Meet the Brain Donation Team
Meet the Clinical Team for Brain Donation
For urgent brain donation matters, please call the BU CTE Center's
24/7 voicemail/pager: 617-992-0615
For general brain donation inquiries, please call during normal working hours, 9 am - 5 pm EST M-F, or email.
Evan Nair: 617-358-5996 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Madeline Uretsky: 617-358-6027 or email@example.com
Senior Research Program Manager
Kelly McLean possess over 20 years of research administration experience in and around Boston and has a long working history at the Boston University Medical Campus. She received her Certificate in Clinical Research from Boston University School of Medicine’s, Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences in August 2001. Kelly joined the CTE Center in August 2020 as a Senior Research Program Manager.
Research Study Coordinator
Sports has been a passion of mine, both as a spectator, and individual participant, for as long as I can remember. I attended the University of Michigan, where sports, especially football, is king. I became interested in CTE research when my dearest friend, who was an offensive lineman in the NFL, said out of the blue, "Sorry if I repeat myself, or forget something we did. My brain doesn't work like it used to." I feel truly fortunate to be a research coordinator for the UNITE Study and contributing to helping families get answers.
Ray received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, in 2011. Ray joined the CTE Center in 2016 after receiving his MS in Neuroscience from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Ray works at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank where he assists neuropathologists in studying postmortem brain donations for signs of CTE and other neurodegenerative diseases. He coordinates and manages various internal lab projects and external collaborations, including the collection and distribution of brain samples for approved tissue requests. He also conducts database management as well as inventorying fixed and frozen neurobiological specimens received, such as brain, spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid, and eyes.
Ray’s interested in the molecular underpinnings of neurodegenerative diseases particularly the long term sequale that leads to clinical presentation and pathology. He is also interested in the clinicopathological correlations in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a way to identify potential risk factors for CTE, as well as better determining the clinical and neuropathological progression of the disease.
Senior Research Assistant
As a former gymnast, soccer, and ice hockey player, I understand the incredible role that sports play in society. My interest in neuroscience, specifically sports-related brain trauma, came as a result of a life-altering concussion that I sustained while playing high school soccer. I enjoyed learning about my own brain and brain injury rehabilitation, and as a result, I studied neurobiology, biostatistics, and nutrition at Simmons College, and found a passion for clinical research. I joined the McKee Lab in 2015 as an undergraduate research intern for the UNITE study, and then became a full-time research assistant and brain donation coordinator in 2018. I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and my research interests include investigating the clinical and neuropathological effects of repetitive head trauma in female athletes and victims of domestic violence. Additionally, I am also interested in the intersection of neuroscience and criminology, including the effects of head trauma on law enforcement and incarcerated individuals. I truly enjoy working with our donor families, and feel fortunate to be surrounded by such a dedicated team.
Before joining the CTE Center in April 2019, I completed my bachelor’s degree in neurobiology and spent three years assisting with pre-clinical neuroscience research focused on the effects of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury. As a research assistant on the neuropathology and clinical teams, I enjoy studying the neuropathological features associated with repetitive head injuries and am grateful to get to know our brain donors through interactions with their families. Working at the CTE Center, I hope to contribute to the development of diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative measures that will benefit those suffering with the long-term effects of brain injury. I plan to pursue a PhD in clinical neuropsychology and continue studying the relationships between head trauma and the resulting symptoms and neuropathology.
Coming from a big sports family, athletics has been around me my entire life. While in college, I was unsure what I wanted to study during the first 1.5 years. I fell in love with studying the brain when I took my first psychology course. I became curious in how the biology of the brain relates to human behavior, as well as how differences in a diseased brain relate to different psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases that impact so many lives today. As I took more psychology and neuroscience courses, I naturally became interested in CTE because it combines my love of athletics and my extreme interest in the brain. I really enjoy interacting with families to learn more about our donors and it’s rewarding knowing that this work directly impacts them and their families. I hope to continue the advancement of knowledge in this field and to help as many people as possible that are affected by repeated head trauma.
Stephanie Gil Gonzalez
As a former half-time show dancer in Houston, I saw the effects and worries of brain injury in my peers who played contact sports. I discovered the BU CTE Center through one of my friends on the football team a couple of months before applying to BU for my undergraduate degree in neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. During my time at BU, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant and study coordinator for the Brain Plasticity and Neuroimaging Laboratory, where I explored neurodegenerative conditions from different avenues. In addition to that, I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and practiced in a number of different clinical settings. That being said, my passion for the brain sciences has always been linked to my affinity for quality patient care and community education. I feel very fortunate to be able to explore those conjoined passions here at the CTE Center and to be part of the development of diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative measures that will help those suffering from the effects of traumatic brain injury. In the future, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in neuropsychology and continue studying the ways in which our environments, careers, and lifestyles affect our brain health.
Sports, and in particular fencing, have always been a major part of my life. I adore the mental chess aspect of a one-on-one combat sport and am grateful for the lifelong friends I’ve made along the way. Very early on, donning the metallic headgear and protective equipment that can withstand a force of 800N, I became acquainted with the possibility of serious injury in a contact sport such as fencing. I have always been fascinated with the relationship between the brain, psychology, and behavior, therefore studying neuroscience felt like a natural path for me. Paired with a sincere passion for medicine, I always wanted to be able to contribute to research investigating the insidious relationship between neurodegenerative diseases and athletics.
After my graduation, I was immediately drawn to the investigations of CTE and joined as a research assistant in November 2019. I am particularly interested in the long-term impact of traumatic brain injuries and how to provide a holistic approach to patient care. I feel humbled by the donor families who help contribute to research in painful circumstances and am very fortunate to be part of such innovative research and wonderful team.