Students

Caley Burrus

Program Start Year:
2015
Mentor
Cagla Eroglu
Faculty lab
Email address: caley.burrus@duke.edu
919-681-4243
I am interested in studying the molecular mechanisms that contribute to healthy brain development, as well as abnormal brain development often underlying neurological and psychiatric illness. I hope to study various factors that influence development, including genetics, function of other organ systems, and diverse environmental inputs.

Shataakshi Dube

Program Start Year:
2015
Mentor
Scott Soderling
Email address: shataakshi.dube@duke.edu
919-684-5634
Research interest - Regulation of synapse development, function, and plasticity

Divya Subramanian

Program Start Year:
2015
Mentor
Marc Sommer
Faculty lab
919-681-1176
I am broadly interested in a computational and circuit-level understanding of sensorimotor systems. Specifically, I am interested in how motor information interacts with sensory processing to drive perception and behavior.

Dianna Amasino

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Scott Huettel
Email address: dianna.amasino@duke.edu
919-668-3635
I am interested in social motivations and influences in value-based decision-making. I use eyetracking and fMRI to understand how social stimuli affect the processing of value-related information, in particular how networks of social brain regions interact with and impact value networks.

Sam Brudner

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Richard Mooney
Faculty lab
Email address: samuel.brudner@duke.edu
919-684-5133
I graduated from Yale College in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in cognitive science. There, I completed a senior project, advised by Brian Scholl, that investigated a relationship between eye movements and memory. I have also conducted psychology research with Daniel Richardson at University College London, and with Marcia Johnson at Yale. Beyond many interests within psychology, I enjoy music and dance -- and I have studied and performed traditional and contemporary West African dance.

Timothy Darlington

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Stephen Lisberger
Faculty lab
919-684-1162
I'm currently interested in understanding how sensorimotor circuits integrate past experience with current sensory information to guide behavior. My project is investigating this in the context of target-direction estimation for smooth pursuit eye movements in nonhuman primates.

Elizabeth Fleming

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Court Hull
919-660-0990
I am interested in studying how sensorimotor information is encoded in the cerebellar cortex and how this level of processing is impacted by neuromodulation.

Li-Feng Jiang-Xie

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Fan Wang
919-684-6091
Unveiling the working principles of neural circuits will be the Holy Grail in neuroscience. With the cutting-edge technologies, I am interested in discovering the basic structural patterns and functional motifs of neural circuits, and how these fundamental units generate diverse mental functions, such as perception, memory, and action.

Jinghao Lu

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Fan Wang
Email address: jinghao.lu@duke.edu
919-684-6091
I am interested in studying network level neural dynamics, dissecting sensory information pathways, and modeling simple neural circuits with cortical computing algorithms. Ultimately, I hope to combine quantitative neural modeling approaches, various dimensional experiment techniques, and applications based on neural theories to develop a systematic understanding of how the brain works, why it works, and whether it can be improved.

Jeffrey Mohl

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Jennifer Groh
Email address: jeffrey.mohl@duke.edu
919-684-6729
I am interested in understanding the computational basis of multisensory perception. In particular I am investigating how neurons handle conflicting signals from different sensory modalities.

Kiersten Ruda

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Greg Field
Email address: kiersten.ruda@duke.edu
919-681-8362
My research interests include neural networks and signaling as well as their pathophysiology in diseases such as Parkinson's and epilepsy. I am further interested in studying novel techniques, especially electrical stimulation, to treat these diseases.

Jonnathan Singh Alvarado

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Rich Mooney
919-684-5133
Emerging properties of neuronal populations can explain phenomena that were once undetectable at the single neuron level. I'm interested in combining an array of powerful tools including calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and viral manipulations of brain circuits in order to elucidate how learning manifests at a circuit-wide level.

Shawn Willett

Program Start Year:
2014
Mentor
Jennifer Groh
Faculty lab
Email address: shawn.willett@duke.edu
919-684-6729
Generally, I'm interested in how interactions between individual neurons and neural systems shape perception and cognition. Currently, I'm investigating how response properties of single neurons and neural populations change during concurrent presentation of multiple stimuli. I'm also quite interested in analyzing/modeling neural networks as recurrent dynamical systems.

Taylor Fore

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Court Hull
Email address: taylor.fore@duke.edu
919-660-0990
My research interest is in exploring the interconnection between neural & glial circuitry and, ultimately, their synergistic role in controlling behavior.

David Gallegos

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Anne West
Faculty lab
Email address: gallegos@neuro.duke.edu
305-494-9418
My research interests are about the functions of activity-dependent regulation of chromatin at gene enhancers in neurons in vivo.

Jake Heffley

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Court Hull
Email address: jake.heffley@duke.edu
919-660-0990
I am interested in how the mammalian nervous system coordinates motor output. Currently,  I am investigating circuit level characteristics of motor learning and coordination in the mouse cerebellum. 

Miaomiao Jin

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Lindsey Glickfeld
Faculty lab
919-613-0946
I aim to investigate specialized routing of visual Information from primary visual cortex (V1) to higher areas to guide visual tasks in mice. 

Breanna Kalmeta

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Jörg Grandl
919-684-0695
I am interested in understanding the biophysical properties of proteins involved in neurological pathways and how the structure and function of proteins translate to certain neurological diseases. Currently, I am working on elucidating the activation mechanism of mechano-sensitive ion channels.

Chris Kozlowski

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Jeremy Kay
919-613-2627
I am interested in cell surface and secreted molecular cues which guide the development of neural circuits in the retina. Additionally, I want to understand the signaling pathways downstream of these cues that ultimately activate the cytoskeleton.

Steven Marinero

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Don Lo
Faculty lab
Email address: steven.marinero@duke.edu
919-613-9562
I am interested in the roles microglia and infiltrating monocytes play during neurodegeneration. My research involves the use of biolistic transfection of gene constructs into organotypic slices. I use this assay to study how microglia and infiltrating monocytes affect the rate of neurodegeneration with the goal of therapeutically targeting these cells.

Janani Sundararajan

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Rich Mooney
919-684-5133
My broad research interest is to understand the neural basis of perception and behavior. Using the mouse auditory system as my model, I use a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological and optogenetic methods to understand how auditory perception changes during movement relative to rest, and the circuit mechanisms that contribute to these changes.

Jingjing Wang

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Jeremy Kay
Email address: jingjing.wang@duke.edu
919-684-4241
I am interested in finding and understanding the molecular factors that instruct neurons to wire into circuits. I want to study the function of the molecules involved in circuit formation and the consequence of misconnection in the retina through genetic and biochemical manipulations.

Ashley Wilson

Program Start Year:
2013
Mentor
Lindsey Glickfeld
Faculty lab
919-684-3964
I am interested in how the brain processes sensory information and uses that information for perception and behavior. Using the mouse visual system, I am studying connectivity and patterns of activity in cortex during perceptual tasks. My hope is to resolve some of the mechanisms that govern the neural networks necessary for these tasks and ultimately relate them to sensory perception in general.

Vanessa Punal

Program Start Year:
2012
Mentor
Jeremy Kay
Email address: vanessa.punal@duke.edu
919-613-2676
I seek to understand how neural circuits form in terms of the genetic instructions underlying their wiring. Furthermore, via manipulations of select molecules, I hope to elucidate how circuit organization translates to circuit function.

Xiaoyang Yao

Program Start Year:
2012
Mentor
Greg Field
Email address: xiaoyang.yao@duke.edu
919-681-8362
I am interested in understanding sensory coding strategies of neural networks and how these algorithms could be applied to machine intelligence.