Announcing the Inaugural TIRS Trainees

Headshots of Austin McCullough and Tyler Wishard

Austin McCullough, PhD, and Tyler Wishard, PhD

Two postdoctoral research associates have been selected to receive advanced training from leading scientists as they work towards becoming the next generation of PET molecular imaging scientists. As the inaugural TIRS (Translational Opportunities in Radiopharmaceutical Sciences) trainees, Austin McCullough, PhD (above left), and Tyler Wishard, PhD (above right) — researchers in the Benzinger Lab and Ances Lab respectively — will design, develop, and translate diagnostic imaging agents for neurodegenerative diseases and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Led by Vijay Sharma, PhD, Tammie L.S. Benzinger, MD, PhD, and Zhude (Will) Tu, PhD, the program is supported by a T32 postdoctoral training grant from the National Institute on Aging.

McCullough utilizes both traditional and machine learning-based approaches to understand the influence of individual-level sources of pathology variation on Alzheimer’s disease. He is currently dedicated to the influences of sleep quality, genetic factors and antibody therapeutics on neuroimaging measures of Alzheimer’s disease progression. McCullough earned a doctorate in neuroscience from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in biology from John Brown University.

Wishard’s project focuses on using proteomic markers of inflammation to investigate their relationship with accumulation of signatures of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment in individuals with Down Syndrome. Wishard earned a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in physiology & neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego.