Staff


Ralph H.B. Benedict, PhD

Professor of Neurology, State University of New York at Buffalo
Clinical Neuropsychologist, UBMD Neurology

Dr. Benedict is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and Director of Neuropsychological Services for the Department of Neurology for the School of Biomedical Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has extensive training and experience in the assessment and management of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is the author of 2 widely used neuropsychological tests, the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test Revised. He also developed the MS Neuropsychological Screening Questionnaire, a widely used screening test of MS cognitive disorder. He has served as a consultant to several national and international organizations dedicated to peer-reviewed symposia on MS and cognitive impairment, or consensus opinions on clinical matters related to MS. Dr. Benedict is currently pursuing research studies on quantitative MRI findings in MS and their relationship with personality, cognition, and neuropsychiatric disorders. His current interests also concentrate on the development of new measures of processing speed of memory and work capacity.

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Email: benedict@buffalo.edu

Joy Parrish, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist, UBMD Neurology

Dr. Joy Parrish is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, with subspecialty board certification in pediatric neuropsychology.  She serves as the director of the Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic and of clinical training within the Neuropsychology group.  Dr. Parrish participates in collaborative care with several specialty clinics throughout UBMD and Kaleida Health including the Epilepsy and Epilepsy pre-surgical Clinic, Pediatric MS Clinic, Neurofibromatosis and Neuro-oncology Clinic, Head Injury Clinic, Children’s Guild Foundation ASD Clinic, and the Craniofacial Center.  She has extensive experience working with children and adults with epilepsy.  She has ongoing research in epilepsy and surgical intervention outcomes, as well as cognitive and psychosocial functioning in children with demyelinating disorders.  Dr. Parrish has several publications in these areas, and has provided expert consultation regarding assessment and application of neuropsychological findings to guide patient care and intervention services.  She has particular interest in advancing pre-surgical functional mapping and understanding risk factors for cognitive change in patients with intractable seizures disorder following surgical intervention, including resection, deep brain stimulation, and responsive neurostimulation.  

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Email: jparrish@buffalo.edu

Tatyana Raby, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist, UBMD Neurology

Dr. Tatyana Raby completed her doctoral degree in Counseling and School Psychology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY in 2013.  She finished her post-doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology under Dr. Benedict’s mentorship in 2015.  She continues independent practice at UBMD Neurology focusing on diagnostic neuropsychological evaluations across adulthood with a special interest in age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. She is part of several clinical trials taking place at the UBMD Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center aimed at reducing cognitive impairment in patients with disorders related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

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Email: tps7@buffalo.edu

Natalie Emmert, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist, UBMD Neurology

Dr. Natalie Emmert is a clinical neuropsychologist who practices in the adult neuropsychology clinic. She has particular clinical interests in neurodegenerative disorders, movement disorders, and neuro-oncologic populations. She participates in collaborative care with specialty clinics at UBMD such as the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center and the Deep Brain Stimulation Program. She is involved in clinical training, supervision, and mentoring of psychology doctoral students.  She is interested in neuropsychological research that is clinically informative. Her work has been presented at national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. She is currently involved in an Alzheimer’s Disease clinical trial.

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Email: naemmert@buffalo.edu

Kathleen Larkin, MA

Chief Psychometrist

Kathleen Is currently working under Dr. Benedict as the chief psychometric technician. Her responsibilities include administering and scoring of neuropsychological tests and training students to do the same. She will soon be joining the team in clinical research projects at the department under Dr. Benedict. She has completed her Masters in Psychology at Medaille College in Buffalo NY. She is interested in pursuing a PsyD in clinical psychology with intent to specialize in clinical neuropsychology.

Email: klarkin3@buffalo.edu

Michael Jaworski III, MA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Michael currently works as the UBMD Neuropsychology clinical research coordinator under Dr. Benedict. His responsibilities include testing research participants, scoring of neuropsychological tests, data entry, and recruitment. Michael is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Psychology at the University at Buffalo. He is interested in pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology with intent to specialize in clinical neuropsychology.

Email: mgjawors@buffalo.edu

Zachary Weinstock, BS

MD/PhD Student

Zachary Weinstock, BS received his bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University at Minnesota – Twin Cities. He is currently an MD/PhD student at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical sciences where he is working towards his PhD in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Michael Dwyer, Dr. Ralph Benedict, and Dr. Robert Zivadinov. The overall goal of his research is to broaden our understanding of the factors contributing to the development and progression of cognitive impairment in people with multiple sclerosis. To this end he is: 1.) using multimodal MRI imaging to study the role of brain network integrity in cognition, 2.) examining the impact of cognitive relapse on long-term progression of cognitive dysfunction, and 3.) characterizing the interaction of cognitive reserve with cognitive relapse and subsequent recovery.

Email: zweinsto@buffalo.edu

John Gillies, MA

Senior Research Assistant

John is a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Ralph Benedict. He received his bachelors in Psychology from University at Oswego currently a second-year Masters student of Psychology at UB. His responsibilities include coordinating research on anosognosia (lack of disease insight) in Alzheimer’s Disease, and managing the archival databases on memory disorders. John is interested in pursuing a P.h.D in clinical psychology.

Celeste Santivasci, BS

Research Assistant, MA Candidate

Celeste earned her Bachelors degree in psychology from Ohio State University in 2019. She is now pursuing her Masters degree in clinical psychology at UB under the supervision of Dr. Ralph Benedict. Her responsibilities include testing research participants, scoring of neuropsychological tests, data entry, and recruitment. She has an interest in pursuing a PhD in clinical neuropsychology following her completion of her Masters degree.

Email: casantiv@buffalo.edu

Research Assistant, MA Candidate

Ayla Stafford

Ayla Stafford is a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Benedict. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UB and is currently pursuing an MA in Biological sciences. Her responsibilities include testing research participants, scoring of neuropsychological tests, data entry, and recruitment. She is interested in pursuing an MD following completion of her Masters degree. 

Email: aylastaf@buffalo.edu

Jacob Balconi, BA

Research Assistant, MA Candidate

More on Jacob coming soon.

Email: jbalconi@buffalo.edu

Sara Cruz, BA

Research Assistant

Sara Cruz is currently pursuing two bachelor degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in Biological Sciences at the University at Buffalo. She is currently a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Ralph Benedict. Sara’s responsibilities include testing research patients, scoring neuropsychological tests, data entry, and recruiting.

Email: sacruz2@buffalo.edu

Omid Mirmosayyeb, MD

Research Assistant, International Medical Graduate

Omid is an international medical graduate currently a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Ralph Benedict. Research is one of his primary focuses, and he concentrates on neurological disorders, particularly MS and NMOSD. Omid’s responsibilities include testing research subjects, grading neuropsychological exams, data entry, and recruitment. Omid is considering applying to medical schools to complete a residency in clinical neurology.


Email: omidmirm@buffalo.edu

Jodi Berner

Neuropsychology Secretary

Jodi is responsible for scheduling appointments and obtaining records. She also answers patients’ questions and guides them through the diagnosis process of the center.

Email: jdberner@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-323-0556


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