John Meitzen, President-Elect
John Meitzen is an Assistant Professor at NC State University, where he is affiliated with the Dept. of Biological Sciences. He researches how steroid sex hormones manipulate neuron electrophysiological properties, with particular interests in estrogen action, the role of genetic sex, and the striatum. In addition to his research mission, he and his laboratory perform neuroscience outreach in collaboration with the Triangle Chapter and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in neuroscience. Before forming his laboratory at NC State, John was a postdoctoral fellow at the U. of Minnesota, a Grass Fellow in neurophysiology at the MBL, and earned his Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior from the U. of Washington. His goal as President-elect is to build on the spectacular success of the chapter, which he has viewed first hand as a member of the Program and Nomination Committees. As President-Elect he will continue the now well-established traditions of active involvement of post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, of enabling membership to drive programming, outreach, and policy activities, of promoting inter-institutional interactions, and of excellent fiscal stewardship.
Amir Rezvani, President Emeritus
Amir Rezvani received his BS and MS in Biological Sciences, his Ms. Ed. in Science Education, and his PhD in Neurophysiology. He is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. He is also a member of the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences (DIBS) and holds an adjunct faculty position at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Amir’s primary area of research involves understanding the neurobiology of addiction and cognitive functions and drug development for addiction. His passion is promoting public awareness of addiction as a brain disease via public speaking and workshops as well as teaching at Duke. As the elected president of our chapter, Amir’s main goal is to find ways to foster collaborations between members and to enhance the visibility of neuroscience in the Triangle community by educating the public about the science of the brain and its implications in our lives.
Meghan Rebuli, Secretary and Treasurer
Meghan Rebuli previously served as a Council Member for Triangle Society for Neuroscience and she participated throughout the year on the Program Committee to put together the very successful Spring Meeting. Meghan received her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2015, where she studied the effects of endocrine disruptors on neurodevelopment and behavior. She is currently working as a Postdoctoral Trainee at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research focuses on discovering sex differences in the innate immune response and gene expression of airway epithelia when exposed to tobacco products that may underlie sex biased lung diseases like COPD. Meghan wants to learn more about the innate immune system to later in her career apply this knowledge to study the interaction of the endocrine and immune systems and their impact on neurodevelopment. Meghan’s vision for the chapter is to continue the exciting growth that has occurred from the chapters’ inception, promote more inter-institutional collaborations via networking with local scientists a chapter events, and increase public awareness of neuroscience in the community through chapter outreach.
Simon Alex Marshall, Chapter Representative
Simon “Alex” Marshall is currently a SPIRE postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at UNC-CH under the mentorship of Drs. Todd Thiele and Donald Lysle. He has been involved with alcohol research since his freshman year of college and is particularly interested in the neurobiological adaptations that arise as a consequence of excessive alcohol consumption. He received his bachelor’s from the University of Florida in Zoology before attending the University of Kentucky where he earned a doctorate in pharmaceutical science and a graduate certificate of College Teaching & Learning. At UK, he started to elucidate the impact of binge drinking on the neuroimmune system, examining microglia’s role in alcohol-induced neurodegeneration and recovery mechanisms. His current research continues to focus on the impact of alcohol on the neuroimmune system but has broadened to include the implications of neuroimmune dysregulation on behavior and the neurocircuitry which underlies maladaptive binge-like drinking.
Nate Crosby is a postdoctoral associate in the lab of Dr. Warren Grill at Duke University, where he focuses on the mechanisms of therapeutic electrical stimulation for chronic pain. Previously, he received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Bucknell University, and his PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied spinal plasticity and the development of chronic pain after injury. Nate chose to serve on the council to help grow the Triangle Chapter of SfN into an organization that facilitates professional relationships between researchers of broad interests across the region. Nate serves as the Chair of the Sponsorship committee for 2016-2017.
Dr. Kristen Ryan is a Toxicologist in the Division of the National Toxicology Program at NIEHS. She works by designing, testing and evaluating agents of public health concern in our environment across many disciplines with a special emphasis on developmental neurotoxicology. She is active with the Neurotoxicology Specialty Section within the Society of Toxicology and is interested in interacting with the broader neuroscience community here in RTP. Dr. Ryan is currently volunteering on the Nominations Committee for the Triangle Chapter.
Dr. Eric Bauer is an Assistant Professor at Elon University. Previously, he earned his BA in Biology with a Neuroscience concentration from Cornell University, and his PhD in Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. His postdoctoral work was performed at the U. of Washington and Duke University. A central focus of his vision for the Triangle chapter of SfN is undergraduates. As a faculty at a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI), he is keenly aware of the need to engage students in the vibrant neuroscience community of central NC and connect these students with researchers doing more cutting-edge research than would be possible at most PUI’s. He seeks to encourage and lead the chapter in developing opportunities and events to encourage undergraduates from PUI’s to interact with researchers (from grad students to PI’s) from R1 institutions.
Deirdre Sackett is a graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience department at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the neural substrates of decision making, in the context of drug addiction. For my first two years in the program, she investigated rapid dopamine release dynamics in the nucleus accumbens during a reward magnitude task. For her Ph.D dissertation, she has shifted focus to electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques to study delay discounting behavior. Outside of the lab, she is passionate about science outreach and communication – presenting science to the public, not just fellow scientists.
Sheryl Arambula is a graduate student in the Biological Sciences department at NC State University. Her current research explores the mechanisms by which early-life exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds impacts sex-specific neuroendocrine pathways in the brain. She is particularly interested in how exposure to Bisphenol A (found in plastics and epoxy resins), during critical windows of development, affects the ontogeny of neural pathways in the limbic system that are associated with affective and reproductive behaviors. She is strongly committed to public outreach and science communication. She frequently participates in science outreach events, including the annual Brain Awareness Week event, Darwin Day, and the Triangle SciTech Expo at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Leslie Wilson is a graduate student in the Chemistry Department at North Carolina State University. She is interested in studying oxidative stress and how it is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, her projects include using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) with carbon-fiber microelectrodes to develop a sensor that is selective for hydrogen peroxide. This allows hers to unequivocally determine sources contributing to hydrogen peroxide fluctuations in striatal tissue. Additionally, she is using FSCV to simultaneously detect dopamine (DA) and hydrogen peroxide fluctuations in parkinsonian rat models chronically treated with levodopa (L-DOPA), the gold standard treatment for PD. She wants to help grow this chapter by helping to organize the annual local meeting, be involved in various outreach programs that promote brain research and awareness in the community, and help keep social media up to date with various events and member achievements so our chapter is recognized by other local chapters as well as the national chapter.