Robison Lab

Robison Lab Members

Post-Doctoral Fellows


Natalia Duque-Wilckens

Natalia Duque-Wilckens

I trained in veterinary sciences at the University of Chile. During this time I had the opportunity to work closely with different animal species in hospitals, farms, and laboratory settings, which raised a deep interest in understanding how affective states interact with other physiological variables to affect health and well-being. This led me to join the Animal Behavior Graduate program at UC Davis, where I used behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular approaches to identify neural circuits modulating social anxiety in California mice. I am really excited to join Dr. Robison’s and Dr. Moeser’s labs to study how stress can affect the programming of the immune system during early development, and how that may result in long-lasting changes in brain neurobiology, gastrointestinal health, and behavior across species.”

Andrew Eagle

Andrew Eagle

I completed my B.A. in Psychology at Central Michigan University and then went on to receive a PhD in Experimental Psychology in 2010 from Central Michigan University. While there I worked with Dr. Justin Oh-Lee to investigate cognitive behavioral deficits in pre-symptomatic animal models of Parkinson’s disease. After graduation, I worked for the next few years as a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Shane Perrine’s lab at Wayne State University School of Medicine. My project consisted of using animal behavioral models and molecular methods to investigate the neurobiological basis of comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder and addiction. I recently joined the Robison lab as a postdoctoral researcher. In my free time, I enjoy camping, running, reading, and spending time with my family.

Graduate Students


Kait Durga

Kait Durga

I earned a B.S. in Neuroscience from Michigan State in May of 2018. In the Robison Lab, I study the effects of early life stress on neurogenesis in the hippocampus in mouse and pig models. After receiving my Masters in physiology, it is my aspiration to enter MSU's DO/PhD program and to continue working in neuroscience. In my free time, I enjoy playing piano, rereading the Harry Potter series, and cheering on our Spartans at sporting events

Christine Kwiatkowski

Christine Kwiatkowski

In 2011, I graduated from the University of Michigan where I earned a B.S. with dual concentrations in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science as well as French and Francophone Studies. In 2012, I graduated from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where I received an M.H.S. in the Mental Health Department. While at Johns Hopkins, my research focused on improving clinical and justice system interventions for juvenile sex offenders. In 2015, I was accepted into the PhD program in the School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) at Michigan State University. Within SCJ, I study the risk factors for violent crime and the set of biological, psychological, and social factors influence perpetration. To include a more thorough investigation of the biological factors associated with aggression, I was welcomed into the Robison Lab and Neuroscience Program as a dual degree doctoral student in 2018. In my free time, I enjoy reading, baking, and traveling.

Haley Lynch

Haley Lynch

I graduated from Hope College in 2016, where I received a B.S. in Biology. During my time at Hope, I worked under Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin investigating the structure-function properties of Vasopressin-Activated Calcium Mobilizing Protein (VACM-1) and its regulation of cellular growth. I was admitted to the BioMolecular Science Gateway Program at MSU in 2016 and have recently joined the Physiology PhD Program and the Robison Lab. My current research involves delineating the biochemical properties of ΔFosB and how these properties are affected by its redox state. Outside of the lab I enjoy playing soccer, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Claire Manning

Claire Manning

I’m a graduate student in the Neuroscience program. Before entering the program in 2014, I earned a dual-degree at the University of California at Davis in Neurobiology and Psychology. I worked with Dr. Brian Trainor to investigate sex differences in social defeat models of depression. My current research in the Robison lab explores how changes in gene expression in the hippocampus affect depressive-like behaviors seen in social defeat stress. In my free time I’m an avid traveler and enjoy cooking.

Erika Sarno

Erika Sarno

I graduated from the University of Scranton in 2016 with a double major in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Philosophy. In 2016, I was accepted to the DO/PhD program at Michigan State University through the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Biomedical Sciences program. Upon entering the program, I joined the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department and the Robison Lab, where I study the role of ΔFosB in non-neuronal cells . In my free time, I enjoy running, yoga, and spending time outdoors.

Liz Williams

Liz Williams

I attended the University of Michigan from 2008 to 2012 and graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry. During this time, I worked in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology under Dr. Jeff Martens where we collaborated on a project involving oxidation of potassium channels in cardiomyocytes. In 2013, I was accepted to the MD/PhD program at Michigan State University through the College of Human Medicine and Biomedical Sciences program. I joined the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at MSU after coming to the dual degree program, and have since joined the Robison lab after completing a rotation here. While my background is mostly in cardiovascular pharmacology, I took an interest in Dr. Robison’s research and have since dedicated my efforts to neuroscience and the pharmacology of the brain.

Undergraduate Students


Audrianna St. Germain

Audrianna St. Germain

I am an undergraduate Junior studying Physiology, Human Biology, and Neuroscience with a specialization in cell and molecular neuroscience with a future dual degree (Do-PhD) career aspiration. This summer (2016), I was awarded the Beckman Scholarship to fund my studies in the Robison lab for the next two years. I will investigate the role of gene transcription in hippocampal dendritic spine structure. I also have an interest in Artificial Intelligence, and in my spare time I enjoy volunteering, adventuring, motorcycles, playing with my dog, and attending concerts.

Emily Steffke

Emily Steffke

I am a sophomore from Beal City, Michigan majoring in Neuroscience and English. I am a part of the Honor College’s Professorial Assistantship program and am a College of Natural Science Dean’s Research Scholar. My research combines focuses of both the Robison and Mazei-Robison labs: I am investigating the role of the protein SGK1 in the hippocampus and its effects on drug addition, learning, and memory by using mouse models and dendritic spine analysis. Outside of the lab, I am also a runner on MSU’s Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field Teams, and I play flute and piano.

Staff


Ken Moon

Ken Moon

I studied aquatic & fisheries biology and photography at Grand Valley State University. After graduation I began working as a chemistry quality assurance analyst at Mead-Johnson Nutritionals in Zeeland, MI; followed by some research and development work in a cell culture lab at Alticor in Ada, MI. My academic career began at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic medicine where I was fortunate enough to study nicotine and alcohol addiction pathways with Dr. Chris Butt. I enjoyed my first three years at MSU working in the lab of Dr. Barbara Atshaves studying biochemical mechanisms of obesity before joining Dr. Robison and Dr. Mazei-Robison’s labs. I enjoyed a very successful career rowing competitively at the intercollegiate and international levels as well as coaching at Forest Hills Northern high school and GVSU, and still find the opportunity to study photography in my free time.

Alumni


Paula Gajewski

Paula Gajewski

Graduated from Robison Lab with a PhD in Genetics in 2017. Now a Postdoc with Dr. Randy Blakely at Florida Atlantic University.

Alexis Wirtz

Alexis Wirtz

Graduated with B.S. in Neuroscience, MSU, 2018.

Lauren Gron

Lauren Gron

Graduated with B.S. in Neuroscience, MSU, 2017

Karina Fernádez

Karina Fernádez

Senior at the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce studying Psychology and Mental Health.

Lorina Gallegos

Lorina Gallegos

Former BPNP summer student. Graduated with B.S. from University of New Mexico, 2016.

Sam Tauscher

Sam Tauscher

Former undergraduate researcher.
Graduated with B.S. in Neuroscience from MSU, 2016.

Mackenzie Thibault

Mackenzie Thibault

Former undergraduate researcher.
Graduated with B.S. in Neuroscience from MSU, 2016.