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Neuroscience Graduate Students



Academic Year 2013

 Julbert Caneus (BSP 2012)

Coming soon!4

 Ted Doykos

Lab: First year rotation student

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2013

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Excellent faculty and collaborative environment

What labs you rotated in: Matthew Kennedy and Nathan Schoppa Labs

What lab you joined and why: N/A

Short description of your project: Characterizing the morphology of short axons cells in the olfactory bulb of DAT-cre/Tomato mice

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: University of Colorado Boulder; B.A. Psychology

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Taught chess in elementary schools

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: N/A

What you like to do outside of school: Ski, golf, bike, and play chess

2

 Justin Losacco

Lab: I’m still a rotation student. I rotated in Curt Freed’s lab and I am now rotating in Amy Brooks-Kayal’s lab.

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2013

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: The campus is beautiful and the opportunity for collaboration between the labs seems endless.

What labs you rotated in: Freed, Brooks-Kayal

What lab you joined and why: Not applicable.

Short description of your project: Currently I’m working with a student of the Brooks-Kayal lab, Ajay. He’s showing me the ropes regarding epilepsy and changes in BDNF throughout the pathology. 

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Regis University. Major: Neuroscience. Minors: Spanish and Psychology.

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I worked in a lab at Denver Health conducting murine TBI research.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in:

What you like to do outside of school: I enjoy the outdoors. 1

 Britni Sanchez (BSP 2012)

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2013

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: I came into UCHSC under the biomedical sciences program which gave me the opportunity to explore labs in any of the programs during my first year rotations. I was attracted to rotations in a diverse range of labs conducting neuroscience research. During this first year I was able to experience courses, seminars, and social events through the neuroscience program and found that it was a good fit for me. 

What labs you rotated in: Matthew Kennedy, Nathan Schoppa, Tania Reis, Diego Restrepo

What lab you joined and why: I joined Nathan Schoppa's lab because he is an excellent mentor and I was enthusiastic about the projects I could be working on as well learning the techniques being used in the lab.

Short description of your project: I use electrophysiological and optical methods to study neural circuits in the olfactory system.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Kansas State University, BS Biology

What you like to do outside of school: I enjoy soccer, hiking, and cooking.
3


Academic Year 2012

 Christy Beitzel

Lab: Person Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2013

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: I chose this program for the collaborative atmosphere and how friendly all the faculty and students are.

What labs you rotated in: Tim Benke, Abigail Person, Tom Finger

What lab you joined and why: I joined the Person lab because I had a strong interest in motor systems as well as a project that had a translational aspect. I also really enjoyed the lab dynamics and felt Abby would be a great mentor who would provide the skills needed to become a successful scientist.

Short description of your project: Cerebellar processing and psychosis in schizophrenia.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: University of California, Riverside;  B.S. Neuroscience

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I taught SAT prep courses as well as worked as a research technician at U.C. Riverside for a year before starting at UCHSC.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: admissions/recruitment committee, journal club committee

What you like to do outside of school: I really enjoy the outdoors; hiking and camping here in Colorado is amazing. I also enjoy going to the movies, knitting, reading, etc.
1

 Aaron Bowen

Lab: Kennedy Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012 (2010 MSTP)

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: One of the major strengths of the neuroscience program here is that faculty interests span the spectrum from ion channel structure to neuronal biology and systems neuroscience. I think the biggest neuroscience advances in the coming years are going to be those that combine these different ways of looking at the nervous system and we are very well situated to do that here. It also means that there are a lot of options for students, regardless of their research interests. Overall the program is a very welcoming and collaborative place to conduct research.

What labs you rotated in: Murphy Lab, Eckel Lab, Kennedy Lab

What lab you joined and why: I joined the Kennedy lab because of his supportive and engaging mentoring style as well as the fact that there are a number of exciting projects concerning synaptic biology going on in the lab - many of which take advantage of innovative molecular tools.

Short description of your project: The goal of my main project is to investigate how the dendritic secretory system is compartmentalized to help synaptic proteins reach their correct destination using a system in which tagged proteins are inducibly released from the endoplasmic reticulum.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: I want to the University of California - Santa Cruz and majored in MCDB.

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I spent one year as a post-bac fellow at the National Institutes of Health before coming to Colorado.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in:

What you like to do outside of school: Hiking, camping, cooking.8

 Andrew Bubak

Lab: Dr. John Swallow

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Great reputation and quality of faculty.

What labs you rotated in: Dr. Manisha Patel, Dr. Steve Britt, Dr. John Sladek

What lab you joined and why: I completed my M.S. with Dr. Swallow which I decided to continue into my Ph.D.  I also have a project in Dr. Sladek's lab which I continued from my rotation.

Short description of your project: In Dr. Swallow's lab I am looking at the biochemical mechanisms involved in aggression, specifically the serotonergic system.  In Dr. Sladek's lab I am investigating the effects of cell transplantations in Parkinson's disease. 

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: I received a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry at the University of South Dakota as well as a M.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience.

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Straight to Ph.D. program Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in:

What you like to do outside of school: sail, play sports, and travel

9

 Tania Eliseeva

Lab: Joseph Brzezinski

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: The collaborative and supportive atmosphere among program administration, faculty, and students.

What labs you rotated in: Ulli Bayer, Bruce Appel, Joseph Brzezinski

What lab you joined and why: Brzezinski Lab because of the mentorship and project. He is very accessible and takes a real interest in your well-being and progression toward your goals.  Also because he’s a newer faculty member, he had a lot of projects to choose from and gives you freedom to explore.

Short description of your project: I’m characterizing the regulatory networks responsible for cell fate choice in the retina. Specifically, I’m identifying elements upstream of Blimp1, a transcription factor that’s important for photoreceptor identity during development.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: George Washington University, double-major in Biological Sciences and Russian Language and Literature

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I worked as a research assistant in the Biochemistry Department at GWU for a year.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Vision Science Journal Club

What you like to do outside of school: Hike in the mountains, snowboard, cross-country ski, paint2

 Jeff Forte

Lab: Matthew Kennedy

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: I chose this program because of the exciting research being done and the collaborative environment of the program, as well as the people & location.

What labs you rotated in: Matthew Kennedy, Nathan Schoppa, Abigail Person

What lab you joined and why: I joined the Kennedy lab because of the variety of projects & techniques that matched my interests, and an enjoyable lab environment.

Short description of your project: Our lab studies mechanisms of synaptic plasticity & postsynaptic trafficking.  I’m currently working on optical methods to strengthen synapses through recruitment of proteins to dendritic spines.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Skidmore College; Major: Neuroscience, Minor: Chemistry

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: N/A

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: N/A

What you like to do outside of school: Get up to the mountains for snowboarding/hiking/camping
3

 Anna Garske

Coming soon!4

 Dayton Goodell

Lab: Bayer

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Our program is a collaborative atmosphere at a top ranked research institution in the heart of the Rocky Mountains: Enough said.

What labs you rotated in: Heidenreich lab, Klug lab, and Bayer lab

What lab you joined and why: I joined Dr. Ulli Bayer's lab.

Short description of your project: I am currently investigating the regulatory mechanisms of differential binding of CaMKII to the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor under pathological conditions such as occur during stroke and TBI. This interaction has been shown to be important in the synaptic potentiation believed to underly learning and memory.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: I attended the University of Montana, and the CU Denver, downtown campus. My major is in psychology.

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: n/a

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: admissions committee

What you like to do outside of school: mountain bike and snowboard5

 Julie Juchno

Lab: Proenza Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Interesting research and great faculty What labs you rotated in: Cathy Proenza, Matt Kennedy, and Manisha Patel

What lab you joined and why: Cathy Proenza, because I found her research to be intriguing and felt that she would be a great mentor.

Short description of your project: I am studying the regulation of the hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated isoform 4 (HCN4) channel.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Siena College with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Psychology

What you like to do outside of school: Play golf, bike and hike
6

 Mario Lintz (MSTP 2010)

Lab: Gidon Felsen

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Research opportunities, balanced lifestyle of students and faculty, Colorado.  

What labs you rotated in: Gidon Felsen’s & Tim Benke’s

What lab you joined and why: Dr. Gidon Felsen, because I enjoy the systems approach to studying behavioral neuroscience and I was confident he would be an excellent mentor.

Short description of your project: Characterization of the substantia nigra pars reticulata in mice performing an odor discrimination task.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Metropolitan State University of Denver. Biology major, chemistry minor

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Professional research assistant in a structural biology lab.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in:

What you like to do outside of school: Playing with my kids, fine dining, dancing, running, snowboarding, and bicycling
12

 Emily Sharpe

Lab: Catherine Proenza

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: I was impressed with how collaborative the faculty in the program are and how supportive they are of graduate student research. The faculty are always available to answer questions and assist the students. The students form a close community which fosters a positive educational environment.

What labs you rotated in: Kurt Beam, Mark Dell'Acqua, Catherine Proenza

What lab you joined and why: Catherine Proenza - I joined the Proenza lab because I was excited about the research projects in the lab. I also enjoyed the dynamic of the lab and the collaboration between other members of the lab.

Short description of your project: I'm interested in studying the changes in the sinoatrial node associated with aging. In particular, I am interested in determining the underlying causes for the slowing of the heart rate with age.  

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Marquette University - Physiology

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Research assistant at Marquette

University Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Neuroscience Retreat Committee, RMRNG Organizing Committee, Cardiac Physiology Journal Club, Brain Injury Research Group

What you like to do outside of school: I love being outdoors as much as possible, reading, cooking and spending time with my friends.
10

 John Soltys (MSTP 2010)

Lab: Jeffrey Bennett, MD/PhD

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: The NSP offered a stimulating training environment, and the wealth of faculty contributions and interactions provide the required foundation to launch a research-oriented career

What labs you rotated in: Jeffrey Bennett (Neuroscience), Rachel Friedman (Immunology)

What lab you joined and why: I joined Jeffrey Bennett's lab because he is a great mentor, provided a stimulating work environment, and offered projects with fascinating biology mechanisms

Short description of your project: I study the auto-immune attack in neuromyelitis optica

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: University of Vermont; BS Biochemistry

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I worked for one year as a Laboratory Technician.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Tutoring

What you like to do outside of school: Outdoor activities, play games and enjoy my family and friends
11

 Courtney Wilson

Lab: Kinnamon Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2012

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Solid science in a beautiful place!

What labs you rotated in: Tom Finger's Lab, Dan Tollin's Lab, and Sue Kinnamon's Lab

What lab you joined and why: I joined Sue Kinnamon's lab--the people and the methods were a good fit for me, and the subject material was right up my alley.

Short description of your project: I'm working with type III taste cells, which are responsible for sour taste transduction. My project is focused on better characterizing the role these cells play in both taste bud communication and afferent signaling.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: University of Colorado, Boulder. I majored in Spanish as well as Molecular and Cellular Developmental Biology, and minored in History.

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I worked as a lab technician in Cathy Proenza's lab here on campus, and managed to fit some traveling in as well.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: I've been involved in a couple outreach events, and hope to get involved in more teaching and outreach during my time here.

What you like to do outside of school: Making music and art, and playing in the mountains!7


Academic Year 2011

 Jared Ahrendsen (MSTP 2009)

Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2011

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "Strong research, excellent faculty, collaborative culture."

What labs you rotated in: Wendy Macklin, Ken Tyler

What lab you joined and why: "I joined the Macklin lab because they are doing interesting research that I knew I could really dive head first into. Wendy is also an amazing mentor with a lot of experience and guidance to offer. "

Short description of your project: "Role of Akt signaling during myelination and remyelination."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology; Biochemistry; and Mathematics (2008)."

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "Professional Research Assistant in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the Unviersity of Colorado Boulder."

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "MSTP, Student Senate"

What you like to do outside of school: "mountain fun (hiking/camping/snowboarding), travel, read."1

 Hillary Allen

Lab: Ulli Bayer

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2011

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: I wanted a competitive program with a great location and collaborative environment.

What labs you rotated in: Manisha Patel, Tatiana Kutateladze, Mark Dell'Acqua

What lab you joined and why: Ulli Bayer. The Bayer lab works on mechanisms of neuroplasticity which is a very interesting topic. The environment in this lab is great along with the mentorship. I am being trained to answer complicated mechanistic questions via  biochemistry.

Short description of your project: Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) is highly expressed in the brain and is enriched at excitatory synapses, especially at these post synaptic densities. CaMKII can mediate long-term potentiation (LTP) by increasing the number of AMPA receptors and their conductance. Recently, CaMKII has been linked to mechanisms regulating long-term depression (LTP) via a different phosphorylation event on the same AMPA receptor. I am investigating the mechanistic switch of CaMKII between LTP and LTD, determining potential substrate binding sites on CaMKII that may mediate LTP or LTD.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA. Organic Chemistry and Spanish

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Was a research and development chemist and Managed of an industrial chemistry laboratory  (Florida Cirtech)

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Pharm journal club

What you like to do outside of school: I'm an trail/ultra-runner. I run on the Runner Roost mountain/ultra team so when I'm not racing I'm always training and running on the trails before work, after work on the weekends. And if I'm not running im on a running vacation/adventure, camping, backpacking, or outside somewhere. I also enjoy good beer and cooking great food . . . Best enjoyed after a long run :)2

 Kelsey Anbuhl

Lab: Dan Tollin

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2011

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: When selecting a program for my graduate studies, I wanted a collaborative, thriving environment of quality mentorship and exciting science that would prepare me well for a career in neuroscience. I was fortunate to find all of these qualities in the UCHSC Neuroscience Program! This is a unique medical campus with both basic research as well as access to clinicians in a medical setting, providing opportunities for clinically-based training. In addition to the unique institution and collaborative atmosphere, I was also drawn to the idea of smaller class sizes and the strong sense of community among the students and faculty.

What labs you rotated in: Bruce Appel, Dan Tollin, Matthew Kennedy

What lab you joined and why: I ultimately chose to work with Dr. Dan Tollin, mainly for his outstanding mentorship skills and his enthusiasm for auditory science. The Tollin lab members are wonderful to work with and provide an excellent environment for learning, which is necessary for my productivity and success as a graduate student.

Short description of your project: I study the effects of early conductive hearing loss on auditory behavior and information processing in the central auditory system.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Spring Hill College (Mobile, Alabama) with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, 2011

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school:
I attended graduate school right after I completed my undergraduate degree

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Neuroscience Journal Club

What you like to do outside of school: Photography, art projects, exploring Colorado3

 Chelsea Corser-Jensen

Lab: Heidenreich

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2011

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: I am from Colorado and was itching to move back after spending four years away for my undergrad. I chose this program because the research atmosphere is friendly and supportive with a lot of cross-talk and collaboration. The faculty are eager to help the students succeed, and the students have a great work-life balance.   

What labs you rotated in: Kim Heidenreich, Gidon Felsen, Amy Brooks-Kayal

What lab you joined and why: I joined the Heidenreich lab. During my rotation I became fascinated by the complexity of traumatic brain injury, and I decided that I wanted to devote my thesis to trying to understand the underlying cellular and molecular events. Kim’s enthusiasm for science is contagious, and she has given me a lot of freedom to design my own experiments.

Short description of your project: My project is focused on neuroinflammation and cognitive deficits after traumatic brain injury. We are particularly interested in understanding the role of the pro-inflammatory lipid mediators, leukotrienes, which are absent in uninjured brain and are rapidly synthesized after brain injury.
Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: University of Puget Sound with a major in Biology and a certificate in Neuroscience

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I came directly from undergrad to grad school.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Rocky Mountain Regional Neuroscience Group Planning Committee, Neuroscience Student Journal Club Organizing Committee, University of Colorado Brain Injury Research Group

What you like to do outside of school: I try to spend as much time as I can in the mountains throughout the year. I also love to cook and try out new restaurants in Denver.4

 Chris Knoeckel (MSTP 2009)

Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2011

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "Research possibilities, Colorado"

What labs you rotated in: Dr. Wendy Macklin, Dr. John Caldwell

What lab you joined and why: "Dr. Angie Ribera - chose because I knew I was getting a great mentor, projects / system that are interesting and wonderful people to work with"

Short description of your project: "Not Yet Defined"

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "University of Puget Sound (2007), Economics "

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "Professional Research Assistant at UC Denver 2007-2009"

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "Neuroscience Dunwiddie Lecture Student Coordinator, MSTP Conference Planning Committee "

What you like to do outside of school: "camp, hike, snowboard"6

 Yeom Pyo Lee

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2011

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: UCHSC has great reputation in the field of research.

What labs you rotated in: Curt Freed, Bruce Appel, Stephen Davies.

What lab you joined and why: I joined the Stephen Davies lab because I wanted to focus on spinal cord research.

Short description of your project: TBD

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Hallym University, Biomedical Science (B.S, M.S).

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: I was a research assistant in the bio Institute.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: -

What you like to do outside of school: Movie appreciation
7

 Eamon Quick

Lab: Dr. Ken Tyler

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2011

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Amazing facilities, top-notch faculty encompassing wide range of neuroscience topics, and great city

What labs you rotated in: Angie Ribera, Ken Tyler, Margaret Wierman

What lab you joined and why: Interested in microglia, so working in a CNS virology lab is a great way to model microglial activity!  Great mentor and lab mates, too.

Short description of your project: I hope to characterize the activity of microglia in response to viral infections of the CNS, particularly in the case of West Nile virus.  Current aims include characterizing morphological changes and phagocytosis, generating cytokine/chemokine expression profiles, and manipulating responses with relevant antiviral drugs/reagents.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: Brown University, Neuroscience

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Worked for several years in both academic and industry labs

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Retreat planning committee for the Neuroscience program

What you like to do outside of school: Soccer, reading, gardening, chess, and enjoying Colorado and its inhabitants!8


Academic Year 2010

 Elizabeth Gould

Macklin Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2010

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "Wonderful location, excellent facilities, collaborative and supportive environment, and fabulous people ;)"

What labs you rotated in: "Currently working with John Sladek"

What lab you joined and why: "TBD"

Short description of your project: "TBD"

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "Humboldt State University. Psychology (B.A.); Minor in Chemistry"

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school:" Yearlong research fellowship through Humboldt State University CIRM Bridges program where I worked with Dr. Theo Palmer at Stanford University. "

What you like to do outside of school: "Outside of school I am a mother, who loves to explore, experience, and enjoy life. "1

 Scott Goulding

Wu Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2010

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "I selected this program because of its strong interdisciplinary collaborations and comprehensive core facilities."

What labs you rotated in: "John Caldwell Steve Britt Tatiana Kutateladze "

What lab you joined and why: "I joined Dr. Christine C. Wu's lab because of my strong interest in mass spectrometry. "

Short description of your project: "I'm using a mass spectrometry-based neuroproteomics approach to investigate and quantitate novel gene products that contribute to alcohol aversion behavior."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "University of California, Santa Barbara B.S. Biopsychology "

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "I worked as a professional research assistant for two years after graduating college; specifically, I continued my undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Karen K. Szumlinski before taking a position with Dr. Christine C. Wu at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus."

What you like to do outside of school: "I love to run (trail>street), attend music festivals, watch movies, read and travel. "2

 Jennifer Pearson

Patel Lab

Email Address:

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2010

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "The faculty, program, and location can't be beat!"

What labs you rotated in: Costa lab, Patel lab, Felsen lab

What lab you joined and why: "I joined the Patel lab because Manisha is a tough but very prominent and motivating mentor. I felt her lab would provide me with the technical skills and critical thinking skills needed to become a productive scientist. "

Short description of your project: "I study how protein adducts generated by oxidative stress affect cognitive function in experimental temporal lobe epilepsy. "

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "I attended the University of Colorado Downtown Campus where I received a B.S. in Psychology."

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "I was a Professional Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus for 2 years. "

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in:

What you like to do outside of school: "Spend time with family and friends"4

 Dan Raible (BSP 2009)

Brooks-Kayal Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2010

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "I came into the neuroscience program though BSP and decided to join this program because the people and research being conducted though this program are great."

What labs you rotated in: Appel, Brooks-Kayal, Niswander

What lab you joined and why: "I joined the Brooks-Kayal lab because I enjoy the people and research being conducted in the lab. "

Short description of your project: "My work in the Brooks-Kayal lab is focused on understanding the alterations of several cellular mechanisms that cause temporal lobe epilepsy after traumatic brain injury."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "I attended Whitworth University, which is located in Spokane WA, and acquired a BS in biochemistry with a minor in biology."

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "I went directly from undergrad to grad school."

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "I am apart of the flag football team and softball team."

What you like to do outside of school: "I enjoy mountain biking, running, and hanging out with my golden retriever (Dixie), road biking, skiing, golfing, and fly-fishing."
6

 Jason Smucny

Tregellas Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2010

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "It gave me an opportunity to study cognition from molecular, physiological, and systems perspectives during rotations in my first year, and to choose a lab based on what I liked best. Oh yeah and the mountains were pretty big, literally."

What labs you rotated in: Mark Dell'Acqua, Jason Tregellas, Diego Restrepo

What lab you joined and why: "Jason Tregellas. I enjoyed all three of my rotations, but in an fMRI lab, I get to work with people, and develop clear-cut translational models for psychiatric disorders. Given my career aspirations in industry, it seemed like the perfect fit. And Jason is great mentor."

Short description of your project: "I study functional neural networks that underlie sustained attention in humans in health and disease."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "Amherst College, Neuroscience"

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "Worked a lot in different labs."

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "UC Denver Orchestra, Neuroimaging Journal Club (founder), Learning and Memory Journal Club, Clinical Psychiatry Research Group, Perinatal Vulnerability Discussion Group "

What you like to do outside of school: "Hike (just like everyone here!), play poker, play piano and clarinet, read and discuss philosophy with lots of folks in the area."5

 Joe Zak

Lab: Schoppa

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2010

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: A large number of faculty using electrophysiolgical methods to address questions in systems neurobiology.

What labs you rotated in: Angie Ribera, Ph.D., Sukumar Vijayaraghavan, Ph.D., Nathan Schoppa, Ph.D.

What lab you joined and why: I joined the Schoppa Lab because of the both the training environment in the lab as well as the thesis project I was able to develop.

Short description of your project: I study neural circuits in the olfactory bulb, where my project largely focuses on how the balance between cellular excitation and inhibition controls output from the first order olfactory processing centers in the brain known as glomeruli.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: University of Michigan, Neuroscience

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Worked as a research assistant at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, ME.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Brain Awareness Week at local elementary schools.

What you like to do outside of school: I enjoy running, biking, and skiing in my free time.
3


Academic Year 2009

 Emily Aurand

Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2009

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "I was impressed by the faculty and the current students, both in their professional work and in how friendly they are."

What labs you rotated in: Bjugstad Lab, Macklin Lab, Appel Lab

What lab you joined and why: "Kim Bjugstad's lab; I really like the people in the lab and enjoy working with Kim and love the research we're doing."

Short description of your project: "I will be using PEG hydrogels to protect and support neural stem cells during transplantation into the rat brain, studying cell survival and differentiation following implantation."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "Colorado State University, Biomedical Science"

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school:

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "Neuroscience Retreat Committee, Brain Awareness Week"

What you like to do outside of school: "I love to ski, go to Rockies games, travel, etc."1

 Pamela Lopert

Patel Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2009

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "I am from Colorado and couldn't imagine living in a place where I couldn't ski every weekend in the winter and bike, camp and hike in the summer."

What labs you rotated in: "Tom Finger, Manisha Patel and Tim Benke"

What lab you joined and why: "Manisha Patel's. I joined the Patel lab because the research they do could really make a difference in people's lives and I really enjoyed the project I was working on during my rotation."

Short description of your project: "I am currently looking at the role of the thioredoxin/peroxiredoxin cycle in neuronal death. It has been shown previously in Dr. Patel's lab that the thioredoxin/peroxiredosin system contributes to the removal of hydrogen peroxide in brain mitochondria. I want to see if adding neurotoxins and/or inhibiting the thioredoxin/peroxiredoxin activity exacerbates neurotoxcity in cells subjected to oxidative stress."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "University of Denver. Major: Biology Minors: Chemistry and Psychology "

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "I worked as a clinical research assistant (CRA) at a surgical device company (Coviden) and a pharmaceutical company (Gilead). At both companies I was responsible for planning and implementing Phase III and IV clinical studies."

What you like to do outside of school: "I love to ski, bike, watch Rockies games at Coors Field and spend as much time outdoors as possible. I also enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. "
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 Tara Martin (MSTP 2007)

Ribera Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2009

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "The Neuroscience Program offers a variety of interesting and fantastic faculty to chose from, a great student community, and a cohesive educational mission. "

What labs you rotated in: "Pepper Schedin, Ph.D., Lee Niswander, Ph.D., Angie Ribera, Ph.D."

What lab you joined and why: "I joined the Ribera Lab because of the many advantages of the zebrafish model system, the opportunity to create and establish my own project, the positive lab environment in the context of both professional and social interactions, and Angie's particular training style."

Short description of your project: "I will be exploring the role of electrical coupling created by gap junctions composed of connexin 35 in the development of the embryonic zebrafish spinal cord network."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "University of Colorado at Boulder with a major in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and a minor in Religious Studies"

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school:

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "Graduate Student Council, Student Senate, Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Brain Awareness Week"

What you like to do outside of school: "I like to take advantage of the beautiful Colorado outdoors with hiking, camping, and skiing. I also love to try out new local restaurants, go downtown to the performing arts center, and refurbish old furniture."
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 Pirooz Parsa

Lab: Vijayaraghavan

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2009

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: The program offers a wide array of research topics. Specifically, the program’s extensive study of the sensory systems was very appealing. There is a good sense of collaboration amongst different labs and disciplines within the program which I had not experienced at UC Davis or Cornell School of Medicine.

What labs you rotated in: Cathy Proenza, Nathan Schoppa, Sukumar Vijayaraghavan

What lab you joined and why: Sukumar’s

Short description of your project: I study the nicotinic modulation of the olfactory bulb circuitry and output. Specifically, I look at the roles of nicotinic subtypes on the principle neurons’ output and the mechanisms involved in this modulatory process. 

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: UC Davis, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Worked as a research assistant at UC Davis and Weill Cornell School of Medicine and studied the biophysical activity and crystal structure of different bacterial potassium channels.

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: Journal Clubs

What you like to do outside of school: Running, Hikes, Cross-fit type training, Soccer! I enjoy many wonderful Denver venues for concerts, comedy shows and dining.
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 Ajay Thomas (MSTP 2007)

Lab: Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal

Year you started the Neuroscience Program:  2009

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: Strong collaborative environment with top-notch researchers and strong funding.

What labs you rotated in: Niswander & Brooks-Kayal

What lab you joined and why: Brooks-Kayal. I was interested in the area of research and I was given the freedom to shape my research question.

Short description of your project: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a neurological disease that is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. The most commonly used animal models of TLE utilize chemoconvulsants to induce prolonged seizures or status epilepticus (SE), which then leads to development of spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS, epilepsy) after a latent period ranging from days to weeks.  Many molecular pathways are activated after SE that may be important contributors to epilepsy; this proposal will focus on neurotrophin signaling. Neurotrophins are growth factors that regulate cell survival, growth, differentiation, and in certain circumstances, cell death. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin that plays a myriad of roles in normal brain development including synaptogenesis, neuronal differentiation, and synaptic plasticity. BDNF is first expressed as a precursor, proBDNF, which may then be cleaved to generate mature BDNF (mBDNF). ProBDNF and mBDNF appear to play contrary roles in the nervous system since they primarily activate different receptors, p75NTR and TrkB, respectively. BDNF mRNA levels are increased in the hippocampus after SE in many different models of epilepsy and BDNF has been shown to be an important regulator of epileptogenesis. It is currently unknown whether the effects of BDNF on GABAR α1 subunit expression after status epilepticus are primarily mediated by proBDNF or mBDNF. It has been previously demonstrated that GABAA receptor (GABAR) α1 subunit expression decreases after SE through BDNF activation of the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway. My proposal aims to elucidate the possible role of proBDNF on GABAR α1 subunit regulation and epilepsy through activation of the p75NTR and the JAK/STAT pathway. This work, if successful, could impact positively our knowledge in the field of epilepsy since there is little known about the role of proBDNF signaling in epileptogenesis, and potentially lead to new ways of approaching therapeutic interventions.

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were:  James Madison University ACS Certified Chemistry Major; Mathematics Minor

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: Post-baccalaureate Fellowship at NIH

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in:  Student Senate

What you like to do outside of school: Living the Colorado lifestyle: hiking, camping, snowboarding, road biking. Also, making and eating tasty things.

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Academic Year 2008

 Vanessa Carmean

Ribera Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2008

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "The researchers here are collaborative and supportive and the grad students were friendly and seemed happy with their work and the program. I was interested in the research multiple professors were doing, and I liked the structure of the program."

What labs you rotated in: "Diego Restrepo, Tim Benke, Angie Ribera"

What lab you joined and why: "Angie Ribera. She is great advisor, the lab was a good fit, and I liked the work I did in the lab."

Short description of your project: "I am studying a touch-insensitive mutant (macho) in zebrafish to learn more about the development of Rohon-Beard cells, which are responsible for touch in the first few days after fertilization."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "University of California, Davis, B.S., Psychology, emphasis in Biology."

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "I coordinated an fMRI study looking at social and emotional functioning in children with Autism for three years."

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "Neuroscience Journal Club, Retreat Committee"

What you like to do outside of school: "Enjoy the outdoors, running, biking, swimming, skiing, and traveling."

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 Jonathon Keeney

Sikela Lab

Year you started the Neuroscience Program: 2008

Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program: "The philosophy on this campus is a very open and collaborative one, right down to the architecture of the labs. This not only fits very well with my personality, I think as science advances toward bigger and more complex projects requiring many people of varying specialties, an ability to effectively work in a group environment will actually be essential."

What labs you rotated in: "Diego Restrepo (summer), Jim Sikela (first), Stephen Davies (second), John Caldwell/David Pollock (third)."

What lab you joined and why: "Jim Sikela/Diego Restrepo (co-mentors) I was lucky to have some good rotations, which made the decision a difficult one, but I felt the best chemistry in the labs I chose, and I am thrilled with my project. The mentors push me into new territory, but are very supportive and very patient. This is exactly the combination of attributes I was looking for! "

Short description of your project: "We have identified a region of the human genome that has undergone tremendous duplication throughout the primate lineage. This region includes a protein domain of unknown function whose copy number correlates very well with both overall brain size and cortical neuron number throughout the primate lineage, culminating in humans, who have the most. My project is to elucidate a function for this protein domain."

Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were: "University of Colorado, Boulder Honors BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology "

What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school: "Worked for a cytogenetics lab in Atlanta (formerly Cytogenetics Specialists, Inc.) using fluorescent in situ hybridization to diagnose/prognose blood-borne cancers from patient samples."

Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "Brain Awareness Week – Outreach program at a local elementary school designed to educate and stimulate students' interest in neuroscience."

What you like to do outside of school: "Soccer, social activities (restaurants/bars with some friends), dodgeball on trampolines."

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 Jonathan Murphy

Dell'Acqua Lab
 
Year you started the Neuroscience Program:2008
 
Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program:"Having had no formal Neuroscience training prior to graduate school I was drawn to the variety of fields of study within the membership of the UCHSC Neuroscience Program. I also noticed that collaboration among the labs is very common as evidenced by the publication record of the members of the Neuroscience Program. I thought that this was a clue to a culture of sharing and open discussion that I value in research. Aside from academic considerations, the opportunity to play in the Rocky Mountains to the west of Denver was a huge draw. Furthermore, Denver itself, as the urban hub of the Rockies, offers all sorts of entertainment that includes concerts, plays, sporting events, and people watching. I knew I would be happy here."
 
What labs you rotated in:"Celia D. Sladek, Mark L. Dell'Acqua and Sukumar Vijayaraghavan"
 
What lab you joined and why: "This was a difficult decision after three good rotations. In the end I decided to join the Dell'Acqua lab because of the combination of a collaborative and fun lab culture, challenging and fascinating research opportunities and a good rapport with the PI."
 
Short description of your project:"In the Dell'Acqua lab we study intracellular signaling mechanisms in hippocampal pyramidal cells that underlie learning and memory. My project is focused on the interaction of a postsynaptic scaffolding protein AKAP79/150 with the L-type calcium channel Cav1.2. I am specifically interested in how the AKAP79/150-Cav1.2 complex couples excitation of postsynaptic hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells to changes in gene expression that underlie long lasting changes in synaptic strength."
 
Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were:"University of Oregon, Biochemistry"
 
What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school:"Immediately following graduation from the University of Oregon I returned to my hometown of Portland, OR to work as a research assistant at Oregon Health Sciences University studying hypothalamic regulation of metabolism by the central melanocortin system."
 
Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "Neuroscience Retreat Planning Committee"
 
What you like to do outside of school:"I like to Snowboard, hike, backpack, go to concerts, and check out the Portland Trailblazers when they come to town to play the Nuggets. I also like to drink a good beer and unwind on the porch at home."
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 Shane Rowley

Patel Lab
 
Year you started the Neuroscience Program:2008
 
Why you chose the UCHSC Neuroscience Program:"I enjoyed the collaborative environment when I interviewed and I really like Colorado. "
What labs you rotated in:"Vijayaraghavan, Patel, Restrepo"
 
What lab you joined and why: "I joined the Patel lab because I have always wanted to do research in a disease-related field. The Patel lab's unique approach to understanding epilepsy was very interesting to me."
 
Short description of your project:"I am studying mitochondrial dysfunction in epilepsy. I will be investigating how changes in mitochondrial dynamics can occur during seizures and how this contributes to the progression and development of epilepsy."
 
Where you attended undergrad and what your major/minor(s) were:"Brigham Young University in Provo, UT Major: Neuroscience Minor: Psychology "
 
What you did (if anything) between undergrad and grad school:"I worked as a laboratory technician at the University of Utah studying methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic deficits for one year."
 
Other school affiliated activities/clubs you are involved in: "RMRNG committee."
 
What you like to do outside of school:"I love anything to do with sports, camping, snowboarding, or anything else active."
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 Jake Saunders

Finger Lab

Thesis Defense: November 22, 2013

Title: “New Flavors in Airway Irritation: Solitary Chemosensory Cells & Chemosensory Brush Cells" 

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