Group Members

Regents Professor Lynn Nadel

Lynn Nadel, regent’s professor of psychology and cognitive science, is an internationally recognized expert on Down syndrome, working in this area for over 25 years. Among his many accomplishments, including the prestigious Grawemeyer award for great ideas in psychology, he received the 2005 National Down Syndrome Society Award for Research.

Dr. Lynn Nadel


Dr. Jamie Edgin, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Sonoran UCEDD faculty, Director, Memory Development and Disorders Lab

Jamie Edgin, PhD  received her PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Denver in 2003. She has over 10 years experience in research on Down Syndrome. Jamie was awarded the 2008 National Down Syndrome Society Charles Epstein award for research. Visit Jamie's lab website for more details on her research program: (Memory Development and Disorders Lab)

Dr. Jamie Edgin

Goeffredina Spano

Goffredina obtained her Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology and Cognitive-Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Padua (Italy, 2007), where she defended a thesis entitled “A Specific Deficit in Visuo-Spatial Simultaneous Working Memory in Down Syndrome” under the direction of mentors Cesare Cornoldi, Silvia Lanfranchi and Barbara Carretti. She carried out an internship at the Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care “Eugenio Medea” (2008) participating in assessment and neurorehabilitation of children and adolescents with traumatic head injury and brain tumors. Since 2008 she is part of the Down Syndrome Research Group at the University of Arizona where she is involved in several projects investigating cognition in Down Syndrome (DS). She is currently carrying out a Ph.D. in Cognition and Neural Systems at the University of Arizona under the supervision of Jamie Edgin and Lynn Nadel. At present she is studying hippocampal-perirhinal dissociation and potential influence of the pre-frontal cortex in individuals with DS. She also has an interest in understanding the interaction between medial temporal lobe function and sleep variability in individuals with DS. She has acquired substantial clinical experience with children, teenagers and adults with DS. In addition to working with the DSRG, she volunteers as a clown at the Diamond Children’s Hospital.

Goeffredina Spano

Payal Anand

I graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2010 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Classics. I have worked as the adult lab manager for Dr. Rebecca Gomez’s Child Cognition Lab where I helped coordinate adult studies on memory reconsolidation. Being a research specialist for the Down Syndrome Research Group has been an eye-opening and heart-warming experience for me as I work with children and adolescents with and without Down Syndrome. I am responsible for collecting, organizing, maintaining, and sending medical records and entering data. Concurrently, I am learning how to administer various cognitive assessments and questionnaires to parents and children under Dr. Edgin’s direction and aiding graduate and undergraduate students in their respective projects. Simultaneously, I am pursuing my Master’s in Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Promotion at the University of Arizona. With disease patterns changing so that individuals are afflicted with chronic illnesses as opposed to acute illnesses, it becomes critical to understand the socio-cultural, economic, personal, and environmental factors that are contributing to increased disease prevalence and incidence. Given that, I would like to work with obesity and physical activity, asthma, diabetes, and mental health. My goal is to integrate the two arenas of psychology and public health to promote health and well-being and prevent illnesses. In my spare time I like to read novels, help my mother around the house, cook, listen to music, and surf the internet, among other activities. I enjoy taking time and giving back to the community in any manner, primary among them by volunteering for the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen, an event bringing happiness and food to hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals around the community.


Carlos Figueroa

Carlos is currently the acting Lab Manager for the DSRG and deals with the day to day operations of the lab.  He has been involved with the DSRG since 2008 and has conducted his own projects as well as collaborated on other’s work.  His previous work entailed spatial mapping and hippocampal functioning and is currently involved in a variety of projects being conducted by the DSRG.  He graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology.  After graduating, Carlos worked on a NIDA sponsored clinical trial for one year at La Frontera Center, Inc. before being hired by the DSRG.  Carlos intends on entering a PhD program in the coming years. He was born in Tepic, Nayarit and enjoys spending time in his hometown.  His hobbies include cooking, eating, and watching movies.  


Casandra Nyhuis

Casandra is a Freshman Cognitive Neuroscience major who aspires to research Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family during her free time as well as playing the occasional video game.


Graduate Students 
Jennifer Breslin, PhD 
Lab Managers 

Annie Berger (MSW), Gina Mason (Psychology PhD program at Cornell)

RA students 

Anaga Prasad (MSW), Miranda Sampsel (MSW), Norianne Pimentel (Medical school USC), Rebecca Reyes (School Psychology), Prita Tandyasraya (UA medical school), Emily Ricq

Down Syndrome Research Group
Department of Psychology
Phone: 520-626-0244