fundamentals of neuroscience, MRI physics and quantitative MRI analysis in preclinical and clinical models of multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases.



PhD Student


Dejan Jakimovski is a medical graduate from Ss.Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia. His personal experience with MS made him pursue his career in this particular matter. While rotating in Neurology Department in Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital in Riga, Latvia and Radiology Department at University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, he strengthened his interest in Neurology and Neuroimaging. Dejan has been with BNAC from 2015 and during his time as Clinical Research Fellow and PhD student he will focus on investigator and industry-initiated projects of which few mentionable are: “A case-control, 5-year follow-up study of cardiovascular, environmental and genetic risk factors for disease progression in patients with multiple sclerosis”, “Effect of Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®) on gray matter pathology, leptomeningeal inflammation and cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis” , “Open-label, single-blinded, observational, prospective, 24-months, longitudinal, controlled study to assess the efficacy of fingolimod (Gilenya®) on development of thalamus pathology and cognitive impairment in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis”, “Cross-sectional area of medulla oblongata as cervical cord proxy measurement: retrospective longitudinal feasibility study”, Aging and disability progression in Multiple Sclerosis and others


PhD Student

Michelle Sudyn is a graduate student of Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo in the Neuroscience PhD program. She is currently working with Dr. Robert Zivadinov, the director of Buffalo’s Neuroimaging and Analysis Center, and his team in the pre-clinical laboratory of Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Research Center. Here they aim to characterize via high field 9.4T MRI imaging; the structural, functional and histopathological features of various mouse models of Multiple Sclerosis. She obtained her Masters working on investigating the effects of Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Viral infection in SJL mice. Further, she completed her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Genetics from the State University of New York at Fredonia, where she spent three years in a research lab under the supervision of Dr. Frederick Harrington. She studied Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase and β-Keto-thiolase Regulation in Lipid Metabolism of Microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for biodiesel production.


PhD Student

Tom Fuchs is an MD/PhD student, currently in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is investigating the psychological impact of changing neuronal networks in multiple sclerosis. He is supervised by Dr. Michael Dwyer, PhD, and Dr. Ralph Benedict, PhD. He received his BS degree in Integrative Neuroscience from Binghamton University in 2013. His research background is in the cellular development of the brain reward system and behavioral pharmacology of alcoholism and addiction.


PhD Student

Poonam Choudhary is a graduate research assistant of Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo in the Medical Physics PhD program. She is currently working with Dr. Ferdinand Schweser, PhD, assistant professor and technical director of Buffalo’s Neuroimaging and Analysis Center. Her work focuses on investigating and application of different algorithms used in Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping. She is also working on PET/MRI image acquisition, reconstruction and analysis techniques. Poonam completed her Master’s degree in Physics from Clemson University and BSc (Hons.) in Physics from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. Before joining BNAC, she also worked as a Linux Support consultant for Stanford Healthcare.


BNAC Medical MRI and Computer MRI Fellowship Scholars


Since 2009 Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) has awarded Medical MRI, MRI Physicist and Computer MRI Fellowships to medical doctors and researchers from around the globe. For previous Fellows and more information about the Fellowship program please visit the BNAC MRI Fellowship page in our Education section.





Title: Impact of Brain Connectome and Personality on Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis


Stefano Ziccardi is a PhD student in Neuroscience at University of Verona (Italy), working on cognitive aspects of Multiple Sclerosis. Now he is a Neuropsychological Research Fellow in BNAC, supervised by Prof. Ralph Benedict and Prof. Michael Dwyer. During this period he will conduct a cognitive rehabilitation study in MS patients, in order to understand the role of personality, neuropsychological measures and MRI measures on success of cognitive rehabilitation. He graduated in 2015 in Neuroscience and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation at University of Padova (Italy). In 2016 he completed his internship and became a licensed psychologist.


Graduate and Undergraduate students


Clinical Research Unit
Kana Kimura
Aarthi Krishnan
Joshua Taubman
Matthew Topolsky

MRI Sequence Development Unit
John Aidan Armstrong
Akshay Vinayak Dhamankar
Waleed Malik
Thy Nguyen

Preclinical Unit
Natan Babek
JonPaul Bonsignori
Ely Cuberos
Tommy Brennan Tsang

Technical Imaging Unit
Kira Ashton
Alexander Bartnik
Rebecca Campbell
Keith Carolus
Jose Escobar
Matthew Mallory
Devon Oship