Current Graduate Students

Neuroscience Ph.D. Candidates

  • A photo of Raymond Anderson.

    Raymond Anderson

    Education
    B.S., Psychology and Biology, University of South Dakota
    Advisor:
    Dr. David Smith
    Room
    3130F HSC-North
    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 (2018) Exercise Reduces TNFa and ROS Production in Perivascular Adipose Tissue Preventing Metabolic Syndrome Impairment of Aortic Function. In Review
    • 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.
    • Snoberger A, Anderson RT, Smith DM (2017). The proteasomal ATPases use a slow moving but high power strategy to unfold proteins. Frontiers Molecular Biosciences.
    • Thibaudeau TA, Anderson RT, Smith DM. (2018). A Common mechanism of proteasome impairment by neurodegenerative disease-associated oligomers. Nature Communications.
    Award
    • 2nd place poster presentation. Appalachian Regional Cell Conference, October 2016
    • WVU Travel Award recipient. November 2016
    • F-31 Pre-doctoral Fellowship. December 2017-Present
  • A photo of Jacob Boos.

    Jacob Boos

    Education
    B.S., Biology, St. Edward's University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Werner Geldenhuys
    Room
    121 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Neurodegenerative Diseases - Alzheimer's Disease in particular
  • A photo of Emily Burrage.

    Emily Burrage

    Education
    B.S., Neuroscience, Minor in Chemistry, Bay Path University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Paul Chantler
    Room
    8604 HSC
    Research Interests:
    The role of stress and obesity on the neurovascular unit
  • A photo of Russell  Hardesty.

    Russell Hardesty

    Education
    B.S., Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko
    Room
    151 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    My research is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms of motor control (how the brain controls and coordinates movement) and how that system goes awry during pathological states, such as after a stroke.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • V. Gritsenko, R. L. Hardesty, M. T. Boots, and S. Yakovenko (2016) Biomechanical constraints underlying motor primitives derived from the musculoskeletal anatomy of the human arm. PLoS ONE, 11(10), e0164050. PMID: 27736890
    Award
    • June 2016 - April 2017: Selected as an associate scholar to the Integrative Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Program (Institutional T32 Award: NIGMS T32 GM081741).
    • April 2017: 2017 WVU Rising Star Award in Neuroscience
    • May 2017: Selected as trainee for Stroke and Co-Morbidities Training Program (Institutional T32 Award: NIGMS T32 AG052375).
    • July 2017:  Selected for the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies Summer Course 
  • A photo of Rachel  Hostetler.

    Rachel Hostetler

    Education
    B.S., Neuroscience and German Studies, University of Minnesota
    Advisor:
    Dr. Aric Agmon
    Room
    320 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Investigating the diverse roles of somatostatin-containing inhibitory interneurons in the barrel cortex of the mouse, and how changes in their activity underlie 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
    • 2018-2019: Trainee, NIH T32 "Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences" Training Grant NIGMS GM081741
    • 2017-2018: Associate Scholar, NIH T32 "Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences" Training Grant NIGMS GM081741  
  • A photo of Dakota Jackson.

    Dakota Jackson

    Education
    B.S., Biology, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. George Spirou
    Room
    321 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Neural development, Synaptogenesis, Synaptic competition, & Physiology Behavior
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • D Jackson, J Heddleston, S Ray, M Morehead, S Pidhorskyi, P Holcomb, S Young, T Chew, T Deerinck, M Ellisman, and G Spirou. Rapid tissue dynamics during the formation of the calyx of Held. (2018) Manuscript in preparation
    • G Srinivasan, S Javanovic, R Renden, G Perkins, V Balakrishnan, D Jackson, P Holcomb, B Chen, T Deerinck, M Ellisman, R Rubsamen, G Spirou, and H von Gersdorff. Ultra short synaptic delay and heterogeneity of active zones in the calyx of Held. (2018) Manuscript in preparation
    • Sivaramakrishnan S*, Brandebura A*, Holcomb P, Daniel Heller D, Kolson D, Jackson D, Mathers P, Spirou G (accepted 2018) Perinatal Development of the Medial Nucleus of the Trapezoid Body. In The Oxford Handbook of the Auditory Brainstem; Ed. Karl Kandler; Oxford University Press. *co-first authors.
    • GA Spirou, D Jackson and GA Perkins. (2015) Mitochondria Anchored at the Synapse, in The Functions, Disease-Related Dysfunctions, and Therapeutic Targeting of Neuronal Mitochondria (eds V. K. Gribkoff, E. A. Jonas and J. M. Hardwick), John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
    • GA Perkins, DR Jackson, GA Spirou. Resolving presynaptic structure by electron tomography. Synapse 69 (2015), pp. 268-82
    • PS Holcomb, BK Hoffpauir, MC Hoyson, DR Jackson, TJ Deerinck, GS Marrs, M Dehoff, J Wu, MH Ellisman, GA Spirou. Synaptic inputs compete during rapid formation of the calyx of Held: a new model system for neural development. J Neurosci Off J Soc Neurosci, 33 (2013), pp. 12954-12969

     

     

    Award
    • NanoSafe (formerly WVNano Initiative) Fellowship recipient, 2011
  • A photo of Mason McCollum.

    Mason McCollum

    Advisor:
    Dr. Charles Anderson
    Room
    318 BMRC
  • A photo of Tyler McGaughey.

    Tyler McGaughey

  • A photo of Sree Motipally.

    Sree Motipally

    Education
    B.S., Microbiology, Genetics and Chemistry, M.S., Biotechnology, Osmania University, M.S., Biology, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Saravanan Kolandaivelu
    Room
    E363, E357, WVU Eye Institute
    Research Interests:
    Neurodegeneration and rescue
  • A photo of Deidre  O'Dell.

    Deidre O'Dell

    Education
    B.S., Biology, California University of Pennsylvania, M.S., Human Biology, Chatham University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Bernard Schreurs
    Room
    1510 RNI
    Research Interests:
    Learning and memory, development, perineuronal nets, cerebellum, behavior, PTSD, AD
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Wang, D, Smith-Bell, CA, Burhans, LB, O'Dell, DE, Bell, RW, Schreurs, BG, (2018). Changes in membrane properties of rat deep cerebellar nuclear projection neurons during acquisition of eyeblink conditioning, PNAS.
    Award
    • 2016 - 2018 BBS T32 Trainee
    • 2018 Rising Star Award for Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience
  • A photo of Tiffany  Pertisko.

    Tiffany Pertisko

    Education
    B.S., Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Emory University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Gregory Konat
    Room
    2317 HSC-N
    Research Interests:
    Neuroinflammation, peripheral immune to brain signaling, neurodegeneration, neuroprotection, seizure syndromes, multiple sclerosis, stroke
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Petrisko TJ, Konat GW (2019) Peripheral viral challenge exacerbates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Metabolic brain disease.
    • Petrisko T, Konat G (2017) Peripheral viral challenge triggers hippocampal production of inflammatory proteins. Metabolic brain disease 32:1249-1254.
    • Hunsberger, H.C., Wang, D., Petrisko, T.J., Alhowail, A., Setti, S.E., Suppiramaniam, V., . . . Reed, M.N. (2016). Peripherally restricted viral challenge elevates extracellular glutamate and enhances synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. J Neurochem. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13665
    • Petrisko, Tiffany. Quantification of Upper Motor Neurons in a Rodent Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Honors Thesis, Emory University. 2014.
    • Grubbs, N., Leach, M., Su, X., Petrisko, T., Rosario, J.B., & Mahaffey, J.W. (2013). New components of drosophila leg development identified through genome wide association studies. PLoS One, 8(4), e60261. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060261
    Award
    • 2018 WVU School of Medicine Outstanding Merit Fellowship for Continuing Doctoral Student
    • 2018 WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Travel Award ($1000)
    • 2018 Associate Scholar, NIH T32 Training Grant AG052375, "Stroke and Its Co-Morbidities", West Virginia University
    • 2014 Graduated with Honors in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Emory University
    • 2014 Best Poster, SIRE-HHMI Poster Presentations, Emory University, Natural Sciences
    • 2012 - 2013 SIRE-HHMI Research Partners Program, Emory University
  • A photo of Dominic Quintana.

    Dominic Quintana

    Advisor:
    Dr. James Simpkins
    Room
    105 BMRC
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • DD Quintana, X Ren, H Hu, EB Engler-Chiurazzi, SL Rellick, SE Lewis, JM Provoznic, JW Simpkins, M Alvi (2018) Gradual common carotid artery occlusion as a novel model for cerebrovascular hypoperfusion. Metab Brain Dis. 33(6):2039-2044.
    • DD Quintana, JA Garcia, SN Sarkar, S Jun, EB Engler-Chiurazzi, AE Kerr, JZ Cavendish, JW Simpkins (2017) Hypoxia-Reoxygenation of Primary Astrocytes Results in a Redistribution of Mitochondrial Size and Mitophagy. Mitochondrion. (Under Review).
    • DD Quintana, SE Lewis (2017) Cerebrovascular Casts. Featured Researcher. News Letter, Microscope Imaging Facility. Morgantown, WV.
    • SN Sarkar, S Jun, S Rellick, DD Quintana, JZ Cavendish, JW Simpkins (2016) Expression of MicroRNA-34a in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Targets Genes Linked to Synaptic Plasticity, Energy Metabolism, and Resting State Network Activity. Brain Res. 1646:139-151.
    • M Bukeirat, SN Sarkar, Hu H, DD Quintana, JW Simpkins, X Ren (2016) MiR-34a regulates blood-brain barrier permeability and mitochondrial function by targeting cytochrome c. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 36:387-392.
    Award
    • 2016-2017 [Scholar] Associate Scholar, T32 Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
    • 2017-2018 [Scholar] T32 Stroke and its Comorbidities, West Virginia University, Morgantown WV.
  • A photo of James Scripter.

    James Scripter

    Advisor:
    Dr. Eric Tucker
    Room
    314 BMRC
  • A photo of Catherine  Smoot (Smith).

    Catherine Smoot (Smith)

    Education
    B.S., Biology, Oregon State University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Eric Tucker
    Room
    314 BMRC
    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
    • 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.
    • Jessica G. Clemente, Abigail K. Myers, Skye E. Hickling, Catherine A. Smith, and Eric S. Tucker. "JNK signaling preserves cortical interneuron stream integrity and radial organization of the cortical plate," (in progress).
    Award
    • July 2017 - June 2018 Schoepp Neuroscience Research Student Fellowship Award
  • A photo of Anton  Sobinov.

    Anton Sobinov

    Education
    B.Sc., Applied Mathematics and Informatics, M.Sc., Applied Mathematics and Informatics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
    Advisor:
    Dr. Sergiy Yakovenko
    Room
    144 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Motor control, Locomotion, Learning, Mathematical and Computational Modelling, Biomechanics
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Yakovenko S, Sobinov A, Gritsenko V (2018) Analytical CPG model driven by limb velocity input generates accurate temporal locomotor dynamics. PeerJ 6:e5849 Available at https://peerj.com/articles/5849.
    • Sobinov A and Yakovenko S (2017) Model of a bilateral Brown-type central pattern generator for symmetric and asymmetric locomotion. J Neurophysiol:jn.00443.2017, PMID: 29187551, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00443.2017
    • Sobinov A (2015) Search for traces of Tataro-Mongolian admixture in genotypes of Eurasian nations. M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Applied Mathematics and Informatics, FNBIC, MIPT, Moscow, Russia.
    Award
    • 2016 - 2017 West Virginia University Health Sciences Center Research and Graduate Education Office Travel Award
    • 2018 Neuroscience Graduate Research Award recipient 
    • 2014, February: Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov Student Award. $600
    • 2012 - 2013: Alexandrov Scholarship, Kurchatov Institute. $300/mo
    • National Institute on Aging T32 Fellowship, AG052375
  • A photo of Ariel  Thomas.

    Ariel Thomas

    Education
    B.A., Biology/Neuroscience, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Valeriya Gritsenko
    Room
    151 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Motor control, Stroke, Rehabilitation, Virtual Reality, Modeling
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • 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
    • National Institute on Aging T32 Fellowship, AG052375
    • Arlen G. and Louise Stone Swiger 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
  • A photo of Paula  Webster.

    Paula Webster

    Education
    B.A., Psychology, Wheeling Jesuit University
    Advisor:
    Dr. James Lewis
    Room
    312 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Neural mechanisms underlying sensory processing and integration in individuals with autism
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Webster PJ, Frum CA, Kurowski-Burt A, Lewis JW. Adaptive brain mechanisms in adolescents and adults with high-functioning autism for processing naturalistic and dynamic multisensory stimuli. (Manuscript to be submitted for publication 2018).
    • Webster PJ, Skipper-Kallal LM, Frum C, Still, HN, Ward D, Lewis JW. Divergent human cortical regions for processing distinct acoustic-semantic categories of natural sounds: Animal action sounds vs. vocalizations. Frontiers in Neuroscience (January 2017) 10:579. doi: 10.3389/fnins..2016.00579.
    Award
    • WVU Mountains of Excellence Scholarship
    • WVU Office of Graduate Education Travel Award
    • Founding President – WVU Neuroscience Graduate Student Organization
    • Schoepp Family Fund at WVU for neuroimaging training at NIH
    • WVU Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Scholarship travel funds
    • Cum Laude – B.A. Psychology, Wheeling Jesuit University
    • Psi Chi - National Honor Society of Psychology

Neuroscience M.D./Ph.D. Candidate

  • A photo of John Zachary (J.Z.) Cavendish .

    John Zachary (J.Z.) Cavendish

    Education
    B.A., Biochemistry-Molecular Biology, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. James Simpkins
    Room
    105 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Pathophysiology of neurodegeneration; mitochondrial structure, function, and dynamics within cortical and hippocampal neurons.
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Saumyendra Sarkar, Sujung Jun, Stephanie Rellick, Dominic Quintana, John Cavendish, James Simpkins (2016). Expression of MicroRNA-34a in Alzheimer's Disease brain targets genes linked to synaptic plasticity, energy metabolism, and resting state network activity. Brain Research, Sep 1;1646:139-51. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2016.05.026..
    • Nguyen, L., Thomas, K. L., Lucke-Wold, B. P., Cavendish, J. Z., Crowe, M. S., Matsumoto, R. R. (2016). Dextromethorphan: An update on its utility for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders . Pharmacology Therapeutics, 159, 1-22.
    • Nguyen, L., Lucke-Wold, B. P., Mookerjee, S. A., Cavendish, J. Z., Robson, M. J., Scandinaro, A. L., Matsumoto, R.R. (2015). Role of sigma-1 receptors in neurodegenerative diseases. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, 127 (1), 17-29.
    • Hu, H., Cavendish, J. Z., Agmon, A. (2013). Not all that glitters is gold: off-target recombination in the somatostatin–IRES-Cre mouse line labels a subset of fast-spiking interneurons. Frontiers in neural circuits, 7, 195.
    • Wan, Y. W., Raese, R. A., Fortney, J. E., Xiao, C., Luo, D., Cavendish, J., ... & Guo, N. L. (2012). A smoking-associated 7-gene signature for lung cancer diagnosis and prognosis. International Journal of Oncology, 41(4), 1387-1396.
    Award
    • Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Scholarship for Predoctoral Researchers. ($300 to lab supplies), 2015
    • Daryl Schoepp Fund for Neuroscience Students Performing Pharmacology Research. ($1,250 toward Marine Biological Laboratory microscopy course), 2015
  • A photo of Jessica  Cunningham (Clemente).

    Jessica Cunningham (Clemente)

    Education
    B.S., Biochemistry, Mercyhurst University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Eric Tucker
    Room
    314 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Neurodevelopment, Autism
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Jessica G. Clemente, Jack D. Williams, Marlene Cross, Candace C. Chambers. Analysis of Garlic Cultivars Using Head Space Solid Phase Microextraction/Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectroscopy. The Open Food Science Journal, 2011,6,1-4.
    • Coyne SP, Lindell SG, Clemente J, Barr CS, Parker KJ, Mastripieri D. Dopamine D4 receptor genotype variation in free-ranging rhesus macaques and its association with juvenile behavior. Behav Brain Res. 2015 Oct 1; 292:50-5.
    Award
    • 2018 1st Place Oral Presentations Van Liere Research Conference, West Virginia University
    • 2017 Neuroscience Retreat 2nd Place Overall Poster Presentation, Canaan Valley
    • 2017 1st Place Poster Presentation, Van Liere Research Conference, West Virginia University 
    • 2016 1st Place Poster Presentation, Van Liere Research Conference, West Virginia University 
  • A photo of Divine  Nwafor.

    Divine Nwafor

    Education
    B.S., Biochemisty, West Virginia University
    Advisor:
    Dr. Candice Brown
    Room
    108 BMRC
    Research Interests:
    Sepsis, Alzheimer’s disease and Traumatic Brain Injury
    Achievements:
    Publication
    • Nwafor, D., Radwan, W., Lucke-Wold, B., Underwood, W., Gyure, K., Marsh, R., (2018). Follicular lymphoma presenting as scalp mass deformity: Case Report and Review of the literature. Biomedical Research and Clinical Practice, 3(1): 1-3
    • Wold BL, Nolan R, Nwafor D, Nguyen L, Cheyuo C, Turner R, Rosen C, Marsh R (2018). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Delineating the Progression and Underlying Mechanisms Following Blast Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurosci Neuropharmacol. 2018;4(1). pii: 118. Epub 2018 Mar 2.
    • Lucke-Wold, B., Nolan, R., Nwafor, D., Nguyen, L., Cheyuo, C., Rosen, C., Marsh, R.,Turner, R., Marsh, R., (2018). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Delineating the Progression and Underlying Mechanisms Following Blast Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurosci Neuropharm 4:118.
    • Nwafor, D.,Brichacek, A., Griffith, A., Mohammed, A., Lucke-Wold, B., Geldenhuys, W., Lockman, P., Brown, C., (2018). Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity in Sepsis. Journal of Central Nervous System Disease (Currently in review)
    • Nwafor D, Zdilla, M.J., Petrone, A.B., and Lambert, H.W. (2018). Bilateral elongated styloid processes with a unilateral triticeal cartilage in the stylohyoid ligament: Implications in Eagle syndrome. Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy (submitted)
    • Divine C. Nwafor, Ashley B. Petrone, Joseph M. Collins, and Amelia K. Adcock. (2018). Paraneoplastic Opsoclonus Myoclonus with Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Journal of Neurological Sciences (submitted)
    • Bornali Kundu, MD, PhD*, Brandon Lucke-Wold, MD, PhD*, Chase Foster, MD, Dario J. Englot, MD, PhD, Ogaga Urhie, Divine Nwafor, John D. Rolston, MD, PhD. (2018). Fornicotomy for the Treatment of Epilepsy: a Re-examination of the Literature. Journal of Neurosurgery (submitted)
    Award
    • 2018 - 2020 Stroke T32 Trainee Developmental Scholarship ($3000/year)
    • 2018 Stevenson Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Scholarship ($2500)
    • 2018 WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Travel Award ($1000)
    • 2017 IDeA Southeast Regional Conference Poster Award (3rd Place)
    • 2017 WVU E. Van Liere Conference Poster Award (1stPlace)
    • 2016 Mountaineer Medical Scholarship ($20,000 for four years) 
    • 2015 WVU Order of Augusta Award
    • 2015 WVU Foundation Outstanding Graduating Senior Award
    • 2015 Woodburn Circle Society Recognition Dinner
    • 2015 Gamma Sigma Delta Inductee Recognition Dinner
    • 2015 Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Senior Award
    • 2014 Woodburn Circle Society Recognition Dinner
    • 2014 Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Sophomore Award
    • 2014 Davis College Alumni Scholarship ($1000)
    • 2013 WVU International Student Merit Scholarship (Full year tuition covered)
    • 2011 - 2015 President’s List