Our Team

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Michael Scanlon

Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder

Michael Scanlon co-founded Lumosity in 2005, and helped grow Lumosity into the leading provider of brain fitness training with over 45 million users. He developed training to improve human cognition through brain plasticity, and established new research techniques to enable rapid testing of these methods at large-scale. Prior to founding Lumosity, Michael was a neuroscience PhD student at Stanford University where his research included investigation of the neural correlates of human cognitive processes such as memory and attention, neurogenesis in rodents due to exercise and learning, and cellular plasticity initiated by changes in the environment. Michael graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Psychology. 

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Joe Hardy, Ph.D.

Vice President of Research and Development

Dr. Joe Hardy works with an international team of researchers to uncover the secrets of cognitive enhancement and build cognitive training experiences based on the science of neuroplasticity. He has over 8 years of R&D experience in the field of cognitive training. Dr. Hardy received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and performed his postdoctoral research fellowship at the the University of California, Davis Medical Center. He also has an MBA from the Haas School of Business at Berkeley.

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Faraz Farzin, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Dr. Faraz Farzin is focused on designing, conducting, and managing studies evaluating the efficacy of Lumosity's training system. She has over ten years of experience studying brain development, visual perception, and cognitive psychology in both healthy and clinical populations using behavioral, eye-tracking, and neurophysiological methods. She has been awarded multiple research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Faraz earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and a B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University. Prior to joining Lumos Labs, Faraz served as Chief Scientist of the Social Apps Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, where she helped to develop and test cognitive games for children.

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Daniel Sternberg, Ph.D.

Senior Data Scientist

Dr. Daniel Sternberg leads the analysis of Lumosity's database of human cognitive performance. His research focuses on fundamental questions about learning and the transfer of cognitive abilities across tasks, answers to which improve the effectiveness of Lumosity's cognitive training system. He also uses the Lumosity database to uncover interesting relationships between cognitive performance and other environmental factors. Dr. Sternberg received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Stanford University. While at Stanford, he employed a combination of behavioral experiments and computational models to study human learning processes.

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Kacey Ballard, Ph.D.

Product Manager

Dr. Kacey Ballard is the product manager of the Lumosity cognitive training system. With her extensive expertise in assessing individuals' learning strategies, preferences, biases, and emotional experiences, she leads initiatives to improve the efficacy of the Lumosity training system and create an engaging user experience. Dr. Ballard received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. While at Stanford, she led an independent research program to investigate the neural mechanisms that underlie learning and decision making.

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Aaron Kaluszka, Ph.D. Candidate

Research Scientist

Aaron Kaluszka directs the development of new cognitive training games, combining expertise in neuroscience with expertise in game design drawn from past work as a game critic and archivist. He designs training tasks optimized to improve cognitive abilities using quantitative methods. Aaron is completing his joint Ph.D. in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and UCSF. He received his Masters in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he developed new analytical algorithms for electrophysiological experiments involving sensory processing and plasticity.

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Kiefer Katovich, M.A.

Data Scientist

Kiefer Katovich conducts analyses of Lumosity’s cognitive performance data to uncover new insights into human cognition and investigate optimal approaches to cognitive training. Kiefer received his M.A. in Psychology and B.A. in Urban Studies from Stanford University. Prior to joining Lumos Labs, he served as lab manager of the Affective Neuroscience Lab at Stanford University where he developed and implemented statistical methods to predict behavior from neural activity.

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Nicole Ng

Research Associate

Nicole Ng leads Lumosity's Education Access Program (LEAP), which investigates the effects of cognitive training in various learning environments through collaborations with educators and researchers worldwide. Drawing on her experiences in teaching, coaching, and neuroscience research, Nicole bridges a historical gap between educators in the classroom and scientists studying important questions about cognitive abilities and how we learn. Through these efforts, she uncovers insights about novel methods for enhancing learning abilities in students. Nicole earned her B.A. in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience from Princeton University, where she spent some time measuring the effects of exercise on neuroplasticity in mice.

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Christa Simone

Research Associate

Christa Simone examines the efficacy of Lumosity in educational and clinical settings through two research programs, the Lumosity Education Access Program (LEAP) and the Clinical Access Research and Engagement (CARE) program, respectively. Through collaborations with teachers, health professionals, and researchers, she aims to extend cognitive training research beyond the traditional laboratory and into real-world settings.

Christa received her B.A. in Neurobiology from Harvard University, where she performed research in several labs, including neuroimaging with Brainbow mice, and auditory neuron regeneration in zebrafish. Prior to joining Lumos Labs, she was a research associate at the Brain and Creativity Institute, where she studied cross-cultural socioemotional adolescent brain development.


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Kelsey Kerlan

Research Coordinator

Kelsey Kerlan coordinates research collaborations between Lumos Labs and academic scientists and clinicians worldwide. With her background in cognitive science, research methods, and customer service, she supports researchers by providing guidance on protocol development and data collection, and ensuring efficient day-to-day operation of studies using Lumosity's cognitive training program and research tools. Kelsey earned her B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley where she spent time investigating sleep disorders. Prior to joining Lumos Labs, Kelsey investigated brain tumors in collaboration with researchers at UCSF.