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Neuroscience PhD at Wake Forest University at Wake Forest University


Wake Forest University Graduate School » Neuroscience PhD at Wake Forest University

Bach PicSvitlana Bach (6th Year PhD Student)

I’m a sixth year PhD candidate in the neuroscience program. I work in Dr. Ashok Hegde’s lab. The main focus of our lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory, specifically the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) and its diverse roles in synaptic plasticity. My project focuses on epigenetic roles of the proteasome in a mouse memory model, long-term potentiation (LTP). I am a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINSD). In the summer of 2013 I was selected to attend a workshop in Cortona, Italy, on neuroepigenetics and got to meet leading researchers from all over the world. I chose to study at Wake because of the cutting edge molecular research done in the Hegde lab and the collaborative environment in our department. Feel free to contact me with any questions at .

 

Carr PicAmanda Carr (2nd Year PhD Student)

Hi, I’m Amanda and I’m a second year graduate student. I work in the lab of Dr. Waldemar Debinski studying targeted molecular therapies for glioblastoma multiforme.  The program at Wake is a great size to allow a wide variety of collaboration and training opportunities while still providing individual support and interaction with faculty. If you have any questions about the program feel free to contact me at .

 

 

Alex Dakos (1st Year PhD Student)

I am a first year Doctor of Philosophy student currently rotating in the laboratory of Dr. Christos Constantinidis.  My rotation project involves both obtaining neural data from macaques as well as using MATLAB to analyze previously gathered data for the purpose of ascertaining specifics of working memory processes.  Both of these activities accomplish the goal of studying the neural basis of working memory.  If you wish to contact me for any reason, please send an email to .

 

 

Dominic Gioia (4th Year PhD Student)

I work in Dr. Brian McCool’s lab focuses on the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying anxiety with a particular focus on the glutamatergic system of the basolateral amygdala. Furthermore, we are interested in how ethanol physical dependence modulates this system to produce withdrawal associated anxiety. I was initially drawn to Wake Forest University due to the programs excellence in obtaining funding for and publishing quality research on substance abuse. I have been happy with my choice and have enjoyed the collaborative nature of the substance abuse core. For any questions please feel free to contact me by email: .

 

chhauserChris Hauser (4th Year PhD Student)

I am a fourth year graduate student in the lab of Emilio Salinas and Terrence Stanford. I investigate the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of urgent decisions in nonhuman primates and humans using a variety of techniques (modeling neural circuitry, single-unit recordings and statistical analysis of psychophysical results). I was recently selected for a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and I was appointed to the T32 training grant for multisensory integration where I will receive specialized training from multiple faculty within the Neurobiology and Anatomy department.  I chose Wake Forest because of the incredible mentorship I receive not only from my PI’s but also from the other faculty within the department. The degree of camaraderie present within the Neurobiology and Anatomy department is incredible and something I do not imagine I would have received anywhere else. Feel free to contact me with any questions at .

 

Neuro_website_picture_KH2Kathryn Haynes (5th Year PhD Student)

I am a PhD candidate in my fifth year of training here at Wake, and I work in the laboratory of Dr. Ashok Hegde. In our lab, we use electrically-induced L-LTP, chemically-induced L-LTP, and a contextual fear conditioning behavioral paradigm together with several molecular techniques to answer questions about how memory works at the molecular level within the hippocampus and what could be happening to the molecular pathways of memory in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. The overall goal of my research project is to investigate the mechanisms by which proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway regulates transcription and translation in long-term synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. I chose Wake Forest for my graduate education because of the highly collaborative research environment, the wide variety of research options available, the many community outreach opportunities through our Brain Awareness Council, and, most importantly, the opportunity to be trained and mentored by my PI. Feel free to contact me with any questions at .

 

KromreySarah Kromrey (5th Year PhD Student)

I’m a fifth year graduate student working under joint mentorship of Dr. Nader and Dr. Czoty. I’m interested in how endogenous hormones and social rank influence cognition and drug self-administration in female nonhuman primates. I have received numerous travel awards, most recently to the ASPET and BBC conferences. My decision to attend Wake Forest was an easy one, with it being one of the top research institutes for drug abuse research and home to phenomenal nonhuman primate researchers.

 

 

rmayhughRhiannon Mayhugh (2nd Year PhD Student)

My name is Rhiannon Mayhugh and I am a 1st year graduate student rotating in the Laboratory for Complex Brain Networks with Dr. Laurienti.  My current project is using functional brain networks to look at the long-term effects of low and moderate alcohol consumption and how that relates to stress.
The Neuroscience program here at Wake Forest provides a challenging and supportive environment not only among the faculty, but the students as well.  Feel free to contact me with any questions at .

 

Molly McGinnisMolly McGinnis (1st Year PhD Student)

I am a first year graduate student currently rotating in Dr. Brian McCool’s lab. The project I am assisting Dr. Melissa Morales with during my rotation is focused on the effects of ethanol dependence induced by chronic intermittent ethanol exposure using inhalation chambers on post-dependence drinking using a 2-bottle choice paradigm in both male and female rats. I am also learning several techniques including stereotaxic delivery of viral vectors and whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology. If you have any questions about the program or would like to know why I chose Wake, please feel free to contact me at !  

 

MNMoussaMalaak N. Moussa (6th Year PhD Student)

I am a sixth year graduate candidate working in Dr. Paul Laurienti’s lab. My research works towards characterizing alcohol-induced changes in functional brain networks and using these phenotypes to help identify older adults that are at high risk for accelerated cognitive decline. I recently received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from NIAAA and got the opportunity to sharpen my neuroimaging skill set at the University of California – Los Angeles NeuroImaging Training Program. Feel free to check out my lab webpage: http://lcbn.wfubmc.edu/people/moussa.php or contact me with any questions at  .

 

nethBryan Neth (2nd Year PhD Student)

I am a second year Neuroscience PhD student in the fourth year of the MD/PhD program. I work in the lab of Drs. Suzanne Craft and Laura Baker studying the metabolic pathways implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Plasma/CSF biomarkers and various imaging techniques (MRI, PET) are used in my research. I chose Wake Forest based upon the collaborative nature of the program as well as Winston-Salem being a great place to live. Feel free to contact me with any questions at .

 

 

Brielle Paolini (3rd Year PhD Student)

I am Brielle Paolini, and I am a fifth year MD/PhD student in my third year of the Neuroscience PhD program. I work in the labs of Paul Laurienti, MD, PhD and Jack Rejeski, PhD studying brain network changes associated with life-style interventions in older adults. I have projects studying the effects of mindfulness, nutrition, and physical fitness on brain network structure.  Wake Forest is a wonderful place to learn! The high faculty-to-student ratio here ensures that each student receives an excellent education. 

 

 

RauAndrew Rau (5th Year PhD Student)

I am a PhD candidate in my fifth year of graduate school working in the laboratory of Dr. Jeff Weiner. We are interested in unraveling the neurobiological and behavioral correlates of the interplay between anxiety and alcohol use disorders. Using whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, my dissertation work focuses on investigating the role of the adenosine system in modulating synaptic transmission in the basolateral amygdala, a brain region implicated in both emotional processing and substance abuse. To complement our neurophysiological findings, we also employ a number of behavioral approaches to study adenosinergic modulation of anxiety-like behaviors, as well as ethanol withdrawal-associated anxiety in both naïve rats and those exposed to early life stress. Previously supported by an NIAAA training grant, my dissertation project is funded in part by a predoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. Feel free to contact me at   .
 

Mitchell Riley (4th Year PhD Student)

I’m in my fourth year as a graduate student and in my second year working in Dr. Christos Constantinidis’s laboratory. My main research interests lie in the neural basis of cognitive functions. In Dr. Constantinidis’s lab, I use different neuronal recording methods in order to examine how training in working memory tasks alters the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. If you have any questions about the lab or with Wake Forest, you can contact me at .
 

 

clip_image001Elaine Shing (2nd Year PhD Student)

Hi everyone! I am an MD/PhD student in my second year of graduate school. I work in Dr. Christian Waugh’s lab studying how positive emotions influence resilience to stress. My current project focuses on the psychological, physiological, and neural correlates of stress and positive coping in caregivers of pediatric cancer patients. I chose Wake Forest for the  interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the Neuroscience program. I also knew that the faculty here would have their students’ best interests at heart and would be great mentors. Feel free to contact me with questions at .

 

Siciliano, Cody 0812gs-4printCody Siciliano (3rd Year PhD Student)

I am a third year graduate student in the lab of Dr. Sara Jones. My research focuses on alterations to the dopamine system following cocaine self-administration in rats. I chose Wake Forest for its reputation as a leader in the field of drug abuse research as well as its collaborative research environment. Feel free to contact me with any questions at .

 

 

MJ SkellyMary Jane Skelly (5th Year PhD Student)

I’m a fifth year student working in Jeff Weiner’s lab. My research is focused on understanding how developmental stress is linked to later life depression, anxiety, and alcohol addiction. I use a combination of behavioral approaches and patch-clamp electrophysiology to investigate the impact of stress on alcohol drinking, anxiety, and fear learning, and how these behaviors correlate with noradrenergic and GABAergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala. I chose to attend Wake Forest because our renowned addiction research program provides an excellent training environment, and because Winston-Salem is a very comfortable place to live while in grad school. I was previously supported by the department’s NIH training grant, and recently received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from NIAAA. Feel free to contact me with any questions .

 

Phuong TranPhuong Tran (2nd Year PhD Student)

Hi. I’m Phuong Tran, but I go by Sisi. I’m a first year graduate student rotating in Dr. Tom Beveridge’s lab. My current project is to investigate the changes in the glutamate system underlying drug seeking behavior. In the lab, we utilize the self-administration model on rodents. I chose Wake Forest because of its renowned program in Neuroscience research, especially in the field of drug addiction. In addition, through my interaction with the faculty here, I feel that they truly care about the students. Feel free to contact me if you have any question at .

 

Van NestByron Van Nest (5th Year PhD Student)

I am a fifth year graduate student working in Dr. Susan Fahrbach’s Insect Neurobiology Laboratory.  I am currently examining the correlates of synaptic density of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) mushroom body (an arthropod brain region involved in learning and memory) and performance on a challenging, visually oriented task.  Our lab is very interested in the functional consequences of adult brain plasticity; in other words, what does a bigger brain afford an individual?  During my first two years in the Neuroscience Program, I was supported by an NIH Predoctoral Training Grant in the Neurosciences (under Dr. Ronald Oppenheim), and I am now supported by an internal grant from the Center for Molecular Communication and Signaling.  .

 

AWagoner_NeuroWebsitePictureAshley Wagoner (4th Year PhD Student)

I’m a fourth year graduate student working in Stephen Walker’s lab at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. I’m interested in the role of the autonomic and enteric nervous systems on GI motility and cardiovascular function in pediatric populations, specifically in children with functional GI disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders. I chose Wake Forest because it provides a very welcoming environment for students from many backgrounds as well as a wide range of research opportunities including addiction, development, and clincial studies. I have also experienced first-hand that the faculty here really care and listen to the needs of the students, which helps create our very collaborative and enriching program. For more information about the Neuroscience program and the surrounding neuroscience community, check out The Neurotransmitter newsletter here! Feel free to contact me with any questions at .