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The Kinney Lab: kinneylab@gmail.com

Dr. Jefferson Kinney: Jefferson.Kinney@unlv.edu

 

         

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Personnel

Current Lab Photo

20190623_012820.jpg

Summer 2019

(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

Director

Jefferson W. Kinney, PhD

Associate Professor

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

Research Scientist

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: arnold.salazar@unlv.edu             

 
A. Ortiz 2019.PNG

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: ortiza8@unlv.nevada.edu

 
 
Sitting Photo.JPG

Amanda Leisgang, BS

Graduate Student

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: amandaleisgang17@gmail.com

Logan Website Photo.jpg

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.myers@unlv.edu

 

 

 

 

CURRENT Research Assistants

 
 
Nicholas Kolch

Nicholas Kolch

Nicholas Kolch

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 Perez

Michelle Perez

Michelle Perez

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 Guese

Christian Guese

Christian Guese

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 Babul

Cecil Babul

 

Cecil Babul

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 Diago

Kyle Diago

 

Kyle Diago

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

Liz Groesbeck

 

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 Gebremariam

Natnael Gebremariam

 

Natnael Gebremariam

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 Nguyen

Celine Nguyen

 

Celine Nguyen

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 Platt

Ava Platt

 

Ava Platt

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 Kimmich

Michael Kimmich

 

Michael Kimmich

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 Chowdhry

Asad Chowdhry

Asad Chowdhry

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.

 
Philip Edwards

Philip Edwards

 

Philip Edwards

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 Book

Blaine Book

 

Blaine Book

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

Saad Chowdhry

 

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.


PREVIOUS LAB PHOTOS

Fall 2018 Kinney Lab Photo.jpg
Kinney Lab 2018 Website Photo.JPG
KINNEY LAB - 2017.jpg

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

Chelcie Heaney

 

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: chelcie.heaney@gmail.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chelcie-heaney-510321b5/

 
Monica Bolton

Monica Bolton

 

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: monicabolton@gmail.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/monicambolton/

 
Austin Boren

Austin Boren

 

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: austin.boren@unlv.edu 

 
Jonathan Sabbagh

Jonathan Sabbagh

 

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:  jonathan.sabbagh@nih.gov

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-sabbagh-a128779a/

 

 
 
Andrew Murtishaw

Andrew Murtishaw

 

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: andrew.murtishaw@gmail.com

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/andrewmurtishaw


FORMER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Isaac Santa Ana, BS

Michael Langhardt, MS 

Krystal Belmonte, BS

James McClinch, BS

William Kim

Hailey Bergman

Robert Sotille

Ibrahim Bhatti

Josh Gordon, HS Intern

Kirsten Calvin

Renzo Chuapoco

Christy Magcalas, BA

Stephanie Nagl, BA

Patrick Hagins, BA

James Toughlian

Emily Chau

Michelle Strong

Robert Nagele

Alex Goslar

Choi Tsang

Marie Hernandez

Megan Yoon, MS

Willie Jay Nicolas