Lab Members


Orly

Orly Lazarov, PhD

Principal Investigator
e-mail: olazarov@uic.edu






Karen

Trongha Xuan Phan, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
e-mail: thphan19@uic.edu

Trongha received a Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Molecular Pharmacology/Neuroscience. He completed his postdoc training at MIT Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. Subsequently, he was a research faculty at Northwestern University. His scientific background, as a molecular neuroscientist has always focused on elucidating the role of sleep/circadian rhythm on long-term memory formation. His current projects aim at gaining a better understanding at the cellular and molecular levels, how long-term memory is formed (and failed) in the Alzheimer’s disease models.



Muskan

Muskan Gupta, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
e-mail: muskan@uic.edu

Muskan received her Ph.D. in Life Sciences from Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjab, India. She worked with Prof. Gurcharan Kaur and studied the immunomodulatory role of medicinal plant Withania somnifera against lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation, subsequent neurodegeneration and cognitive impairments. She has joined Prof. Lazarov's Lab as a postdoctoral research fellow. Her current project is focusing on exploring the role of caveolin-1 (Cav1) in inflammation linked with aging or Alzheimer and how it affects neurogenesis and learning and memory functions.



Rachana

Abhi Ramakrishnan

Visiting Research Specialist
e-mail: ar9@uic.edu

Abhi graduated with a dual B.A. in Chemistry and Biology & Society from Cornell University, where she performed research investigating determinants of placental NCOA4 transcript expression and its impact on iron metabolism during pregnancy for her undergraduate thesis in Dr. Kimberly O'Brien's lab. She has joined Dr. Lazarov's lab as a visiting researcher, excited to learn more about adult neurogenesis, with future plans of attending graduate school.



Rachana

Stephanie Dunning

Visiting Research Specialist
e-mail: sdunni4@uic.edu

Stephanie graduated with a B.A in Biology from the University of Kentucky. She investigated Jak-regulated genes in cyst cells that mediate the initation of individualization during spermiogenesis for her undergraduate thesis in Dr. Douglas Harrison’s lab. She has joined Dr. Lazarov’s lab as a visiting researcher, interested in Alzheimer’s/adult neurogenesis research and has future plans of attending graduate school.



Karen

Karen Rakowiecki

Graduate Student
e-mail: krakow2@uic.edu

Karen graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology where she worked in the Shuyi Nie Lab investigating molecular mechanisms that contribute to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in the Lazarov Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago as part of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. Her thesis work focuses on investigating the role of APP in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease in Down Syndrome through the use of patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells.



Terilyn

Terilyn Stephen

Graduate Student
e-mail: tsteph2@uic.edu

Terilyn graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a B.S. and M.S degree in Chemistry and is now a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program at UIC. Her dissertation work is focused on understanding the role of PICALM, an Alzheimer’s Disease risk factor gene, in the development of cerebrovascular pathology related to AD and cognitive decline. Terilyn is using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), animal models and multiomic approaches to investigate PICALM signaling and function at the blood brain barrier.



Zach

Zach Morrissey

Graduate Student
e-mail: zmorri4@uic.edu

Zach received his B.S. in Biochemistry-Molecular Biology and Minor in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. He is currently working with Dr. Alex Leow in the Department of Psychiatry and in collaboration with Dr. Lazarov as part of the T32 Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia Training Program studying MRI connectomics and environmental enrichment-mediated neurogenesis in the context of Alzheimer's disease using transgenic mouse models as well as human AD patient neuroimaging data. He is interested in using computational neuroscience and molecular biology for studying how brain networks are altered as a result of Alzheimer's disease, and studying how enrichment and neurogenesis may affect these network dynamics across age to improve memory and cognition.



Aashu

Aashutosh Shetti

Graduate Student
e-mail: ashett20@uic.edu

Aashu completed his Master’s degree in Biotechnology from SASTRA University, Thanjavur, India. As a graduate student in Lazarov Lab at UIC, he is interested in understanding how loss of a protein, Caveolin-1 in Type II Diabetes Mellitus is linked with development of Late onset Alzheimer’s disease. He is looking at the multifaced role of Caveolin-1 in neurovascular dysfunction, development of insulin resistance and impairments in neurogenic niche overall leading to Alzheimer’s disease.



Ahmed

Ahmed M. Disouky

Graduate Student
Program: Graduate program in Biological Sciences
e-mail: adisou2@uic.edu

Ahmed has a B.pharm degree from the school of pharmacy at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Where he worked in developing novel antibiotics against MRSA ( Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). He has Joined Dr. Lazarov's lab as a Ph.D. student Investigating the alterations of CREB signaling pathways and its effect on memory formation in the context of Alzheimer’s disease and developing novel assays for screening drugs in vitro to investigate their potential effects on neurogenesis.







Past Lab Members



Rachana Mishra, PhD (Postdoctoral fellow)


Caryn Davis, PhD (graduate student)


Jackie Bonds, PhD (graduate student)


Matt Tobin, MD/PhD (graduate student)


Yeshwant Kurhe, PhD (Postdoctoral fellow)


Nancy (Long) Bartolotti, PhD (graduate student)


Carolyn Hollands, PhD (Postdoctoral fellow)


Archana Ghadadhar, MSc (graduate student)


Michael Demars, PhD (graduate student)


Yuan-Shih (Jennifer) Hu, PhD (graduate student)


Yafit Kuttner, Ph.D (Postdoctoral fellow)


Bich Dong, Ph.D. (Research Specialist)


Shantel Olivaries, B.Sc. (Research Specialist)


Michael Pizzi, MD, Ph.D. (Visiting scientist)


Michael Chen, MD (Visiting scientist)





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