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Bioluminescent Optogenetics Lab Members

The Bioluminescent Optogenetics Lab welcomes undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, graduate, and medical students and postdoctoral associates interested in participating in ongoing research projects regarding the development of novel tools and their application in basic and translational neuroscience. Below please meet the current members of the lab.

Our lab members respect and embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our work is highly collaborative, both within the lab and with laboratories at other institutions (Moore and Lipscombe Labs, Brown University; Shaner Lab, UC San Diego).

We take mentorship seriously, and writing grants is part of it (most recent success for graduate student Emmanuel Crespo received a D-SPAN award in 2022).

We strongly support our lab members to get additional training and development by attending courses and conferences. Courses lab members attended included Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course on ‘Programming for Biology’, 2019; CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Program ‘Extracellular Electrophysiology Acquisition Course’, online/hands-on, 2021; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course on ‘Ion Channels in Synaptic and Neural Circuit Physiology’, Virtual, 2021; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course on ‘Quantitative Imaging: From Acquisition to Analysis’, 2022 (travel fellowship); CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training Program ‘Cajal course in Computational Neuroscience’, Lisbon, Portugal, 2022 (travel fellowship). In addition to attending the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting trainees attended Janelia Conference (2018); FENS, Berlin 2018 (Society for Neuroscience international travel award); World Congress on Light and Life, Barcelona, Spain, 2019; OSA Biophotonics Congress, virtual, 2021 (winner of the Student Paper Prize for Optics and the Brain); American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, Platform presentation, Florida 2022 (travel award); Gordon Conference, 2022.

Kathy and Maya are both pursuing their master of public health degrees at CMU.

Ute Hochgeschwender, PI
Ute Hochgeschwender

Principal Investigator

Email: hochg1u@cmich.edu

Mansi Prakash, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mansi Prakash, Ph.D.

Fixed-Term Faculty

Email: praka1m@cmich.edu

Twitter: @MansiPrakash2 

Portrait of Graduate Student Emmanuel Crespo
Emmanuel Crespo

Graduate Student

Email: cresp1el@cmich.edu

Twitter: @_theglowup

Ebenezer Ikefuama, Graduate Student
Ebenezer Ikefuama

Graduate Student

Email: ikefu1ec@cmich.edu

Ashley Slaviero

Graduate Student

Email: slavi1a@cmich.edu

Headshot of Alex Silvagnoli standing outside wearing a blue and white shirt.
Alexander Silvagnoli

Graduate Student

Email: silva7a@cmich.edu

Kathleen Riselay, Research Assistant
Kathleen Riselay

Research Assistant

Maya Tree, Research Assistant
Maya Tree

Research Assistant

 

A headshot of Grant Folkert wearing a black tshirt and glasses.
Grant Folkert

Undergraduate Student

Email: folk1g@cmich.edu

Headshot of Jacob Simkins wearing a blue short sleeved button-down.
Jacob Simkins

Undergraduate Student

Email: simki1jw@cmich.edu


Alumni

  • Nipun Gorantla, high school student (Summer 2022)
  • Anusha Uprety, CMU undergraduate student (Summer 2022)
  • Jeel Patel, CMU undergraduate student (Summer 2022)
  • Lily McLean, CMU undergraduate student (Summer 2022)
  • Shashwat Maharjan, CMU undergraduate student (Summer 2022)
  • Robert Araway, CMU undergraduate student (2021-2022)
  • Aiden Van Loo, CMU medical student (Summer 2021)
  • Macy Knoblock, CMU undergraduate student (Summer 2021)
  • Stephanie Venn, CMU undergraduate student (Summer 2021)
  • Nicholas Coon, CMU undergraduate student (2020-2021)
  • Lucas Weingartz, CMU medical student (Summer 2020)
  • Andreas Björefeldt, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist (2018-2020)
  • Rachel Schumaker, CMU graduate student – MS (2018-2020)
  • Griffin Kendziorski, CMU graduate student – MS (2018-2020)
  • Lateef Shafau, CMU undergraduate student (2017-2020)
  • Madison Waddell, CMU undergraduate student (2017-2020)
  • Yuvraj Bhagat, CMU medical student (Summer 2018, Summer 2019)
  • Sheenah Bryant, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-2019
  • Akash Pal, CMU graduate student - PhD (2015-2019)
  • William Medendorp, CMU graduate student - PhD  (2015-2019)
  • Eric Petersen, CMU graduate student - PhD (2015-2019)
    • Dylan Johnston, CMU undergraduate student (2017-2019)
    • Suneeti Dash, CMU undergraduate student (2017-2018)
    • Guillermo Obregon, CMU medical student (2017-2018)
    • Jessica Zenchak, research assistant (2017-2018)
    • Robert D’Annunzio, research assistant (2017-2018)
    • Martina Provenzano, Master’s student, University of Milan, Italy (2017-2018)
    • Tariq Brown, CMU undergraduate student (2015-2018)
    • Erik Sharkey, CMU undergraduate student (2017)
    • Alexandra Peña, CMU undergraduate student (2017)
    • ​Andrea De Marco, Master’s student, University of Milan, Italy (Summer 2017)
    • Rebekah Ridgell, CMU undergraduate student (2017)
    • Brandon Palmateer, CMU undergraduate student (2015 – 2017)
    • Paulina Otero, CMU undergraduate student (2015 – 2017)
    • Reina Heckburn, CMU medical student (Summer 2016)
    • Hannah Brinkman, CMU undergraduate student (Spring 2016)
    • Nicolai Dorka, undergraduate student, University of Braunschweig, Germany (DAAD RISE fellow Summer 2015)
    • Lina-Marie Wagner, undergraduate student, Free University of Berlin, Germany (DAAD RISE fellow Summer 2015)
    • Nicholas Scott, CMU medical student (Summer 2015)
    • MacKenzie Burger, CMU medical student (Summer 2015)
    • Alex Myers, CMU undergraduate student (Spring 2015/Summer 2015) ​