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Current Graduate Students

Neuroscience Graduate Students

  • A photo of Raymond Anderson.
    Name:
    Raymond Anderson
    Education:
    B.S., Psychology and Biology, University of South Dakota
    Advisor:
    Dr. David Smith
    Research Interests:
    Mechanics of Proteasome Function
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • DeVallance E, Branyan K, Lemaster KA, Anderson RT, Marshall KL, Olfert M, Smith DM, Bryner R, Frisbee J, Chantler P (2019) Exercise training prevents the perivascular adipose tissue-induced aortic dysfunction with metabolic syndrome. Redox Biology.
    • Thibaudeau TA, Anderson RT, Smith DM. (2018). A Common mechanism of proteasome impairment by neurodegenerative disease-associated oligomers. Nature Communications.
    • Snoberger A, Anderson RT, Smith DM (2017). The proteasomal ATPases use a slow moving but high power strategy to unfold proteins. Frontiers Molecular Biosciences.
    • Smith JP, Prince MA, Achua JK, Robertson JM, Anderson RT, Ronan PJ, Summers CH (2016).Intensity of anxiety is modified via complex integrative stress circuitries. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 63: 351-361.
    Award
    • 2017 - 2020 F-31 Pre-doctoral Fellowship
    • 2016 WVU Travel award recipient 
    • 2016 2nd place at Appalachian regional cell conference poster presentation
    • 2016 - Present WVU Cell Biology Training Program
    • 2013 - Present National Society of Leadership and Success
    • 2013 Louella E. Cable Scholarship
    • 2011 - Present Alpha Lambda Delta/Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
    • 2010 Coyote Commitment Scholarship
    • 2010 South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship
  • A photo of Philip Bender.
    Name:
    Philip Bender
    Education:
    B.S., Biology, University at Albany, SUNY, M.H.S., Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Advisor:
    Dr. Charles Anderson
    Research Interests:
    Auditory processing and synaptic zinc
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2013 Presidential Leadership Award: School Spirit, SUNY Albany
    • 2012 Found Being: Inclusive Award, SUNY Albany
    • 2011 Committed to a Cause Award, SUNY Albany
    • 2011 FISH Philosophy Award, SUNY Albany
    • 2011, 2013 Spirit Award, SUNY Albany
    • 2009-2012 Presidential Scholarship, SUNY Albany
    • 2009, 2011 Dean’s list of Distinguished students, SUNY Albany
  • A photo of Jacob Boos.
    Name:
    Jacob Boos
    Education:
    B.S., Biology, St. Edward's University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Werner Geldenhuys
    Research Interests:
    Neurodegenerative Diseases - Alzheimer's Disease in particular
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2019 - Present Stroke and its Comorbidities T32 Training Grant, Scholar, West Virginia University
    • 2019 Dr. James Stevenson Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Scholarship.
    • 2017 120th Annual Texas Academy of Science 1st Place Oral Presentation Award
    • 2016 NSF Fellowship
    • 2013 - 2017 St. Edward’s University Fr. Edward Sorin Fellowship
    • 2013 - 2014 NSF-CASAR Fellowship
    Publication
    • Boos, J.R., Shubbar, A. & Geldenhuys, W.J. Dual monoamine oxidase B and acetylcholine esterase inhibitors for treating movement and cognition deficits in a  elegansmodel of Parkinson’s disease. Med Chem Res 30, 1166–1174 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00044-021-02720-x
  • A photo of Jacob Bumgarner.
    Name:
    Jacob Bumgarner
    Education:
    B.M., Piano Performance, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Randy Nelson
    Research Interests:
    Disruption of circadian rhythms, pain, and stroke.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Bumgarner JR, Nelson RJ. 2021. Light At Night and Disrupted Circadian Rhythms Alter Physiology and Behavior. Integr Comp Biol icab017.
    • Bumgarner JR, Walker II WH, Liu JA, Walton JC, Nelson RJ. 2020. Dim Light at Night Exposure Induces Cold Hyperalgesia and Mechanical Allodynia in Male Mice. Neuroscience 343, 111-119.
    • Bumgarner JR, Walker II WH, Nelson RJ. 2020. Circadian Rhythms and Pain. Neurosci Biobehav Rev (Under Review).
    • Nelson RJ, Bumgarner JR, Walker WH II, DeVries AC. 2021. Time-of-Day as a Critical Biological Variable. Neurosci Biobehav Rev (Under Review).
    • Walker II WH, Bumgarner JR, Walton JC, Liu JA, Melendez-Fernandez OH, Nelson RJ, DeVries AC. 2020. Light Pollution and Cancer. Int J Mol Sci 21: 9360.
    • Walker II WH, Bumgarner JR, Nelson RJ, DeVries AC. 2020. Transcardial Perfusion is not Required to Accurately Measure Cytokines within the Brain. J Neurosci Methods
    • Walton JC, Walker II WH, Bumgarner JR, Melendez-Fernandez OH, Liu JA, Nelson RJ. 2020. Circadian Variation in Efficacy of Medications. Clin Pharmacol Ther. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpt.2073
    • Weil ZM, Fonken LK, Walker II WH, Bumgarner JR, Liu JA, Melendez-Fernandez OH, Zhang N, DeVries AC, Nelson RJ. 2020. Dim Light at Night Exacerbates Stroke Outcome. Eur J Neurosci. 52: 4139
    • Sprowls SA, Arsiwala TA, Bumgarner JR, Shah N, Lateef SS, Kielkowski BN, Lockman PR. 2019. Improving CNS Delivery to Brain Metastases by Blood-Tumor Barrier Disruption. Trends Cancer 5, 495-505.
    Award
    • 2020 - Present NIH T32 Stroke and its Comorbidities Associate Scholar
    • 2019 - Present Arlen G. & Louise Stone Swiger Fellowship
    • 2019 Order of Augusta Scholar
    • 2018 WVU Young Artist Competition, 1st Prize
    • 2018 Anna Lee Porter Riddle Scholarship
    • 2016 WVU International Piano Competition, 1st Prize
    • 2015 - 2019 Presidential Scholarship
    • 2015 - 2019 Ida Cope Tait Music Scholarship
    • 2015 - 2019 Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation Scholarship
    • 2015 - 2019 President’s List
  • A photo of Emily Burrage.
    Name:
    Emily Burrage
    Education:
    B.S., Neuroscience, Minor in Chemistry, Bay Path University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Paul Chantler
    Research Interests:
    The role of stress and obesity on the neurovascular unit
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Burrage E, Marshall K.L, Santanam N, and Chantler PD. Cerebrovascular dysfunction with stress and depression. Brain Circulation. 4(2) 43-53, 2018. PMID: 30276336
    • O’Connell GE, Walsh K, Burrage E, Adeoye O, Chantler PD, AND Barr TL. High-throughput profiling reveals widespread sex-associated differences in the composition of circulating proteome following ischemic stroke. Physiological Genomics. 50(10):876-883, 2018. PMID:30029587
    Award
    • 2021 Annual Stroke Symposium Awardee (1st place), West Virginia University
    • 2019 – Present Stroke and its Co-Morbidities T32 Associate Scholar, West Virginia University
    • 2019 – 2020 Toxicology Working Group Travel Award, West Virginia University
    • 2020 Mitochondria, Metabolism, and Bioenergetics Travel Award, West Virginia University
    • 2018 – 2019 Stroke and its Co-Morbidities T32 Fellow, West Virginia University
    • 2016 – 2017 Division of Research and Academic Resources Dean’s Award, Bay Path University 
  • A photo of Briana Clary.
    Name:
    Briana Clary
    Education:
    B.S., Biology & Psychology, East Tennessee State University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Candice Brown
    Research Interests:
    Stroke, Sepsis, and Alzheimer's Disease
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2016 – 2020 Academic Performance Scholarship
  • A photo of Alexis Crockett.
    Name:
    Alexis Crockett
    Education:
    B.S., Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Visvanathan Ramamurthy
    Research Interests:
    Investigate role of the small GTPase ARL13B in photoreceptor cilia
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2015 – 2018 Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative Recipient Honors Charles Center Scholarship for Research:
    • 2015 – 2018 Dean’s List
  • A photo of Jacob Feldmann.
    Name:
    Jacob Feldmann
    Education:
    B.S. Neuroscience, minor in Biochemistry, The College of William and Mary
    Advisor:
    Dr. Gordon Meares
    Research Interests:
    Stroke and neurodegenerative diseases- Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and MS.
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2014 – 2016 Dean’s List
    • Honors Charles Center Scholarship for Research:
    • 2014 – 2018 First Team National Academic Award Recipient
    • 2014 – 2016; 2018 Men’s Gymnastics National Academic Champion Team
    • 2013 Men’s Gymnastics Maccabiah Team
    • 2011 – 2013 Junior Olympic Gymnastic Nationals
  • A photo of Rachel  Hostetler.
    Name:
    Rachel Hostetler
    Education:
    B.S., Neuroscience and German Studies, University of Minnesota
    Advisor:
    Dr. Aric Agmon
    Research Interests:
    Investigating the diverse roles of the somatostatin-containing inhibitory interneurons in cerebral cortex circuitry and their involvement in associative learning.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Hu X, Urhie O, Chang K, Hostetler R, Agmon A (2018) A Novel Method for Training Mice in Visuo-Tactile 3-D Object Discrimination and Recognition. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 12. 
    Award
    • 2020 Outstanding Service Award- WVU Office of Research and Graduate Education
    • 2018-2020: NIH T32 Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Grant, Scholar
    • 2017-2018: NIH T32 Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Gran, Associate Scholar 
  • A photo of Anna Korol.
    Name:
    Anna Korol
    Education:
    B.S., Physical and Biomedical Electronics, National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute"
    Advisor:
    Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko
    Research Interests:
    Computational Neuroscience, Motor Control, Numerical Simulation of Dynamical Systems, Stroke Rehabilitation, Machine Learning.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Korol A., Karplyk Y., 2019, Hemodynamic parameters analysis by Laser Doppler Flowmetry, Proceedings of XVIII International Scientific and Technical Conference "Physical Processes and Fields of Technical and Biological Objects", Kremenchug, Ukraine, ISSN 2305-1353, pp. 57 - 58.
    • Korol A., 2018, Submillimeter bolometer sensors, Proceedings of II All-Ukrainian Student’s Scientific and Practical Conference "The Science of the 21st Century: Challenges, Priorities, Prospects for Research", NTUU “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Kyiv, Ukraine, Online resource, Volume 2, pp. 149 - 152.
    • Korol A., 2017, Analysis of Methods and Applications for Predicting Epileptic Seizures, Proceedings of XVIII All-Ukrainian Student’s Scientific and Practical Conference "Science and Technology of the XXI Century", NTUU “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Kyiv, Ukraine, ISSN 2411-3050, pp. 100 - 102.
    Award
    • 2018 Finalist, Global Nominee, NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018, Kyiv, Ukraine
    • 2017 Finalist, EBEC (European BEST Engineering Competition), Kyiv, Ukraine
  • A photo of Jennifer Liu.
    Name:
    Jennifer Liu
    Education:
    B.S., Biology, Utica College
    Advisor:
    Dr. Randy Nelson
    Research Interests:
    Chronobiology, Circadian Disruptions, and the role of Dim Light at Night on Physiology in the context of Stroke
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Walker WH 2nd, Bumgarner JR, Walton JC, Liu JA, Melendez-Fernandez OH, Nelson RJ, DeVries AC. 2021. Light pollution and cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. (in press).
    • Walton JC, Walker WH 2nd, Bumgarner JR, Melendez-Fernandez OH, Liu JA, Hughes HL, Kaper AL, Nelson RJ. 2020. Circadian Variation in Efficacy of Medications. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutic. (In press). doi: 10.1002/cpt.2073

    • Weil ZM, Fonken LK, Walker WH 2nd, Bumgarner JR, Liu JA, Melendez-Fernandez OH, Zhang N, DeVries AC, Nelson RJ. 2020. Dim light at night exacerbates stroke outcome.  European Journal of Neuroscience, 52(9):4139-4146. doi: 10.1111.ejn.14915 

    • Bumgarner JR, Walker WH 2nd, Liu JA, Walton JC, Nelson RJ. 2020. Dim Light at Night Exposure Induces cold Hyperalgesia and Mechanical Allodynia in Male Mice. Neuroscience. 434:111-119. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2020.03.022.

    Award
    • 2018 - 2019 Dr. Robert M. Green Scholarship, Utica College
    • 2017 Dean’s Honor List, Utica College
    • 2015 - 2019 International Merit Award, Utica College
  • A photo of Abbey Manning.
    Name:
    Abbey Manning
    Education:
    B.S., Biochemistry, St. Vincent College
    Advisor:
    Dr. Charles Anderson
    Research Interests:
    Auditory processing and synaptic zinc
  • A photo of Mason McCollum.
    Name:
    Mason McCollum
    Education:
    B.S., Biochemistry, Mercyhurst University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Charles Anderson
    Research Interests:
    Auditory processing and synaptic zinc
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2020 - Present Behavioral & Biomedical Sciences T32 Scholar
    • 2020 - Present The National Society of Leadership and Success Member
    • 2020 Dr. James Stevenson Scholarship Recipient
    • 2019 - 2020 Behavioral & Biomedical Sciences T32 Associate Scholar
  • A photo of Tyler McGaughey.
    Name:
    Tyler McGaughey
    Education:
    B.S., Biology & Chemistry, Hampden Sydney College
    Advisor:
    Dr. Victor Finomore
    Research Interests:
    Functional neuroimaging, chronic lower back pain, and endogenous pain modulation mechanisms.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Fischer, K. M., Scott, T., Browe D., McGaughey T. A., Woods, C., Wolyniak, M. J., & Freeman J. W. (2020). Hydrogels for Skeletal Muscle Regeneration. Regenerative Engineering and Translation Medicine
    Award
    • 2019 - Present Behavior and Biomedical Sciences Research Training Program T32 Research Scholar
    • Virginia Academy of Sciences: Best poster in biomedical and general engineering section
    • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
  • A photo of Hecmarie Melendez-Fernandez.
    Name:
    Hecmarie Melendez-Fernandez
    Education:
    B.S., Integrative Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus
    Advisor:
    Dr. Randy Nelson
    Research Interests:
    Circadian biology disruption focused on health outcomes, particularly as it relates to recovery after injury (cardiac arrest, stroke, neuroinflammation), affective disorders and ageing.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Meléndez‐Fernández, O. H., Walton, J. C., DeVries, A. C., and Nelson, R. J. (2021). Disrupted circadian rhythms and cardiac function. (Under review in Biomolecules)
    • Meléndez‐Fernández, O. H., Zhang, N., Walton, J. C., DeVries, A. C., and Nelson, R. J. (2021). Effects of light at night on hippocampal vasculature, neural integrity, inflammation and behavior after cardiac arrest and resuscitation. (In Prep)
    • Liu, J. A., Walton, J. C., Bumgarner, J.R., Walker W.H. II, Meléndez-Fernández, O.H., DeVries, A. C., and Nelson, R. J. (Under final revisions, will be submitted to Biology Letters).
    • Walker W.H. II , Sprowls S.A., Bumgarner, J.R., Liu, J.A., Meléndez-Fernández, O.H., Walton J.C., Lockman, P.R., DeVries, A.C., Nelson, R.J. (2021) Circadian influences on chemotherapy efficacy in a mouse model of brain metastases of breast cancer. (Submitted to Frontiers in Neuroscience)
    • Walker W.H. II , Bumgarner, J.R., Walton JC, Liu, J.A., Meléndez-Fernández, OH, Nelson, RJ, DeVries, AC. Light pollution and cancer. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9360; doi:10.3390/ijms21249360
    • Walton J.C., Walker W.H. 2nd, Bumgarner J.R., Meléndez-Fernández O.H., Liu J.A., Hughes H.L., Kaper A.L., Nelson R.J. Circadian variation in efficacy of medications. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Oct 6. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2073. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33025623.
    • Walker WH 2nd, Meléndez-Fernández OH, Pascoe JL, Zhang N, DeVries AC. Social enrichment attenuates chemotherapy induced pro-inflammatory cytokine production and affective behavior via oxytocin signaling. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2020 Jul. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.07.032.
    • Weil, Z. M., Fonken, L. K., Walker, W. H., Bumgarner, J. R., Liu, J. A., Melendez‐Fernandez, O. H., ... & Nelson, R. J. (2020). Dim light at night exacerbates stroke outcome. European Journal of Neuroscience.
    • Walker, W. H.*, Meléndez‐Fernández, O. H.*, Nelson, R. J., & Reiter, R. J. (2019). Global climate change and invariable photoperiods: A mismatch that jeopardizes animal fitness. Ecology and evolution, 9(17), 10044-10054.
    • Walker, W. H.*, Meléndez-Fernández, O. H., & Nelson, R. J. (2019). Prior exposure to dim light at night impairs dermal wound healing in female C57BL/6 mice. Archives of dermatological research, 311(7), 573-576.
    • Walker, W. H., Borniger, J. C., Gaudier-Diaz, M. M., Meléndez-Fernández, O. H., Pascoe, J. L., DeVries, A. C., & Nelson, R. J. (2019). Acute exposure to low-level light at night is sufficient to induce neurological changes and depressive-like behavior. Molecular psychiatry, 1-14.
    • Fonken, L.K., Aubrecht, T.G., Meléndez-Fernández, O.H., Weil, Z.M., & Nelson, R.J. (2013). Dim light at night disrupts molecular circadian rhythms and increases body weight. Journal of Biological Rhythms. August 2013 28: 262-271
    • Fonken, L.K.*, Meléndez-Fernández, O.H.*, Weil, Z.M., & Nelson, R.J. (2014). Exercise attenuates the effects of dim light at night on metabolism. Journal of Physiology and Behavior. 124 (2014) 33-36. (Available on-line 10/30/13). *authors contributed equally
    Award
    • 2020 - Present Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Grant T32 Scholar
    • 2019 - 2020 Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Grant T32 Affiliate Scholar. 
    • 2014 - 2016 Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences
      Fellowship.
    • 2013 University of Minnesota Biomedical Sciences Programs Campus Preview
      Weekend Travel Grant
    • 2013 - 2014 Baylor College of Medicine SMART PREP Post-baccalaureate Program NIGMS Grant
    • 2013 1st Place in Research Workshop category, for the How to create and efficiently
      present a research poster, in the First Undergraduate Meeting of Research and
      Creation of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
    • 2013 NIMH’S Career Opportunities in Research (COR) Scholar
    • 2012 NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Fellowship
    • 2012 NSF Illinois Summer Neuroscience Institute (ISNI) Fellowship participant.
      University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
    • 2012 Jan. 2012 University of Texas Cullen Trust for Higher Education Fellowship
      Travel Award
    • 2011 - 2012
  • A photo of Brooklyn Metz.
    Name:
    Brooklyn Metz
    Education:
    B.S., Biomedical Engineering , West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Sergiy Yakovenko
    Research Interests:
    Neuromechanics, Rehabilitation Engineering, and Motor Control
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2020 - Present WVU STEM fellowship
    • 2018 - 2019 WVU Dean's List
    • 2016 - 2020 WV Promise Scholar
    • 2016 - 2020 WVU Honors College
    • 2016 - 2020 WVU Engineering Excellence Scholarship
    • 2016 - 2020 WVU Presidential Scholarship
  • A photo of Sree Motipally.
    Name:
    Sree Motipally
    Education:
    B.S., Microbiology, Genetics and Chemistry, M.S., Biotechnology, Osmania University, M.S., Biology, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Saravanan Kolandaivelu
    Research Interests:
    Neurodegeneration and rescue
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Motipally, S.I., Allen, K.M., Williamson, D.K., and Marsat, G.(2019). Differences in Sodium Channel Densities in the Apical Dendrites of Pyramidal Cells of the Electrosensory Lateral Line Lobe. Front. Neural Circuits 13:41.doi: 10.3389/fncir.2019.00041
  • A photo of Robin Oliverio.
    Name:
    Robin Oliverio
    Education:
    B.S., Biology, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Zachary Weil
    Research Interests:
    Traumatic Brain Injury and Alcohol Use Disorder
    Achievements:
    Publication

    Oliverio, R., Karelina, K., & Weil, Z. M. (2020). Sex, drugs, and TBI: the role of sex in substance abuse related to traumatic brain injuries. Frontiers in neurology, 11.
    • Karelina, K., Schneiderman, K., Shah, S., Fitzgerald, J., Cruz, R.V., Oliverio, R., Whitehead, B., Yang, J. and Weil, Z.M., (2021). Moderate Intensity Treadmill Exercise Increases Survival of Newborn Hippocampal Neurons and Improves Neurobehavioral Outcomes after Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma.

    Award

    • 2019 Magna Cum Laude Graduate from West Virginia University

    • 2016 - 2019 Mountaineer Scholarship Recipient

    • 2015 - 2019 West Virginia University Honors College Member

    • 2015 - 2017 West Virginia University President’s List

  • A photo of James Scripter.
    Name:
    James Scripter
    Education:
    B.S., Biology, Westfield State University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Eric Tucker
    Research Interests:
    I am researching the effects of the c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling pathway on Thalamocortical Axon development and examining the mechanisms of Thalamocortical Axon projections by observing guidance cues in JNK cTKO brains.
    Achievements:
    Award

    ● 2020 National Society for Leadership and Success, Inductee/Member

    ● 2020 Cell Biology and Biomedical Engineering Training Program, T32 Trainee

    ● 2012 Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout

    Publication

    ● Cunningham JG, Scripter JD, Nti SA, Tucker ES (2021) Early construction of the thalamocortical axon pathway requires JNK signaling within the ventral forebrain. bioRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.09.439208

  • A photo of Catherine  Smoot (Smith).
    Name:
    Catherine Smoot (Smith)
    Education:
    B.S., Biology, Oregon State University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Eric Tucker
    Research Interests:
    I am studying the role of the novel gene map3k12 binding inhibitory protein (Mbip) in cortical interneuron development using novel genetic mouse models, with a focus on assessing the effects of genetic knockout on postnatal anatomical structure and animal behavior.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Catherine A. Smoot, Kareem A. Wasef, Philip Bender, Mason McCollum, Charles Anderson, and Eric S. Tucker. “Map3k12 binding inhibitory protein (Mbip) function establishes the appropriate number of cortical interneurons,” anticipated submission 2020.
    • Catherine Smoot. “TrkB Function in Cortistatin-expressing Interneurons Regulates Cortical Gene Expression Patterns,” eNeuro Blog, Reader’s Pick, August 20, 2020; https://blog.eneuro.org/2020/08/readers-pick-aug-2
    • Abigail K. Myers, Jessica G. Cunningham, Skye E. Hickling, John P. Snow, Catherine A. Smoot, and Eric S. Tucker. "JNK signaling is required for proper tangential migration and laminar allocation of cortical interneurons," Development 2020; 10.1242/dev.180646
    • Brett D. Dufour, Catherine A. Smith, Randall L. Clark, Timothy Walker and Jodi L. McBride. “Intra-jugular vein delivery of AAV9-RNAi prevents neuropathological changes and weight loss in Huntington’s disease mice,” Molecular Therapy 2014; 10.1038/mt.2013.289
    Award
    • 2019 Travel Award for Brain Camp Participation, Department of Neuroscience, West Virginia University
    • 2019 2nd Place Graduate Student Talk, Appalachian Regional Cell Biology Conference, West Virginia University
    • 2019 Travel Award for Success in ARCC preparation, Cell Biology Training Program, West Virginia University
    • July 2017 - June 2018 Schoepp Neuroscience Research Student Fellowship Award
  • A photo of Ariel  Thomas.
    Name:
    Ariel Thomas
    Education:
    B.A., Biology/Neuroscience, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko
    Research Interests:
    Motor control, Stroke, Rehabilitation, Virtual Reality, Modeling
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Thomas, A. B., Olesh, E., Adcock, A., and Gritsenko, V. (2021). Muscle forces comprise a more sensitive measure of post-stroke movement deficits than joint angles. Preprint Available: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/642272v4
    • Smith, A.P., Thomas, A.B., and Gritsenko, V. (2021). Quantifying fatigue with wearable assistive FES devices for the shoulder. WVU Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium.
    • Barr, M., Thomas, A.B., and Gritsenko, V. (2021). Effects of Functional Electrical Stimulation on upper-limb performance in stroke survivors. WVU Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium.
    • Alghawi, R., Thomas, A.B., Brandmeir, C., Yakovenko, S., and Gritsenko, V. (2021). Evaluation of Functional Electrical Stimulation of shoulder muscles for combined assistance with arm motion and reduction of shoulder subluxation. Neural Control of Movement Conference. Web.
    • Thomas, A.B., Hardesty, R.L., and Gritsenko, V. (2019). Functional Electrical Stimulation Helps Support the Weight of the Arm During Reaching and Grasping Movements. Dynamic Poster at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. Chicago, Illinois.
    • Thomas, A.B., Hardesty, R.L., and Gritsenko, V. (2019). Shoulder Functional Electrical Stimulation Reduces the Effort to Overcome Gravity During Reaching Movements. RehabWeek International Conference, Toronto, Canada.
    • Thomas, A.B., Olesh, E., and Gritsenko, V. (2019). Mechanical Analysis of Reaching: Movement-Based Control of Upper Limb Coordination altered after Stroke. WVU Van Liere Research Day, Morgantown, West Virginia.
    • Thomas, A.B., Olesh, E., Adcock, A., and Gritsenko, V. (2018). Dynamic Measures Provide Unique Insight into Motor Dysfunction After Stroke. Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference. San Diego, California.
    • Blair, K., Kaptis, L., Keeting, J., Wright, A., Thomas, A.B., Boots, M., Sobinov, A., and Gritsenko, V. (2018). The Use of Electromyography of Wrist and Hand Motions for the Development of a Virtual Reality Prosthesis: A Mechanism Study. WVU Doctor of Physical Therapy Thesis.
    • Thomas, A.B., Olesh, E., and Gritsenko, V. (2018). Dynamic measures link post-stroke movement impairment to changes in neural architecture. Appalachian Translational Research Network Summit, Lexington, Kentucky.
    • Thomas, A.B., Olesh, E., Pollard, B., and Gritsenko, V. (2018). Isolating Postural EMG Using Kinematically Derived Torques Improves Assessment of Upper-Limb Motor Deficits in Virtual Reality. WVU Van Liere Research Day, Morgantown, West Virginia.
    • Thomas, A.B., Olesh, E., Pollard, B., and Gritsenko, V. (2017). Quantifying Variability in Motor Dysfunction After Stroke. West Virginia University, Center for Neuroscience Annual Retreat.
    • Bradley SP, Chapman PD, Thomas A, Daly KC (2016). Olfactory network function is modulated by flight motor pattern generating centers: Evidence for the first corollary discharge circuit to an olfactory pathway, Chemical Senses 1(9):E140-E140.
    Award
    • WVU Launchlab April Arts Pitch Competition Finalist, ‘Developing an Anatomy Game Using 3D Modeling’
    • WVU 3-Minute Thesis Competition Finalist, ‘Virtual Reality: The Future of Personalized Rehabilitation’
    • National Institute on Aging T32 Training Fellowship, AG052375
    • Arlen G. and Louise Stone Swiger Doctoral Fellowship
    • American Councils for International Education Business, Technology and Innovation Scholarship
    • Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Trainee Travel Award
    • Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center Doctoral Student Travel Award
    • WVU Bucklew Scholarship
    • WVU Valedictorian Scholarship
    • Elk’s Club Most Influential Student Scholarship
    • West Virginia Promise Scholarship
    • WVU Chimes Honorary
    • WVU Mortar Board Honorary
  • A photo of Bailey Whitehead.
    Name:
    Bailey Whitehead
    Education:
    B.S., Neuroscience & Psychology, Central Michigan University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Zachary Weil
    Research Interests:
    Metabolic Responses after Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke and TBI Co-morbidities
    Achievements:
    Award
    • 2021 NIH T32 Stroke and its Comorbidities Scholar
    • 2020 NIH T32 Stroke and its Comorbidities Associate Scholar
    Publication

    • Karelina, K. Schneiderman, S. Shah, J. Fitzgerald, R. Velazquez Cruz, R. Oliverio, B. Whitehead, J. Yang, Z. M. Weil., “Moderate intensity treadmill exercise increases survival of newborn hippocampal neurons and improves neurobehavioral outcomes following traumatic brain injury.” (Journal of Neurotrauma)

     

Neuroscience M.D./Ph.D. Candidates

  • A photo of Cassie Abbey (Bebout).
    Name:
    Cassie Abbey (Bebout)
    Education:
    B.S. in Molecular Biology, Auburn University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Visvanathan Ramamurthy
    Research Interests:
    The role of PROM1 in genetic eye disorders
    Achievements:
    Award
    •  Auburn University Presidential Scholarship Recipient 2017-2019
    •  Auburn University Dean's List 2018-2019
    •  All-SEC Academic Team 2019
    •  Athletic Director's Honor Roll 2019
    •  NIH Summer Intern 2018 (NHGRI)
  • A photo of Rachel Taitano.
    Name:
    Rachel Taitano
    Education:
    B.S., Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
    Advisor:
    Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko
    Research Interests:
    Neural control of movement, motor learning, modeling
    Achievements:
    Award

    • 2021 Brains For Brain Foundation Cold Spring Habor Laboratory Brain Barriers Scholarship
    • Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society
    • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
    • Virginia Tech College of Engineering Pratt Scholarship
    • Virginia Tech College of Engineering Dean’s List
    • Sweet Briar College Dean’s List, First Year Honors
    • Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) All-Academic Team
    • Sweet Briar College Commonwealth Scholarship, Award for Virginia Recipient
    • Sweet Briar College Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Scholarship Recipient