Trapani Lab group photo 2016

Lab Photos


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Christina Hansen '17

Current Neuroscience honors thesis student
Christina is a senior neuroscience and music double major from Atlanta, Georgia. As a SURF student, she investigated cellular microtubule nucleation and more recently contributed to several neonatal public health studies at the University of South Florida. This past spring she studied abroad through the University College London Neuroscience Program. On campus, she volunteers as an EMT-B with Amherst College Emergency Medical Services (ACEMS) and plays cello in the Amherst Symphony Orchestra. She also enjoys reading, traveling, and baking.

Sam Short '17

Current Neuroscience honors thesis student
Sam is a senior neuroscience and music double major from Mukilteo, Washington. Last summer he interned at the University of Washington Department of Surgery researching post-acute transfer of care protocols for elders. On campus he is a member of Amherst College Emergency Medical Services, plays in the Amherst Symphony Orchestra, co-hosts a music program for WAHM radio, and performs in the jazz combo Toxic Thunder. While not in class, Sam enjoys backpacking, cooking, and playing music with friends.

Hannah Peterson '17

2016-17 research assistant
Hannah is a senior from Cambridge, Massachusetts and is a biology and Spanish double major. She worked as an intern last summer in a molecular genetics lab in Cartagena, Spain, focusing on a project to clone genes from Antirrhinum plant species. She was a member of the Amherst varsity basketball team for the past two years, and is currently in Latin America this spring semester. She also enjoys painting, salsa dancing, playing guitar and violin, and traveling.

Emily Isko '18

Current lab research fellow
Emily is a junior neuroscience major from West Hartford, CT. Last summer, she worked with fly larva in the Graf lab to determine the role of Rab3, a protein, in the developing synapse. On campus, she plays clarinet in the Amherst Symphony Orchestra and a member of Amherst Emergency Medical Services. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and listening to music.

Cristian Ramirez '18

Current lab research fellow
Former summer research fellow (SURF)
Cristian is a junior from Bradenton, Florida. He is a Neuroscience major and is also on the pre-med track. He works as a Telementor on campus and is the public events coordinator for the Charles Drew Health Professions Society. In his free time he enjoys playing the viola, cooking, reading, and playing basketball.

Mohamed Ramy '18

Current lab research fellow
Ramy from Cairo, Egypt, is a junior majoring in neuroscience and pursuing the pre-medicine track. As a volunteer in Bellevue Hospital, he acted as a research associate collecting information about drug usage amongst patients and provided service as a patient advocate. At Amherst College, Ramy is the co-chair of Charles Drew Health Professionals Society and the resident counselor of a first-year dorm. When not doing school-related work, he enjoys the sun, plays soccer, reads books, or cooks for friends his favorite local dish, Koshari.

Oumou Toure '18

Former summer Sarles research fellow (SURF)
Oumou is a junior from New York City. She is a Neuroscience major and on the pre-med track. She works with Campus Police as a Lead student security monitor. Off campus, she works at the Woodside Children’s Center as an America Reads tutor. She is also a member of African & Caribbean Student Union Dance group and will serve as its Manager in the fall. She enjoys reading, eating and playing soccer.

Kira Becker '19

Current lab research fellow
Kira is a sophomore from McLean, Virginia. Currently undeclared, she hopes to be a neuroethics major and is on the pre-med track. Last summer, she worked at the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University School of Medicine on neuroethics research regarding Alzheimer's Disease, fMRI, and the neuroscience of morality. On campus, she is a member of Amherst College Emergency Medical Services, the chorus, and Editor-in-Chief of The Amherst Element. In her free time, Kira enjoys spending time with her friends, reading, blogilates, and singing.

Julie Kim '19

Current lab research fellow
Julie is a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea. She is planning to major in neuroscience. At Amherst, she is the treasurer of Korean Students Association, translator in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the member of Seligman Chinese & Japanese language theme house. In her free time she enjoys playing the cello, reading, figure skating, and traveling.

Sangmin Paulina Song '19

Current lab research fellow
Former 4-College Biomathematics summer research fellow (4CBC)
Paulina is a sophomore from Irvine, California. She has previously worked on epigenetics research and gene construct engineering. As a 4-College Biomathematics summer fellow, she will be working under both Professor Trapani and Professor Nessy Tania (Math and Stats Dept. at Smith College). At Amherst, she studies statistics and is involved with various mental health and public health initiatives. She enjoys art and music in her free time.

Caroline Yao ‘19

Current lab research fellow
Former summer research fellow (SURF)
Caroline is a sophomore from China who permanently resides in Japan. She is planning to major in Neuroscience. On campus, she works in the Frost Library Circulation Department. She is also a member of Amherst Mixed Martial Arts Organisation (AMMO) and will serve as the co-president of the Asian Culture House (ACH) in the coming academic year. She also enjoys badminton, swimming, and travelling.

Daniil Frolov

UMass Ph.D. candidate
Dan is a doctoral candidate in the Neuroscience and Behavior Graduate Program at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His home city is Saint Petersburg, Russia, and he holds a Master of Science degree from Saint Petersburg State University (SPbSU, Russia) with specialization in Endocrinology. His research interests are developmental and behavioral neuroscience, and his current research is aimed at Zebrafish fast escape reflex circuitry and adaptation in hair-cell afferent systems. He uses electrophysiological methods extensively in his research, along with confocal, two-photon and scanning electron microscopy. His spare time is preferably spent with his family, which includes his wife and two year old son. He enjoys world history and traditional media drawing as his hobbies.

Stacey Beganny

Research technician
New to the Pioneer Valley, Stacey is jumping back into the lab after spending the last few years at home with her children. Before her hiatus, she spent 9 years engineering zinc finger proteins for targeted genome editing in Dr. Keith Joung’s lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to that, Stacey worked with Dr. Jim Versalovic, also at MGH, investigating intestinal Lactobacillus sp. using molecular genotyping techniques. When she is not in the lab, Stacey is busy making crafts, playing hopscotch and reading books with her 5 year old twins. She also enjoys cooking, hiking, playing tennis and fly-fishing with her husband.

Kathleen Tiffany Lee '16

2016 Biology research fellow
Tiffany is currently working as a Data Manager at the Biostatistics Center at Massachusetts General Hospital handling data from clinical research on acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Thomas Sommers '16

2016 Neuroscience honors thesis student
Tom is currently on a research Fulbright fellowship in Emre Yaksi's lab at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim Norway.

Ilya Kiselev '16

2016 Neuroscience research fellow
Ilya is currently in ...

Eileen Troconis Gonzalez '15

2015 Postbac fellow
2014 Biology honors thesis student

Eileen is currently enrolled at Cornell in their DVM/PhD program. She was formerly in the MPhil program at Cambridge Veterinary School. Eileen is from Merida, Venezuela and is a future veterinarian. She spent her early years at Amherst studying protein unfolding using denaturants compatible with mass spectrometry in Professor Sheila Jaswal's lab.

Joyce Wamala '18E

2015 Summer SURF student
Joyce is a Ugandan senior at Amherst College. She spent her first summer shadowing a neurosurgeon at a private practice in Zimbabwe and is interested in biochemistry, neurodegenerative disorders and medicine.

Alex Ordoobadi '15

2015 Neuroscience honors thesis student
Alex is currently a medical student at Harvard Medical School. Between Amherst and medical school, he spent a year as a clinical research assistant in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University Hospital and served as a Sergeant with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.

Steven Ryu '16

2013 HHMI Summer research student

Razina Aziz-Bose '14

2014 Neuroscience honors thesis student
2012 SOMAS summer research student

Razina is currently at Stanford University School of Medicine. She was formerly a clinical coordinator in Florian Eichler’s lab at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Varun Iyengar '14

2014 Neuroscience honors thesis student
2012 HHMI Summer research student

Varun is at Brown Medical school. He was formerly an associate at Close Concerns in San Francisco, California.

Kelsey Ayers '15

2013 lab fishroom technician
Kelsey is a Thoracic Surgery lab assistant at Stanford School of Medicine. While at Amherst, she was Biology major and a captain on the varsity softball team.

Jenna Browning-Kamins '13

2013 Neuroscience honors thesis student
2013 Summer postbac fellow

Jenna is currently in the Audiology (AuD) program at Northwestern University. Jenna was also a research technician in Richard Axel's lab at Columbia University.

Niklas Smedemark-Margulies '13

2013 Honorary lab member & author of our Optogenetics Review article
Nik is currently enrolled in Harvard's Immunology Masters Program. He was formerly a research fellow in Adam Cohen's lab at Harvard University.

Fabiana Kreines '12

2012 Neuroscience honors thesis student
Fabiana Kreines ‘12 is a medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College. She was formerly a research technician in Marcel van den Brink's lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on New York’s Upper East Side.

Grace Li '12

2012 Neuroscience honors thesis student
Grace is currently in medical school at University of Kansas Medical Center. She was formerly a postbac research fellow in Harold Burgess’s lab at the NICHD at the National Institutes of Health.

Bryan Monesson-Olson, Ph.D.

2013-14 Postdoctoral research fellow
Bryan went on to a tenure-track position at Alfred State College in Alfred, New York and is now a Lecturer at UMass-Amherst.

Josef G. Trapani

Joe Trapani is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Amherst College and is a faculty member in the Neuroscience Program. He is also an Associate faculty member of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program at UMass.

Redside trout caught fly fishing during the salmon fly hatch on the Deschutes river, Oregon
Striper caught fly fishing the flats; Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Joe received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and spent grad school studying the biophysical properties of potassium channels in the lab of Stephen J. Korn. From Connecticut, Joe traveled to Portland, Oregon for his postdoctoral research in the lab of Teresa Nicolson at the Vollum Institute and the Oregon Hearing Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University.

During his postdoc, Joe examined the electrical activity of hair cells and afferent neurons of the lateral line of intact larval zebrafish. His work focused on important questions related to sensory transduction in hair cells.

Current research in the Trapani lab continues to try to understand how external sensory stimuli are transformed into meaningful neuronal information.

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