IPN Alumni

Alumni Spotlight

Sakura Minami gave a talk about her work in the biotech industry in September 2016 as part of BGE’s Career Options Seminar series. She is a Scientist at Alkahest, leading a team developing blood-based therapies to enrich health in normal aging.
Entered: 2005
Thesis Advisor: Bill Rebeck
Thesis Title: The role of Fyn in the pathogenic processes of Alzheimer’s disease

Bridget Queenan was awarded the 2016 Harold N. Glassman Dissertation Award in the Sciences. For more information about the award click here (new window). Bridget is currently the Associate Director of the BRAIN Initiative at UC Santa Barbara.
Entered: 2009
Thesis Advisor: Dan Pak
Thesis Title: Synapse- and Cell-specific Homeostatic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

Danielle Carnival (née Evers) gave a talk in November 2015 about her career path since graduating from the IPN in 2009. She is currently the Assistant Director of Education and Learning Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Entered: 2005
Thesis Advisor: Dan Pak
Thesis Title: Homeostatic control of AMPA receptor strength and subunit composition by Polo-like kinase 2

Esther Krook-Magnuson gave a talk in September 2015 about her work with on-demand optogenetics and how this technique has furthered our understanding of epilepsy and its potential treatments. After completing post-doctoral work with Dr. Ivan Soltesz at UC Irvine, Esther, the recipient of a K99/00 award, is now an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota.
Entered: 2004
Thesis Advisor: Molly Huntsman
Thesis Title: Specificity of inhibitory control of cortical interneurons in layer 4 of mouse                                                                 somatosensory barrel cortex

Stacie Bloom (née Grossman) gave a talk in April 2015 about her career path since graduating from Georgetown in 2000. She is currently the Senior Executive Director for Administration and Policy, as well as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, at NYU Langone Medical Center. Prior to her current positions, she spent time as associate editor for Nature Medicine, the News and Reviews editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Vice President and Scientific Director of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Entered: 1995
Thesis Advisor: Jean Wrathall
Thesis Title: Alterations in glutamate receptor subunits following experimental contusive spinal cord injury

Alumni Updates

We are proud of our alumni and work to keep our student network strong by inviting former students to visit, give talks, or provide us with updates.

Fall Alumni Panel was held November 1st, 2016. Panelists who joined were Monika Mellum, Dawn Beraud, Lauren Ullrich, and Sonya Dumanis.

In our Spring 2015 edition of the IPN Newsletter, Dr. Jill Turner was featured in a profile.

Alumni Career Paths

Students from our program go on to many different opportunities after they graduate. Almost 60% of our alumni continue in academia, and are currently in a post-doc or faculty position. Industry, Policy, and non-academic medical practice are also popular, with about 10% of our alumni choosing each profession.

Click on the categories below for a sample of some of the things our students have done after graduating from the IPN.

Many of our former students have gone on to hold faculty positions at Universities across the US. Many more are currently in postdoctoral positions.

Gustavo Rodriguez (entered 2009, Ph.D. 2014)
Dr. Rodriguez is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University.

Rachel Wurzman (entered 2008, Ph.D. 2014)
Dr. Wurzman is a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Pennsylvania.

Jessica Ihne (entered 2009, Ph.D. 2014)
Dr. Ihne is a Postdoctoral Fellow at at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Tanya Evans (entered 2007, Ph.D. 2013)
Dr. Evans is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University.

Jeremy Purcell (entered 2005, Ph.D. 2012)
Dr. Purcell is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Hilary North Scheler (entered 2005, Ph.D. 2010)
Dr. Scheler is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Mary Adedoyin (entered 2005, Ph.D. 2010)
Dr. Adedoyin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSF.

Sakura Minami (entered 2005, Ph.D. 2010)
Dr. Minami is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the J. David Gladstone Institute.

Melissa Herman (entered 2005, Ph.D. 2009)
Dr. Herman is an Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina

Pavel Ortinski (entered 2002, Ph.D. 2007)
Dr. Ortinski is currently a Research Assistant Professor at U Penn

Jill Turner (entered 2002, Ph.D. 2006)
Dr. Turner, initially a Postdoctoral Fellow at U Penn, received the Young Investigator Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2011. Dr. Turner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy

Laila Zai (entered 1999, Ph.D. 2004)
Dr. Zai is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital.

Peter Turkeltaub (entered 1999, M.D., Ph.D. 2003)
Dr. Turkeltaub is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University Medical School/Department of Neurology.

Cherie Marvel (entered 1996, Ph.D. 2002)
Dr. Marvel is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

Penelope Kuhn (entered 1994, Ph.D. 2002)
Dr. Kuhn is currently a Professor in the Dept of Psychology at CSU Chico.

Several of our students have gone on to positions in industry.

Dr. Kelly McVearry (entered 2002, Ph.D. 2007)
Dr. McVearry is the Senior Scientific Advisor to Northrop Grumman’s Chief Medical Officer. Northrop Grumman integrates subject matter expertise with information technologies to serve federal and global health customers.

Philberta Leung (entered 2002, Ph.D. 2007) 
Dr. Leung is a Research Scientist at Aronora, a biotech company focusing on new biological blood clot treatment drugs.

Robbin Wood Miranda (entered 2002, Ph.D. 2007)
Dr. Miranda is a Neuroscientist at the Schafer Corporation.

Rana Al-Hallaq (entered 1997, Ph.D. 2001)
Dr. Al-Hallaq is a Clinical Scientist at Forest Research Institute & Forest Laboratories, Inc.

Georgetown University provides many opportunities for students to become involved in government policy work. Several students have received prestigious fellowships from AAAS or the National Academies of Science to pursue their interest in science in the public realm after graduating from the IPN. With the increasing importance of using scientific knowledge to inform public policy decisions, we anticipate that these scientists will continue to have a strong impact on how science is supported and utilized by the federal government.

Brannon Green (entered 2009, PhD 2016)
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data at the US Department of Justice.

Brandon Martin (entered 2007, PhD 2012)
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the US Department of Defense.

Leah Lozier (entered 2007, PhD 2013)
Presidential Management Fellow (PMF-STEM) at the National Institutes of Health.

Lauren Ullrich (entered 2006, PhD 2014)
Health Program Specialist at National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Dawn Joseph-Beraud (entered 2007, PhD 2013)
Science Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Danielle Evers (entered 2005, PhD 2009)
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Office of Science and Technology Policy. OSTP serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans and programs of the Federal Government. Dr. Evers is currently Senior Policy Advisor, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Sunbin Song (entered 2003, PhD 2008)
National Academies of Sciences Graduate Fellowship in the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law. Dr. Song is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the NIH in the Human Cortical Plasticity Section.

Alexis Jeanotte (entered 2003, PhD 2007)
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in the National Securities and Global Securities at the US Department of Homeland Security. Dr Jeannotte is currently a contractor supporting the government in the development and management of programs that fund research and development to meet national security needs.

Judy Lytle (entered 2002, PhD 2007)
AAAS National Defense and Global Security Fellowship, Office of Naval Research. Dr. Lytle is currently the Science and Technology Division Director for AVIAN Engineering, providing support to DoD agencies and partner companies in Science and Technology Development.

Ivy Estabrooke (entered 2000, PhD 2005)
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, Office of Naval Research Global, which works to find cutting edge research around the globe. Dr. Estabrooke is now a program officer at the Office of Naval Research

Liza Bundesen (entered 1998, PhD 2003).
The National Academies Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, placed at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Bundesen is currently Acting Chief of the Science Policy and Evaluation Branch within the NIMH Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications.

Our M.D./Ph.D. students have gone on to both academic and non-academic medical practice.

Rachelle Toman (entered 1998, Ph.D. 2003)
Dr. Toman is the Medical Director of Community Health Center in Washington, DC

Brandon Zielinski (entered 1997, Ph.D. 2001)
Dr. Zielinski is a Visiting Instructor in Pediatrics and Attending Physician in the Dept of Neurology at UCSF.

Other job paths our students have followed:

Bridget Queenan (entered 2009, Ph.D. 2014)
Dr. Queenan is the Associate Director of the BRAIN Initiative at UC Santa Barbara.

Nancy Cowdin (entered 2008, Ph.D. 2014)
Dr. Cowdin is a chemistry teacher at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School.

Samantha Crowe (entered 2001, Ph.D. 2006)
Dr. Crowe is a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Laura Chamberlain Gehl (entered 2001, Ph.D. 2005)
Dr. Gehl is the Senior Editor of Science Weekly.

Kimberly Rivas-Plata Ballard (entered 1998, Ph.D. 2005)
Dr. Ballard is a Patent Examiner and Alzheimer’s Disease Consultant for the USPTO.

Recent IPN Graduates

Benson Stevens: Post-Doctoral fellowship – Georgetown University

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: John VanMeter

Thesis Title: Genetic Influences Of Dopamine And GABA On Adolescent Cognition.

Carrie Leonard: Post-Doctoral fellowship – Georgetown University

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: Maria Donoghue

Thesis Title: Distinct Roles For EphA7 Isoforms In Cortical Dendritic Elaboration And Synapse Formation.

Valerie Darcey: IRTA Post-Doctoral fellowship – NIH

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: John VanMeter

Thesis Title: Investigating the relationship between Omega-3 Fatty Acid intake and neurocognitive development in healthy adolescents.

Erika Raven: Marshall-Sherfield fellowship – Cardiff University

Entered: 2012

Thesis Advisor: John VanMeter and Jeff Duyn (NIH)

Thesis Title: Reproducibility and use of myelin imaging methods for the study of adolescent brain development

Patrick Cox: Postdoctoral Fellow at George Washington University

Entered: 2010

Thesis Advisor: Max Riesenhuber

Thesis Title: The Effects Of Extensive Single Task Training On The Neural Bases Of Visual Object Categorization: Escaping The Frontal Bottleneck

Lanier Heyburn: Postdoctoral Fellow at Walter Reed

Entered: 2012

Thesis Advisor: Brent Harris and Charbel Moussa

Thesis Title: TDP-43 Pathology: Elucidation Of Mechanisms And Treatment With Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition

Theodore Turesky: Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University

Entered: 2012

Thesis Advisor: Guinevere Eden

Thesis Title: Functional Neuroimaging Studies of Simple Finger Movements in Healthy Development and Aging and Children with Dyslexia

Kathryn Schuler: Assistant Professor of Linguistics at University of Pennsylvania

Entered: 2012

Thesis Advisor: Elissa Newport

Thesis Title: The Acquisition of Productive Rules in Child and Adult Learners

Rachael Harrington: Post-doctoral fellowship- George Mason University

Entered: 2012

Thesis Advisor: Michelle Harris-Love and Peter Turkeltaub

Thesis Title: Mechanisms of recovery in patients with severe arm impairment after stroke

Carissa Winland

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: Kathy Maguire-Zeiss and Stefano Vicini

Thesis Title: Activated Microglia and AMPAR Mediated Excitatory Post Synaptic Currents

Meg Allen: Postdoctoral Fellow at Weill Cornell (with Dr. Dilek Colak)

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: Kathy Conant and Kathy Maguire-Zeiss

Thesis Title: Differential effects of PAR1 signaling in neurons and glia

Frank Fishburn: Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh

Entered: 2010

Thesis Advisor: Chandan Vaidya and Andrei Medvedev

Thesis Title: Establishing The Sensitivity Of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy To Cognitive Load And State In Healthy Adults And Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Kelly Chamberlain: Postdoctoral Fellow at NINDS with Dr. Zu-Hang Sheng 

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: Jeffrey Huang

Thesis Title: The role of creatine in promoting oligodendrocyte survival and modulating axonal mitochondria in the CNS

Kyle Shattuck: Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgetown University

Entered: 2010

Thesis Advisor: John VanMeter

Thesis Title: Investigating the Cholinergic Regulation of Human Learning and Memory Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Andrew Breeden: U.S. Presidential Management Fellow

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: Chandan Vaidya

Thesis Title: Noradrenergic modulation of functional brain networks underlying executive control

Caitlin Taylor: Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Santa Barbara

Entered: 2010

Thesis Advisor: Guinevere Eden

Thesis Title: Age- and Experience-Dependent Modulation of Coherent Visual Motion Processing

William Hayward: Completing Medical School at Georgetown University

Entered: 2012

Thesis Advisors: Peter Turkeltaub, Rhonda Friedman

Thesis Title: Objective Support for the Subjective Report of Inner Speech in Aphasia

Laura Erickson: Quantitative User Experience Research Assistant, Synergis, at Google

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisors: Peter Turkeltaub, Josef Rauschecker

Thesis Title: Examinations Of audiovisual speech processes, the McGurk Effect and the heteromodal superior temporal sulcus in the human brain across numerous approaches

Brannon Green: AAAS Fellow

Entered: 2009

Thesis Advisor: Josef Rauschecker

Thesis Title: Sound, Memory, and Audiomotor Interactions

Charisse Winston: Post-doctoral fellow at UCSD

Entered: 2010

Thesis Advisor: Mark Burns

Thesis Title: Neuronal Remodeling and Genetic Vulnerability After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Amanda DiBattista: Research Program Analyst at the National Institute on Aging at the NIH

Entered: 2011

Thesis Advisor: Bill Rebeck

Thesis Title: Effects of Alzheimer’s disease genetic risk factor APOE4 on the normal brain

Teal Burrell: Science Writer

Entered: 2009

Thesis Advisor: Bill Rebeck

Thesis Title: A novel role for Fyn in ApoER2 regulation

Nancy Cowdin: Chemistry Teacher at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School

Entered: 2008

Thesis Advisors:  John VanMeter, Thomas Mellman, Andrei Medvedev

Thesis Title: A Comparison of Frequency-Specific Activity During REM Sleep in Trauma-Exposed Subjects with PTSD and Resilience

Ghazaul Dezfuli: Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgetown University

Entered: 2009

Thesis Advisor: Richard Gillis

Thesis Title: The Role of the Dorsal Motor Nucleus of the Vagus in Food Intake and Body Weight Regulation

Jessica Ihne: Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health

Entered: 2009

Thesis Advisors: Joseph Callicott, Adam Green

Thesis Title: Exploring the influence of genetics on cognitive function using fMRI

Bridget Queenan: Associate Director, Brain Initiative at UC Santa Barbara

Entered: 2009

Thesis Advisors: Dan Pak, Stefano Vicini

Thesis Title: Synapse- and Cell-specific Homeostatic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

Gustavo Rodriguez: Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University

Entered: 2009

Thesis Advisors: Bill Rebeck, Rhonda Dzakpasu

Thesis Title: Human APOE4 affects microglial reactivity and spatial cognition in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease risk

Misha Smirnov: Postdoctoral Fellow at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

Entered: 2009

Thesis Advisors: Jeff Urbach, Herb Geller

Thesis Title: The influence of structural confinement on neuronal outgrowth and interaction with the extracellular matrix

Lauren Ullrich: Health Program Specialist at National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Entered: 2006

Thesis Advisor: Rhonda Friedman

Thesis Title: Recognition memory in mild cognitive impairment

Rachel Wurzman: Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania

Entered: 2008

Thesis Advisors: Larry Kromer, Stefano Vicini

Thesis Title: Effects of selective Ephrin-A deletions on striatal anatomy, synaptic physiology, and behavior in mice

Dawn (Joseph) Beraud: Science Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Mental Health

Entered: 2007

Thesis Advisor: Kathy Maguire-Zeiss

Thesis Title: Alpha-synuclein and its direct effects on microglial activation

Sonya Dumanis: Senior Associate at Center for Strategic Philanthropy, Milken Institute

Entered: 2008

Thesis Advisor: Bill Rebeck

Thesis Title: Using APOE genotypes to identify new biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease risk

Tanya (Gerner) Evans: Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University

Entered: 2007

Thesis Advisor: Guinevere Eden

Thesis Title: The brain basis of arithmetic, reading and reading disability

Anthony Krafnick: Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Southern California

Entered: 2008

Thesis Advisor: Guinevere Eden

Thesis Title: Functional and structural brain imaging studies of developmental dyslexia

Leah Lozier: Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Entered: 2007

Thesis Advisors: John VanMeter, Abigail Marsh

Thesis Title: The Behavioral and Neural Basis of Emotional Face Processing in Atypically Developing Children and Adolescents

Monika Mellem: Scientist at BlackThorn Therapeutics

Entered: 2007

Thesis Advisors: Rhonda Friedman, Andrei Medvedev

Thesis Title: Brain oscillatory dynamics of lexical-semantic processing

Mark Niedringhaus: Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Entered: 2008

Thesis Advisor: Rhonda Dzakpasu

Thesis Title: The development of bursting networks following chemical long term potentiation

Lauren Orefice: Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University

Entered: 2008

Thesis Advisor: Baoji Xu

Thesis Title: Role of Local BDNF Synthesis in Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis

Guillermo Palchik: Postdoctoral Fellow at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Entered: 2006

Thesis Advisor: Alexei Kondratyev

Thesis Title: Neuronal DNA Double Strand Break Damage and Repair Following Sublethal iGLuR Activation, and the Neuroprotective Effects of Melatonin

Clara Scholl: Senior Professional Staff in Applied Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University

Entered: 2007

Thesis Advisor: Max Riesenhuber

Thesis Title: EEG investigations of the temporal dynamics of visual object categorization in human brain

Patricia Washington: Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University Medical Center

Entered: 2008

Thesis Advisor: Mark Burns

Thesis Title: Production, accumulation and clearance of amyloid-beta after experimental traumatic brain injury

Brian Wolff: Staff Research Associate at UC San Francisco

Entered: 2007

Thesis Advisor: Jian-Young Wu

Thesis Title: Electric fields and slow cortical activity