Meet Our Team

Principal Investigator

Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D.

“I have a longstanding interest in how sleep and cognition change across the adult lifespan, and what we can do about it. Outside of the laboratory, I work with students, journals, museums, clinics, churches, and other community groups to help translate basic science into real world benefits. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, son, daughter, and border collie, and following my beloved Mavericks, Rangers, and Cowboys.”

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Allison Nickel, Ph.D

“In graduate school, my work focused primarily on the interactions between memory and attention using eye-tracking and fMRI. As a post-doc, I’m interested in how sleep can influence cognition and how gender and race/ethnicity play a factor. I think that by considering these factors in sleep research and planning sleep interventions, that we can better help people learn about the importance of sleep for their overall well-being. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking with my dog, biking, baking, and gardening.”

Graduate Students

Chenlu Gao, M.A.

“I am a graduate student at Baylor working with Dr. Scullin. My research interests include the mechanisms underlying sleep, memory, and other cognitive functions. Specifically, I am interested in exploring the effect of sleep deficiency on our daily activities such as remembering to perform certain tasks at certain time. I am also drawn to other sleep-related topics such as napping behaviors, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. With a master’s degree in Research Methods, I am good at using statistics as a tool to advance my research. Outside the lab, I love binge watching television shows and movies on weekends; I also love to go fishing on sunny days with my friends, even if I rarely catch fish.”

R. Lynae Roberts, M.A.

“I am a doctoral student at Baylor University working primarily in the Mind-Body Medicine Research Lab with Dr. Gary Elkins, and I am also affiliated with the Sleep and Neuroscience Cognition Lab. My research interests include clinical hypnosis and other mind body treatments, sleep, and stress. I am especially interested in how these topics affect cognition and the brain’s physiology, as well as how they can be implemented or improved to better people’s lives. Outside of school I enjoy traveling, hiking, watching movies, and being around animals.”


Blake Barley

“I am a graduate student at Baylor University working with Dr. Scullin in the Sleep and Neuroscience Cognition Lab. My research interests include the underlying cognitive mechanisms of learning and memory. I am interested in how sleep affects these processes, as well as how other individual differences such as depression or anxiety can play a role. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, and playing guitar.”




Post-Baccalaureate Researchers

Natalya Pruett, M.A.


“I love working as a polysomnography tech because Sleep medicine is one of the few fields where patients can show a vast improvement in a short time line, and it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of working as a technologist. Working in the Sleep and Neuroscience Cognition Lab opened, for me, new knowledge on how sleep influences memory and cognition. Outside of the lab I love reading, jazz, and travel.”


Jose Diaz, B.S.

Waco, TX

“I joined the SNaC Lab because sleep and brain health are inextricably linked. I am interested in sleep and its impact on cognitive function and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. The SNaC Lab provides me the opportunity to learn more about the ways that sleep (or lack of) can impact our brain and day to day lives. Outside of the lab, I enjoy biking and competing in triathlons. I hope to one day finish an Ironman Triathlon.”



Undergraduate Researchers

Candice Lage

Research Coordinator
Boynton Beach, FL
Neuroscience (2021)

“The reason I joined the SNaC lab was to get the chance to jump out of the “books” and engage in learning about the brain through observations and experimentation. Outside of the lab, I am part of the Networking committee at the American Medical Women’s Association as well as volunteer at No Limitations and Friends for Life.”

Abbye Porro

Tucson, AZ
Neuroscience (2021)

“What we know about human cognition fascinates me, and the opportunity to be a part of the research of what we do not yet know excites me, which is why I joined the SNaC lab. Outside of the lab, I am involved in Christian Pre-Health Fellowship, serving as the hospice volunteer coordinator, and I am a community group leader with Avenue College Ministry.”

Nathan Cumberbatch

Houston, TX
Neuroscience (2021)
Minor: Business Administration

“Studying the brain and understanding more about how it works has always been a passion of mine. By joining the SNaC lab, I have been allowed the great opportunity to observe the techniques and methods used to learn more about our brains. Outside of the laboratory, I enjoy security trading, engineering music, and cooking different foods.”

Kyla Fergason

Mansfield, TX
University Scholar (2021)

“I joined the SNaC Lab because we spend a third of our lives sleeping, but there is still so much to learn about it. I want to be a part of the discovery. Outside of the lab, I am involved in Baylor’s Senate and Vertical Ministries.”


Ivy Grossberg

Austin, TX
Psychology (2022)

“I joined the SNaC lab because I have always been interested in cognition and how it relates to sleep. Outside of the lab, I am involved in psychology club, Best Buddies, and AMWA. I enjoy running, being outside, and watching the Texans.”



Vincent Bozinov

Cypress, TX
Neuroscience (2022)

“The brain’s potential to learn and its role in sleep has always fascinated me. Joining the SNaC Lab has been a great step towards furthering my research skills. Outside of the lab, I enjoy reading novels and learning languages.”


Rachel Jillson

Mustang, OK
Neuroscience (2022)

“I joined the SNaC lab because I have always been interested in how sleep and the lack of sleep effects so many different aspects of our everyday lives. Outside of the lab, I like to cook, volunteer for hospice, and spend time in the gym.”


Jessie Schumacher

Victoria, TX
Neuroscience (2022)

“I have always had a passion for neuroscience and everything revolving around the brain.  I find it intriguing that our sleep and memory consolidation have such a strong connection.  People don’t know enough about the effects, related disorders, and importance of sleep.  Wanting to know more, I joined the SNaC lab to facilitate my learning of these subjects while getting hands on experience.  Outside of school and the lab, I enjoy cooking, playing with my dog, and volunteering at Waco Center for the Youth.”

Ashlyn Thompson

Austin, TX
University Scholar (2022)
“Sleep is one of the most mysterious and least understood subjects in the realm of neuroscience. Thus, the opportunity to delve deeper into this field, to uncover new insights into it with the SNaC lab team is overwhelmingly fulfilling to anyone who possesses a deep passion for the pursuit of knowledge. Outside of the lab, I am a member of the Crane Scholars and Ampersand Scholars programs, and I love reading C.S. Lewis, singing, crocheting, and outdoor running.”

Alexander Do

Dallas, TX
Neuroscience (2023)

“The reason I joined the SNaC lab is because I became interested in the critical effect of sleep throughout your life. I want to help people realize the lengths to which sleep, or lack thereof can affect so many aspects of your life. Outside of the lab I volunteer at G.W. Carver with the ACE program, MSO and BURST. I also enjoy playing basketball, soccer, spikeball, hiking at Cameron Park and watching the Mavericks.”

Manaal Salman

San Antonio, TX
Neuroscience & BIC (2023)

I’ve always been interested in how complex the brain is, and specifically how sleep affects our ability to interact with the world around us. I joined the SNaC lab to be surrounded by a community passionate about neuroscience and committed to learning. At Baylor, I’m in BURST, Better Together BU and Ampersand. I love cooking, traveling, and cheering on the Spurs.

Keyanna Gayden

San Antonio, TX
Neuroscience (2022)

“I have always been interested in neuroscience because I absolutely love the complexity of the brain. My research interests include how technology affects our ability to get good sleep and our lives in general. I joined the SNaC lab because of the hard-working and strong community that comes with it. In my free time, I am a member of the Black Student Union, Neuroscience Student Association, and the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. I also enjoy reading and listening to music.”