Students

Current Students

Entering fall 2013

Cassie Chandler

  • Research mentor: Donna Platt, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Research focus: My research focuses on GABA-A receptor mechanisms associated with alcohol abuse, and the evaluation of molecular targets for potential pharmacotherapies used to treat substance abuse disorders.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, University of Arkansas, Biology; MA, University of Southern Mississippi, Anthropology

Lindsey Bishop Kuiper

  • Research mentor: Lique Coolen, PhD, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
  • Research focus: My research investigates how vulnerability for methamphetamine addiction is influenced by sexual experience.  It is well known that drugs of abuse and natural rewards share common neural circuitry, and that the experience of drug reward in a socio-sexual context leads to increased compulsive drug-seeking behavior and risky sexual behavior. My current studies more closely investigate the specific changes to neuronal populations in the anterior cingulate area of the medial prefrontal cortex by manipulating this circuitry using chemogenetics (DREADDs).
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, University of Mississippi, Biology

Jeremy McGowan

  • Research mentors: Lee Bidwell, PhD, and Parminder Vig, PhD, Department of Neurology
  • Research focus: My research investigates use of vascular growth factors as potential therapeutics for spinocerebellar ataxia 1.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, University of Wyoming, Biology

Entering fall 2014

David Sandlin

  • Research mentor: Wu Zhou, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Science
  • Research focus: My research is focused on mechanisms of vestibular deficits induced by primary blast via the ear canal.  We have created a model of primary blast injury, i.e., injury due to the shockwave of an explosion, to study the effects blast has on the system that senses and processes balance, the vestibular system. We use histological, electrophysiological, and behavioral methods to quantify injury and evaluate the mechanisms by which the injuries occur. This will contribute to understanding why soldiers exposed to blast report dizziness and vertigo, and may help develop strategies to prevent those injuries.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Millsaps College, Chemistry; MS, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Biomedical Sciences

Xiao Zhang

  • Research mentor: Eric Vallender, PhD, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior
  • Research focus: My research investigates biased GPCR signaling pathways in OPRM1 polymorphisms and dimers.  I use cellular and molecular tools to elucidate if the genetic polymorphisms of mu receptors can interact with ligands to bias their GPCR signaling pathways. This understanding will ultimately contribute to develop personalized analgesics for people across diverse genetic backgrounds.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BE, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Biopharmaceutics; MS, Mississippi College, Biology

Entering fall 2015:

Danielle Porter

  • Research mentor: Michael Lehman, PhD, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences
  • Research focus: My research focuses on understanding the reproductive neuroendocrine system in mammals.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, University of Alabama, Biology; MS, Louisiana State University, Biology

Sydney Vita

  • Research mentor: Raymond Grill, PhD, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences
  • Research focus: My research focuses on the physiological effects of concussive traumatic brain injury.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, University of Colorado Denver, Psychology

Entering fall 2016

Graham Casey

  • Research mentor: Brad Walters, PhD, Departments of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences, and Otolaryngology and Communicative Science
  • Research focus: I'm interested in a number of topics related to the inner ear.  In particular I'm interested in transcriptional regulation of cell fate in the Organ of Corti as well as its functional responses to a number of different pathologies.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS., Millsaps College, Chemistry

Sid Gaikwad

  • Research mentor: Lique Coolen, PhD, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
  • Research focus: I am interested in determining brain stem projections to the spinal ejaculation generator in rats.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree:MBSS, Mahatma Ghandi University; MS, Tulane University, Neuroscience

Redin Spann

  • Research mentor:Bernadette Grayson, PhD, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomical Sciences
  • Research focus: My goal is to discover novel treatments for obesity. To accomplish this, I am investigating the mechanisms of bariatric surgery because it is the most efficacious treatment available, but it is unclear how it reduces appetite and improves metabolism.  In a rat model, I am identifying molecular alterations in the hypothalamus after bariatric surgery that may affect the central control of energy homeostasis.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, Millsaps College, Neuroscience and Cognitive Studies,

Walker Wiggins

  • Research mentor: Lique Coolen, PhD, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
  • Research focus: My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which spinal cord injury disrupts sexual reflexes.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, University of Southern Mississippi, Biochemistry

Austin Zamarripa

  • Research mentor:Kevin Freeman, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Research focus: My research is focused on the therapeutic effects of opioid analgesics and new opioid biased agonists in preclinical models.
  • Undergraduate/graduate degree:BS, Millsaps College, Neuroscience

Entering fall 2017

John Aaron Howell

  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BA, The University of Mississippi, Biochemistry

Kendra Stansak

  • Undergraduate/graduate degree: BS, St. Vincent College, Psychology; MA, Radford University, Experimental Psychology