Dina Yakout, Neuroscience Institute Graduate Student
Dina received her degree in Medicine from Alexandria University, Egypt in 2014. After graduation, she moved to the United States and joined Emory University’s Neurology Department to work on Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. Pursuing her interest in neurodegenerative disease research, she next joined Dr. Morten Raastad’s lab at Emory University’s School of Medicine to investigate the morphological changes that occur in Alzheimer’s disease in unmyelinated grey matter axons. With Dr. Mabb, she is studying the role of protein ubiquitination in synaptic plasticity and is interested in how this pathway contributes to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Link
Antoinette Charles, UAP Neuroscience Undergraduate
Antoinette is a fourth year undergraduate at Georgia State University majoring in neuroscience with a pre-medical concentration. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar, a scholarship where she can receive funding from her bachelors to her doctorate degree. Currently, she is creating tools to remove RNF216/Triad3 from mouse cortical neurons. She is interested in understanding how a loss of certain genes affect neuron development on a molecular level. When Antoinette is not volunteering in the lab, she serves as an active board member for Global Brigades, Tri-Beta, and Medical Students Making a Difference. She looks forward to attending medical school to pursue her M.D.-Ph.D. In her spare time, she enjoys playing soccer and mentoring high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Link
Zachary (Zack) Allen, Research Technician
After almost ten years as a commercial fisherman and boat captain in Virginia Beach, VA., Zack jumped ship to pursue his bachelor’s degree at Georgia State. As a recent graduate of GSU’s Neuroscience Institute, Zack remains passionate about research. While his passion is mostly related to cognitive and behavioral modalities, all fields of neuroscience are of interest to him. Zack is currently taking time to expand his experience and knowledge in the laboratory setting before continuing on to graduate school to pursue his Ph.D. While not in the lab, Zack spends his time working with a local monastery in an effort to make information about meditation practices and their cognitive benefits available to a wider audience. Link
Jayashree Kadirvelu, Neuroscience Masters student
Jayashree received her B.S. in Biological Sciences with a specialization in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland College Park. While at UMD, she was a College Park Scholar in the Global Public Health Program and became interested in neurodegenerative disorders while attending courses in neuroscience and psychology. She is interested in research related to movement and memory disorders and looks forward to continuing research in this area while pursuing a career path in neuroscience.
Mohammad (Amin) Ghane, Neuroscience Institute Graduate Student
Amin graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015 with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He began his research in neuroscience as a member of the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Gulley, where his undergraduate thesis used biochemical and behavioral techniques to elucidate the mechanisms by which a bioactive metabolite contributed to the amelioration of age-related deficits in learning and memory. Following graduation, Amin spent two years as a research technician for Dr. Catherine Christian. There, he used techniques such as in vivo optogenetics, chemogenetics, and EEG to study astrocytic modulation of seizure susceptibility; explored mechanisms of neuroendocrine dysfunction in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy; and helped to characterize altered behavior and neurotransmission in a mouse strain lacking a key neuropeptide. With Dr. Mabb, he intends to use cutting-edge in vivo neuroimaging techniques to study the role of ubiquitin-mediated immediate early gene turnover in learning and memory related tasks. Link
Wei Wei, Postdoctoral Fellow
Wei Wei received her Ph.D. degree in Immunology from South Medical University, China in 2013 where her project was focused on dysfunctional presynaptic regulation of striatal medium spiny neurons in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. She then became a Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Physiology at the University of Tennessee working on neural mechanisms driving food intake in the obese. She was particularly focused on how diet and body weight affect excitability of neuron populations responsible for food intake. With Dr. Mabb and Dr. Petrulis, she integrates in vivo Ca2+ imaging, electrophysiology and optogenetic techniques to understand pathways associated with neurological and social dysfunction.
Joseph Sexton, summer ION student, research volunteer
Joseph is a senior at West Forsyth High School. His research interests are related to depression and serotonin-related conditions. He is interested in developing a novel diagnostic for depression to someday give schools and healthcare professionals better tools to detect suicidal ideation. His recent work, titled “Investigating the Relationship Between Psychiatric Conditions of 5-HT Malfunction and the Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC) as Indicated by Reversal Learning Tasks”, has been accepted with revisions for publication at Harvard’s Journal of Emerging Investigators, and won high honors at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair including 2nd place in Behavioral Sciences and a scholarship to the University of Georgia should he choose to attend. He was a finalist in the Atlanta Regional Brain Bee, ultimately finding neuroscience as his true passion. He has received leadership awards for his role as cross country and track captain since sophomore year, also qualifying as a five-time varsity letter-winner and two-time state qualifier. He was recently chosen for the “Most Positive Cross Country Athlete: North Atlanta” award based on his school involvement and “servant leader” outlook; he is also involved with Mu Alpha Theta, Science National Honors Society, the Principal’s Student Council, Slam Poetry Club, Science Fair, and founded a Condition Awareness Club where he leads students in presenting their diagnoses to other students, turning difficulties into opportunities for raising awareness.
Dr. Angela Mabb, Principal Investigator
Angela "Angie" Mabb earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007 in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology. She then became a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neurobiology Department at Duke University in the laboratory of Dr. Michael D. Ehlers. From there, she continued her postdoctoral training in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the laboratories of Dr. Ben Philpot and Dr. Mark Zylka. Angela's background is strongly rooted in Molecular Biology. The goal of her lab is to marry modern molecular biology techniques with Neuroscience. The main focus of her lab is to study ubiquitin-dependent pathways that are disrupted in neurological disorders.
Dustin Grossman, Neuroscience Undergraduate
Arlene George, Neuroscience Institute Graduate Student
Arlene received her B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology at Temple University in 2013. As an undergraduate, she conducted research with Dr. Prasun Datta where she investigated the mechanism of how the manipulation of the glutamate transporter, EAAT2, causes excitotoxicity in astrocytes. Upon graduation, Arlene worked as a research technician at the University of Georgia in Dr. Rick Tarleton's lab. There she investigated the role of Trypanosoma cruzi in Chagas disease where she determined the efficacy of novel trypanocidal compounds and implemented the CRISPR-Cas9 system to identify targets of drug action into trypanosomal organisms. Currently, Arlene is developing mouse models to understand the role of RNF216 in Gordon Holmes cerebellar ataxia. Link
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