Students in the program are highly motivated and typically have very strong credentials for admission. Neuroscience students are supported by an NIH training grant, institutional funding, and research grants. Some of our predoctoral students are recipients of individual University Merit Fellowships and pre-doctoral NIH Research Service Awards. The program actively recruits minority students, and women make up over half the current student population.

Current Students

Gomez Wulschner, Luis

Mason, Madisen

Ramsay, Harrison

Roth, Rebecca

Sergison, Matthew

Budoff, Samuel
BS, Genetics and Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University, 2015
Mentor: Poleg-Polsky

Como, Christina
BA, Molecular Biology and Biology, Coe College, 2016
Mentor: Seigenthaler

Dobrott, Courtney
BS, Behavioral Neuroscience, Northeastern University, 2017
Mentor: Person

Gagnon, Kimberly

Johnson, Derek
BS, Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, 2017
Mentor: Patel

Petersen-Jones, Humphrey
2019 (MSTP)
BS, Neuroscience and BS, Physiology, Michigan State University, 2015
Mentor: Thompson, John
We study cortical signaling in patients with intracranial electrodes. For my thesis project, I hope to record from and stimulate cerebral cortical areas directly to address fundamental questions in systems neuroscience.

Stockton, Michael
BS, Biology Neurobiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2017
Mentor: Hughes

Vareed, Rebecca
BS, Biology, M.S., Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019
Mentor: Appel

Vigil, Jose
BS, Molecular Biology, M.S., Biology, Colorado State University, 2019
Mentor: Quillinan

Bromley-Coolidge, Samantha
BA, Psychology, Pitzer College, 2014
Mentor: Appel, Bruce
My research focuses on the non-myelinating functions of oligodendrocyte precursor cells.

Carey, Natalie
BS, Molecular and Cellular Biology; BA, Gender and Womens Studies; University of Arizona, 2011
Mentor: Appel, Bruce
I am interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which oligodendrocytes myelinate axons during development

Huang, Rongchen
MS, Neurology, Univ. of Science and Technology of China (USTC), 2017
Mentor: Welle, Cristin
I am now using mice models to investigate the effects of vagus nerve stimulation on oligodendrogenesis during a food pellet reaching task. Another project is to identify the movement-related neurons in a milk-reaching task using 2P imaging and understand the changes of the correlation of these neurons over time in a reaching-task context.

Hunt, Joshua
BS, Psychological Sciences, Kansas State Univ., 2016
Mentor: Poleg Posky, Alon and Felsen, Gidon
I am characterizing retino-collicular connectivity using cell-type specific 2P optical recordings in whole-retina explants or the superficial layer of the superior colliculus of awake mice. The goal of my research is map retinal ganglion cell subtype to visual behaviors focusing on peri-saccadic suppression of visual sensitivity.

Kim, Jungmin
BS, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, Univ. of Arizona, 2015
Mentor: Jason Aoto
Studying dynamics of Neurexins in response to drug exposure

Kushner, Keenan (John)
2018 (BSP)
Mentor: Thompson

Ogelman, Roberto
BS, Neuroscience, Tulane Univ., 2015
Mentor: Oh, Won Chan
Characterizing the effects of serotonin on neuronal development in the prefrontal cortex at a cellular and molecular level.

Welle, Theresa
BS, Molecular & Cellular Biology and Chemistry, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017
Mentor: Smith, Katharine
Currently studying the molecular mechanisms underlying inhibitory synaptic plasticity

Actor-Engel, Hannah
BS, Neuroscience, New York Univ., 2015
Mentor: Kennedy, Matthew
I'm interested in molecular changes involved in excitatory synaptic plasticity. Specifically, I'm looking at how acute doses of amyloid beta protein disrupts NMDA receptor function.

Benson, Monica
BA, Neuroscience, Pennsylvania State Univ., 2017
Mentor: Tollin, Dan
I study cochlear synaptopathy, specifically how loud noise exposure affects binaural hearing and hearing thresholds.

Bowles, Spencer
BS, Neuroscience, Regis Univ.; BS, Psychology, Regis Univ., 2016
Mentor: Welle, Cristin
I study the role that the Basal Forebrain plays in motor learning using in vivo optogenetics and electrophysiology. Additionally, I study possible mechanisms of action for Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

Ford, Ellen
BS, Neuroscience, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2014
Mentor: Patel, Manisha

Hahm, Katlin
BS, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Michigan, 2016
Mentor: Dell'Acqua, Mark
I am studying activity dependent transcription factors involved in LTP and LTD that are necessary for memory consolidation.

High, Brigit
2017 (MSTP)
BA, Neuroscience, Amherst College, 2012
Mentor: Finger, Tom

Owrutsky, Zoe
BS, Neuroscience, Univ. of Pittsburgh, 2015
Mentor: Tollin, Dan
Dissecting the circuitry of sound localization in the auditory brainstem using ontogenetic and electrophysiological techniques in vivo.

Rumian, Nicole
BA, Neuroscience, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, 2016; BA, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, 2016
Mentor: Bayer, Ulli
The role of CaMKII nitrosylation in age-related cognition and LTP impairment.

Thornton, Michael
BS, Psychobiology, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; M.S., Physiological Science, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Mentor: Hughes, Ethan

Yamauchi, Taylor
2017 (MSTP)
BA, Neuroscience, Wellesley College, 2013
Mentors: Person, Abigail, Felsen, Gidon

Boxer, Emma
BS, Biology, Univ. of Colorado, 2015; BS, Psychology, Univ. of Colorado, 2015
Mentor: Aoto, Jason
The role of Neurexins in mediating synaptic transmission and circuit formation

Calame, Dylan
2016 (MSTP)
BS, Biology, Univ. of Oregon, 2013; BS, Philosophy, Chemistry Minor, Univ. of Oregon, 2013
Mentor: Person, Abigail
Studying the cerebellum's role in dystonia in a model of paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia

Fedder, Karlie
BA, Biochemistry, Case Western Reserve Univ., 2013
Mentor: Appel, Bruce
Cytoskeletal control of axon ensheathment

George, Nicholas
BS, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, 2013; M.S., Anatomy and Neurobiology, Virginia Commonwealth Univ., 2016
Mentors: Restrepo, Diego, Macklin, Wendy
I study how oligodendrocytes and neurons communicate to control myelination in health and disease.

Gilmer, Jesse
BS, Biology, Psychology and Mathematics Minors, Metropolitan State Univ., Denver, 2015
Mentor: Person, Abigail
I study the control and modulation of the motor system by the cerebellum and its pre-motor targets. I am interested in the central calculations performed in the cerebellum and how that calculation is used to enact smooth and accurate movements in dynamic and kinematic frameworks of motion.

Mecca, Andrew
BS, Neuroscience, Michigan State Univ., 2016; BS, Physiology, Michigan State Univ., 2016
Mentor: Peng, Anthony
Auditory mechanotransduction mechanisms in the cochlea

Moreno-Garcia, Myriam
2016 (BSP)
BS, Biotechnology Engineering, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education-Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), 2010.
Mentor: Quillinan, Nidia
Studying the role of the cerebellum in cognition via a cerebellar stroke mouse model using electrophysiology, biochemistry and behavioral analysis

Nettles, Dailey
BS, Neuroscience, Univ. of Alabam, Birmingham, 2016
Mentor: Welle, Cristin
I study mechanisms of dynamic cortical mapping during skilled motor learning using chronically implanted microelectrode arrays in mice

Svalina, Matthew
2016 (MSTP)
BS, Biology, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
Mentors: Restrepo, Diego, Huntsman, Molly

Tekriwal, Andy
2016 (MSTP)
BA, Biological Basis of Behavior, Univ. of Pennsylvania, 2013
Mentors: Felsen, Gidon, Thompson, John
I am interested in using in vivo electrophysiology and imaging to understand neurodegenerative disease. Specifically, my primary project involves analysis of neural recordings from Parkinson's patients undergoing deep brain stimulation in parallel with neuroscience techniques used in animal models.

Zych, Sarah
2016 (MSTP)
BS, Physiological Science from UCLA in 2012
Mentor: Ford, Christopher
We are studying heterogeneous populations of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area of the midbrain and the somatodendritic modulation of distinct dopaminergic pathways.

Garcia, Stephanie
Mentor: Freed

Hughes, Alexandria
BS, Biology, Mathematics Minor, Boise State Univ., 2014
Mentor: Appel, Bruce
I use the zebrafish as a model to study how neurons communicate to oligodendrocytes to direct myelination of specific axons during development.

Jones, Shelly
B.Eng.,Chemical Engineering, Cooper Union, 2011; M.S., Biomedical Science, Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Mentors: Schoppa, Nathan, Zylberberg, Joel
I'm studying the contribution of gap junctions to the generation of multiple output channels from the olfactory bulb.

Essig, Jacki
BS, Neuroscience and Genetics, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2012; BS, Cell Biology and Development, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2012
Mentor: Felsen, Gidon
I'm investigating the functional role of specific cell types in the superior colliculus during decision making by using a combination of electrophysiology, optogenetics and behavior.

Manzella, Francesca
BS, Psychologyr, Biology Minor, Saint Louis Univ., 2011
Mentor: Todorovic, Slobodan
Currently my research is focused on different behavioral outcomes of exposure to sedative/anesthetics drugs. My primary project examines the effects of isoflurane on sleep behavior during development, and my secondary interest explores sex differences in adult mice after exposure to a novel neurosteroid sedative/anesthetic drug, B260.

Verden, Dylan
BS Neuroscience, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2014
Mentor: Macklin, Wendy
Oligodendrocytes are typically acutely vulnerable to ischemic stroke. My project studies oligodendrocyte resistance to ischemia/reperfusion injury during active myelination, and the mechanisms that mediate this resistance.



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