CNUP: Center for Neuroscience

CNUP Alumni

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W |
Mandar Aras, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2009
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Zinc Signaling in Neuronal Tolerance
Current position: Internal Medicine Resident, Duke University, Durham, NC

Armen Arevian, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2008
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Dynamic connectivity in the mouse olfactory bulb
Current position: Psychiatry Resident/Junior Investigator, University of California, Los Angeles

Debra Artim, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2005
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: Somatostatin-mediated inhibition of calcium currents
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

James Bales, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2010
Mentor: Dr. C. Edward Dixon
Thesis: Dopamine and cAMP Regulated Phosphoprotein, 32 kDA: A Novel Therapeutic in Traumatic Brain Injury
Current position: Neurological Surgery Resident, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Layla Banihashemi, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 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 position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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

Michael Bienkowski, Ph.D.
Graduated: December 2012
Mentor: Dr. Linda Rinaman
Thesis: Anatomical organization of the extended amygdala
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southern California, Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics

Andreea Bostan, Ph.D.
Graduated: August 2013
Mentor: Dr. Peter Strick
Thesis: Basal Ganglia Pathways: Beyond The Closed-Loop Circuits With The Cerebral Cortex
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Systems Neuroscience Institute

Joel Brown, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Bill Yates
Thesis: The brain's map and compass: Neural substrates of spatial cognition in the rat
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Dartmouth University

Deanne Buffalari, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2006
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Noradrenergic modulation of the basolateral amygdala: Alterations by stress exposure
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh

Jason Castro, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2008
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Dendritic neurotransmitter release and its modulation in accessory olfactory bulb circuits
Current position: Assistant Professor, Bates College

Nadia Chaudhri, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2005
Mentor: Dr. Alan Sved
Thesis: Complex interactions between nicotine and nonpharmacological stimuli reveal a novel role for nicotine in reinforcement
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Concordia University

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

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

Amanda Clause, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kandler
Thesis: Development and behavioral significance of precise tonotopy in an inhibitory circuit of the auditory brainstem
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

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

Michael W. Cole, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2009
Mentor: Dr. Walter Schneider
Thesis: The biological basis of rapid instructed task learning
Current position: Assistant Professor, Rutgers University

Lesley Colgan, Ph.D.
Graduated: April 2009
Mentor: Dr. Edwin Levitan
Thesis: Trafficking and activity dependent function of vesicular transporters
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Kathleen Cosgrove, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2010
Mentor: Dr. German Barrionuevo
Thesis: High affinity group III mGluRs regulate mossy fiber input to CA3 interneurons
Current position: Senior Compliance Analyst, Northwestern University

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

Allison Curley, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Cortical glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 expression in Schizophrenia: Defining the deficit
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Dibyadeep (Dibs) Datta
Graduated: December, 2015
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Pyramidal cells: Role in primate prefrontal cortex circuitry during postnatal development and schizophrenia
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, Yale University

Christopher Divito, PhD
Graduated: December 2013
Mentor: Dr. Susan Amara
Thesis: Anion Conducting States of Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Emily Drill, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 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 position: Special Faculty, Special Lecturer, Carnegie Mellon University

April Dukes, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 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 toxicity in differentiated PC12 cells.
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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

Nicole Edgar, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Beyond neurons: The role of the oligodendrocyte-specific gene CNP1 in major depressive disorder
Current position: Innovation Project Manager, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Pittsburgh

Stephen M. Eggan, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2007
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Cannabinoid CB1 receptor: Role in primate prefrontal circuitry and schizophrenia.
Current position:

Christopher M. Elitt, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2006
Mentor: Dr. Brian Davis
Thesis: Artemin regulates nociceptor responses to thermal and chemical stimuli
Current position: Pediatrics/Child Neurology Resident, Children's Hospital, Boston

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

Michelle Failla, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2014
Mentor: Dr. Amy Wagner
Thesis: Monoaminergic and Neurotrophic Gene Variation Associated with Fronto-Limbic Circuitry affect Mood and Cognitive Recovery Post-TBI
Current position: Research Fellow, Vanderbilt University

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

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

George Fraser, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Andy Schwartz
Thesis: New frontiers in population recording
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Emerald Therapeutics

Christopher Gaiteri, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Finding the pathology of major depression through gene interaction networks
Current position: Network Biologist, Sage Bionetworks

Krishnamurthy Ganapathy Subramanian, PhD
Graduated: December 2013
Mentor: Dr. Judy Cameron
Thesis: Restoration Of Motor And Non-Motor Functions By Neurotrophic Factors In Nonhuman Primates With Dopamine Depletion
Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine

Richard Gerkin, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2008
Mentor: Dr. Guo-qiang Bi
Thesis: Synaptic Plasticity and Hebbian Cell Assemblies
Current position: Assistant Research Faculty, Arizona State University

Sonya Giridhar, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2012
Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban
Thesis: Odors, timescales,and inhibition: Mechanisms and function of long-latency interneuron recruitment in the olfactory bulb
Current position:

Christin Glorioso, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2010
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Between destiny and disease: genetics and molecular pathways of CNS aging
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT, Cambridge, MA

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

Alexandra A. Gulacsi, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Laura Lillien
Thesis: Regulation of telencephalic interneuron development
Current position: Post-doctoral Fellow, Cornell University Medical School

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

Rashed Harun, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 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
Current position:

Laura Heiser, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Carol Colby
Thesis: Spatial updating in parietal cortex: Accessing visual information beyond the bounds of the classic receptive field
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UCLA

Greta Ann Herin, Ph.D,
Graduated: December, 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 position: Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Eastern Mennonite University

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

Gil Hoftman, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2013
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Development of cortical GABA circuitry: Identifying periods of vulnerability to schizophrenia.
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Ericka Holmstrand, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2010
Mentor: Dr. Susan Sesack
Thesis: Heterogeneity of high-affinity choline transporter expression and localization in limbic projections of the cholinergic tegmentum
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Max Horowitz, PhD
Graduated: August, 2012
Mentor: Dr. J. Timothy Greenamyre
Thesis: Transcriptional Regulation of Alpha-synuclein by GATA2 in Substantia Nigra
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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

Brian Jian, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Bill Yates
Thesis: Vestibular compensation: A spinovestibular mediated process
Current position: Resident, Neurological Surgery Department, University of California at San Francisco

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

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

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

Vivek Khatri, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2005
Mentor: Dr. Daniel J. Simons
Thesis: Effects of adaptation in a somatosensory thalamocortical circuit neurobiology
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Hunter College

Gunsoo Kim, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kandler
Thesis: Refinement of inhibitory circuits during development of the mammalian auditory brainstem
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco

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

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

Caitlin Kirkwood, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Robert Sweet
Thesis: The Role Of Neuronal Calcium Sensor Protein Vilip-1 In Aß-Induced Neuronal Death In Alzheimer Disease
Current position: Hayes Management Consulting, MA

Erin Kirschmann, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2014
Mentor: Dr. Floh Thiels
Thesis: Effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress on adolescent rats
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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

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

Alison Kreisler, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Linda Rinaman
Thesis: Hindbrain neural tracking and control of food intake
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Research Institute, San Diego

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

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

Marvin Leathers, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Carl Olson
Thesis: Representation of value and salience in the primate brain
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, NIMH

Hanmi Lee, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2007
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kandler
Thesis: Role of GABA/glycine depolarization and hyperpolarization in neonatal circuit development
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University

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

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

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

Shuang Li, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Thanos Tzounopoulos
Thesis: Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying vulnerability and resilience to noise-induced tinnitus
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Li-Chun Lin, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2014
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: Contribution of somatostatin deficits and EIF2 signaling to anxiety/depressive-like behaviors
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco

Witek Lipski, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Role of locus coeruleus and amygdala projections to ventral subiculum in stress regulation
Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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

Fujun Luo, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 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
Current position:

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

Jamie G. Maldonado-Aviles, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2008
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Altered markers of tonic inhibition in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia
Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University

James Maniscalco, PhD
Graduated: August 2014
Mentor: Dr. Linda Rinaman
Thesis: Metabolic tuning of neural, neuroendocrine, and behavioral responses to stress
Current position: Experienced Consultant, West Monroe Partners, Chicago,

Sashi Marella, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2012
Mentor: Dr. Bard Ermentrout
Thesis: Stochastic synchrony and phase resetting curves: Theory and applications
Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Rutgers University

Marguerite Matthews, Ph.D.
Graduated: August 2012
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: Characterizing dopamine function in adolescent rats
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Oregon Health Sciences University

J. Patrick Mayo, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Marc Sommer
Thesis: Neuronal encoding of brief time intervals in the visual system
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University School of Medicine

Cyrus McCandless, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2007
Mentor: Dr. Carey Balaban
Thesis: Responses of parabrachial nucleus neurons to whole-body macaque.
Current position: Director of Integrated Research, Merchant Mechanics, New Hampshire

Meghan McCord, PhD
Graduated: December 2013
Mentor: Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Cooperative calcium and zinc signaling underlies oxidant-induced neuronal injury
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Vince McGinty, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2008
Mentor: Dr. Anthony Grace
Thesis: Amygdala regulation of prefrontal-to-accumbens information flow: Implications for motivation and action
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine

Lisa McIlvried, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 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
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology

David McMahon, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2005
Mentor: Dr. Carl Olson
Thesis: Effects of stimulus repetition on behavior and single neurons in inferotemporal cortex
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health

Elisha Merriam, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2005
Mentor: Dr. Carol Colby
Thesis: Spatial updating in human cortex
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University

Paul Middlebrooks, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Marc Sommer
Thesis: Neuronal correlates of metacognition in frontal cortex
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University

Mala Misra, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2009
Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Lance-Jones
Thesis: Hoxd10 and Hoxd11 regulate motor column patterning in the lumbosacral spinal cord
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

David Moorman, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2005
Mentor: Dr. Carl Olson
Thesis: Representation of object-centered space by neurons of the supplementary eye field
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of South Carolina

Harvey M. Morris, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2009
Mentor: Dr. David Lewis
Thesis: Alterations in GABA-related transcripts in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia.
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University

Caitlin Moyer, PhD
Graduated: December 2013
Mentor: Dr. Robert Sweet
Thesis: Development and disease: Quantification of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic structures in primary auditory cortex during adolescence and in schizophrenia
Current position: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Santa Cruz

David Nauen, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2008
Mentor: Dr. Guo-qiang Bi
Thesis: Investigating Mechanisms of Activity-Dependent Plasticity at Individual Synaptic Contacts
Current position: Pathology Resident, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Peter Neumann, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Yan Dong
Thesis: Cocaine-based signaling changes in the nucleus accumbens, the lateral habenula, and the thalamus
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University, CA

Gabriel Koch Ocker, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Brent Doiron
Thesis: Formation of structure in cortical networks through spike timing-dependent plasticity
Current position: Scientist, Allen Brain Institute, Seattle, WA

Hyunjung Oh, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Etienne Sibille
Thesis: The Role Of Dendritic BDNF Transcripts On Altered Inhibitory Circuitry In Aging And Depression
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

Mami Otaka, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Yan Dong
Thesis: Characterization of GABAergic projections from the ventral tegmental area of the nucleus accumbens: Effects of dopamine and cocaine
Current position: Researcher, Eli Lilly Japan Co.

Sumon K. Pal, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Potassium channel mediated neuronal apoptosis
Current position: Cofounder and CTO, SynSonix

Mark Parrish, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2003
Mentor: Dr. Paula Monaghan-Nichols
Thesis: An investigation in the roles of Spalt homologues during murine development.
Current position:

Vivek Patel, PhD
Graduated: August, 2012
Mentor: Dr. Charleen Chu
Thesis: Microtubule Dynamics In Oxidatively-Stressed Neuronal Cells
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

John Pattillo, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2002
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: The relationship between calcium influx and neurotransmitter release: The role of active zone organization studied with Monte Carlo simulations
Current position: Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Macon State College

Jessica Porter, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2012
Mentor: Dr. Charles Bradberry
Thesis: The effects of cocaine self-administration on cognition and brain metabolism
Current position: Senior Sensory Scientist, Proctor and Gamble, Cincinnati, OH

Patrick Redman, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2008
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Zinc-dependent potassium channel modulation mediates neuronal apoptosis
Current position: Medical Science Liaison, Questcor Pharmaceuticals

Brad Rocco, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Ken Fish
Thesis: Quantification Of GAD67 Protein Levels In Axonal Boutons From Distinct Subtypes Of GABA Neurons: Redefining Circuit Level Alterations In The Prefrontal Cortex Of Schizophrenia
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

Matthew Roesch, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Carl Olson
Thesis: Neural activity related to anticipated reward: Does it represent value or reflect motivation?
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Michael J. Sabatini, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2006
Mentor: Dr. Karoly Mirnics
Thesis: Behavioral and Gene Expression Changes Following Early Social Bond Disruption in the Rhesus Monkey
Current position: Cardiology Fellow, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Jonathan Sager, PhD
Graduated: August, 2012
Mentor: Dr. Gonzalo Torres
Thesis: Using Zebrafish As A Model System For Dyt1 Dystonia
Current position:

Kathleen Salerno Bartlow, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Albers
Thesis: Identification of Transcriptional Targets of the Nerve Injury-Induced Transcription Factor Sox11
Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, Earlham College

Ranmal Samarasinghe, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Donald DeFranco
Thesis: Non-classical glucocorticoid receptor action regulates gap junction intercellular communication and neural progenitor cell proliferation
Current position: Neurology Resident, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Andrew Samuelsson, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Yan Xu
Thesis: Dissecting the registration and processing of olfactory events during general anesthesia
Current position: Associate Product Manager, Olympus

Nicole Scheff, PhD
Graduated: August, 2014
Mentor: Dr. Michael Gold
Thesis: The impact of inflammation on the regulation of intracellular calcium in cutaneous nociceptive neurons
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University, Bluestone Center for Clinical Research

Veeral S. Shah, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2006
Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Lance-Jones
Thesis: The role of Hoxd10 in the development of the motoneurons in the posterior spinal cord
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Niyati Hegde Shah, PhD
Graduated: August, 2014
Mentor: Dr. Elias Aizenman
Thesis: Calcineurin-mediated signaling in ischemic preconditioning and neuronal cell death
Current position: Medical student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Micah Shelton
Graduated: M.S., December, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Rob Sweet
Thesis: Loss of Microtubule Associated Protein 2 Immunoreactivity Linked to Dendritic Spine Loss in Schizophrenia
Current position:

SooYoon Shin, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Marc A. Sommer
Thesis: Role of the primate basal ganglia in saccadic eye movements
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco

Samuel Shin, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Edward Dixon
Thesis: The effects of nicotine on striatal dopamine signaling after traumatic brain injury
Current position: Neurosurgery Resident, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Beth Siegler Retchless, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2010
Mentor: Dr. Jon Johnson
Thesis: Mechanistic bases of subtype-specific NMDA receptor channel properties
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh,

Daniel Simmonds, PhD
Graduated: April, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Beatriz Luna
Thesis: Protracted development of brain systems underlying working memory in adolescence: A longitudinal study
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Amy Sinor, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2004
Mentor: Dr. Laura Lillien
Thesis: Akt regulation of progenitors and stem cells during cortical development.
Current position: Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School

Deepak Soneji, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2012
Mentor: Dr. H. Richard Koerber
Thesis: Molecular mechanisms of phenotypic change in intact nociceptors
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Kristen Stedenfeld, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Alan Sved
Thesis: Preclinical evidence for the efficacy of angiotensin receptor antagonism in a rodent model of vulnerablity to comorbid depression and cardiovascular disease
Current position:

Ruth Anne Stetler, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2005
Mentor: Dr. Don DeFranco
Thesis: Crosstalk between the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway and protease pathways in a model of glutamate-induced oxidative stress
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Rachelle Stopczynski, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2013
Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Albers
Thesis: Neuroplastic changes in a mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

David A. Sturman, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: Neural correlates of adolescent behavior
Current position: Psychiatry Resident, Harvard University, Bostan, MA

Adrienne Taren, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Michael Tarr
Thesis: Prefrontal regulatory mechanisms of mindfulness and stress reduction and links to markers of health
Current position: Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Tyler Tarr, Ph.D.
Graduated: December, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Stephen Meriney
Thesis: Utilizing presynaptic structure-function properties to inform the design of novel therapies for neuromuscular disease
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, University of Maryland

Nelson Totah, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2012
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: Prefrontal control of attention and modulation by the ventral tegmental area
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany

Maria Tsiarli, PhD
Graduated: August, 2014
Mentor: Dr. Don DeFranco
Thesis: Dissecting the role of the glucocorticoid receptor in embryonic cortical development: Insights from in-utero glucocorticoid exposure
Current position: Postdoctoral Associate, Brown University,

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

Victor Van Laar, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2008
Mentor: Dr. Teresa Hastings
Thesis: Proteomic analysis of dopamine oxidation-induced modifications to mitochondrial proteins: Implications for Parkinson’s disease
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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

Peter Vosler, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2009
Mentor: Dr. Jun Chen
Thesis: Critical role of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4G degradation in mediating ischemia-induced neuronal death
Current position: Otolaryngology Resident, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Ting Wang, Ph.D.
Graduated: August, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Brian Davis
Thesis: Neurturin's role in sensory neuron plasticity
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Shuying Wang, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2007
Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Albers
Thesis: Molecular mechanisms of aging in the peripheral nociceptive system
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Meghan Wilson, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Robert Bowser
Thesis: Protein biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Characterization and implications for disease pathogenesis
Current position: Preliminary Medicine , Western Reserve Health Ed/NEOMED, Youngstown, OH

Jesse Wood, Ph.D.
Graduated: April, 2015
Mentor: Dr. Bita Moghaddam
Thesis: New insight into how VTA neurons encode information about serial actions
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine