Current Lab Photo
(Left to right)
Back: Kyle Diago, Renzo Chuapoco, Christian Guese, Blaine Book, Christian Marquez, Amanda Leisgang, Logan Myers, Justin Bauzon
Middle: Saad Chowdhry, Cecil Babul, Andrew Ortiz, Nicholas Kolch, Philip Edwards
Front: Michael Kimmich, Asad Chowdhry, Arnold Salazar, Celine Nguyen, Elizabeth Groesbeck, Dr. Jefferson Kinney, Michelle Perez, Natnael Begremariam, Luke Anger
Jefferson W. Kinney, PhD
Chair-Department of Brain Health, 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.
Contact Arnold: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.email@example.com
CURRENT Research Assistants
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 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.
Cecil is a senior undergraduate pursuing a degree in biology along with minors in psychology and neuroscience. His academic interests include understanding the neurodegenerative properties of Alzheimer’s disease and how they correlate to behavioral changes. He plans on attending medical school with hopes of becoming a pediatrician to serve the Las Vegas community.
Kyle is a junior undergraduate pursuing a degree in Biology at UNLV. He plans to go to medical school after graduation. He is interested in researching about neurodegenerative diseases on a cellular level.
Liz Groesbeck, BA, MS
Liz was born and raised in Henderson, NV. She moved to Minnesota for her undergraduate education, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carleton College. She minored in neuroscience and biochemistry, and played women’s varsity volleyball for the school. She worked in Julie Neiworth’s neuroscience lab, where she studied Cotton-Top Tamarins as a potential model for Alzheimer’s disease. After college, she moved to Reno to pursue her Master’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Nevada, Reno. At UNR she worked in a Fang Jiang’s neural plasticity lab, played ultimate frisbee for the school, and was the first person to graduate from the new Master of Neuroscience program. After graduating from UNR, she circled back to Las Vegas, where she attends the UNLV School of Medicine. While pursuing her M.D., she enjoys volunteering for the respite program at the Lou Ruvo Center, working in Dr. Kinney’s lab, and playing on the city’s ultimate frisbee team.
Natnael graduated from University of Nevada Las Vegas in Spring of 2019 with a bachelors in biology with a minor in Neuroscience. He is interested in learning about neurodegenerative diseases and their effect on memory. He is planning on attending medical school and hopes to study neurology.
Celine is an undergraduate student pursuing a major in Biology. She is especially interested in researching the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease as well as its effects on learning and memory. After graduating, she plans on attending medical school.
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.
Michael graduated UNLV in Fall 2018 with a bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. He has an interest in learning the cellular mechanisms behind neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. He is planning on going to graduate school for a Ph.D. in experimental psychology with an emphasis in neurology. Michael plans to do research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases with the hope of finding better therapeutic methods
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.
Phillip graduated from UNLV in Spring 2019 with a Bachelors in both Psychology and Mathematics. He in interested in gaining more knowledge of cellular mechanisms of Hippocampal memory and neurological disease, specifically, Alzheimer's. He plans on pursuing a PhD within a field of neuroscience, either cognitive, molecular or computational. Phillip wants to study memory and its mechanisms from multiple levels for a better understanding of the concept within human psychology.
Blaine is an undergraduate student at UNLV currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. His academic areas of interest include the neurological mechanisms of learning and memory, as well as the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Following graduation, Blaine plans on earning a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, with the future goal of becoming a head researcher.
Saad Chowdhry, HS Intern
Saad Chowdhry is a rising senior at Coronado High School, doing a summer internship at the Kinney Neurobiology Lab. He is interested in learning lab techniques and understanding neurodegenerative diseases at a molecular level. He will graduate in 2020 with an Advanced Honors Diploma, and go on to major in biology to pursue medicine.
Justin is currently a second year medical student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his bachelors in Neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley. His current work involves studying the structural and functional changes of the enteric nervous system
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
Front: 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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.
Contact Austin: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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 worked as a Research Associate in the UNLV School of Nursing's Applied Biomedical Research Laboratory. Andrew currently is the assistant director at the Alzheimer’s Association in the greater Chicago area.
Contact Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Isaac Santa Ana, BS
Michael Langhardt, MS
Krystal Belmonte, BS
James McClinch, BS
Josh Gordon, HS Intern
Christy Magcalas, BA
Stephanie Nagl, BA
Patrick Hagins, BA
Megan Yoon, MS