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The A. Mortensen Lab Members

Current Lab Members
 

Thalia Dimopoulos, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Thalia Dimopoulos

Thalia is a first year PhD student in the Pharmacology and Physiology program. She is rotating in the lab, working on a project on sex differences in the role of glutamate transporters in cocaine use disorder and learning tissue culture techniques.


Simran Gill, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Simran Gill

Simran Gill is a PhD student in the Pharmacology & Physiology program. She is working on a project to characterize altered glutamate transporter expression and related compensatory mechanisms associated with in vitro and in vivo stroke models.


Delaney Place, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Delaney Place

Delaney Place is a 1st year PhD student rotating in our lab. Her project investigates regulation and modulation of glutamate transporters in an in vivo neuropathic pain model using behavioral measures such as mechanical allodynia and thermal pain sensation (Hargreaves) as well as histological analysis.


Katelyn Reeb, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Katelyn Reeb

Katelyn (Katie) is a PhD student in the Pharmacology & Physiology program. Her project uses metagenesis techniques to investigate the mechanisms of allosteric modulation of glutamate transporters and their effects in in vitro models of epilepsy. She is also exploring potential effects in in vivo models of drugs of abuse.


Rhea Temmermand, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Rhea Temmermand

Rhea Temmermand is a PhD student in the Pharmacology & Physiology program. Her project is examining the modulation of glutamate transporters and sex differences in in vivo models of neuropathic pain.


Yuzhen Tian, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Yuzhen Tian

Yuzhen Tian is a research associate in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology. She assists us with neuropathic pain models, including surgeries and behavior.


Juliette DiFlumeri, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Juliette DiFlumeri

Juliette is a research assistant II that joined our lab in April 2022. Welcome Juliette!


Past Lab Members
 

Nikhita (Nikki) Rastogi, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Nikhita (Nikki) Rastogi

Nikki is an undergrad biology major in the BS/MD program at Drexel University. She was a STAR scholar in the summer of 2023, her project studied the effects of glutamate transporter modulators in an in vivo rodent stroke model.


Uapingena (Uapii) P. Kandjoze, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Uapingena (Uapii) P. Kandjoze

Uapii was an undergrad neuroscience student from Windhoek, Namibia, currently studying at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. She has an internship from a joint program with Arcadia University to do research in the spring 2023 semester, and she joined our lab to work on a project to study mutations in glutamate transporters associated with epilepsy.


Ria Patel, Andreia Mortensen Lab member

Ria Patel

Ria Patel was a master’s student in the Drug Discovery & Development program in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology. Her projects involved establishing primary satellite glial cultures of the dorsal root ganglion and investigating modulation of glutamate transporters in in vivo models of morphine dependence.


MS in Drug Discovery & Development Student Bhumi Patel

Bhumi Patel

Bhumi was a Drug Discovery & Development master's student in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology who graduated in 2020. Her project involved examining the role of glutamate transporters in drug addiction using models such as conditioned place preference, and understanding the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors and glutamate transporters in neuroprotection in in vitro stroke models. Bhumi is currently pursuing a PhD in cell biology and neuroscience at Rowan University.


Drug Discovery and Development Student Jennifer Green

Jennifer Green

Jennifer was a Drug Discovery & Development master's student in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology until December 2019. Her project involved screening studies of allosteric modulators of glutamate transporters, using the Cell Insight CX7 High-Content Screening (HCS) Platform. Jennifer is currently pursuing a PhD in pharmacology and molecular signaling at Columbia University.


PhD in Pharmacology & Physiology Student Alethia Edwards

Alethia Edwards

Alethia was a PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology doing a rotation study in the lab. Her project proposed to understand differences in sodium-dependence of mutated EAAT2 transporters that have different activity levels. This project has implications for understanding mechanisms for glutamate transport upregulation and, as a result, how to target EAAT2 for neuroprotective strategies in the future.


PhD in Pharmacology & Physiology Student Julia Farnan

Julia Farnan

Julia was a PhD student in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology doing a rotation study in the lab. Her project proposed to elucidate molecular determinants in the glutamate transporters involved in allosteric modulation. For that project, Julia used computational modeling and performing docking studies, as well doing glutamate transport experiments with mutants and wild type transporters in presence of allosteric modulators. This project has implications for future development of therapies based on allosteric modulation of glutamate transporters.


MS in Pharmacology & Physiology Student Shunyi Zhao

Shunyi Zhao

Shunyi was a master's student in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology. His project involved understanding the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors and glutamate transporters in neuroprotection in in vitro models of stroke.


Apeksha Katiwada

Apeksha Katiwada

Apeksha was a Drug Discovery and Development master's student in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology. She joined the lab to perform screening studies of allosteric modulators of glutamate transporters, using overexpressing cells and glial cultures.


Zoe Romm

Zoe Romm

Zoe was a MLAS graduate from Drexel who joined our lab to work on the project supported by CURE: "Novel Allosteric Modulator of Glutamate Transporter EAAT2 for Neuroprotection after Brain Trauma." Her work involved performing in vivo animal studies of traumatic brain injury and in vitro studies with neuron/glia cultures.


Srawasti Sarker

Srawasti Sarker

Srawasti was a Master of Science in Medical Science student at Drexel University College of Medicine. She joined the lab to study potential neuroprotection of novel allosteric activators of glutamate transport in in vitro models of stroke in primary neuronal cultures.


Ryan Wertz

Ryan Wertz

January 2016 – July 2017
Ryan defended his master's thesis for the Drug Discovery and Development program entitled "Advances in drug development of positive allosteric modulators of EAAT2: in vitro neuroprotection studies" in July 2017. He then joined the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.


Rebisi Owhonda

Rebisi Owhonda

July 2016 – May 2017
Rebisi graduated with a Master Science in Medical Science degree from Drexel University College of Medicine and is currently looking at admission into medical school. He joined the lab to study potential neuroprotection of novel allosteric activators of glutamate transport in in vitro models of epilepsy and stroke.


Rafaela Scalco Ferreira

Rafaela Scalco Ferreira

March 2017 – August 2017, Exchange Student
Rafaela was a PhD student from Brazil who developed a four-month work/study project in the lab, focusing on learning cell transfection techniques and neurotransmitter transporter-based assays. She examined the actions of cisplatin and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which are relevant for cancer research.


Cassie Stapf

Summer of 2017 SURF Student
Cassie joined our lab on the SURF program to work on the project "Positive allosteric modulation of glutamate transport for neuroprotection: Potential therapy for brain injury." She focused her efforts on histological studies of rats subjected to lateral fluid percussion injury. She then returned to the University of Scranton to finish her major in neuroscience.


Romulo Martelli Falcucci

January 2015 – May 2016
Romulo defended his Drug Discovery and Development master's thesis entitled "Neuroprotective properties of novel positive allosteric modulators of EAAT2" in May 2016. He is currently working at Janssen R&D in São Paulo, Brazil, in clinical trials of esketamine in patients with treatment-resistant/severe depression.


Avkash Patel

July 2015 – May 2016
Avkash graduated from the Master of Medical Science program and was admitted to the Drexel University College of Medicine Class of 2020.


Michael Duffield

January 2014 – January 2016
Project: "Molecular Mechanisms of glutamate transport enhancement"
Program: Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development / Pharmacology and Physiology
Current position: Research assistant at Rockefeller University


Discovery Day 2015

Stacia Lewandowski

July 2015 – December 2015
Rotation project: "Small Molecule Activator of EAAT2 is Neuroprotective in an in vitro model of NMDA excitotoxicity"
Program: PhD student lab rotation / Pharmacology and Physiology
Current position: Graduate student in the Pharmacology & Physiology program in Ole Mortensen's lab

Daniel Chrzanowski

Summer of 2015
Project: "Optimization and development of in vitro efficacy assays for neuroprotection in primary cortical neuronal cultures"
Program: SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship)
Current position: Graduate student at University of Notre Dame


A. Mortensen Lab Members

Argie Zoubroulis

2013 – 2014
Project: "Effects of MS-153 on the pathophysiology of Traumatic Brain Injury in rats"
Program: Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering / Pharmacology and Physiology
Current position: Research assistant at Wills Eye Hospital

Rekha Khanan

2013 – 2014
Project: "Pharmacological characterization of novel glutamate transporter modulators"
Current position: MS student lab rotation / Pharmacology and Physiology

Mateus Amaral Baldo

December 2013 – March 2014
Project: "Pharmacological characterization of neurotoxins isolated from the venom of Rhinella schneideri (Anura: Bufonidae) frog on neurotransmitter transporters"
Program: Exchange Student Program Award sponsored by CAPES, Brazil
Current position: Teaching professor at Universidade Paulista, Brazil


A. Mortensen Lab Members

Michael Teesdale

2012 – 2013
Project: "Glutamate transport activation as therapy for traumatic brain injury- Histological studies"
Program: Master of Science in Medical Science / Pharmacology and Physiology
Current position: Medical student at Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Julie Timple

2012 – 2013
Project: "Role of cubebin derivatives on the modulation of biogenic amine transporters"
Program: Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences / Pharmacology and Physiology
Current position: Medical student at Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

 
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