Student Publications and Fellowships

Student Publications and Fellowships

Alex Yonk

Yonk AJ, Margolis DJ.  Traces of Learning in Thalamocortical Circuits. Neuron. 2019 Jul 17;103(2):175-176. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.06.020. PMID:  31319043

Courtney McDermott

McDermott CR, Farmer C, Gotham KO, Bal VH.  Measurement of subcategories of repetitive behaviors in autistic adolescents and adults.  Autism in Adulthood 2020 March 2; 2(1):1-13

Michael Rallo

Rallo MS, Narayan V, Majmundar N, Al-Mufti F, Sun H, Jumah F, Raju B, Roychowdhury S, Nanda A, Gupta G.  Multi-modal endovascular management of traumatic pseudoaneurysm and arteriovenous fistula of the ascending cervical artery: A technical report and review of literature.  Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2021 Mar; 202:106539. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106539. Epub 2021 Feb 2. PMID: 33601270

Rallo MS, Ashraf O, Jumah F, Gupta G, Nanda A.  An analysis of cross-continental scholarship requirements during neurosurgical training and national research productivity.  Neurosurg Focus. 2020 Mar 1;48(3): E20. doi: 10.3171/2019.12.FOCUS19856. PMID: 32114557

Rallo MS, Nosko M, Agag RL, Xiong Z, Al-Mufti F, Roychowdhury S, Nanda A, Gupta G. Neurosurgical and Scalp Reconstructive Challenges During Craniotomy in the Setting of Cutis Verticis Gyrata.  World Neurosurg. 2019 May; 125:392-397. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.01.217. Epub 2019 Feb 11. PMID: 30763753

Christen Crosta

Crosta CM, Hernandez K, Bhattiprolu AK, Fu AY, Moore JC, Clarke SG. Dudzinski NR, Brzustowicz LM, Paradiso KG, Firestein BL.  Characterization hiPSC-derived neural progenitor cells and neurons to investigate the role of NOS1AP isoforms in human neuron dendritogenesis Mol Cell Neurosci. 2020 Dec;109:103562 doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2020.103562. Epub 2020 Sep 26.


Branden Sanabria was awarded an NIH F31 pre-doctoral fellowship "The Role of Corticostriatal Microcircuitry in Sensorimotor Integration”, July 2021.

Iva Salamon was awarded an NJ Governor’s Council on Autism pre-doctoral fellowship “The role of the autism risk gene Celf4 in the specification of the first synapses during early neocortical development”, June 2021.

Courtney McDermott was awarded an NJ Governor’s Council on Autism pre-doctoral fellowship “Early life microbiota dysbiosis and autism: effects on neurodevelopment and behavioral outcomes”, June 2021.

Mark Presker received an NIH Grant "Stimulus Control of Attention in Cocaine Addiction: Role of Locus Coeruleus."  2019-2022.

Iva Salamon received a New Jersey Governor’s Council for Medical Research & Treatment of Autism Grant  2021-2023. 

Nofar Engelhard received an NJ Commission on Spinal Cord Research Grant "Characterizing a Novel Spinal Cord Population: Role in Both Locomotive Control and Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury." 2019-2021. 

Christen Crosta received an NIH-Rutgers Biotechnology Training Grant 2019.

Courtney McDermott received an NIH NJACTS TL1 Predoctoral Fellowship 2019-2022.

Courtney was also accepted as an Associate in the 2021 SFN NeuroScholars Program.

Alex Yonk received an NIH NJACTS TL1 Predoctoral Fellowship 2019-2022.

Mikayla Voglewede received an NIH F31 Grant “Mechanism of Par3-mediated regulation of dendritic spine plasticity” 2021-2023. 

Nydia Chang was accepted for participation in the AAA CASE Workshop in 2020.

Emma Schweitzer received an NIH NJACTS TL1 Predoctoral Fellowship 2021-2023

Awarded PhD in 2017:  Stephanie Oh, Heather McGowan, Victoria DiBona, Madel Durens, Robert Connacher

Awarded PhD in 2018:  Matthew Scarnati, Madeline Williams, Qili Yu, Apoorva Halikere, Zhichao Song, Mihir Patel, Avery Zucco, Smrithi Prem

Awarded PhD in 2019:  Joshua Stamos, Anna Giarratana, Caroline Pantazis, Ning Chiang, Valentina Dal Pozzo

Awarded PhD in 2021Tatiana Popovitchenko, Anton Omelchenko, Kristine Conde, Carlos Ayala, Andrew Dieterich, Monal Mehta

Anton Omelchenko

Omelchenko A, Shrirao AB, Bhattiprolu AK, Zahn JD, Schloss RS, Dickson S, Meaney DF, Boustany NN, Yarmush ML, Firestein BL. Dynamin and reverse-mode sodium calcium exchanger blockade confers neuroprotection from diffuse axonal injury Cell Death Dis. 2019 Sep 27;10(10):727. doi: 10.1038/s41419-019-1908-3. PMID: 31562294 PMID: 31562294 

Omelchenko A, Firestein BL. Lipids and phosphates at odds in synaptic depression.  J Biol Chem. 2018 Feb 2;293(5):1568-1569. doi: 10.1074/jbc.H117.813808. Epub 2018 Feb 2. PMID: 29414768

Tatiana Popovitchenko

Popovitchenko T, Rasin MR. Transcriptional and Post-Transcriptional Mechanisms of the Development of Neocortical Lamination. Front Neuroanat. 2017 Nov 9; 11:102. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2017.00102. eCollection 2017. Review. PMID: 29170632

Popovitchenko T, Thompson K, Viljetic B, Jiao X, Kontonyiannis DL, Kiledjian M, Hart RP, Rasin MR. The RNA binding protein HuR determines the differential translation of autism-associated FoxP subfamily members in the developing neocortex. Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 7; 6:28998. doi: 10.1038/srep28998. PMID: 27383233

Kristie Conde

Conde K, Roepke T. 17β-estradiol increases arcuate KNDy neuronal sensitivity to ghrelin inhibition of the M-current in female mice.  Neuroendocrinology. 2019 Sep 5. doi: 10.1159/000503146. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31484184

Apoorva Halikere

Halikere A, Popova D, Scarnati MS, Hamod A, Swerdel MR, Moore JC, Tischfield JA, Hart RP, Pang ZP.  Addiction associated N40D mu-opioid receptor variant modulates synaptic function in human neurons.  Mol Psychiatry. 2019 Sep 3. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0507-0. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:  31481756 

Matthew Scarnati

Scarnati MS, Halikere A, Pang ZP.  Using human stem cells as a model system to understand the neural mechanisms of alcohol use disorders: Current status and outlook. Alcohol. 2019 Feb; 74:83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2018.03.008. Epub 2018 Mar 31. Review. PMID:  30087005 

Scarnati MS, Kataria R, Biswas M, Paradiso KG. Active presynaptic ribosomes in the mammalian brain, and altered transmitter release after protein synthesis inhibition.  Elife. 2018 Oct 30;7. pii: e36697. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36697. PMID: 30375975  

Caroline Pantazis

Pantazis CB, James MH, Bentzley BS, Aston-Jones G. The number of lateral hypothalamus orexin/hypocretin neurons contributes to individual differences in cocaine demand.  Addict Biol. 2019 Jul 11:e12795. doi: 10.1111/adb.12795. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:  31297913

Pantazis CB, Aston-Jones G. Lateral septum inhibition reduces motivation for cocaine: Reversal by diazepam.  Addict Biol. 2019 Mar 21. doi: 10.1111/adb.12742. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 30896079 

Avery Zucco

Zucco AJ, Pozzo VD, Afinogenova A, Hart RP, Devinsky O, D'Arcangelo G.  Neural progenitors derived from Tuberous Sclerosis Complex patients exhibit attenuated PI3K/AKT signaling and delayed neuronal differentiation. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2018 Oct; 92:149-163. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2018.08.004. Epub 2018 Aug 23. PMID: 30144504

Matthew Kraushar

Kraushar ML, Popovitchenko T, Volk NL, Rasin MR.  The frontier of RNA metamorphosis and ribosome signature in neocortical development.  Int J Dev Neurosci. 2016 Dec; 55:131-139. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2016.02.003. Epub 2016 May 27. Review. PMID: 27241046

Kraushar ML, Viljetic B, Wijeratne HR, Thompson K, Jiao X, Pike JW, Medvedeva V, Groszer M, Kiledjian M, Hart RP, Rasin MR. Thalamic WNT3 Secretion Spatiotemporally Regulates the Neocortical Ribosome Signature and mRNA Translation to Specify Neocortical Cell Subtypes.  J Neurosci. 2015 Aug 5;35(31):10911-26. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0601-15.2015. PMID: 26245956 

Heather McGowan

McGowan H, Mirabella VR, Hamod A, Karakhanyan A, Mlynaryk N, Moore JC, Tischfield JA, Hart RP, Pang ZP.  hsa-let-7c miRNA Regulates Synaptic and Neuronal Function in Human Neurons.  Front Synaptic Neurosci. 2018 Jul 17; 10:19. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2018.00019. eCollection 2018. PMID: 30065644 

McGowan H.  Bridging the Gap between DNA Methylation, DNA Methylation Readers, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.  J Neurosci. 2016 Jun 29; 36(26):6851-3. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1130-16.2016. Review. No abstract available.PMID: 27358443 

McGowan H, Pang ZP. Regulatory functions and pathological relevance of the MECP2 3'UTR in the central nervous system.  Cell Regen (Lond). 2015 Oct 28; 4:9. doi: 10.1186/s13619-015-0023-x. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26516454

Anton Omelchenko received an NJCBIR Grant "Exosome-based Delivery of RNAi Therapeutics to Target Traumatic Brain Injury." 2019-2022. Anton was awarded his PhD in May 2021.

Caroline Pantazis received an NIH F31 Grant "Role of Lateral Hypothalamus Orexin Circuits in Cocaine Demand."  2016-2019. Caroline was awarded her PhD in May 2019 and is a Postdoctoral IRTA fellow at the National Institutes of Drug Abuse.

Anna Giarratana, MD/PhD candidate received an NJ Commission on Brain Injury Research Grant "Effect of Genetic Polymorphisms on Recovery and Treatment after Traumatic Brain Injury." 2016-2017 

Anna Giarratana, MD/PhD candidate, also received a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Zurich.  2019. Anna was awarded her PhD in May 2019. 

Valentina Dal Pozzo received an NJCBIR Grant “Role of Reelin in Traumatic Brain Injury.” 2015-2018.  Valentina was awarded her PhD in October 2019 and is a Scientist I, Technical Support at Genewiz.

Joshua Stamos received an NIH Grant “Accumbens Mechanisms of Cue Reactivity and Affective State in a Rat Model of Binge Eating.” 2014-2017  Josh was also selected for the 4th Annual Rutgers-Jilin Graduate Student Research Forum which took place in China in June 2017. Josh was awarded his PhD in January 2019.

Mihir Patel received an NJCBIR Grant “Recovery of the Dendritic Network after Traumatic Brain Injury.” 2015-2018.  Mihir was awarded his PhD in October 2018.

Apoorva Halikere received an NRSA Grant “Neuronal Basis of OPRM1 A118G Polymorphism in Alcohol Use Disorders.” 2015-2018. Apoorva was awarded her PhD in May 2018.

Victoria DiBona received an NJCBIR Grant “Modulating Neuroinflammation for Treatment of TBI.” 2014-2017. Vicky was awarded her PhD in October 2017. 

Heather McGowan, MD/PhD candidate received an NINDS (NIH) Grant “Synaptic Function of Chromosome 21-encoded microRNAs.” 2014-2018. Heather was awarded her PhD in October 2017.  

Matt Kraushar, an MD/PhD candidate has been awarded two grants as a principal investigator. Dr. Kraushar's studies will be conducted at Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany, as part of his European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Postdoctoral Fellowship. 2014-2018. Matt was awarded his PhD in May 2016.


Genetics, neurology, behavior, and diet

 Edited by: Colin R. Martin, Victor R. Preedy and Rajkumar Rajendram

 Editor: Elsevier, academic press

Chapter: 21. Ion channels and the aging brain

Federico Sesti and Alessandro Bortolami

Using iPSC-Based Models to Understand the Signaling and Cellular Phenotypes in Idiopathic Autism and 16p11.2 Derived Neurons
Editor: Springer Press
Pages: 79-107
Luka Turkalj, Monal Mehta, Paul Matteson, Smrithi Prem, Madeline Williams, Robert J. Connacher, et al