Current Members

Every cart needs its horse(s)!  These folks coordinate and oversee all the activities under the GLIA umbrella, as well as facilitate communication among the leaders of the different initiatives and between the students and faculty.

FeliciaFelicia Davatolhagh, Co-Director

Felicia is a third year student in Marc Fuccillo’s lab studying how alterations in behavioral control circuits contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders. Outside of lab she enjoys running along the Schuylkill river trail, browsing Reddit, and following Real Madrid in soccer. Felicia can be contacted at

Patti MurphyPatti MurphyCo-Director

Patti is a fourth year student interested in using what we know about neuronal injury and disease to design neuroregenerative scaffolds made entirely of living cells. When she’s not convincing neurons to do what she wants them to do, you can find her swimming, eating and drinking all the things, and being addicted to Hulu. Patti can be contacted at

yeri_headshotYeri Song, Secretary

Yeri is a third year student in Frances Jensen’s lab studying the effects of early-life seizures on the critical period of development.  When she’s not in the company of mice and convulsants, she enjoys wandering around Philly exploring places to eat and drink, and of course vegetating in bed watching TV. Yeri can be contacted at

David DavidReinerTreasurer

David is a fifth year student studying the neuroscience of obesity in Matt Hayes’ lab.  When he is not thinking about food, he enjoys playing and watching sports, in particular dropping 3’s in basketball and tearing up the basepaths in baseball. David can be contacted at

headshot4Alice Dallstream, Community Building Chair

Alice is a second year student who is interested in the neural basis of psychiatric illness. When she’s not in lab, Alice enjoys exploring Philly, finding delicious foods and beverages, going to concerts, and tearing up the dance floor. She can be contacted at

20160807_005522Elelbin Ortiz, Outreach Chair 

Elelbin is a second year graduate student interested in the neural and molecular mechanisms of behavior. Outside of lab, she enjoys exploring the hundreds of festivals and events around Philly,trying out new restaurants, finding good dancing places, and biking on the Schuylkill river trail. She can be contacted at

GLIA headshotBarbara Terzic, Professional Development Chair

Barbara is a third year student studying the genetics behind neurodevelopmental disorders and autism-like behaviors in Joe Zhou’s lab. Aside from hanging out with autistic mice, she enjoys eating food, cooking food, taking pictures of food, finding additional food around Philly, and (poorly) playing the piano. Barbara can be contacted at

lab head shot

 Kait FolweilerPublic Relations Chair

Kait is a fourth year student in Akiva Cohen’s laboratory studying the pathophysiology of memory deficits following traumatic brain injury. When she’s not poking neurons with electrodes, you can find Kait hanging with friends and family,  checking out the local music scene, running Forbidden Drive,  and staying true to her Philly area roots (Go Eagles!). Kait can be contacted at

KateBKate Brynildsen, General Member

Kate is a second-year student studying the genetic and neurobiological underpinnings of addiction in Julie Blendy’s lab. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing her violin, frequenting Lil Pop Shop, and going for long runs around the city. Kate can be contacted at                               

bowman_headshotNicole Bowman, General Member      

Nicole is a third year student interested in how adhesion molecules may alter signaling at the synapse.  She works in the Neuropsychiatric Signaling Program led by Drs. Chang-Gyu Hahn and Karin Borgmann-Winter; the group has a specific interest in schizophrenia.  When she’s not in front of her LC-MS, you can find her on her bike or yoga mat, or maybe just enjoying Philly’s great food scene! Nicole can be contacted at


ShacheeShachee Doshi, General Member

Shachee is a varsity graduate student in Dr. Bob Kalb’s lab. Her project is trying to uncover the link between cellular metabolism and neurodegenerative diseases, specifically ALS. When she’s not playing with mice and worms in lab, you can find her hanging out with her friends drinking delicious beer and eating delicious food around Philadelphia. She also loves to dance, play with her dog and get into arguments with people (and win). Shachee can be contacted at

Vanessa Fleites

Vanessa Fleites, General Member

Vanessa is a second year student who is interested in the neural mechanisms of stress and how it relates to addiction. When she’s not stressing mice, Vanessa enjoys going to new brunch places around the city, drinking an excessive amount of coffee, and going to concerts. She can be contacted at

LG HeadshotLeonardo Guercio, General Member

Leonardo is a varsity graduate student researching the neurobiology of drug addiction and relapse in the laboratory of Dr. Chris Pierce. His research is focused on understanding how glutamate signaling in the mesocorticolimbic reward system can affect cocaine relapse. When he’s not zapping rat brains, Leonardo enjoys playing sports, watching movies and comedy, and acting as the cultural ambassado to Philly. Leonardo can be reached at

imageNicole Hernandez, General Member

Nicole is a third year student in Heath Schmidt’s lab studying the role of neuroendocrine factors in drug addiction. When she’s not giving rats cocaine, she enjoys dancing, making healthy green smoothies in her magic bullet and being an all around foodie. Nicole can be contacted at

labJulia Kahn, General Member

Julia is a fifth year in Doug Coulter’s lab,
studying how hippocampal circuit dysfunction causes cognitive deficits in epilepsy. When she’s not using lasers to make brains glow, she can be found pursuing puns, taking absurdly long walks, and trying to feed everyone ever. Julia can be contacted at

Claudia L13416821_10209995293227350_6229766658309917159_oopez, General Member

Claudia is a second year student interested in understanding the mechanisms of protein aggregation and how that leads to neurodegeneration. When she’s not trying to kill off neurons by any means possible, she enjoys playing and watching soccer games, and eating out in Philly. She can be contacted at


Ryan Natan, General Member

Ryan is a varsity graduate student working in Maria Neimark Geffen’s laboratory toward revealing the cortical circuits involved in auditory perception, adaptation, habituation and novelty detection. When he’s not DJ-ing for a murine audience, Ryan enjoys stand-up paddle boarding the Schuylkill river, crafting meat infused liquors, and facilitating cultural exchange through couchsurfing. Ryan can be contacted at

Trishala Parthasarathi, General MemberTrishala

Trishala is a fifth year graduate student in Joe Kable’s laboratory studying how human decision-making could be related to thinking about the future. When she is not making pretty brain pictures with fMRI data, Trishala enjoys Indian classical dancing, doing her nails, and eating good food. Trishala can be contacted at

Isaac PerronIsaac, General Member

Isaac is a varsity graduate student working with Drs. Allan Pack and Sigrid Veasey. His project focuses on how diet and/or obesity affect sleep and circadian rhythms in mice. When not testing the effects of sleep deprivation on himself, he enjoys playing in various sports leagues (basketball, football, and softball) or avoiding the outdoors altogether. Isaac can be contacted at

Mary_picMary Schreck, General Member

Mary is a second year graduate student interested in sensory neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, baking, and going to trivia. She can be contacted at


Hannah ShGLIA_headshot copyoenhard, General Member

Hannah is a third year studying the genetic specification of simple circuits and behaviors in Michael Granato’s lab. When she’s not frightening baby zebrafish, she enjoys organizing NGG dinners, raiding the library, attempting to piano-ify songs she hears on the radio, and exploring the Philadelphia theater scene. Hannah can be contacted at


M. Morgan Taylor, General Member

Morgan is a varsity graduate student working in Diego Contreras’ lab, studying the role of inhibition in cortical visual processing.  In addition to shining lasers into mouse brains, she enjoys running or biking on the Schuylkill river trail, not being a vegan, and arguing with medical students about the biological basis of consciousness. Morgan can be contacted at

Alyse ThomasAlyse Thomas, General Member

Alyse is a varsity graduate student studying the neurobiology of addiction in John Dani’s laboratory. Her research examines how nicotine and stress interact to increase alcohol consumption. Outside of the lab, she enjoys meeting new people and exploring the city. Alyse can be contacted at

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