Mackenzie Hepker

Background

Program: Human Paleobiology PhD

Year of Entry: Fall 2019

Advisor: Chet Sherwood

Current Research

The evolution of social cognition and behavior and corresponding neural substrates, including ecological contexts that select for dynamic social processes; comparative neuroanatomy; gene expression of functionally distinct neuronal regions across primates and other species.


Research Experience

Staff Research Associate, 2016-2019

Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank / Selective Vulnerability Research Lab

University of California, San Francisco, CA

 

Research Assistant, 2015-2016

Neuroendocrine and Neuroethology (Ramakrishnan) Lab, Department of Biology

University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

 

Research Assistant (Volunteer - Elephant data collection), 2014-2015

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Tacoma, WA

 

Undergraduate Researcher, 2012-2014

Andresen Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Department of Psychology

University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

 

Education

B.S. (Biology, Neuroscience Emphasis), 2014, University of Puget Sound

 

Publications

Peer reviewed:

2020     Spina, S., La Joie, R., Petersen, C., Nolan, A. L., Cuevas, D., Cosme, C., Hepker, M., Hwang, J.H., Miller, Z.A., Huang, E., Karydas, A.M., Grant, H., Boxer, A.L., Gorno-Tempini, M., Rosen, H.J., Kramer, J.H., Miller, B.L., Seeley, W.W., Rabinovici, G.D., Grinberg, L.T. Comorbid neuropathological diagnoses in early vs late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. medRxiv (pre-print). 

2020     Lesman-Segev, O. H., La Joie, R., Iaccarino, L., Lobach, I., Rosen, H. J., Seo, S. W., Mustafa, J., Baker, S.L., Edwards, L., Pham, J., Olichney, J., Boxer, A., Huang, E. Gorno-Tempini, M., DeCarli, C., Hepker, M., Hwang, J.L., Miller, B., Spina, S., Grinberg, L.T., Seeley, W.W., Jagust, W.J., Rabinocivi, G.D. Diagnostic Accuracy of Amyloid versus FDG PET in Autopsy-Confirmed Dementia. Annals of Neurology

2019     Lin, L., Nana, A.L., Hepker, M. Hwang, J.L., Gaus, S.E., Spina, S., Cosme, C.G., Gan, L., Grinberg, L.T., Geschwind, D.H., Coppola, G., Rosen, H.J., Miller, B.L., Seeley, W.W. (2019). Preferential tau aggregation in von Economo neurons and fork cells in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with specific MAPT variants. Acta Neuropathogica Communications 7:159.

 

Posters and Abstracts:

2018     Lin, L., Nana, A., Hepker, M., Hwang, J., Gaus, S., Spina, S., Gan, L., Grinberg, L., Geschwind, D.H., Coppola, G., Rosen, H., Kramer, J.H., Miller, B., Seeley, W. [Poster]. Selective regional and neuronal Tau aggregration in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with MAPT variants. Presented at the 11th International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementias, Sydney, Australia.

2018     Lesman-Segev, O., Bourakova, V. ,La Joie, R., Ayakta, N., Rosen, H., Lobach, I., Won Seo, S., O’Neil, J., Janabi, M., Ossenkoppele, R., Lehmann, M., Reed, B., Olichney, J., Boxer, A., Jin, L., Huang, E., Gorno-Tempini, M., DeCarli, C., Hepker, M., Grinberg, L., Seeley, W., Jagust, W., Rabinovici. G. [Abstract]. Head-to-head comparison of PIB and FTG-PET in autopsy-confirmed cases. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association 14(7):54-55. 

2018     Ehrenberg, A.J., Ovando-Morales, D., Petersen, C., Hepker, M., Nana-Li, A., Cosme, C.G., Miller, B.L., Gan, L., Seeley, W., Grinberg, L.T.  [Abstract]. Acetylated tau distribution in the human hippocampus. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association 14(7):751-752.

2018     Ehrenberg, A.J., Petersen, C., Ovando-Morales, D., Theofilas, P., Hepker, M., Nana-Li, A., Cosme, C.G., Suemoto, C.K., Alho, A.T., Paraizo-Leite, R.E., Diehl-Rodriguez, R., Farfel, J.M., Ferretti-Rebustini, R., Nascimento, C.F., Nitrini, R., Pasquallucci, C.A., Jacob-Fiho, W., Miller, B.L., Seeley, W., Gan, L., Grinberg, L.T. (2018). [Abstract]. Post-translational modifications of tau in Alzheimer’s disease: a postmortem study in humans. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association 14(7):751-752. 

2013     Hepker, M. & Andresen, D.R. [Abstract/Poster]. Effect of oxytocin administration on mirror neuron activation. University of Puget Sound. Summer Research. Paper 176. Available at: http://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/summer_research/176

2012     Hepker, M. & Andresen, D.R.  [Abstract/Poster]. Effect of out-group exposure on the mirror neuron system. University of Puget Sound. Summer Research. Paper 148. Available at: http://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/summer_research/148

 

Conference Presentations:

Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA
Poster Presentation: Effect of Oxytocin Administration on Mirror Neuron Activation. Hepker, M. and Andresen, D.R. (May 2014)

Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Washington, D.C.
Poster Presentation: Effect of Intergroup Exposure on the Mirror Neuron System. Hepker, M. and Andresen, D.R. (May 2013)

 

Distinctions

2012 & 2013 Research Scholar in Science and Mathematics, University of Puget Sound Science & Mathematics Department