About Us

The Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center (ADMDC) team includes a neurologist, nurse practitioner, registered nurses, neuropsychologists, neuroimagers, and social workers who work together to address the multiple needs of patients, their families, and caregivers.

Meet Our Team

  • Kinga Szigeti.

    Kinga Szigeti, MD, PhD

    Director, ADMDC/PI

    Kinga Szigeti, MD, Ph.D., is a board-certified neurologist specializing in genetics and cognitive disorders. She is the founding director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center and the director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Translational Research Laboratories. In addition to her duties at the Center, she is a professor of Neurology at the UB Jacobs School of Medicine; serves as a grant reviewer for the Alzheimer’s Association; is a member of the Special Populations Core of the Clinical Translational Science Institute at the Jacobs School of Medicine; and the principal investigator for the iPSC model for the mechanism of Alzheimer’s Disease funded privately by the Edward A. and Stephanie E. Fial Fund, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo and previously by the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Szigeti received her medical degree from the University of Pecs, Hungary – summa cum laude. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, a Neurology Residency at SUNY Buffalo, and, in turn, a Fellowship in Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. In 2006 she earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuroscience from the University of Szeged, Hungary – summa cum laude. Thesis: “Molecular Genetics of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and related neuropathies.”

    After earning her PhD., she returned to Baylor College of Medicine, where she was an assistant professor of Neurology and Molecular and Human Genetics from 2006 until she was recruited in 2010 to join SUNY Buffalo Department of Neurology, where she became the founding director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Translational Research Laboratories.

  • Natalie Argueta.

    Natalie Argueta, BSN, RN


    CEAD nurse Natalie Argueta has over ten years of experience with older adults diagnosed with cognitive impairments. She is passionate about improving the quality of life for patients through family-centered care. She takes a keen interest in patients and is focused on knowing as much as possible about them to provide the care and support they need.

    Ms. Argueta earned a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Certificate in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, MA – Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude; and a BS in Nursing, SUNY Buffalo School of Nursing, Buffalo, NY. She is an active member of SUNY Buffalo’s Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and holds a 2nd-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

  • Nicholas Audino.

    Nicholas Audino, BA, MS

    CEAD Clinical Research Coordinator

    Nicholas Audino coordinates the clinical trials being conducted at the ADMDC. He is in regular contact with study patients and their study partners. He brings attention to detail in coordinating study operations and site management, which are critical in conducting research studies. He is a kind, and compassionate team member focused on patients and their family members involved in research studies.

    Mr. Audino earned a BA in Biology and an MS in Anatomy – Masters Dissertation “An Investigation of the Paranasal Sinuses in Human,” D’Youville University, Buffalo, NY. A natural-born teacher, he has been an adjunct professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Trocaire College, Buffalo, NY; a Science Instructor in Anatomy and Physiology, Myology, and Health and Hygiene, at New York Institute of Massage, Williamsville, NY; and Adjunct Faculty, Anatomy, and Physiology, Bryant & Stratton College, Orchard Park, NY.

  • Shannon Cooper

    Medical Secretary

    Shannon Cooper has nearly two decades of experience as a medical secretary. In this role at ADMDC, she is usually the first point of contact for patients and family members seeking an appointment for a cognitive assessment or to a medical provider making a referral for a cognitive evaluation. Shannon’s kind personality addresses families’ concerns and helps ease the prospective patient into making an initial appointment. She handles all aspects of new patient and follow-up appointment scheduling, including obtaining medical records and prior MRI authorizations.

  • Rachel Eisenberg.

    Rachel Eisenberg, LCSW

    CEAD Medical Social Worker

    Rachel Eisenberg is a clinical social worker at the ADMDC with years of experience in dementia care, including an extensive knowledge of available services and gaps in care. She meets with and interviews patients and family members/caregivers to develop a care plan that encompasses the social, emotional, and behavioral adjustments necessitated by a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurocognitive disorders. Following this initial assessment, she collaborates with social service professionals in the patient’s county of residence, provides follow-up on recommended medical testing and neuropsychological assessments, and makes referrals to legal advocates as needed. Her role in the CEAD is to illuminate gaps in care and to work with the NYS Department of Health to cover these gaps. As a CEAD key member, her focus is building relationships with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Office for the Aging in the seven counties (Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, Allegany, and Genesee counties) we serve.

    Ms. Eisenberg earned a BA and Masters in Social Work from Adelphi University School of Social Work, Garden City, NY. 

  • Alex Lazarich.

    Alex Lazarich, LMSW

    Medical Social Worker

    Alex Lazarich is UB Neurology’s medical social worker for patients with other neurological disorders and those diagnosed with dementia. He is well-versed in mental health counseling, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, crisis intervention, and case management within a multi-disciplinary approach to care and treatment. He works closely with our CEAD Medical Social Worker to assist patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

    Alex earned a Bachelor's in Social Science from Interdisciplinary SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, and a Master's in Social Work from SUNY Buffalo Graduate School of Social Work, Buffalo, NY.

  • Karen Zakalik.

    Karen Zakalik, MBA

    CEAD Program Director

    Karen Zakalik worked in the UBMD Department of Neurology for ten years before joining the ADMDC as CEAD Research Support Specialist. She has many years of experience in marketing, public relations, graphic design, print production and coordination, and corporate training.

    She earned a BA in English-Secondary Education Certification from SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY, and an MBA from Simmons College Graduate School of Management, Boston, MA.