Current Senior Lab Members
Michaela Fanikos, MS
I graduated from Northeastern University in 2021 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in Economics. My undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Rebecca Shansky focused on the neural circuitry of sex-dependent conditioned fear responses and the mechanisms of estrous-dependent extinction learning. I am currently a third-year graduate student in the Brenhouse Lab and am investigating how microglial function mediates the long-term impacts of early life adversity. My research proposal about early life stress induced microglial priming was awarded the NSF-GRFP.
Caitlyn Cody, MS
I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience and American Sign Language. My undergraduate research investigated the abilities of rodents to categorize complex speech sequences. Following my undergraduate work I served as a Research Assistant in the lab of Dr. Abigail Polter at George Washington University where I studied the effects of early life adversity on defensive behaviors. I am currently a third-year graduate student in the Brenhouse Lab. My research focuses on the modulatory effects of BLA-PFC circuits on anxiety like behavior.
Angarika Balakrishnan, MS
I graduated from NMIMS University, India with an M.S. in Biological Sciences. My master’s research in Dr. Vidita Vaidya’s Lab involved understanding the cellular and behavioral consequences of serotonergic psychedelics in rodent models of anxiety. I then continued as a research assistant in the lab and investigated the role of Norepinephrine in rescuing mitochondrial dysgenesis and the effects of Early Life stress in Glial development. I am currently a first-year graduate student in the Brenhouse Lab and am working on understanding the neuroendocrine effects of early life stress (ELS), in particular ELS-induced precocial puberty.
Jocelyn Breton, PhD
Post Doctoral Fellow
After graduating from Middlebury College in 2012 with in B.A. in Neuroscience and a minor in Spanish, I worked for two years as an Research Assistant at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston. I then moved to California for gradaute school, where I completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UC Berkeley working in the labs of Dr. Howard Fields and Dr. Daniela Kaufer. My dissertation explored the role of the prefrontal cortex in stress and motivation and encompased a range of projects and techniques. In the fall of 2020, I began a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University in New York, working with Dr. Kevin Bath to study the impacts of early life adversity (ELA) on brain development. I am excited to now be a part of the Brenhouse lab and to study how ELA intersects with socially motivated behaviors.
Sheta Roy, BS
I graduated from UMass Boston in 2022 with a B.S. in Psychology. My undergraduate research with Dr. Tiffany S. Donaldson focused on investigating neuroinflammation in adolescent rats with amphetamine sensitization. Continuing on as a research assistant I studied the effects of early life stress on anxiety and long-term memory. I’m excited to be working in the Brenhouse Lab, with interests in early life adversity and neuroendocrinology.
Senior Lab Alumni, who we miss and hope come visit soon!
Abigail Parakoyi, BA
I graduated from Wellesley College in 2021 with a B.A. in Neuroscience, including a minor in Korean. In my undergraduate research, with Dr. Marc Tetel, I worked in modeling menopause and its anxiety and microbiome inducing impacts paired with diet changes in mice. I’m excited to be working in the Brenhouse Lab, with interests in maternal health and early life adversity.
Lauren Granata, PhD
B.A. in Behavioral Biology: Johns Hopkins University (2018)
PhD in Psychology: Northeastern University (2023)
My dissertation work in the Brenhouse Lab involved the characterization of infant ultrasonic vocalizations in adversity paradigms and how they relate to later-life social behavior and its molecular underpinnings.
Kelsea Gildawie, PhD
Jennifer A. Honeycutt, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
B.A. in Psychology: Colby College (2010)
PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience: University of Connecticut (2015)
As a postdoctoral research associate in the Brenhouse lab, I explored the role of early life stress on the expression, physiology, and long-term consequences in molecular markers including PV expression and other putative markers of pathology following adversity.
Next Step: Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Bowdoin College.
Prabarna Ganguly, PhD
B.A. in Biology: Bard College (2013)
PhD in Psychology: Northeastern University (2018)
In the Brenhouse Lab, my thesis focused on the action of maternal separation on neuroinflammation and the glutamate system along with its role in addiction like behavior.
Next Step: Science Writer at the National Human Genome Research Institute
Rodrigo Orso, BS
Visiting Graduate Student
I visited for 6 months, from the lab of Dr. Rodrigo Grassi-Oliveira, to investigate the impact of early life stress on cognitive performance and its underlying mechanisms in rodents.
Next Step: PhD student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Carine Hartmann (Prado)
Visiting Graduate Student
PhD in Immunology/Cell & Molecular Biology: Pontifical Catholic University of the Rio Grande Do Sul (2016) (Find me on Research Gate)
In the Brenhouse Lab, I visited for 9 months to gain experience with animal models of chronic childhood stress and to bring my expertise in flow cytometry to study the immune response of rats exposed to early life stress.
Next Step: a PhD working at the IQVIA in Sydney – focusing on clinical trails
B.A. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology: University of Colorado (2011)
In the Brenhouse lab, I worked on characterizing the phenotype of microglia during and after early life stress to determine whether early stress results in microglia activation.
Next Step: pursuing a B.Eng at the University of Colorado
Alissa Valentine, MS
2019-2021 Research Associate/Technician
Alissa was thrilled to be in the Brenhouse Lab, conducting research on early life stress and growing her computational skills.
Next Step: pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai University in NYC!
2018-2019 Research Associate/Technician
Shayna continued the tradition of our technicians making the lab better than when they found it–she had a keen eye for detail and was impeccable at the lab bench, while also being quite the rat-whisperer!
2016-2018 Research Associate/Technician
Camila ran the lab like a well-oiled machine, thanks to her ever-present energy and pencil-sharp intellect. She filled her days by tackling day-to-day operations, hard-core benchwork, and data analysis, with grace and kindness through even the hardest work.
2012-2015 Inaugural(!) Research Associate/Technician
Freedom rocketed the lab from an empty room to a buzzing generator of science, and made it a crazy-fun place to come every day.
Current Undergraduate Lab Volunteers
Undergraduate Lab Alumni
Navina Magesh Kumar
Mary (Ha Neul) Lee
Mia Cara Musetti
Yechan (Ben) Yang
Anna Torten Rabinowitz
Lakshanyaa Thamarai Kannan