Franks Lab Members

Kevin Franks (PI): Kevin first learned about the plasticity of ocular dominance columns as an undergraduate studying Biomedical Science and Philosophy and has been fascinated about how experience shapes perception ever since. His Ph.D. work, with Terry Sejnowski at UCSD, involved modeling synaptic transmission and postsynaptic calcium dynamics to better understand cellular and molecular “decisions” to selectively strengthen or weaken a synapse. As a postdoc, first with Jeffry Isaacson at UCSD and then with Richard Axel at Columbia, Kevin used various tools to functionally and anatomically characterize the circuitry of the piriform cortex. In spite of the constant ridicule, Kevin continues to enjoy an orange at exactly 5 o’clock every afternoon.

Shiva Nagappan (Graduate Student): Shiva received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Cornell University ‘15, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is currently a first-year graduate student in the Department of Neurobiology. She is rotating in Franks Lab and is characterizing the different odor-responsive properties of distinct cell types in piriform cortex. Her interests are in studying brain circuits, their dynamics, formation and function. She likes to paint and eats a box of Fruit Roll-Ups for dinner.

Fernando Gabriel Santos Valencia (Technician): Fernando is from Oaxaca, Mexico and received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Universidad La Salle in Mexico. As a research assistant, he previously investigated the effects of different patterns of deep brain stimulation over epileptogenesis in Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatria in Mexico City. He is a research technician in the Franks Lab, where he studies piriform cortex modulation by its anterior olfactory nucleus excitatory afferents using fine electrophysiological and chemogenetic technics. He loves cats, enjoys playing the guitar and making music with friends.

Lab Alumni

Folisade Abiodun (research technician)

Surabhi Beriwell (research technician)

Kevin Bolding (post-doc)

Keara Darrah (research technician)

Taylor Fore (rotation student)

Psyche Lee (Lab manager)

Dominic Luciano (post-doc)

Jinghao Luo (rotation student)

Hannah McMullan

Amanda Munsch

Benjamin Roland (Visiting graduate student, Collège de France)

Erica Rodriguez (rotation student)

Brendan Ryu (research technician)

Eric Song (undergraduate)


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