2022 INSTITUTE GRADUATE NEUROSCIENCE PROGRAM SCHOLARS

DANIEL VAN ZANT
DANIEL VAN ZANT

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Elan Barenholtz & William Hahn, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: Dawei Li, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD

Mentor: TBD

BS Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

“I am particularly interested in understanding both human and computational brains from a complex systems perspective. I hope to use new understandings of the human mind to create better machine learning models. I then hope to use those new machine learning models to understand the human brain even better.

I was attracted to the Ph.D. neuroscience program because of the amount of faculty that are interested in a complex systems approach to the brain. The culture seems to be very positive and collaborative. I was also impressed by the high degree of freedom that Ph.D. students here have to strike out in completely new research directions.”

BRIANNA SAGLIMBENI
BRIANNA SAGLIMBENI

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Patrick Grant, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: Greg Macleod, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD
Mentor: TBD

BA Psychology/Biology, University of Albany, NY

“As an undergraduate, I majored in Psychology at the State University of New York, at Albany. In my undergraduate program I worked in a behavioral neuroscience lab that used mice models to study methamphetamine, stress, and sex differences. After graduating I worked at Columbia University as the lead research technical/lab manager for 4 years. I worked on a variety of research projects relating to neurodegenerative diseases and environmental factors, specifically Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), metals, and organophosphates. 

At FAU I am particularly interested in studying the networks and molecular mechanisms of addiction and protein trafficking events that modulate neural function and neuronal degeneration and their contribution to neurological disorders. I was attracted to the Ph.D. Neuroscience program at FAU because of its multidisciplinary approach to the field of neuroscience and the numerous opportunities it offers. FAU is the ideal institution to support my academic pursuits as it is equipped with cutting-edge technology, expertise, and resources in the methods I would like to continue to explore in a diverse and collaborative environment."

VALORIE WISEMAN
VALORIE WISEMAN

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Summer Sheremata, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD

Mentor: TBD

BS Neuroscience & Behavior/Minor Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

“I am interested in researching evolutionary cognitive neuroscience, particularly studying human hyper sociality and cooperation. My goal is to use neuroimaging to find the specific neural processes that allow humans to possess expanded capacity for emotions and to allow us to form complex societies. 

 

As I received my bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University, I already knew firsthand of the amazing opportunities FAU offers. I was attracted to the Ph.D. Neuroscience program because of the close relationships between the Neuroscience Graduate Program, Scripps Florida, and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. I chose the Neuroscience Graduate Program because of the interdisciplinary approach from the impressive list of the Brain Institute members.”

 

TY ROACHFORD
TY ROACHFORD

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Greg Macleod, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD

Mentor: TBD

BS Neuroscience & Behavior, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

"At Florida Atlantic University I intend to primarily study computational neuroscience, but have great interest in experimental neuroscience methods. Specifically, I have been investigating, and will continue to investigate, the idea that plasticity mechanisms in neurons are contingent on the level of "energy" (ATP/DP/MP) in the peripheral structures (axon/dendrites) of neurons. More generally, I am interested in Self-Organizing intelligent Ultra Low power technology. In other words, how to engineer and understand systems (biological/synthetic/mixed) which are able to organize themselves towards the achievement of a particular goal with as little power as possible.

The opportunity at FAU for collaborations with Scripps Research Institute (SRI) and Max Planck Florida Institute (MPFI) in addition to FAU’s strong multidisciplinary approach to neuroscience is what led me to pursue my graduate studies here. I greatly look forward to multidisciplinary collaborations in the future."

NAHOMIE BRISSEAU
NAHOMIE BRISSEAU

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Jenny Wei, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD

Mentor: TBD

BS Neuroscience & Behavior, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

“I am particularly interested in molecular and neurobiological pathologies that result from age-related neurodegenerative diseases and pharmaceutical attempts at regeneration. More broadly, my interests also include synaptic plasticity, neuronal cell loss, spatial navigation, and cognitive disorders in relation to aging.

I was attracted to the Ph.D. Neuroscience Program because it is highly collaborative in its attempt to train students in multiple research areas. This program provides students with the opportunity to personalize their research experiences as they learn from faculty members who often conduct cross-disciplinary research within FAU's institute affiliates.”

KALEIGH BIEGLER
KALEIGH BIEGLER

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD

Mentor: TBD

BS Biology, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL

“As an Undergraduate, I majored in Molecular Biology with a minor in Marine Science and conducted research at Eckerd College and the University of Iowa. I have used the model genetic organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, to investigate signal transduction and pathology. My particular interests include stem cell research, neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, the effects of specific drugs on the brain, and diseases/disorders such as brain cancer, dementia, and strokes.


I was attracted to the Ph.D. Neuroscience program because of their multidisciplinary approach. Since I am interested in several different branches of neuroscience, having this opportunity to have a lab rotation within each interest will help me find my specific path in neuroscience to focus my Ph.D. on. In addition, I am honored to have the opportunity to work with so many resources from several institutes, such as the Brain Institute, Scripps, and Max Planck.”

Claudia Koroma
Claudia Koroma

Entered: Graduate Neuroscience Training Program 2021
GNTP Affiliate Program: Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP)
Mentor: Henriette van Praag, Ph.D.
Thesis Topic: The role of diet and exercise in modulation of adult neurogenesis, neuroinflammation and amyloid-beta pathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease
claudiaalvar2021@fau.edu
BS Behavioral Neuroscience & Psychology, Randolph-Macon College

“My particular interests include understanding the cellular mechanisms of oxidative stress that increase inflammatory markers in the brain and the potential mechanisms to reverse this damage and promote resiliency. In my undergraduate program, I worked in a research lab which used various mice models of stress to measure the effects on molecular markers of inflammation and resiliency, in the Hippocampus. I then found employment at Radius TBI of South Florida, where I was the Clinical Research Coordinator for an ongoing study on oculo-motor function as a non-invasive biomarker of mild cognitive impairment.

I was attracted to the GNTP program because of its multidisciplinary approach to the field of neuroscience. The structure of the program was very appealing, as it provides students with the opportunity to have a rotation within each of these approaches when making the decision of which PhD to further pursue."

ALEJANDRA QUINTERO
ALEJANDRA QUINTERO

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Henriette van Praag, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: Carmen Varela, Ph.D.

Lab Rotation: Julie Pilitsis, M.D., Ph.D.

Mentor: TBD
BS Behavioral Neuroscience/Psychology, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL

“As an undergraduate, I majored in Behavioral Neuroscience/Psychology at Nova Southeastern University. During this time, I worked on a research project aimed to investigate neural and behavioral differences in executive function between bilinguals and monolinguals as well as reveal the relationship between inhibition and linguistic balance. Recently, I have been particularly interested in the beneficial effects of exercise on brain function and behavior. By studying the production of new neurons as well as synaptic changes in areas of the brain essential for learning and memory, I hope to provide unique insights into therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

I was attracted to the Ph.D. Neuroscience program not only because of its cross-disciplinary nature but also due to the unique three-way partnership between FAU, Max Planck and Scripps Research Institute. Through NGP I look forward to collaborating across different areas of research and becoming involved in the numerous community outreach programs available through this institution.”

LUIZA SAO PEDRO ROMERO
LUIZA SAO PEDRO ROMERO

Entered: Neuroscience Graduate Program NGP 2022

Lab Rotation: Wen Shen, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: Jang (John) Wu, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD

Mentor: TBD

BS Neuroscience & Behavior, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

"I am particularly interested in Neurophysiology, which studies the nervous system function. To be more specific, I am fascinated with studying synapses, which assist in neural communication, and neuroplasticity, which involves the change or reorganization of neural networks. I am also interested in the morphology of neurons, connecting their function to how they are structured. Currently, I am being mentored by Dr. Wen Shen while researching a new subgroup of amacrine cells in the mouse retina. Dr. Shen has been assisting me on using electrophysiology techniques, such as voltage clamp and patch-clamp, to study these retinal cells."

"I was attracted to the Ph.D. Neuroscience programs because of the ability to have lab rotations. I believe that with these rotations I will gain a lot of research experience and be able to learn new techniques that might assist in my research. In addition to that, I am excited to be part of the FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute community and participate in the growth of Neuroscience research. I hope you will consider being part of our program, and I am looking forward to the future neuroscientists that will join our community."