Announcement

Welcome to our new PhD students!

By September 8, 2020September 15th, 2020No Comments

Get to Know the Incoming Class of 2020

Natalie Bernstein

Natalie Bernstein

Natalie Bernstein

  • I studied biology and neuroscience at Williams College.
  • My background is in deciphering neural circuits underlying behavior, sensory, and motor systems.
  • For the past two years, I have been working at a biotech company in NYC generating a map of the gut-brain axis to elucidate therapeutic targets.
  • I like film photography and printing my photos in a darkroom.
Zhongyan Gong

Zhongyan Gong

Zhongyan Gong

  • I graduated from University of Michigan with a honors thesis aiming at examining a cortico-thalamic circuit in motivated behavior in rats.
  • I was an apprentice scientist after graduation in developing transgenic mosquitoes to study their taste mechanisms in blood and sugar in the Vosshall lab at the Rockefeller University.
  • I want to get a thorough training out of my phd to become a well-rounded neuroscientist.
  • Outside science, I like to take photos, birding, playing the piano, doing some sports, exploring local cultures and etc.
Laura Haetzel

Laura Haetzel

Laura Haetzel

  • I received a BA in Neuroscience from Pomona College in 2019.
  • I researched reward circuitry as a lab tech at Princeton Neuroscience Institute for a year.
  • I’m interested in studying the neurobiology underlying psychological disorders.
  • I hold a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo and am aiming for my 3rd (once it’s safe to train again)!
Nancy Hernandez Villegas

Nancy Hernandez Villegas

Nancy Hernandez Villegas

  • I am interested in the study of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • I want to develop new techniques for the study of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • I have a dog and a cat. I found them when they were a puppy and a kitten. I brought them from Chile.
Eric Hu

Eric Hu

Eric Hu

  • My undergraduate major was in Neuroscience and Applied Mathematics.
  • My previous research focused on neural correlates of effort perception.
  • I’m interested in decision making, reinforcement learning, and deep learning.
  • In my free time, I like to play guitar and ultimate frisbee.
Christopher Kymn

Christopher Kymn

Christopher Kymn

  • I studied at Dartmouth (AB, computer science and philosophy) and LMU Munich (MSc, neuroscience).
  • I worked in a computational neuroscience lab at Dartmouth (researching visual learning in videos).
  • I researched computational models of grid cells at LMU Munich.
  • I really enjoy playing board games (especially Bananagrams) and singing karaoke!
Amanda LeBel

Amanda LeBel

Amanda LeBel

  • I started my scientific career working in a visual psychophysics lab studying motion induced blindness.
  • For the past two years, I have been been using predictive encoding models to study language processing in the cerebellum.
  • Moving forward, I hope to use computational methods to explore the intersection between cognitive systems and sensory/motor systems.
  • I am an avid runner and hope to one day run an ultramarathon.
Vivian Lu

Vivian Lu

Vivian Lu

  • I’m interested in cog neuro.
  • My background is in molecular/systems neuro, in mice and flies.
  • I would like to pursue science communication! I worked in the American Museum of Natural History, which was super fun.
  • I draw once in a blue moon.
Samira Maboudian

Samira Maboudian

Samira Maboudian

  • I did my undergrad at UC Berkeley, majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Bioengineering.
  • I’m interested in studying human cognitive neuroscience, aging, and decision-making.
  • I have done research in the Neuroecon Lab at Berkeley, where I worked on several projects focused on human decision making, memory, and aging. I also was an Amgen Scholar at Columbia, where I studied hippocampal circuitry in a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • I like to paint, and I speak five languages (not all of them well though!).
Maura McDonagh

Maura McDonagh

Maura McDonagh

  • I have a B.S. Biomedical Engineering with a Communication Arts double major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Undergrad lab recap: looked at an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier during infection with bacterial pathogens.
  • I’m extremely passionate about using film as a medium to engage the public with the scientific community (and potentially the other way around!).
  • I love reading books from all genres and am always happy to take or give a recommendation for a next must-read.
Benjamin Parker

Benjamin Parker

Benjamin Parker

  • I’m broadly interested in the questions of cognitive neuroscience and the methods of human brain imaging.
  • My previous work in the Weiner lab here at Berkeley has focused on sulcal morphology and facial recognition.
  • I’m excited to dive into new methods in neuroimaging analysis and for the 7T scanner!
  • Quarantine gave me a chance to pick up guitar again — are Zoom-based jam sessions a thing people do now?
Miah Pitcher

Miah Pitcher

Miah Pitcher

  • My background is in studying mechanisms of plasticity in the mouse striatum and behavioral flexibility.
  • I am interested in potentially continuing to look at striatal circuits as well as explore sensory systems during rotations.
  • I am also very passionate about science communication/journalism and teaching, and I’m excited to find ways to apply those interests here.
  • I am from a small mountain town in Colorado that is home to the world’s deepest geothermal hot springs!