Our team


Kajsa Igelström, PhD

Assistant Professor, Linköping University, Sweden

Kajsa has just wrapped up her postdoctoral work at Princeton University with Prof Graziano to start her own lab in her native Sweden. Apart from probing brain function through questionnaires and brain scans, Kajsa engages in an active dialogue with the autism community. Her personal experience with autism creates a natural affinity with the community. Click here to read more about Kajsa.


Maria Strömberg 

Blog writer and collaborator, Linköping University

Maria is the first member of the new lab in Linköping, and works with outreach work and writing. Maria has a background in engineering and pedagogy, and has worked e.g. as a teacher, project manager, and in product and process development. Maria is now considering a switch in life: to work towards increased understanding of ADHD and autism, both of which she has experience of herself.


Sara Asadi

Summer scholar

Sara is a 5th year medical student and currently a summer scholar in Kajsa Igelström’s research group. She is particularly interested in making healthcare more inclusive for everyone. Previously, she has done an interview study at Victoria University of Wellington, with the aim to support the development of gender-affirming care in New Zealand.


Åsa Kastbom, MD, PhD

Scientific collaborator

Dr Kastbom is an internationally respected psychiatrist and researcher, with expertise in sexual behavior, sexual abuse and transgender health. She works as a physician in the departments of child/adolescent and adult psychiatry at the University Hospital in Linkoping, and is a consultant at the trauma unit for abused children, the adult psychiatry emergency department and a national center for transgender health. Åsa is also a founder and a member of the Child Protection Team at the University Hospital. Åsa collaborates with Extraordinary Brains and Kajsa’s lab in Linkoping to improve our understanding of the needs of transgender and gender-diverse people in healthcare and research.


Joost Wiskerke, PhD

Scientific collaborator

Joost is a cognitive neuroscientist and a core member of Extraordinary Brains. He recently joined Linköping University after successful PhD studies in Amsterdam and postdoctoral work at Princeton and Rutgers Universities (New Jersey, USA). Joost studies cognition and plots for an exciting future in neuroscience. His research topics are highly relevant to autism and ADHD, so he regularly contributes with his expertise in impulsive behaviors, habit formation and cognition in general, and enjoys the exciting outreach work that provides a break from all the lab work.

Read more about Joost here.


Jennifer Smuda

Organizer and translator

Jennifer is a senior PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany. She joined Extraordinary Brains despite her busy schedule, to help with our web content and outreach work. She gives advice on fundraising, translates webpages to German, and is a major resource for our public outreach in Germany. Her own research is about the emotional center of the brain, which is relevant to autism, and she wishes to contribute to helping those autistic people who are in need of support. 


Heléne Stern

Collaborator and clinical advisor

Heléne is an experienced psychologist and specialist in clinical neuropsychology. She has extensive experience with autism in both adults and children, and has just started her own private practice where she evaluates and treats many autistic people. Women and girls with autism are especially close to her heart, which converges perfectly with the focus of our interest in female autism and sex differences. 


Lina Liman

Collaborator and author

Lina is a multi-talented journalist and author with an extraordinary brain. She has just published an autobiography about her own long journey towards an autism diagnosis (amazing book, but not yet available in English), and gives lectures together with Heléne Stern to spread sorely needed autism knowledge among health professionals. We are excited to have her on the team to share her wealth of experience. See her own website here


Taylor Webb, PhD

Collaborator on psychophysics studies

Taylor recently obtained a PhD from the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, and has already collaborated with Kajsa on a number of brain scanning experiments. In his research work, he uses brain imaging (functional MRI), brain stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation), and neural network modeling techniques. His goal is to understand how the human brain accomplishes abstract thought, including the ability to think about thought itself. Taylor joined the Extraordinary Brains team to do programming needed for online studies.


Maggie Pecsok

Collaborator and blog writer

Maggie has just graduated from Princeton University and truly has an extraordinary brain. Through her own experience with ADHD, she knows that success is possible with the right support and a creative mindset. In pursuit of a service-oriented career, dedicated to helping the neurodiverse maximize their skill sets and navigate the neurotypical world, Maggie hopes to study overseas after graduation and continue her research. Outside of the classroom and lab, Maggie enjoys backpacking, rock climbing, writing, and visual arts. 

Read more about Maggie here.


Abby Zoline


Abby is a painter and sculptor who got her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Slade School of Fine Art in London. She has a strong interest in neuroscience, and in particular in how it relates to child development, childbirth, and breastfeeding. She has worked as a childbirth doula, and is working with us on a study on the experiences of autistic women during childbirth in the hospital setting.  Abby also created our logotype, and is our in house Social Media Expert.