We are actively seeking excitable postdocs and PhD students to join us! Interested WashU and STLCOP undergraduates are always welcome to contact us about opportunities as well.

Jordan McCall, Phd, MPH

I am an incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU), the Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP), and the Center for Clinical Pharmacology at STLCOP and WashU School of Medicine.

I started my path here by completing undergraduate degrees (in Biology and Psychology) and a Masters of Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

From there I did my PhD in Neurosciences at WashU with Michael Bruchas. The two main focuses of my research in the Bruchas lab was on the neural circuitry responsible for the anxiolytic effects of beta-blockers and in pioneering new wireless technology to manipulate neural circuitry, the latter in close collaboration with John Rogers group of amazing materials scientists and engineers. I stayed at WashU as postdoctoral research associate with Rob Gereau studying pain neurophysiology and developing new approaches to behavioral analysis.

My plan is to lead a multidisciplinary research program aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the emotional distress associated with stress, chronic pain, and addiction. The long-term goal of the laboratory is to take basic, circuit-level neuroscience research and actively apply these findings to advance therapeutic options for patients. In large part, this goal will be achieved through the development of new neural interfacing technologies through collaborative efforts with materials scientists, chemical and electrical engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, and clinicians.

I do my best to carve out free time with my family and try to reduce my BMI (though I know that’s a flawed metric).

THE TEAM (in Alphabetical order)

Most of these fine people also work as part of the Al-Hasani lab, which will one day have its own website (probably).

I am a sophomore at WashU studying Mathematics. My main research interests include studying the potential effects of norepinephrine on TRPV1 pain receptors in dorsal root ganglion neurons. From a broader perspective, I’m interested in studying the neural mechanisms surrounding chronic pain.  Outside of lab I love to play soccer and basketball, watch HBO, and support all Cleveland sports teams.

I am a sophomore at WashU studying Mathematics. My main research interests include studying the potential effects of norepinephrine on TRPV1 pain receptors in dorsal root ganglion neurons. From a broader perspective, I’m interested in studying the neural mechanisms surrounding chronic pain.

Outside of lab I love to play soccer and basketball, watch HBO, and support all Cleveland sports teams.

RASHEED ABIOSE - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER
(WUSTL)

I am a current 4th year/P1 at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. I am interest in studying and researching neural pathways that underline drug abuse, addiction, and withdrawal.  When I’m not in lab I enjoy playing soccer and play on the STLCOP soccer team. I also enjoy drinking bubble tea (like 4 times a week) and playing with my friends’ dogs Peter (in the picture) and Arwen (too big to hold).

I am a current 4th year/P1 at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. I am interest in studying and researching neural pathways that underline drug abuse, addiction, and withdrawal.

When I’m not in lab I enjoy playing soccer and play on the STLCOP soccer team. I also enjoy drinking bubble tea (like 4 times a week) and playing with my friends’ dogs Peter (in the picture) and Arwen (too big to hold).

JOEL ARACKAL - PHARMD STUDENT
(STLCOP)

I'm a new Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Neurology in the Department of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM). I completed my DPhil through the University of Oxford and the National Institutes of Health as a George C. Marshall Scholar and NIH-Oxford Scholar and I then came to WUSM for medical school as a part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. Following a residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children's Hospital, I pursed Child Neurology and Movement Disorders Fellowship Training at Boston Children's Hospital / Harvard Medical School. I'm now excited to return to Wash U as faculty! In the McCall Lab, I'll be manipulating different basal ganglia neuronal populations across development to further understand the causes of dystonia in cerebral palsy (CP). My goal is to launch a translational multidisciplinary lab, focused on understanding and developing treatments for dystonic CP in animal models while also engaging in patient-based clinical research geared towards optimizing diagnostics and treatment of dystonic CP in real time.

When I'm not in the lab or with my patients, I am hanging out with my husband and twin sons, watching (bad) TV, and eating amazing St. Louis food, usually all at the same time.

BHOOMA ARAVAMUTHAN, MD/DPhil - ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
(WUSTL NEUROLOGY)

I am a senior at Wellesley College studying neuroscience. As an undergraduate researcher, I am interested in developing new techniques to study the neural basis of substance use disorder and am currently working on a project to characterize withdrawal in mouse models. Alongside my research endeavors, I am passionate about introducing neuroscience topics and my research experiences to traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM with the hope of creating a more diverse neuroscience community.  If I’m not in lab, you may find me swimming, mentoring girls in science, dancing or eating deep dish pizza in Chicago!

I am a senior at Wellesley College studying neuroscience. As an undergraduate researcher, I am interested in developing new techniques to study the neural basis of substance use disorder and am currently working on a project to characterize withdrawal in mouse models. Alongside my research endeavors, I am passionate about introducing neuroscience topics and my research experiences to traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM with the hope of creating a more diverse neuroscience community.

If I’m not in lab, you may find me swimming, mentoring girls in science, dancing or eating deep dish pizza in Chicago!

KIA BARCLAY - BP-ENDURE SUMMER UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

I am a second year psychiatry resident at Washington University. I am interested in the pathophysiology mechanisms of psychiatric illness from the cellular level to whole organism behaviors.  I am also interested in traveling, hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

I am a second year psychiatry resident at Washington University. I am interested in the pathophysiology mechanisms of psychiatric illness from the cellular level to whole organism behaviors.

I am also interested in traveling, hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

JOHN BILBILY, MD - WUSM PSYCHIATRY RESIDENT

I’m a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and minoring in Global Health. My current research studies the role of the kappa opioid receptor in controlling motivated behaviors, specifically in those pursuing a cold environment.  Outside of lab, I love to dance and sing. I am part of a competitive dance team at WashU! In my free time, I like to watch Netflix, play with my dog, and travel.

I’m a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and minoring in Global Health. My current research studies the role of the kappa opioid receptor in controlling motivated behaviors, specifically in those pursuing a cold environment.

Outside of lab, I love to dance and sing. I am part of a competitive dance team at WashU! In my free time, I like to watch Netflix, play with my dog, and travel.

PRIYANKA CHILUKURI - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER (WUSTL)

My broad research interests are in understanding the neural basis of motivated behavior. More specifically, I have a strong curiosity for understanding how drugs of abuse impact normal brain functioning. During my undergraduate career, I worked under Dr. Janet Neisewander on investigating the serotonin system’s involvement in cocaine action and addiction behaviors. I switched gears and found my favorite neurotransmitter – dopamine – during my graduate training under the mentorship of Dr. Mitchell Roitman. With a sustained focus on exploring the neural mechanisms by which drugs of abuse produce their reinforcing and addictive properties, I used chemogenetics, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, and behavioral studies to investigate amphetamine action on mesolimbic dopamine signaling. During this time, I became more interested in addiction progression and dopamine’s interplay with the kappa opioid system. I joined Ream and Jordan’s research team at The Center for Clinical Pharmacology as a postdoctoral research associate based on my interest in better elucidating the neural processing governing the negative affective states associated with drug withdrawal and relapse with an emphasis on translational research that will better inform the development of more effective treatment strategies for drug addiction.  When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy being outdoors, seeing live music, and cheering on my hometown baseball team (Go Cubs!).

My broad research interests are in understanding the neural basis of motivated behavior. More specifically, I have a strong curiosity for understanding how drugs of abuse impact normal brain functioning. During my undergraduate career, I worked under Dr. Janet Neisewander on investigating the serotonin system’s involvement in cocaine action and addiction behaviors. I switched gears and found my favorite neurotransmitter – dopamine – during my graduate training under the mentorship of Dr. Mitchell Roitman. With a sustained focus on exploring the neural mechanisms by which drugs of abuse produce their reinforcing and addictive properties, I used chemogenetics, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, and behavioral studies to investigate amphetamine action on mesolimbic dopamine signaling. During this time, I became more interested in addiction progression and dopamine’s interplay with the kappa opioid system. I joined Ream and Jordan’s research team at The Center for Clinical Pharmacology as a postdoctoral research associate based on my interest in better elucidating the neural processing governing the negative affective states associated with drug withdrawal and relapse with an emphasis on translational research that will better inform the development of more effective treatment strategies for drug addiction.

When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy being outdoors, seeing live music, and cheering on my hometown baseball team (Go Cubs!).

SINEADH CONWAY, PhD - POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

I’m currently a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis studying Anthropology: Global Health & Environment as well as Biology. My current research aims to study the effect that norepinephrine has on the modulation of a calcium-mediated receptor in dorsal root ganglion neurons, which carry pain-signals.  Outside the lab I enjoy to go on bike rides, rock climb, and discover new movies I could watch but might only ever watch the trailers.

I’m currently a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis studying Anthropology: Global Health & Environment as well as Biology. My current research aims to study the effect that norepinephrine has on the modulation of a calcium-mediated receptor in dorsal root ganglion neurons, which carry pain-signals.

Outside the lab I enjoy to go on bike rides, rock climb, and discover new movies I could watch but might only ever watch the trailers.

JAZMIN GARCIA - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER (WUSTL)

My research interests involve the influence of gut microbiota on stress, pain, and drug abuse.  In my free time I enjoy biking as well as playing disc golf and video games.

My research interests involve the influence of gut microbiota on stress, pain, and drug abuse.

In my free time I enjoy biking as well as playing disc golf and video games.

GRAY GEREAU - RESEARCH TECHNICIAN

I am an undergraduate Neuroscience Major at Emory and joined the McCall lab for summer research. I enjoy learning more techniques and working with animal models. I am considering pursuing a PhD after taking a gap year to work in Industry. I love the lab’s social and collaborative atmosphere and have really valued my experience.  Other than science, I enjoy painting, baking, rock wall climbing, and musical theater!

I am an undergraduate Neuroscience Major at Emory and joined the McCall lab for summer research. I enjoy learning more techniques and working with animal models. I am considering pursuing a PhD after taking a gap year to work in Industry. I love the lab’s social and collaborative atmosphere and have really valued my experience.

Other than science, I enjoy painting, baking, rock wall climbing, and musical theater!

SARAH HUNTER - BP-ENDURE SUMMER UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

I’m a junior studying Biomedical Engineering at WashU, and I'm really interested in developing interdisciplinary research techniques to study how physical and emotional data processing intersects within the brain, especially in regards to pain and emotion regulation.  Outside of lab, I work as peer counselor for the WashU undergrad community, and when I can, I like to write music and stay up reading!

I’m a junior studying Biomedical Engineering at WashU, and I'm really interested in developing interdisciplinary research techniques to study how physical and emotional data processing intersects within the brain, especially in regards to pain and emotion regulation.

Outside of lab, I work as peer counselor for the WashU undergrad community, and when I can, I like to write music and stay up reading!

JENNY KIM - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER (WUSTL)

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from JNTU, India and Master’s degree in Neuropharmacology from National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). I completed my PhD in Prof. David P. Finn’s lab at NUIG (2016) where my research was focused on the role of TRPV1 in hyperalgesia associated with negative affective state using a Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat model. Currently, I’m interested in dissecting opioid circuits in pain and negative affect using novel molecular, optogenetic, neurophysiological, and neurochemical tools.  Apart from research, I’d love to play badminton, table tennis and working out at the gym.

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from JNTU, India and Master’s degree in Neuropharmacology from National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). I completed my PhD in Prof. David P. Finn’s lab at NUIG (2016) where my research was focused on the role of TRPV1 in hyperalgesia associated with negative affective state using a Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat model. Currently, I’m interested in dissecting opioid circuits in pain and negative affect using novel molecular, optogenetic, neurophysiological, and neurochemical tools.

Apart from research, I’d love to play badminton, table tennis and working out at the gym.

MANISH MADASU, PhD - POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER

I hail from Beirut, Lebanon where the summers are beautiful, and the winters are mild. For my undergraduate degree, I went to Mount Holyoke College and majored in neuroscience and mathematics. This led me here, where I am working on a neuroscience PhD before continuing on to medical school. I am interested in understanding the role of inflammation in mediating the effectiveness of opioid treatments as well as the general state of the immune system following the use of opioids.  Outside of lab, I enjoy the outdoors, cycling, salsa dancing, and volunteering to help refugee and immigrant communities.

I hail from Beirut, Lebanon where the summers are beautiful, and the winters are mild. For my undergraduate degree, I went to Mount Holyoke College and majored in neuroscience and mathematics. This led me here, where I am working on a neuroscience PhD before continuing on to medical school. I am interested in understanding the role of inflammation in mediating the effectiveness of opioid treatments as well as the general state of the immune system following the use of opioids.

Outside of lab, I enjoy the outdoors, cycling, salsa dancing, and volunteering to help refugee and immigrant communities.

MARWA MIKATI - DBBS NEUROSCIENCE MD/PhD STUDENT

I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in neurobiology and physiology along with minors in psychology and African-American studies. As a first year neuroscience PhD student in the lab, I am most interested in noradrenergic signaling and its involvement in pain as well as working to understand the physiology of the emotion regulation changes associated with pain.  Outside of science, I enjoy playing softball and being involved in science outreach efforts throughout the Greater St. Louis area. I am also and will forever be a diehard Purdue basketball fan, BOILER UP!

I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in neurobiology and physiology along with minors in psychology and African-American studies. As a first year neuroscience PhD student in the lab, I am most interested in noradrenergic signaling and its involvement in pain as well as working to understand the physiology of the emotion regulation changes associated with pain.

Outside of science, I enjoy playing softball and being involved in science outreach efforts throughout the Greater St. Louis area. I am also and will forever be a diehard Purdue basketball fan, BOILER UP!

MAKENZIE NORRIS - DBBS NEUROSCIENCE PhD STUDENT

I am currently a P1 at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. I am interested to understand the analgesic and anxiolytic effect that is implicated with Kratom, an herbal extract that is used to manage pain. I am also interested in developing techniques to detect neuropeptides that motivate behavior in the brain.  In my free time I enjoy, doing puzzles, hanging out with friends, and going to IKEA!

I am currently a P1 at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. I am interested to understand the analgesic and anxiolytic effect that is implicated with Kratom, an herbal extract that is used to manage pain. I am also interested in developing techniques to detect neuropeptides that motivate behavior in the brain.

In my free time I enjoy, doing puzzles, hanging out with friends, and going to IKEA!

SREEMATHI PALANISAMY - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER (STLCOP)

I’m an Instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University in St. Louis within the Center for Clinical Pharmacology. I obtained my Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Missouri-Columbia under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Will in the Department of Psychology. Prior to joining Dr. Jordan McCall’s research group, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Michael Bruchas’ lab in the Department of Anesthesiology. Before coming to Washington University, I received T32-funded postdoctoral training with the Minnesota Obesity Center at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Drs. Catherine Kotz and Charles Billington. My research focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying affective behaviors involved in stress, pain, reward, and addiction. My current research is examining the functional connectivity of mid- and hindbrain structures that modulate pain and reward behaviors. My other interests have focused on understanding the role of nociceptin opioid peptide (NOP) receptors in midbrain dopamine neurons and the nociceptin-expressing neural circuitry that coordinates reward-seeking behavior. I’m also interested in the development and assessment of novel therapeutics that relieve pain conditions in patients without the negative side effects, such as tolerance and addiction, that are typical of opioid analgesics.  I spend most of my spare time with my fiancé and dogs, while also enjoying cycling, videogaming, and exploring the many wonderful breweries of St. Louis.

I’m an Instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University in St. Louis within the Center for Clinical Pharmacology. I obtained my Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Missouri-Columbia under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Will in the Department of Psychology. Prior to joining Dr. Jordan McCall’s research group, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Michael Bruchas’ lab in the Department of Anesthesiology. Before coming to Washington University, I received T32-funded postdoctoral training with the Minnesota Obesity Center at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Drs. Catherine Kotz and Charles Billington. My research focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying affective behaviors involved in stress, pain, reward, and addiction. My current research is examining the functional connectivity of mid- and hindbrain structures that modulate pain and reward behaviors. My other interests have focused on understanding the role of nociceptin opioid peptide (NOP) receptors in midbrain dopamine neurons and the nociceptin-expressing neural circuitry that coordinates reward-seeking behavior. I’m also interested in the development and assessment of novel therapeutics that relieve pain conditions in patients without the negative side effects, such as tolerance and addiction, that are typical of opioid analgesics.

I spend most of my spare time with my fiancé and dogs, while also enjoying cycling, videogaming, and exploring the many wonderful breweries of St. Louis.

KYLE PARKER, PhD - INSTRUCTOR

 
Loc Vinh Thang is an ASAP resident in the Department of Anesthesiology. He has completed his general anesthesia residency and most of his pain management fellowship training. He is currently on the T32 research training grant that supports his 80/20 percent research/pain management fellowship portion of his training. Loc graduated from the University of Michigan with a MSE in Biomedical Engineering in 2008, and from Michigan State University with a MD/PhD in 2015. He worked in James Galligan's lab at MSU Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Loc is interested in the neural circuity of the endogenous descending locus-coeruleus-noradrenergic system in the direct modulation of nociceptive neurotransmission in the dorsal root ganglion/dorsal horn before and after chronic pain.  In his spare times, Loc enjoys hanging out with his lovely wife and the two energetic sons.

Loc Vinh Thang is an ASAP resident in the Department of Anesthesiology. He has completed his general anesthesia residency and most of his pain management fellowship training. He is currently on the T32 research training grant that supports his 80/20 percent research/pain management fellowship portion of his training. Loc graduated from the University of Michigan with a MSE in Biomedical Engineering in 2008, and from Michigan State University with a MD/PhD in 2015. He worked in James Galligan's lab at MSU Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Loc is interested in the neural circuity of the endogenous descending locus-coeruleus-noradrenergic system in the direct modulation of nociceptive neurotransmission in the dorsal root ganglion/dorsal horn before and after chronic pain.

In his spare times, Loc enjoys hanging out with his lovely wife and the two energetic sons.

LOC THANG, MD/PhD - CLINICAL PAIN FELLOW (WUSTL ANESTHESIOLOGY)

I am a junior at WashU double majoring in Global Health and Dance. I am interested in researching the relationship between cholinergic neurons and dystonic cerebral palsy.  Outside of lab I enjoy dance, watching The Office, and listening to music.

I am a junior at WashU double majoring in Global Health and Dance. I am interested in researching the relationship between cholinergic neurons and dystonic cerebral palsy.

Outside of lab I enjoy dance, watching The Office, and listening to music.

INDIA SHELLEY - UNDERGRAD RESEARCHER (WUSTL)

 
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CHAYLA VAZQUEZ - DBBS NEUROSCIENCE PhD ROTATION STUDENT

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ESTHER TAK - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER (STLCOP)