Valentin Dragoi, Ph.D., Principal Investigator[CV]
Dr. Dragoi examines how networks of cortical neurons encode information and how the population code influences behavioral decisions in real time. Research in his laboratory combines electrophysiological (multi-electrode recording in restrained and freely moving animals, optical and electrical stimulation), behavioral, and computational methods. He received rigorous training in experimental and theoretical neuroscience. His goals are to understand the neuronal computations and coding principles of cortical circuits and develop new technologies for high-yield neuronal recording of brain activity.
Mircea Chelaru, Ph.D., Research Scientist
I received my B.Sc. in Electrical engineering and my PhD in computer sciences at Polytechnic Institute, Iasi, Romania. I have been a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University and in Univ of Western Ontario. During 2004-2006 and since 2009 I have been a post-doc fellow at Dragoi lab.
Sorin Pojoga, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Sunny Nigam, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Ali Asadollahi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Charles Beaman, MD/Ph.D Candidate
I was born and raised in Austin, TX and studied Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. During my studies, I became interested in Biomedical Engineering and spent time working on an undergraduate thesis in Dr. Rick Neptune’s Biomechanics lab in the Engineering department. This launched an interest in medicine that eventually led me to apply for MD/PhD programs. As I was preparing to enter medical school, I enrolled in an introductory Neuroscience class at UT and became fascinated by the mysteries of the brain. Here at UT Health, I rotated in Dragoi lab and immediately knew that it was the right fit.
Ariana Andrei, PhD Candidate
Neda Shahidi, PhD Candidate
I have been fascinated by how a complex behavior emerges from the population of simple acting units; therefore I decided to study population of neurons and the relationship to decision making. I am an Electrical Engineer by training (B.Sc. Univ. of Tehran, M.Sc., univ. of Texas at Austin) with research experience in artificial intelligence and robotics.
Russell Milton, PhD Candidate
Samantha Debes, PhD Candidate
Samantha is a student at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. She earned her Bachelors of Science from Syracuse University (2014) in Psychology and Neuroscience. She is interested in the visual system and how it interacts with other sensory modalities. Currently, she is working with optogenetics to understand visual circuits.
Natasha’s interest in neuroscience started during her undergraduate studies at New York University, where she worked in Eric Klann’s lab studying the molecular mechanisms of Fragile X Syndrome and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. Post-graduation, she worked in Stuart Firestein’s laboratory at Columbia University studying olfaction. She also worked on neuroscience patents at Philon, Inc. in New York City before moving to Houston, TX to start her MD/PhD program. In the Dragoi lab, her projects evaluate the influence of spontaneous activity in local cortical circuits on behaviors such as perception and sleep.
Ming Hu, PhD
Jose Fernandez, PhD
Sarah Eagleman, PhD
Marcello Mulas, PhD
Ye Wang, PhD
Bryan Hansen, PhD
Diego Gutnisky, PhD
Bogdan Iliescu, M.D.
Tammy Humbird , Research Assistant
Audrey Nath , Graduate Student
David Quach, Undergraduate Student
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