Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Researchers

Kelly Curtis, MD

Research Scholar

Kelly Curtis is a recent graduate of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH where she completed an MD in May of 2023.  Initially, her decision to pursue medicine began through exposure to neuroscience and behavior as an undergraduate, where she studied psychology and pursued a thesis on the neural correlates of speech perception. Throughout medical school, while interested in several specialties, she would always revert back to neurology, not just because of her fascination by all things related to the brain, but also because of the large breadth of patient populations she has gotten to work with while on neurology service. Her goal is to pursue a Neurology Residency position through the 2024 Match cycle, ideally a program located in the Southeast. She sees herself balancing clinical work with research and is currently working on the 1Florida ADRC study regarding patients with dementia and their caregivers. This study is well-matched to her pre-existing interests, for it contains elements of behavioral neurology and allows her to work directly with patients. Her passion for medicine is equally matched by that for the arts, and she has held many roles related to theater and performing arts over the years. She has thoroughly enjoyed her relocation to Gainesville, and is honored to join an incredible team.  

Andrea Mejia Kurasz, MA

Andrea Mejia Kurasz

Andrea Mejia Kurasz obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Clinical and Health Psychology program at the University of Florida, with a training concentration in clinical neuropsychology. Her research interests center around cognitive aging and neurodegenerative diseases (i.e., Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body disease) in the context of health disparities, risk/resilience factors, and behavioral interventions. Andrea is a past recipient of a 1Florida ADRC Pilot Award (2018; PI: Dr. Melissa Armstrong) and is currently funded by a predoctoral NIA T32 fellow in the Research Training in Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Cognition in Aging, MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease program.

Rachel Schade, MS


Rachel graduated from Pitzer College with a degree in neuroscience and minor in movement studies. For her honors thesis, she examined cognitive impairment in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She then gained a Master of Science degree in Neuroscience, Dementia and Neurodegenerative Disease at the University College London. Under Dr. Rimona Weil, she investigated visuoperceptual and visuospatial changes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease via a web-based platform. After graduating with distinction, she worked at UCLA as a research coordinator and neuropsychological rater for the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research. Rachel then moved to UCSD to pursue her interest of working with and learning from patients with movement disorders. She continued as a research coordinator and neuropsychological rater for clinical research and clinical trials in Movement Disorders under Dr. Irene Litvan. She is a PhD student in Clinical and Health Psychology, with a concentration in Neuropsychology under Dr. Dawn Bowers. Her main interest is in atypical parkinsonian disorders, with a particular concentration in Dementia with Lewy bodies and cognitive fluctuations. She is excited to learn from Dr. Armstrong!

Easton Wollney, PhD

Easton Wollney

Easton N. Wollney works at the University of Florida specializing health decision-making, uncertainty, family communication, and provider-patient/provider-patient-family communication, primarily in the context of chronic and non-communicable diseases across the lifespan. She primarily uses mixed-methods and qualitative designs to answer her research questions. Her dissertation research focused on triadic communication in clinical encounters about dementia.

Easton published her master’s thesis in Visual Communication Quarterly analysis. In that study, she explicates ideological points about wartime gender relations and points to the objectification of women’s bodies as implied sexual rewards for product purchase in WWII. She has also presented her work at leading conferences like AEJMC, ICCH, AMHCR, and the CDC’s National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media. In 2019, she was one of 30 PhD students competitively selected to participate in the National Communication Association (NCA) Doctoral Honors Seminar.