Jefferson Kinney, PhD
Chair, Neuroscience Division
Department of Psychology, UNLV
Affiliate Faculty Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine
Dr. Kinney earned his Ph.D. in 2000 from Colorado State University. He was then awarded an Intramural Research Training Fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health working in the Section of Behavioral Genetics directed by Dr. Jacqueline Crawley. Research topics in the laboratory focused on both behavioral pharmacology projects as well as extensive behavioral phenotyping of several transgenic mouse models. In October of 2002, Dr. Kinney was awarded the Helen Dorris Fellowship in schizophrenia research in the Department of Neuropharmacology at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Tamas Bartfai. Research projects in the laboratory focused on the cellular and molecular alterations in not only schizophrenia but also several other neurological disorders. In August of 2007, Dr. Kinney joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Contact Dr. Kinney: Jefferson.Kinney@unlv.edu
Senior researchers & Lab managers
Arnold Salazar, PhD
Arnold graduated from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His research interests fall in the broad field of molecular biology of diseases. His current projects focus on the mechanisms of microglial responses to neuroinflammation.
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Andrew A. Ortiz, BA
Graduate Student /Lab Technician
Andrew A. Ortiz graduated with a bachelors in Psychology and a minor in neuroscience on May 2017 and is accepted into our lab as a graduate student Fall 2018. Andrew has previously worked in Dr. James M. Hyman's in vivo electrophysiology laboratory where he specialized on how multiple brain areas interact and synchronize. Andrew is now interested on how glial cells and neuroinflammation affect neurodegenerative diseases.
Contact Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Leisgang, BS
Amanda joined our lab as a graduate student in Fall 2017. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2015 with degrees in biology, psychology, and chemistry. Amanda has previously worked in the laboratory of Dr. Devinder Sandhu specializing in plant genetics and is excited to focus her attention on her passion for neurodegenerative diseases.
Contact Amanda: email@example.com
Logan Myers, Ph.D.
Doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Biology
Logan Myers received his Ph.D. in August 2017 from the University of Nevada, Reno. His dissertation focused on cellular mechanisms driving the formation and function of central and stomatogastric nervous systems in invertebrates via RET proto-oncogene. Logan's current work is looking at the effects that neurodegenerative disease has on the structure and function of the enteric nervous system in relation to changes that occur in the CNS.
Contact Logan: Logan.firstname.lastname@example.org
CURRENT Research Assistants
Megan Yoon, MS
Megan is a future candidate for the clinical psychology Ph.D. program. Her research focus is understanding the molecular mechanisms that drive clinical pathology. Megan graduated in 2013 with a Masters of Science and is excited to continue her academic career within the biological sciences in conjunction with translation clinical research.
Megan is also an active member of the STREAM (Sex-Differentiated and Translational Research in Eating, Anxiety, and Mood) laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Kristen Culbert
Contact Megan: MegankMac@gmail.com
Willie Jay Nicolas
Willie is a junior undergraduate student pursing a degree in Biology with a minor in neuroscience. Upon graduation Willie intends to pursue medical school. He is academically interested in furthering his knowledge of Alzheimers Disease pathology and the physiological effects on learning and behavior. Willie hopes to discover new findings towards this neurodegenerative disease and apply this knowledge towards a clinical setting.
Renzo is an undergraduate student at UNLV pursuing dual-degrees in Biology and Kinesiology. His academic interests include research on Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases; specifically, he wishes to understand the effects of neuroinflammation and prolonged activated microglial responses. He wishes to someday investigate the effects of exercise interventions on these neurological conditions. After graduating with his degrees, Renzo intends to further his education and attend medical school specializing in either neurology or orthopedic surgery.
Nicholas attends University of Nevada Las Vegas as a junior undergraduate majoring in Biology and minoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. He is interested in research regarding neurodegenerative diseases and hopes to attend medical school to study neurology or psychiatry.
Michelle is a junior undergraduate pursuing a degree in Biology and a minor in Neuroscience at UNLV. Her academic interests include learning about neurodegenerative disease and how these diseases relate to physiological processes. She plans on attending medical school with hopes of becoming a pathologist.
Christian (Kitan) Guese
Kitan is a senior undergraduate pursuing a degree in Biology at UNLV. He hopes to be accepted into dental school after graduation. Although dental school does not revolve around neurodegenerative disease prevention, he wants to make some sort of impact in this study. His interest is rooted in simply understanding Alzheimer’s Disease better.
Chelsea Tran, Head Research Assistant
Chelsea is pursuing a bachelors in biology and minoring in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, and public health. Her research interest include neurodegenerative diseases, in particular, Alzheimer's disease. After graduation, she plans on going to graduate school to further pursue her research interest.
Ava is a nontraditional undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. Ava is interested in neuropsychology and how molecular and cellular processes are altered in psychopathology, substance abuse, and neurodegenerative disorders. Additionally, she is interested in how physical activity improves mental health. Ava is a yoga instructor at the UNLV Campus Recreation and Wellness Center and has a passion for helping others live a healthy lifestyle. Ava spent summer 2018 completing an clinical internship in Jerusalem, Israel at the Landau Lab at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the mentorship of Dr. Ayelet Landau to research time perception, attention, and brain rhythms. After graduating, Ava intends to further her education by pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Marie is a nontraditional student pursuing a bachelors in Pre-Professional Biology and Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. Her academic career goals and interests center around seeking treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases, understanding the effects of brain injury and trauma, and learning about various psychological disorders impacting society. After graduation, Marie plans on furthering her education through medical school.
Myguan is a junior undergraduate at UNLV pursuing a degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology and Neuroscience. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in the field of neurology. Her research interests include the effects of neuroinflammation and preventive treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.
Cailey is an undergraduate student pursuing a nursing degree from UNLV. She hopes to combine the research and pathology of neurodegenerative diseases with clinical implications in her future career. She hopes to have a better understanding of why certain medical problems occur and not just treat them at face value.
Asad is an undergraduate pursuing a major in Biology and dual minors in Neuroscience and Psychology. He is interested in learning about the effects of neurodegenerative diseases on a cellular level. After graduation Asad plans on attending medical school.
CURRENT LAB PHOTO
PREVIOUS LAB PHOTOS
FALL SEMESTER 2018
(Left to right)
Back: Christian Guese, Logan Meyers, Megan Yoon, Marie Hernandez, Chelsea Tran, Ibrahim Bhatti, Amanda Leisgang
Middle: Michelle Perez, Cailey Divers, Andrew Ortiz, Myguan Trinh, Nicholas Kolch, Ava Platt
Front: Renzo Chuapoco, Emily Chau, Dr. Jefferson Kinney, Willie Jay Nicolas, Arnold Salazar
SPRING SEMESTER 2018
(Left to right)
Back: Nicholas Kolch, Amanda Leisgang, Dr. Jefferson Kinney, Logan Meyers, Emily Chau, Andrew Ortiz
Front: Ibrahim Bhatti, Chelsea Tran, Renzo Chuapoco, Arnold Salazar, Myguan Trinh, Megan Yoon, Marie Hernandez, Michelle Perez
FALL SEMESTER 2017
(Left to right)
Back: Renzo Chuapoco, Logan Myers, Andrew Murtishaw
Middle: Amanda Leisgang, Robert Sotille, Chelsea Tran, Hailey Bergman, Marie Hernandez, Andrew Ortiz, Emily Chau
Front: James Toughlian, Arnold Salazar, Dr. Kinney
SPRING SEMESTER 2017
(Left to right)
Back/Middle: Dr. Kinney, Renzo Chuapoco, Andrew Murtishaw, William Kim, Austin Boren, Megan Yoon, James Toughlian, Michelle Strong, Choi Tsang, Andrew Ortiz
Front: Arnold Salazar, Emily Chau, Monica Bolton, Alex Goslar
Spring Semester 2016
(Left to right)
Back: Hailey Bergman, Kirsten Calvin, Monica Bolton
Middle: Robert Nagele, Andrew Murtishaw
Back: James Toughlian, Dr. Kinney, Austin Boren
Not pictured: James McClinch
former Senior Researchers & Lab Managers
Chelcie Heaney, PhD
Chelcie received her Ph.D. from UNLV in Spring 2015. She joined the Experimental Psychology program with an emphasis in Neuroscience in the fall of 2009, having previously obtained a B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Boston University in 2007. She earned her M.A. from the program in the spring of 2012. Her research interests include inhibitory mechanisms of learning and memory, focusing on hippocampal circuitry, and how alterations within these circuits contribute to disease states. Chelcie is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Kimberly Raab-Graham at the Center for Learning and Memory at the University of Texas at Austin, which is currently in the process of relocating to Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina.
Contact Chelcie: email@example.com
Monica Bolton, PhD
Monica received her PhD in January of 2017 with her dissertation entitled, "An Evaluation of GABAB Receptors on Modulating Neuroinflammation in a Non-Transgenic Animal Model of Alzheimer's Disease." She is currently a Medical Science Liaison at Teva Pharmaceuticals, where she is a field-based medical expert responsible for scientific exchange on headache/migraine disease states and products.
Contact Monica: firstname.lastname@example.org
Austin Boren, BA
Austin Boren graduated from UNLV in Fall 2015 with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. He began the Experimental Program in Fall 2016. His research interests include learning and memory, the role of GABA in neuropyschological disorders, and the pathology of neurodegenerative disorders. Austin transferred to the Hines Group Laboratory in August 2017.
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Jonathan Sabbagh, PhD
Jonathan entered the Experimental program in 2007 with a B.S. in Neuroscience from Tulane University. His research interests include elucidating mechanistic features of Alzheimer's disease. Jon graduated in the spring of 2013 with his Ph.D. and worked as post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Molecular Medicine USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Chad Dickey. Jon is currently working for NIH in the NINDS as a Health Program Specialist.
Contact Jon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Murtishaw, PhD
Andrew received his PhD in July 2018. His dissertation work is entitled "An Evaluation of Alzheimer's Disease-Related Pathology in Two Different Models of Diabetes in Immune-Challenged Mice." His research in the lab focused primarily on overlapping mechanisms between diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease. Andrew is currently working as a Research Associate in the UNLV School of Nursing's Applied Biomedical Research Laboratory.
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FORMER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Isaac Santa Ana, BS
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Michael Langhardt, MS
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Krystal Belmonte, BS
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James McClinch, BS
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Josh Gordon, HS Intern
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Christy Magcalas, BA
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Stephanie Nagl, BA
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Patrick Hagins, BA
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