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. 
 
 
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.

 
 
Julia King 
 

I graduated form 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.
 
 
 
 

 

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.

 

 


 

Erin Glennon 

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Naomi Lopez Caraballo

Tom Sten 

 

 

Volunteers

Ilinca Giosan

Haidi Risto

Kristen Giannuzzi

Alumni

 

Post-doc students:

James D'Amour

 

Bianca Jones Marlin

 

Raquel Martins

Mariela Mitre

Graduate students: 

 

Menghan Jin

 

Hannah LaBove

 

Natalya Zaika

 

Undergraduate students:

 

Ritsa Frousios

 

Anna Kuo

 

Eleni Papadoyannis

 

Chloe Verducci

 

High school students:

 

Danny Rebibo

 

Venus Fu

 

Regana Alicka

 

James Barger

 

Jourdan Carboy

 

Anja L. Dorrn

 

Ugomma Eze

 

Christine Grosso

 

Fay Lin

 

Harrison Lu

 

Cyan Mcfarlane

 

Wasiq Rashid

 

Emilio Soto

 

Felix M. Reyes Valdez