Center For Neuroscience

Alumni

A

Heather Acuff
Graduated: 2018
Mentor: Dr. Mary Phillips

Peter Adelman, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Rick Koerber
Thesis: Transcriptionally defined subpopulations of cutaneous neurons: Effects of nerve injury and regeneration
Current Affiliation: Afiniti
Current Position: Algorithm Engineer

Mandar Aras, PhD
Graduated: 2009
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Zinc signaling in neuronal tolerance
Current Affiliation: University of California, San Francisco
Current Position: Clinical Fellow, Cardiology

Armen Arevian, PhD
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Activity-dependent lateral inhibition in the mouse olfactory bulb
Current Affiliation: University of California, Los Angeles
Current Position: Psychiatry Resident/Junior Investigator

Debra Artim, PhD
Graduated: 2005
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: Activation of voltage-gated calcium current by action potentials and modulation by G proteins
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh
Current Position: Lecturer, Neuroscience

B

James Bales, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. C. Edward Dixon
Thesis: Dopamine and cAMP regulated phosphoprotein, 32 kDA: A novel therapeutic in traumatic brain injury
Current Affiliation: University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Current Position: Neurological Surgery Resident

Layla Banihashemi, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. Linda Rinaman
Thesis: Early life experience alters stress-related brain circuits: Effects of repeated brief postnatal maternal separation on central autonomic pathways
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Rebecca Berman, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Carol Colby
Thesis: When the brain is split, is space still unified?
Current Affiliation: National Institutes of Health
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael Bienkowski, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Linda Rinaman
Thesis: Anatomical organization of the extended amygdala
Current Affiliation: University of Southern California, Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Andreea Bostan, PhD
Mentor: Dr. Peter Strick
Thesis: Basal ganglia pathways: Beyond the closed-loop circuits with the cerebral cortex
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Systems Neuroscience Institute
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Joel Brown, PhD
Mentor: Dr. Bill Yates
Thesis: Neural substrates of navigation and spatial cognition in the rat
Current Affiliation: Dartmouth University
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Meghan Bucher, PhD
Graduated: 2020
Mentor: Dr. Teresa Hastings
Thesis: Vesicular Sequestration of Dopamine Modulates Neuronal Health in Parkinson's Disease Models
Current Affiliation: Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Deanne Buffalari, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Noradrenergic modulation of the basolateral amygdala: Alterations by stress exposure
Current Affiliation: Westminster College
Current Position: Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator for Neuroscience

C

Jason Castro, PhD
Graduated: 2008
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Dendritic neurotransmitter release and its modulation in accessory olfactory bulb circuits
Current Affiliation: Bates College, Lewiston, ME
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Nadia Chaudhri, PhD
Graduated: 2005
Mentor: Dr. Alan Sved
Thesis: Complex interactions between nicotine and nonpharmacological stimuli reveal a novel role for nicotine in reinforcement
Current Affiliation: Concordia University
Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Michael Chiang, PhD
Graduated: 2019
Mentor: Dr. Sarah Ross
Thesis: Divergent neural pathways emanating from the lateral parabrachial neucleus mediate distinct components of the pain response
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh
Current Position: Medical Student

Soyoun Cho, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: Experimental and computational studies of calcium-triggered transmitter release
Current Affiliation: Oregon Health Sciences University
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel Wonjae Chung, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Role of ERBB4 splicing in parvalbumin interneuron maturation and schizophrenia

Richard Clarke, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Jon Johnson
Thesis: Slow magnesium unblock and inherent voltage dependence of NMDA receptors
Current Affiliation: McKinsey & Company

Amanda Clause, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kandler
Thesis: Development and behavioral significance of precise tonotopy in an inhibitory circuit of the auditory brainstem
Current Affiliation: Illumina
Current Position: Staff Member

Ann D. Cohen, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Michael Zigmond
Thesis: Role of exercise and GDNF in an animal model of Parkinson's Disease: Implications for neuroprotection
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Michael W. Cole, PhD
Graduated: 2009
Mentor: Dr. Walter Schneider
Thesis: The biological basis of rapid instructed task learning
Current Affiliation: Washington University, St. Louis
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Lesley Colgan, PhD
Graduated: 2009
Mentor: Dr. Edwin Levitan
Thesis: Trafficking and activity dependent function of vesicular transporters
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Mahlon Collins, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Robert Bowser
Thesis: Identification of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease mechanisms by cerebrospinal fluid proteomic profiling

Victoria Corbit, PhD
Graduated: 2019
Mentor: Drs. Susanne Ahmari and Aryn Gittis
Thesis: The effects of cortical and pallidal inputs on striatal microcircuit activity and behavioral output
Current Affiliation: Princeton University, Illana Witten Laboratory
Current Position: Post-doctoral Fellow

Kathleen Cosgrove, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. German Barrionuevo
Thesis: Mossy fiber input to CA3 interneurons: Balancing short term plasticity and regulation by presynaptic receptors
Current Affiliation: Northwestern University
Current Position: Senior Compliance Analyst

Trinity Crapse, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. Marc Sommer
Thesis: Neuronal mechanisms for evaluating the visual scene across eye movements
Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology

Erin Crowder Hare, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Carl Olson
Thesis: To inferotemporal neurons the whole is not the sum of the parts
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute
Current Position: Scientific Writer

Allison Curley, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Cortical glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 expression in schizophrenia: Defining the deficit
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

D

Dibyadeep (Dibs) Datta, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Pyramidal cells: Role in primate prefrontal cortex circuitry during postnatal development and schizophrenia

Christopher Divito, PhD
Graduated: 2013
Mentor: Dr. Susan Amara
Thesis: Anion conducting states of excitatory amino acid transporters

Emily Drill, PhD
Graduated: 2009
Mentor: Dr. Paula Monaghan-Nichols
Thesis: Deciphering the role of tlx in dorsal neural progenitors and its contribution to brain structure and behavior
Current Affiliation: Carnegie Mellon University
Current Position: Special Faculty, Special Lecturer

Yijuan Du, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Abberrant anxiety in schizophrenia: A potential target for early intervention

April Dukes, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Teresa Hastings
Thesis: The role of dopamine oxidation in dopamine-induced toxicity, iniation of endoplasmic reticulum stress, and potentiation of rotenone-induced toxiticy in differentiated PC12 cells
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Catherine A. Dunn, PhD
Graduated: 2009
Mentor: Dr. Carol Colby
Thesis: How the brain constructs stable visual representations: Cortical and subcortical mechanisms
Current Affiliation: Stanford University.
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

E

Nicole Edgar, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Beyond neurons: The role of the oligodendrocyte-specific gene CNP1 in major depressive disorder
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Stephen M. Eggan, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Cannabinoid CB1 receptor: Role in primate prefrontal circuitry and schizophrenia

Christopher M. Elitt, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Brian Davis
Thesis: Artemin regulates nociceptor responses to thermal and chemical stimuli
Current Affiliation: Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital
Current Position: Instructor/Physician, Pediatric Neurology

Aura F. Ene, PhD
Graduated: 2003
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kandler
Thesis: Cellular mechanisms underlying glutamatergic calcium responses in developing auditory brainstem neurons
Current Affiliation: Urogenix, Inc., Durham, NC
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

F

Michelle Failla, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Amy Wagner
Thesis: Monoaminergic and neurotrophic gene variation associated with fronto-limbic circuitry affect mood and cognitive recovery post-TBI

Patrick M. Fisher, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. Julie Price
Thesis: In vivo assessment of serotonergic signaling pathways underlying the corticolimbic response to threat in humans
Current Affiliation: Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging, Neurobiology Research Unit, Copenhagen, Denmark
Current Position: Postdoctoral fellow

Vanessa Franco, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Robert Turner
Thesis: The behavioral and neurophysiologic effects of acute dopamine receptor blockade in the macaque striatum
Current Affiliation: University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Current Position: Emergency Medicine Resident

George Fraser, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Andy Schwartz
Thesis: New frontiers in population recording
Current Affiliation: Emerald Therapeutics
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

G

Christopher Gaiteri, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Finding the pathology of major depression through gene interaction networks
Current Affiliation: Sage Bionetworks
Current Position: Network Biologist

Krishnamurthy Ganapathy Subramanian, PhD
Graduated: 2013
Mentor: Dr. Judy Cameron
Thesis: Restoration of motor and non-motor functions by neurotrophic factors in nonhuman primates with dopamine depletion
Current Affiliation: Postdoctoral Associate Baylor College of Medicine

Matthew Geramita, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Parallel processing in the mammalian olfactory bulb

Richard Gerkin, PhD
Graduated: 2008
Mentor: Dr. Guo-qiang Bi
Thesis: Synaptic plasticity and hebbian cell assemblies
Current Affiliation: Arizona State University
Current Position: Assistant Research Faculty

Sonya Giridhar, PhD
Graduated: 2012
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: The recruitment and function of inhibitory interneurons in olfactory bulb processing

Nathan Glasgow, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Jon Johnson
Thesis: Mechanisms of NMDA receptor inhibition by memantine and ketamine

Christin Glorioso, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Between destiny and disease: Genetics and molecular pathways of CNS aging
Current Affiliation: MIT, Cambridge, MA
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Sara Guediche, PhD
Graduated: 2009
Mentor: Dr. Julie Fiez
Thesis: Adaptive processes in speech perception: Contributions from cerebral and cerebellar cortices
Current Affiliation: Brown University
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Alexandra A. Gulacsi, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Laura Lillien
Thesis: Regulation of telencephalic interneuron development
Current Affiliation: Cornell University Medical School
Current Position: Post-doctoral Fellow

H

Adam L. Halberstadt, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Carey Balaban
Thesis: Anatomical characterization of serotonergic and nonserotonergic projections from the dorsal raphe nucleus to the vestibular nuclei
Current Affiliation: University of California, San Diego
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Nathan Hall, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Carol Colby
Thesis: Short wavelength cone activity to and through the superior colliculus

Rashed Harun, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Amy Wagner
Thesis: A framework for characterizing regional alterations in dopamine neurotransmission in the context of drugs and disease using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry

Laura Heiser, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Carol Colby
Thesis: Spatial updating in lateral intraparietal cortex
Current Affiliation: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UCLA
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Greta Ann Herin, PhD
Graduated: 2003
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Studies on the role of the N-terminal domain of NR1 in the redox modulation of NR2A-containing NMDA receptors
Current Affiliation: Eastern Mennonite University, VA
Current Position: Associate Professor

Yeung Ho, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Donald DeFranco
Thesis: Regulation of protein phosphatases in oxidatively stressed neurons
Current Affiliation: Chinese University of Hong Kong, PRC
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Gil Hoftman, PhD
Graduated: 2013
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Development of cortical GABA circuitry: Identifying periods of vulnerability to schizophrenia.
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Child Psychiatry Fellow

Ericka Holmstrand, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. Susan Sesack
Thesis: Heterogeneity of high-affinity choline transporter expression and localization in limbic projections of the cholinergic tegmentum
Current Affiliation: Highmark Health
Current Position: Senior Decision Support Analyst

Max Horowitz, PhD
Graduated: 2012
Mentor: Dr. J. Timothy Greenamyre
Thesis: Transcriptional regulation of alpha-synuclein by GATA2 in substantia nigra
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Obstetrics Gynecology Resident

I

J

Michael P. Jankowski, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Kathy Albers
Thesis: Neuron survival, axon growth and the transcription factor SRY-Box containing Gene 11 (SOX-11)
Current Affiliation: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Current Position: Assistant Professor

Brian Jian, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Bill Yates
Thesis: Vestibular compensation: A spinovestibular mediated process
Current Affiliation: Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA
Current Position: Neurosurgeon

Jie Jiang, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Susan Amara
Thesis: A trip around the transport cycle: The structural basis of glutamate transporter function

Daniel Jimenez, PhD
Graduated: 2012
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Competitive activity-dependent survival and integration of adult-born neurons in the mouse olfactory bulb
Current Affiliation: McKinsey & Company
Current Position: Management Consultant

Zheng Jing, PhD
Graduated: 2008
Mentor: Dr. Robert Bowser
Thesis: The localization of c-Abl in Alzheimer's disease
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Ankur Joshi, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Thanos Tzounopoulos
Thesis: Intrinsic and synaptic mechanisms controlling the excitability of layer 5 corticocallosal and corticocollicular neurons in auditory cortex

K

Ilan Kerman, PhD
Graduated: 2018
Mentor: Dr. William Yates
Current Affiliation: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Vivek Khatri, PhD
Graduated: 2005
Mentor: Dr. Daniel J. Simons
Thesis: Effects of adaptation in a somatosensory thalamocortical circuit neurobiology
Current Affiliation: Hunter College
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Gunsoo Kim, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kandler
Thesis: Refinement of inhibitory circuits during development of the mammalian auditory brainstem
Current Affiliation: Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
Current Position: Investigator

J. Darwin King, Jr., PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: Action potential gating of calcium channels and transmitter release
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Amanda Kinnischtzke, PhD
Graduated: 2013
Mentor: Dr. Ericka Fanselow
Thesis: Cell type specific connections from primary motor to primary somatosensory cortex
Current Affiliation: Columbia University, New York, NY
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Caitlin Kirkwood, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Robert Sweet
Thesis: The role of neuronal calcium sensor protein Vilip-1 in AB-induced neuronal death in Alzheimer disease

Erin Kirschmann, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Floh Thiels
Thesis: Effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress on adolescent rats
Current Affiliation: Immaculata University
Current Position: Assistant Professor

Roma Konecky, PhD
Graduated: 2013
Mentor: Dr. Carl Olson
Thesis: The role of monkey prefrontal cortex in encoding multiple items in working memory
Current Affiliation: Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Associate

Shawn L. Kotermanski, PhD
Graduated: 2008
Mentor: Dr. Jon Johnson
Thesis: Mechanism of block and behavioral effects of the NMDA receptor antagonists memantine and ketamine
Current Affiliation: Duquesne University
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Alison Kreisler, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Linda Rinaman
Thesis: Hindbrain glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) neurons track intake volume and promote satiation in meal-entrained rats

L

Adam Large, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Anne Marie Oswald
Thesis: The role of somatostatin-expressing interneurons in anterior piriform cortex
Current Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher

Niccole J. Larsen, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Teresa Hastings
Thesis: Mechanisms of dopaminergic neurotoxin-induced blood brain barrier disruption
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Patryk A. Laurent, PhD
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. Erik Reichle
Thesis: Basal ganglia involvement in the reinforcement learning of physical and cognitive actions
Current Affiliation: Brain Corporation, San Diego, CA
Current Position: Scientist

Marvin Leathers, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Carl Olson
Thesis: Representation of value and salience in the primate brain

Hanmi Lee, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kandler
Thesis: Role of GABA/glycine depolarization and hyperpolarization in neonatal circuit development
Current Affiliation: Stanford University
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. C. Shatz

SooHyun Lee, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Simons
Thesis: Motor cortex regulation of thalamic-cortical activity in the somatosensory system.
Current Affiliation: New York University School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

David Levinthal, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Don DeFranco
Thesis: Mechanisms promoting ERK-dependent neuronal oxidative stress
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Chen Li, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. John Horn
Thesis: Cellular specialization of synaptic integration in a mammalian sympathetic ganglion
Current Affiliation: Stony Brook University, New York
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Shuang Li, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Thanos Tzounopoulos
Thesis: Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying vulnerability and resilience to noise-induced tinnitus

Li-Chun Lin, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Contribution of somatostatin deficits and EIF2 signaling to anxiety/depressive-like behaviors

Jenny Linnoila, PhD
Graduated: 2018
Mentor: Dr. Zuo-Zhong Wang
Current Affiliation: Harvard University
Current Position: Neurology Resident

Witold Lipski, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Role of locus coeruleus and amygdala projections to ventral subiculum in stress regulation
Current Affiliation: Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Associate

Zhenyu Liu, PhD
Graduated: 2007
Mentor: Dr. Michael Cascio
Thesis: GlyBP: A structural model of the extracellular domain of human A1 glycine receptor
Current Affiliation: University of California, Los Angeles
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Annie Liu, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Effect of early odorant exposure on the structure and output of the glomerular module
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh
Current Position: Medical Student

Sweyta Lohani, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Current Affiliation: Yale School of Medicine
Current Position: Post Doctoral Associate, Neuroscience

Yue Luo, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Donald DeFranco
Thesis: Divergent roles for the ERK1/2 signaling pathway in neuronal oxidative stress
Current Affiliation: Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, SC
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Fujun Luo, PhD
Graduated: 2009
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: Experimental and Monte Carlo studies of CA2+ channel function and fast transmitter release at presynaptic active zones of the frog neuromuscular junction

M

Shiqi Ma
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Alexander Sorkin

Jamie G. Maldonado-Aviles, PhD
Graduated: 2008
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Altered markers of tonic inhibition in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia
Current Affiliation: Catholic University of America
Current Position: Seminarian

James Maniscalco, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Linda Rinaman
Thesis: Metabolic tuning of neural, neuroendocrine, and behavioral responses to stress

Scott Marek, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Beatriz Luna
Thesis: The contribution of functional brain networks and oscillations to the development of cognitive control

Kevin Mastro, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Aryn Gittis
Thesis: Harnessing pallidal cell-type diversity to treat neurological disorders

Meghan McCord
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Elias Aizenman
Current Affiliation: Harvard Universiy
Current Position: AMGEN Postdoctoral Fellow

Lisa McIlvried, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Michael Gold
Thesis: Identification of factors contributing to the initiation of migraine: The impact of sex-, stress-, and sympathetic-dependent changes in the dura

David Montez, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Marlene Cohen
Thesis: Brain system mechanisms underlying developmental changes in working memory performance during adolescence

Jared Moreines, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Circuit and pharmacological approaches for counteracting stress effects on the dopamine system: Implications for major depression
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh
Current Position: Medical Student

N

Peter Neumann, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Yan Dong
Thesis: Cocaine-based signaling changes in the nucleus accumbens, lateral habenula, and thalamus

O

Gabriel Koch Ocker, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Brent Doiron
Thesis: Self-organization of microcircuits in networks of spiking neurons with plastic synapses

Hyunjung Oh, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: The role of dendritic BDNF transcripts on altered inhibitory circuitry in aging and depression

Mami Otaka, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Yan Dong
Thesis: Characterization of GABAergic projection from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens: Effects of dopamine and cocaine

P

Sumon K. Pal, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Potassium channel mediated neuronal apoptosis
Current Affiliation: Thync Global, Cambridge, MA
Current Position: Co-founder and CSO

Puja K. Parekh, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Colleen McClung
Thesis: Differential regulation of synaptic plasticity, mood and reward behavior by circadian genes
Current Affiliation: Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical Center
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Junchol Park, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: A neural basis for the behavioral effects of anxiety
Current Affiliation: Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Current Position: Postdoctoral Associate

Jenna Parrish, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Mary Torregrossa
Thesis: Estradiol modulation of the renin angiotensin system and the regulation of fear extinction

Vivek Patel, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Charleen Chu
Thesis: Microtubule Dynamics In Oxidatively-Stressed Neuronal Cells
Current Affiliation: Stanford University
Current Position: Radiology Resident

Sean Piantadosi, PhD
Graduated: 2019
Mentor: Dr. Susanne Ahmari
Thesis: Translational examination of the orbitofrontal cortex and striatum in obsessive compulsive disorder
Current Affiliation: University of Washington, Michael Bruchas Lab
Current Position: Post-doctoral Fellow

Q

R

Patrick Redman, PhD
Graduated: 2008
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Zinc-dependent potassium channel modulation mediates neuronal apoptosis
Current Affiliation: Keryx Biopharm
Current Position: Associate Regional Director, Medical Affairs

Brad Rocco, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Ken Fish
Thesis: Quantification of GAD67 protein levels in axonal boutons from GABA neuron subtypes in schizophrenia: Redefining cell-type specific alterations
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Post-doctoral Fellow

Gregory Rompala, PhD
Graduated: 2018
Mentor: Dr. Gregg Homanics
Thesis: Role of Paternal Preconception Environment in Ethanol- and Stress-Related Phenotypes
Current Affiliation: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Laura Rupprecht, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Alan Sved
Thesis: The relationship between nicotine and body weight: Implications for tobacco regulatory policy from rats & humans
Current Affiliation: Yale
Current Position: Postdoc

S

Michael J. Sabatini, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Karoly Mirnics
Thesis: Behavioral and Gene Expression Changes Following Early Social Bond Disruption in the Rhesus Monkey
Current Affiliation: Allegheny General Hospital
Current Position: Interventional Cardiology Fellow

​Kathleen M. Salerno (Bartlow), PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Albers
Thesis: Identification of transcriptional targets of the nerve injury-induced transcription factor Sox11
Current Affiliation: Lycoming College
Current Position: Faculty

Ranmal Samarasinghe, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Donald DeFranco
Thesis: Non-classical glucocorticoid receptor action regulates gap junction intercellular communication and neural progenitor cell proliferation
Current Affiliation: University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Current Position: Neurophysiology Fellow

Nicole Scheff, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Michael Gold
Thesis: The impact of inflammation on the regulation of intracellular calcium in cutaneous nociceptive neurons

Niyati Hegde Shah, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Calcineurin-mediated signaling in ischemic preconditioning and neuronal cell death
Current Affiliation: UPMC
Current Position: Internal Medicine Resident

Mansi Shah, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Derek Molliver
Thesis: Analysis of ADP receptor signaling pathways in nociceptors and implications for inflammatory pain

Samuel Shin, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Edward Dixon
Thesis: The effects of nicotine on striatal dopamine signaling after traumatic brain injury
Current Affiliation: Johns Hopkins Kennedy Krieger Institute
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael Shoykhet, PhD
Graduated: 2018
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Simons
Current Affiliation: Washington University in St. Louis
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Daniel Simmonds, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Beatriz Luna
Thesis: Protracted development of brain systems underlying working memory in adolescense: A longitudinal study
Current Affiliation: University of Maryland Medical Center
Current Position: Peds-Prelim/Child Neurology

Lindsey Snyder, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Sarah Ross
Thesis: Modulation of multiple modalities of somatosensory information by peripheral kappa opioid receptors

Deepak Soneji, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. H. Richard Koerber
Thesis: Molecular mechanisms of phenotypic change in intact nociceptors
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Neurology Resident

Susan Sonnenschein, PhD
Graduated: 2020
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: State-dependent dopamine system regulation using current and novel antipsychotic drug mechanisms: developmental implications in a schizophrenia model
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar, Psychiatry

Erin Stachowski, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Gonzalo Torres
Thesis: Mechanisms of vesicular monoamine transporter-2 degradation

Rachel Stopczynski Gupta, PhD
Graduated: 2018
Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Albers
Current Affiliation: Harvard University
Current Position: Pediatrics Resident

Joshua Sturm, MD, PhD
Graduated: 2018
Current Affiliation: Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University
Current Position: Resident, Otolarnygology

David A. Sturman, MD, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: Neural correlates of adolescent behavior
Current Affiliation: Massachusetts General Hospital
Current Position: Specialist, Psychiatry

Steven B. Suway, PhD
Graduated: 2019
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Schwartz
Thesis: Neural state changes in primate motor cortex during arm movements with distinct control requirements

T

Kevin Taffe, PhD
Graduated: 2018
Mentor: Dr. Steven Dekosky
Current Affiliation: West Penn, Allegheny Health System
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine

Adrienne Taren, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Michael Tarr
Thesis: Prefrontal regulatory mechanisms of mindfulness and stress reduction and links to markers of health
Current Affiliation: University of Oklahoma
Current Position: Resident Emergency Medicine

Tyler Tarr, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: Utilizing presynaptic structure-function properties to inform the design of novel therapies for neuromuscular disease

Nelson Totah, PhD
Graduated: 2012
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: Prefrontal control of attention and modulation by the ventral tegmental area
Current Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics / Helsinki Institute of Life Science, Tuebingen, Germany
Current Position: Research Group Leader / Assistant Professor

Maria Tsiarli, PhD
Graduated: 2014
Mentor: Dr. Don DeFranco
Thesis: Dissecting the role of the glucocorticoid receptor in embryonic cortical development: Insights from in utero glucocorticoid exposure

U

Stefan Ursu, PhD
Graduated: 2004
Mentor: Dr. Cameron Carter
Thesis: Behavioral control, outcome representation and the human OFC: Basic fMRI findings and relevance for psychopathology
Current Affiliation: University of California, Davis
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

V

Sriram Venneti, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Clayton Wiley
Thesis: Role for the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor in neuroinflammation of neurodegenerative disorders
Current Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania
Current Position: Resident: Anatomic pathology and Neuropathology

Peter S. Vosler, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Graduated: 2010
Mentor: Dr. Jun Chen
Thesis: Critical role of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4G degradation in mediating ischemia-induced neuronal death
Current Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

W

Shuying Wang, PhD
Graduated: 2006
Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Albers
Thesis: Molecular mechanisms of aging in the peripheral nociceptive system
Current Affiliation: Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
Current Position: Faculty

Meredyth Wegener, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: Impact of Learning and Diet on Two Distinct Populations of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons
Current Affiliation: Vanderbilt University
Current Position: Lecturer

Madeleine Wilcox, PhD
Graduated: 2019
Mentor: Dr. Jon Johnson
Thesis: The NMDA Reception Transmembrane Region in Receptor Function and Inhibition
Current Affiliation: Forest Devices, Inc.
Current Position: Clinical Research Scientist

Meghan Wilson, MD, PhD
Graduated: 2011
Mentor: Dr. Robert Bowser
Thesis: Protein biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Characterization and implications for disease pathogenesis
Current Affiliation: Western Reserve Health Ed/NEOMED, Youngstown, OH
Current Position: Physiatrist

Gregory Wojaczynski, PhD
Graduated: 2016
Mentor: Dr. J. Patrick Card
Thesis: Integration of the microcircuitry of the deep cerebellar nuclei into canonical cerebellar circuits

Jesse Wood, PhD
Graduated: 2015
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: Ventral tegmental area neuronal ensembles accurately encode action number

X

Y

Chung-Yang Yeh, PhD
Graduated: 2019
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Targeting Kv2.1/Syntaxin interaction for neuroprotection
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh, Department of Neurobiology
Current Position: Post-doctoral Fellow

Z

Eric Zimmerman, PhD
Graduated: 2017
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Circuit dynamics underlying control of dopamine neuron activity by the nucleus reuniens of the midline thalamus
Current Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh
Current Position: Medical Student