Postdoctoral Fellows


For more information on FAU's Postdoctoral program see the Postdoctoral Affairs site.

Etay Aloni

Etay Aloni, Ph.D.

Mentor: Henriette van Praag, Ph.D.
ealoni@fau.edu

I am interested in the subcortical connections to the hippocampus and their role in learning and memory. My research is focused on how manipulating those projections affects physiology and behavior in mice. In my work, I incorporate molecular biology, electrophysiology and behavioral methods. Read more about my research.

 

Lorena Areal

Lorena Areal, Ph.D.

Mentor: Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
lbianchineareald@fau.edu

I investigate mechanisms by which altered DAT function can drive risk for neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. My current research focuses on molecular, circuit, and behavioral alterations exhibited in the DAT Val559 mouse, where a DAT gene variant identified in patients diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorder is expressed, with the ultimate goal of identifying better ways to diagnose and treat these disorders. Read more about my research.

 

 
 
Elizabeth Brown, Ph.D

Elizabeth Brown, Ph.D.

Mentor: Alex Keene, Ph.D.
elizabethbrown@fau.edu

 

Gloria Brunori

Gloria Brunori, Ph.D.

Mentor: Janet Robishaw, Ph.D.
gbrunori@health.fau.edu
 
 
Jacqueline Chin, Ph.D.

Jacqueline Chin, Ph.D.

Mentor: Erik Duboue Ph.D.
chinj@fau.edu
Sarah J. Cohen, Ph.D.

Sarah J. Cohen, Ph.D.

Mentor: Robert Stackman, Ph.D.
scohen39@my.fau.edu

My research investigates the brain mechanisms underlying complex behaviors such a learning and memory. With a focus on the hippocampal formation, I employ multiple neuropharmacological and molecular techniques to examine how the brain stores and represents information. Read more about my research.
 
 
Jinzi Deng, Ph.D.

Jinzi Deng, Ph.D.

Mentors: Erik D Engeberg, Ph.D., Emmanuelle Tognoli, Ph.D., Jianning Wei, Ph.D. and Sara Du, Ph.D.
jinzi.deng@gmail.com
Paula Gajewski-Kurdziel, Ph.D.

Paula Gajewski-Kurdziel, Ph.D.

Mentor: Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
pgajewski@health.fau.edu

My research focuses on uncovering the cellular and molecular networks that support immune system modulation of CNS serotonergic signaling. I am exploring how these networks impact the regulation of the serotonin transporter and the specific serotonergic pathways that mediate immune system modulation of behavior. Read more about my research.
 
 
Stephanie Linley

Stephanie Linley, Ph.D.

Mentor: Robert Vertes, Ph.D.
slinley1@gmail.com
Sirisha Madem, Ph.D.

Sirisha Madem, Ph.D.

Mentor: Lucia Carvelli, Ph.D.
smadem@fau.edu
 
 
Olena Mahneva, Ph.D.

Olena Mahneva, Ph.D.

Mentor: Greg Macleod, Ph.D.
omahneva@fau.edu
Felix Mayer

Felix Mayer, Ph.D.

Mentor: Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
mayerf@health.fau.edu

My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that permit the dopamine transporter (DAT) to respond dynamically to dopamine and other modulatory neurotransmitters. My studies are designed to contribute to our understanding of how DAT is regulated, and ultimately, identify pharmacologically relevant targets for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders arising from disruptions in DA-ergic signaling. Read more about my research.
 
 
Brittnee McDole

Brittnee McDole, Ph.D.

Mentor: Alex Keene, Ph.D.
Bmcdole@fau.edu
Janet Menzie-Suderam, Ph.D.

Janet Menzie-Suderam, Ph.D.

Mentor: Jang-Yen Wu, Ph.D.
jmenzie@health.fau.edu
 
 
Jigar Modi, Ph.D.

Jigar Modi, Ph.D.

Mentor: Jang-Yen (John) Wu, Ph.D.
jmodi@health.fau.edu
Kunal Mondal, Ph.D.

Kunal Mondal, Ph.D.

Mentors: Erik D Engeberg, Ph.D., Emmanuelle Tognoli, Ph.D., Jianning Wei, Ph.D., Sara Du, Ph.D.
kmondal@fau.edu
 
 
Vindhya Nawaratne, Ph.D.

Vindhya Nawaratne, Ph.D.

Mentor: Tanja Godenschwege, Ph.D.
onawaratne@fau.edu
Ramanjeneyulu Rayala, Ph.D.

Ramanjeneyulu Rayala, Ph.D.

Mentor: Predrag Cudic, Ph.D.
rrayala@fau.edu
 
 
Osama Refai, Ph.D.

Osama Refai, Ph.D.

Mentor: Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
orefai@health.fau.edu

My research uses the powerful model  C. elegans  to identify novel genetic and pharmacological regulators of dopamine (DA) signaling. As perturbed DA signaling is a feature of multiple human neurodegenerative and neurobehavioral disorders, my studies allow for both fundamental advances in our understanding of neuromodulation and translational contributions that can ultimately impact human health. Read more about my research.
Itzel Sifuentes-Romero, Ph.D.

Itzel Sifuentes-Romero, Ph.D.

Mentor:Johanna Kowalko, Ph.D.
isifuentesromero@fau.edu
 
 
Bethany A. Stahl, Ph.D.

Bethany A. Stahl, Ph.D.

Mentor: Alex Keene, Ph.D.
bstahl@fau.edu
Adele Stewart, Ph.D.

Adele Stewart, Ph.D.

Mentor: Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
stewarta@health.fau.edu

My research focuses on how intersections between overlapping brain neurotransmitter systems (namely dopamine and serotonin) determine behavioral responses to psychostimulants, with a specific focus on changes in these intersections in mice expressing the neuropsychiatric disease-associated dopamine transporter variant Ala559Val. Using these animals, I am also exploring indicate how neurochemical and behavioral changes are shaped by sex due to circuit-specific changes in critical dopamine regulatory mechanisms. Read more about my research.
 
 
Katarzyna Targowska-Duda

Katarzyna Targowska-Duda, Ph.D.

Mentor: Larry Toll, Ph.D.
ktargowskaduda@health.fau.edu
Seungwoo Yoo

Seungwoo Yoo, Ph.D.

Mentor: Henriette van Praag, Ph.D.
yoos@health.fau.edu

My research aims to understand the beneficial effects of physical exercise on learning and memory. I am, in particular, focusing on how adult-born hippocampal neurons induced by exercise reorganize the hippocampal and cortical area network where are strongly associated with memory function, by mainly using behavioral tasks, retrograde viral tracing, exercise treatment, and immunohistochemistry. Read more about my research.