Ghashghaei Lab

Caroline Johnson

Caroline Johnson

Caroline studies transcriptional regulation of proliferative and differentiative divisions of neural stem cells in the embryonic cerebral cortex using various genetic manipulations in mice at distinct developmental time points.


brittany vallette

Brittany Vallette

Ph.D Student, Molecular Biomedical Sciences

During the development of the mammalian cortex, the precise regulation of the cell-cycle in neural stem cells/progenitors is crucial. I am currently using genetic manipulations and high-throughput sequencing techniques to study the transcriptional regulation of the cell-cycle during neurogenesis.

Ghashghaei Lab

Visit our lab website

We are neuroscientists interested in investigating how the brain develops, how it ages, and how during disease or injury these two processes are disturbed. We employ sophisticated and highly interdisciplinary experimental approaches (spanning along a molecular-cellular-tissue-behavior axis) to address fundamental neurobiology questions using the mouse as the model organism.

Our experimental efforts have evolved into three major areas of research:

  • Regulation of stem cell transitions in the developing forebrain
  • The role of ependymal cells in regulation of homeostasis in the forebrain
  • Behavioral role of neuronal circuits established during distinct developmental windows

Keung Lab

Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee

PhD Student, MBTP Fellow

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Dilara Sen

Dilara Sen

PhD Student

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Jenna Meanor

Jenna Meanor

PhD Student (Co-Advised with the Rao Group)

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Ryan Tam

Ryan Tam

PhD Student, Dean’s Doctoral Fellow

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Kyle Tomek

Kyle Tomek

PhD Student, GAANN Fellow

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Keung Lab

Visit our lab website

We are a synthetic biology group that is interested in the complex gene regulatory behaviors that are encoded by the epigenome and chromatin systems. These include the properties of gene expression memory, genetic imprinting, and dynamic signal processing. To study these properties, we develop molecular approaches to interface with and perturb the epigenome of cells. In addition, we are applying these tool to understand disease mechanisms, particularly in neural systems. We have ongoing projects related to: Autism, Angelman Syndrome, and Addiction; basic chromatin mechanisms in yeast; and exploiting DNA as a potential extreme-density storage medium for digital information.

Lascelles’ Lab

 

Laura Minnema

Laura Minnema

Comparative Pain Research

I’m under the direction of Duncan Lascelles and Santosh Mishra researching the role of the receptor GFRa3 (GDNF family receptor alpha-3) in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. My work involves behavioral testing for hypersensitivity, gait analysis, immunohistochemistry, ELISAs, and qPCR. Being on the vet school campus has afforded a unique experience in translational research, allowing me to work with both canine and murine samples. My concentration in the CBS program is pharmacology. I graduated with a bachelors in Neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and worked as an analytical chemist at Syngenta Crop Protection before coming to NC State.


Derek Adrian DVM

Derek Adrian DVM

Comparative Pain Research

Derek is interested in the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic attributes of drugs for the alleviation of maladaptive pain. He uses naturally occurring disease in owned pet cats, and is developing objective electrophysiological measures of the maladaptive pain state.


Morika Williams DVM

Morika Williams DVM

Comparative Pain Research

Morika is investigating the effects of early life noxious events (modelled through the use of the repetitive needle prick injury model) on adult pain states, using novel, disease-relevant rodent models.

Comparative Pain Research

Visit our lab website

The comparative pain research team’s mission is to improve the ability to manage pain in non-human species by:

  • Measurement of acute and chronic pain
  • Study of the neurobiological signature of pain in chronic disease
  • Evaluation of novel therapeutics for pain relief
  • Collaborative work to build on translational models of chronic pain

The laboratory is part of integrated pain management programs at NC State Veterinary Medicine.

Patisaul Lab

 

Cassie Rhodes

Cassie Rhodes

Comparative Biomedical Sciences

PhD Student

GAANN Fellow

Cassie is studying how exposure to flame retardants impacts the organization and sexual differentiation of the social brain. Uniquely, she is using the prairie vole, which is a socially monogamous species that displays biparental care and affiliation. While this model organism has long been used to study the evolutionary origins of sociality and affiliation, it is virtually unknown in the realm of neurotoxicology. She is specifically interested in the distribution and differentiation microglia, and how they might be vulnerable to endocrine disruption.

Patisaul Lab

Visit our lab website

We are a neuroendocrine toxicology and behavior lab focused on understanding how developmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals impacts neurodevelopment and sex-specific behaviors. We use a variety of rodent models including rats, mice and prairie voles. Our three primary research goals are:

  • Assess how developmental exposure to BPA (Bisphenol A) alters sexually dimorphic neuroendocrine development and behavior.
  • Determine how developmental exposure to fire retardants impacts sexually dimorphic neural development and behavior, particularly social behavior.
  • Establish if epigenetic marks in peripheral tissues reflect epigenetic and phenotypic effects in brain with a particular interest in biomarkers of chemical exposure and subsequent disease risk.

Sombers Lab

 

Leslie Wilson photo

Leslie Wilson

Ph.D student, Analytical Chemistry

Leslie’s research interests include advancing quantitative electroanalytical methods to study neurological oxidative stress.


 

Samantha Smith photo

Samantha K. Smith

Ph.D student, Analytical Chemistry

Sam’s research focuses on enabling the simultaneous monitoring of multiple electroactive and non-electroactive chemical species within intact brain tissue using minimally invasive techniques. The goal of her work is to investigate the regulation of brain energy and the effects of neuroenergetics on both normal and abnormal brain function. She has enabled the simultaneous detection of glucose and dopamine at a single electrode and is specifically interested in how dopamine dynamics and glucose availability are altered with acute exposure to drugs.


 

Nastassja Rhodes photo

Nastassja Rhodes

Ph.D student, Analytical Chemistry

Nastassja was born in Shreveport, LA in 1986. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology, Philosophy & Religion from Cornell College in 2007. After working as a developmental counselor with disabled children and young adults for a few years, she returned to school and graduated with a B.A.S. in Interdisciplinary Chemistry & Biology from The Evergreen State College in 2013. She was admitted to NCSU in the Spring of 2014 as a Ph.D candidate, studying Analytical Chemistry. She joined the Sombers research group in the Summer of 2014. She enjoys vintage video games, reading, rugby and especially traveling.


 

Carl Meunier photo

Carl Meunier

Ph.D student, Analytical Chemistry

Carl has lived in the Midwest up until his time here at NCSU. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and Spanish from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. He is interested in a variety of strategies to improve real-time measurements of electroactive species in the brain. Additionally, he works on improving the electrochemical detection of neuropeptides in order to further study how endogenous opioids impact various brain circuitry. Away from school Carl enjoys investigating the surrounding area, playing sports, volunteering and being with family and friends.


 

Sarah Calhoun photo

Sarah Calhoun

Ph.D student, Analytical Chemistry

Sarah is interested in developing more sensitive approaches for electroanalysis. Outside of school, her interests include fly-fishing, racquetball and spending time with friends and family.


 

Karen Butler photo

Karen Butler

Ph.D student, Department of Chemistry

 

Karen received her B.S. in Chemistry from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia in 2014. She then attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where she obtained her M.S. in Forensic Chemistry, focused on Drugs Analysis and Toxicology. Her current research in the Sombers Lab is focused on investigating the relationship between Fenton chemistry and neurological oxidative stress.

Sombers Lab

Visit our lab website

Determining how specific neurochemical fluctuations underlie neurological disorders is a key step in developing appropriate therapies; however, in most cases the neurochemistry is not well understood. The major goal of our research is to develop new electroanalytical instrumentation and methods to reveal fundamental chemical mechanisms of brain function.

We are currently monitoring reactive oxygen species, glucose, lactate, catecholamines, and opioid neuropeptides in systems ranging from single cells to behaving animals. Our studies aim to inform the development of improved therapeutic strategies for various neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease and addiction.