People

PI

 
Robert C. Froemke
 
Our lab studies neuromodulation and plasticity of the cerebral cortex. We generally focus on the functional consequences of changes to synaptic transmission and neural circuits, in terms of behavioral improvements and enhanced sensory perception.
 
I performed my PhD studies at UC Berkeley and my postdoctoral research at UCSF. Biosketch is here.
 
 

Postdocs

 
Ioana Carcea
 
I am interested in the reciprocal synaptic communication between higher order brain structures governing complex cognitive and executive functions and the more primitive compartments of the brain which control innate or simple-conditioned behaviors.
 
I gained my MD degree from the University Gr. T. Popa in Iasi, Romania and my PhD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. My doctoral thesis addressed the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for the heterogeneous responses of cortical axons to guidance cues. I also investigated the anatomical and electrophysiological deficits in the somatosensory cortex of a mouse model for autism spectrum disorders. 

 Supported by a K99 award from NIMH.

 
Michele Insanally 
 
I'm interested in understanding how information is organized in neural circuits. I study this in the context of perceptual decision making in rodents using the following techniques 1) tetrode recordings from freely moving rats performing an auditory cue-driven task and 2) novel analytical methods for trial-to-trial decoding of spike trains.
 

I received my PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley, where I worked in the laboratory of Shaowen Bao. My doctoral work examined cortical plasticity in the developing primary auditory cortex using multiunit recordings. Prior to graduate school, I worked with Andre Fenton, Tarique Perera and Jeremy Coplan studying the effects of neurogenesis on a hippocampal-dependent spatial navigation task in rodents. I received my B.A. in the Biological Sciences from Barnard College/Columbia University in 2004.

Supported by a NARSAD Young Investigator Award.

 
 
Kishore Kuchibhotla
 

I am interested in the neural circuit dynamics of perceptual learning in the auditory cortex. Specifically, how does behavioral context alter sensory perception and learning? I am using three complementary tools in behaving mice to address this issue: 1) two-photon calcium imaging to measure circuit output, 2) whole-cell patch clamp to assess network input onto single neurons, and 3) optogenetics to manipulate network function. 

 I have a PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University where I worked in the laboratories of Brian Backsai and Brad Hyman.  My doctoral thesis explored the structural and functional degeneration of cortical networks in Alzheimer's Disease using in vivo  two-photon calcium imaging.  I received my undergraduate degrees in Physics and Brain/Cognitive Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 Supported by a K99 award from NIDCD. 

 

Graduate Students

 
Jonathan Gill 

I study how expectation and experience alter sensory representations. In collaboration with Dmitry Rinberg, I use 2-photon imaging, optogentics and behavioral experiments to explore how neuromodulatory systems support changes in sensory perception in both the auditory and olfactory systems. 

I received my B.A. in Psychology from NYU in 2008 before working as a research technician in the labs of Dr. George Alvarez at Harvard University and Dr. Ann Graybiel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 
 

Erin Glennon

I graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior and honors in Biology. Now I’m part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at NYU and am interested in translational research in otolaryngology and neurology. I am pursuing these interests in the Froemke lab by studying the neural response of the auditory cortex to cochlear implants. Specifically, I am using optogenetics in the locus coeruleus to modulate norepinephrine during learning to further elucidate the role of neural plasticity in cochlear implant use.

 

 
Julia King 
 

I graduated from the University of Virginia, receiving a BSc in Biochemistry and a BA in Neuroscience. I am currently a student in the NYU Meidcal Scientist Training Program. In collaboration with the Svirsky Lab, I am studying the neural mechnisms underlying adaption to cochlear implants. To do so, we have developed an animal model of cochlear implant use, where rats are implanted with a multi-channel array and learn to discriminate frequencies with input solely from the cochlear implant. 

 
Supported by an F30 award from NIDCD.
 
 
 
Jess Minder

I received my B.S. from St. Joseph’s College, and my M.S. from Stony Brook University. For my graduate work, in collaboration with Dr. Moses Chao I am interested in studying the molecular mechanisms of cortical plasticity and functional circuit changes as a result of oxytocinergic signaling over a developmental time course using primary cortical neuron cultures and electrophysiology. 

 

 

Jennifer Schiavo

   

I graduated from Boston College where I majored in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. I am interested in understanding how plasticity in the auditory cortex enables females to recognize and respond to infant distress vocalizations. In addition, I am interested in understanding how neuromodulators, specifically oxytocin, enable cortical plasticity to enhance the behavioral relevance of pup vocalizations. I am using a combination of electrophysiology and in vivo two photon imaging to study these cortical changes.

Supported by an NSF Predoctoral Fellowship.

 

 

Laboratory Manager

Egzona Morina

I attended undergrad at Fairleigh Dickinson University where I majored in Psychology. I then completed a M.S. degree in Neuroscience and Education at Columbia University's Teachers College. I plan to explore mechanisms underlying neuropathologies. 
 
 
 

 

Laboratory Technicians

Rachel Field 

Ina Shehu

  I am currently working on my Bachelor's Degree in Neurobiology and Neurosciences from City University of New York - Hunter College.  My main focus is to understand the role of neurplasticity in improved usage of cochlear implants. 

 

 

 

 

Tom Sten

I am currently working on my Bachelor’s degree in neural science at NYU. Using two-photon calcium imaging in conjunction with novel computational tools, I am studying how behavioral context alters sensory perception and circuit dynamics during learning. More generally, I am interested in how brain regions interact with each other to enhance function, and want to study how cognition and behavior emerge from the underlying neural dynamics across brain regions.

 

 

 

Volunteers

Kristen Giannuzzi

Ilinca Giosan

Jasmin Multani

Haidi Risto

 

Alumni

 

Graduate students:
 

James D'Amour (now NIH in McBain lab)

 

Bianca Jones Marlin (now at Columbia in Axel lab)

 

Ana Raquel Martins

 

Mariela Mitre

 


Undergraduate/Masters/Medical students: 

 

James Barger (NYU)

 

Jane Belyavskaya (SUNY Downstate Medical)

 

Naomi Lopez Caraballo (now at NYU)

 

Jordan Carboy (UT Southwestern)

 

Anja Dorrn (now at Max Delbruck Center Berlin, Poulet lab)

 

Ugomma Eze (now at UCSF)

 

Ritsa Frousios (NYU)

 

Christine Grosso (now at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine)

 

Menghan Jin (now at Scripps)

 

Anna Kuo (Vassar)

 

Hannah LaBove (U Miami)

 

Xiaofei Lin (NYU)

 

Cyan McFarlane (now at Beer Sheva Medical School)

 

Joyce Mendoza Navarro (UPR Rio Piedras)

 

Eleni Papadoyannis (NYU)

 

Wasiq Rashad (Rutgers)

 

Feliz Reyes (INTEC, Dominican Republic)

 

Emilio Soto (now at UC Berkeley, Kriegsfeld lab)

 

Chloe Verducci (Mt. Holyoke)

 

Natalya Zaika (now at Tufts)

 

Xinying Zhang (NYU Shanghai)

 

 

High school students:

 

Regana Alicka

 

Caroline Ault

 

Veronika Azzara

 

Nina Bhatia

 

Debby Cheng (now at Princeton)

 

Venus Fu

 

Harrison Lu (now at Wash U)

 

Amanda Maria

 

Jennifer Moskowitz

 

Daniel Rebibo (now at UCSD)