Lab Alumni

Faculty & Postdoc Alumni

Sonia Villapol, PhD


Sonia was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience during her time at Georgetown. She currently an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Houston Methodist, and is doing amazing research in her lab focused on Brain-Periphery interactions.

Simone Romariz Bertola, PhD


Simone is a postdoctoral fellow at the Paulista School of Medicine/Federal University of São Paulo (EPM, UNIFESP), Brazil. Simone worked in our lab for one year to learn TBI techniques that she has brought back to establish in Brazil.

PhD Alumni

Stephanie Sloley, PhD


Steph earned her PhD in 2020 for her thesis titled Changes in Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity Following Exposure to High Frequency Head Impacts (HF-HI). While a graduate student in Georgetown’s Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Steph was awarded a Neural Injury and Plasticity fellowship and numerous other awards. Her skills include RNA/protein analysis, behavioral assays, and electrophysiology. Currently, Steph is a Research Program Analyst for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.

Charisse Winston-Gray, PhD


Charisse earned her PhD in 2015 for her thesis titled Neuronal remodeling and genetic vulnerability after mild traumatic brain injury. Charisse was awarded a Neural Injury and Plasticity (NIP) fellowships while at Georgetown University. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Diego studying Alzheimer’s disease, and in 2021 was awarded a prestigious K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the NIH.

Patricia Washington-Walker, PhD


Patty earned her Ph.D. in 2013 for her thesis titled Production, Accumulation and Clearance of Amyloid-Beta after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury. Patty conducted postdoctoral research at Vanderbilt and Columbia Universities. She is currently at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Previous Masters Students

  • Zac Colon (2020/2021) MS in Integrative Neuroscience

  • Ruchelle Buenaventura (2019/2020) MS in Integrative Neuroscience

  • Matthew Kanter (2018/2019) MS in Integrative Neuroscience

  • Faisel Attiah (2018/2019) MS in Integrative Neuroscience

  • Sarah Seeherman (2017/2018) MS in Integrative Neuroscience

  • Alex Harvey (2018) MS in Biochemistry and Molecular BIology

Previous Thesis Undergraduates

  • David Barton - Dave graduated with a B.S. in Human Science in 2013. His senior thesis, Traumatic Brain Injury: targeting blood-brain barrier breakdown via an apoE-dependent pathway was awarded the Excellence in Human Science Award from the Human Science Department. He has since earned his MD from Penn State.

  • Kathryn Stefos - Kathryn graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 2015. Her senior thesis was titled Exploring the association of apolipoprotein E with blood-brain-barrier permeability following traumatic brain injury. She has since earned her MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

  • Aidan Neustadtl - Aidan graduated with a BS in biology in 2016. His senior thesis was titled Pharmacological inhibition of calcineurin reverses excitatory synapse loss in ApoE4 mice. He has since earned his MD from Georgetown University medical school.

Previous Technicians

  • Alex Harvey (2018-2021)

  • Maia Parsadanian (2011-2016)

  • Nicholas Morffy (2011-2012)

  • Lilit Vardanian (2004-2006)

Previous Rotating PhD Students:

The PhD students who rotate through the lab stay for an intensive 3 month period, and their work is often the catalyst for bigger projects down the road:

  • Misha Smirnov (2009)

  • Amanda DiBatitsta (2011)

  • Brittany Aguilar (2013)

  • Chinyere Agbaegbu (2014)

  • Evan Wicker (2016)

  • Nahdia Jones (2017)

  • Mondona McCann (2017)

  • Andrew Speidell (2017)

  • Laya Rajan (2017)

  • Phil Gross (2018)

  • Max Stevenson (2019)

Previous Medical Students:

  • Nicole Lulevitch (2016)

  • Addison Jacobs (2016, 2017)

  • Arjun Pendharker (2010)

Current and former Undergraduate Students:

Thank you to all of the undergraduates who have worked in my lab over the years. They volunteer their time, and make a tremendous difference to our research:

  • Olivia Silveri (2018-2021)

  • Alexandra Montgomery (2018, 2019)

  • Claudia Cardona (2018, 2019)

  • Loni Parrish (2017)

  • Cristofer Cardona (2016, 2017)

  • Alexa Williams (2017)

  • Luke Djavaherian (2017)

  • William Mualem (2016 - 2017)

  • Jeevan Nijhar (2016)

  • Kyle Jenkins (2014)

  • Andrew Alikhani (2012)

  • Tiffany Wilkins (2011)

  • Deepa Chellappa (2011)

  • Rachel Thompson (2008)

Current and former High School Students:

Thank you to all of the high school students who have worked in my lab. Their research projects have been outstanding, and they have won awards for their research.

  • Daisy Navarro (2022)

  • Ashley Wilson (2021)

  • Sabry Latifi (2011)