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Current Students

Current PIN Students
Current Program in Neuroscience Graduate Students AY2021-2022

Entering fall 2017

John Aaron Howell

  • Research mentor: Lee Bidwell, PhD, Departments of Neurology and Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Research focus: My research focuses on the neuroinflammation that occurs after ischemic strokes, particularly the activation of the nuclear factor kappa B pathway. Our goal is to find novel methods to inhibit this pathway and prevent the secondary tissue injury that occurs as a result of the inflammatory response to ischemic strokes.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, University of Mississippi, Biochemistry

Kendra Stansak

  • Research mentor: Brad Walters, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology
  • Research focus: I am interested in disease states of the inner ear. My current focus is on genetic and environmental risk factors associated with formations of neoplastic masses on or around the cochlea and cranial nerve VIII.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, St. Vincent College, Psychology

Entering fall 2018

Charles Barnes

  • Research mentor: Doug Vetter, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology
  • Research focus: My thesis work expands on the discovery that the cochlea expresses signaling molecules of an HPA-equivalent stress response system. I aim to associate glucocorticoid (GC)-related sound conditioning with cochlear support cells using conditional genetic mouse models. Targeting ablation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in cochlear support cell populations is expected to impair GC-signaling functions within support cells. Targeting ablation of corticotropin releasing factor receptor 1 (CRFR1) is expected to impair HPA-like steroidogenesis of endogenous GC by support cells. These experiments will suggest relative roles of support cells during recovery from, and adaptation to, noise trauma in relation to an HPA-like stress response.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, University of Tennessee, Biological Sciences

Maria Jones-Muhammad

  • Research mentor: J. Paula Warrington, PhD, Department of Neurology
  • Research focus: My research focuses on understanding molecular factors that contribute to increased seizure susceptibility in placental ischemia.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Tougaloo College, Chemistry

Jaren Reeves-Darby

  • Research mentor: Donna M. Platt, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Millsaps College, Neuroscience & Cognitive Studies

Entering fall 2019

Elizabeth Gordineer

  • Research mentor: Matthias Krenn, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery
  • Research focus: My research aims to understand the effect of electrical stimulation of large afferents on spinal motor control in human spinal cord injury. We intend to accomplish two goals: to manage lower extremities spasticity caused by the injury and to augment residual volitional control. We utilize transcutaneous spinal stimulation to modify the neurological state of the lumbosacral circuitries to examine specific aspects involved in spinal motor control.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Alvernia University, Chemistry

Ashley Griffin

  • Research mentor: Kedra Wallace, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Delta State University, Biology

Loc Pham

  • Research mentor: Kevin Freeman, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, University of Alabama – Birmingham, Neuroscience

Jake Valeri

  • Research mentor: Harry Pantazopoulos, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Research focus: My work seeks to characterize transcriptional alterations in substance use disorder, notably pathways related to the extracellular matrix in human postmortem brains, and further to test how genetically modifying a microglial protease signaling cascade in mice may alter drug-related memories. I study condensed forms of extracellular matrix, known as perineuronal nets, as a prism to explore substance use disorder pathophysiology. Understanding the role of perineuronal nets in maintaining drug addiction will provide important insights for the development of novel pharmacotherapies to promote recovery. 
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, Rivier University, Psychology

Entering fall 2020

William Doyle

  • Research mentor: Sally Huskinson, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Research focus: I am interested in the role of environmental factors in substance use disorders. My current focus is on the role of uncertainty in negative consequences as a contributor to the development and maintenance of substance use disorders.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, University of Mississippi, Biochemistry 

Tanya Pareek

  • Research mentor: Barbara Gisabella, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Millsaps College, Biology; MS, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Biomedical Sciences

Allie Smith

  • Research mentor: Bernadette Grayson, PhD, Department of Neurology
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Judson College, Biology

Entering fall 2021

Daniel Borgatti

  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, Framingham State University, Psychology

Shelley Edwards

  • Research mentor: Kevin Freeman, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior 
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Millsaps College, Neuroscience & Cognitive Studies

Jena' Mazique

  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, William Carey University, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology

Jon Person

  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, University of Mississippi, Biological Science, Psychology; MS, Mississippi College, Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Entering fall 2022

Jobin Babu

  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, University of Houston, Kinesiology-Exercise Science; MS, Mississippi College, Biology

Jacob Haskell

  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Kent State University, Psychology