PEOPLE




FACULTY: RUTGERS

DIRECTOR:

Mark Gluck, Ph. D.
E-mail: gluck@pavlov.rutgers.edu

Professor of Neuroscience,
Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience
Rutgers University - Newark
Co-Director, Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers-Newark
Publisher, Memory Loss and the Brain newsletter.



     

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS


Davine Armstrong
E-mail: davinea2000@yahoo.com

Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar

As an international physician and prospective Master of Science student in Health Care Management, I am interested in the impact of Health Education Interventions on the quality of life of the population as a whole. Working in the Gluck lab with the African-American Brain Health Initiative will give me an opportunity to assist in designing health education programs that focus on the prevention and control of chronic neurological diseases such as Alzheimerís disease and Depression. Furthermore, our innovative research approach to community outreach, will allow for quantification of data, thereby providing resourceful feedback to public health initiatives both in the United States and Internationally.

Itamar Lerner
E-mail: itamar.lerner@gmail.com

My main scientific interests focus on combining neural network modeling with human behavioral experimentation in uncovering the mechanisms which contribute to cognition, from basic functions such as learning and memory to higher cognitive functions involving linguistic processing, semantics and associative thinking. I am particularly interested in the special role that sleep plays in enhancing cognitive functions of various levels of complexity, from simple pair-associates learning to gist extraction and insight. Lately, with our sleep research group in the Gluck lab, I have started to develop theoretical network models of sleep addressing some of the main relevant findings in literature, as well as running novel human experiments in sleep using mobile technologies which allow long-term monitoring in home environments.

 


 
Jessie Simon
E-mail: jessie.simon@gmail.com

My primary interests lie in the study of adult development and cognitive aging. In particular, I study the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying age-related differences in learning and decision-making. My research involves various behavioral and genetic techniques in populations ranging from healthy younger and older adults to patients with Parkinsonís disease.



Mohammad M. Herzallah, M.D.
(BNS 3rd Year; Including Al-Quds Lab Weekly Precis)
E-mail:mohammad.m.herzallah@rutgers.edu

My current research focuses on understanding the cognitive correlates of basal ganglia and hippocampal function in psychopathology and neurological disorders utilizing a multidisciplinary approach using imaging, genetics, endocrinology, and computational modeling. My ultimate goal is to incorporate heterogeneity in clinical symptoms, genetic make-up, hormone levels, brain structures, and cognitive profiles to provide prospective explanation of neurological and psychiatric symptoms as well as response to treatment.

 


GRADUATE STUDENTS: RUTGERS BNS


Iman T. Jhangiani-Jashanmal
(1st year BNS graduate student)
E-mail: imanjashanmal@gmail.com

I am a first year graduate student in the BNS program. My primary research interest is in hippocampally/MTL mediated declarative and episodic memory. I am particularly interested in the mechanisms underlying consolidation of declarative and episodic memory during slow wave sleep. Furthermore, I intend to apply knowledge of these mechanisms to augmenting consolidation in healthy normals as well as clinical populations.



 
Jeremy Gonzalez
(BNS 1st Year)
E-mail: jeremy.g.gonzalez@gmail.com

I am a first year graduate student of Rutgers University at The Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience. My interests involve understanding the biological basis of cognitive processes involved in learning, memory, and attention, as well as the impairment of these processes in neruopsychological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, PTSD, mood, and psychotic disorders.

 

Joman Natsheh M.D.
(BNS 2nd Year; Al-Quds Genetics Project & Joint with Shiflett Lab)
E-mail: jomannatsheh@gmail.com

I am interested in studying the cognitive correlates and the effects of psychostimulants on the developmental trajectory in patients and animal models of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). My work at Gluck lab focuses on studying goal-directed behavior in children with ADHD to dissociate the cognitive correlates of the disorder from those of commonly used psychostimulants. Further, I study the effects of naturally occurring polymorphisms in dopamine and serotonin genes on cognition in healthy individuals.

 


GRADUATE STUDENTS: OTHER PROGRAMS



 
Lee Ann Cannella
(Visiting Graduate Student, reporting to Itamar)
E-mail: leeannecannella@gmail.com

I am a visiting graduate student from Radboud University in The Netherlands where I specialize in learning, memory, and plasticity. I am currently in the second year of my research Masters degree in Cognitive Neuroscience. Here at Rutgers in The Gluck Lab I am completing an internship by working as a research assistant for the ongoing sleep study. My goal is to continue my education in neuroscience by gaining experience in research with the ultimate goal of pursuing a PhD.

 
Mathew Toegel
(NJIT Masters Student in Information Systems, reporting to Mohammad and Itamar)
E-mail: mt85@njit.edu

I'm currently working on my Master's at NJIT which should be completed by the Summer of 2014. My undergraduate focus was Information Technology with a game design concentration, but I've explored a lot of the development field in general. My courses consisted of heavy programming from Unity's game engine, Java, C++, C#, to web development technologies. I'm also familiar with native android programming. My latest focus has been with Javascript frameworks/libraries such as Backbone.js, Marionette.js, and some Node.js working towards deployment with phonegap/cordova.


Tiffany Brown
E-mail:tnb43@scarletmail.rutgers.edu

I am a Masters student at Rutgers Univesrity-Newark and completed my undergraduate degree at Fordham University in Bronx, NY. I am also currently a Research Assistant in the Gluck Lab interested in studying mental health disorders and cognition within African American communities. In the past, I have worked as an RA investigating implicit & explicit religious attitudes of subjects and have also studied the impact of a physical activity regiment on African Americans in Boston neighborhoods. My goal is to be proficient in understanding the psychological impact of religious attitudes on behavioral and cognitive disorders for varied populations for better treatment of cognitive impairments.


RESEARCH STAFF

Kate Bainbridge
(Research Assistant; Reporting to Mohammad):
E-mail: kbrainbridge@gmail.com

I am a part time research assistant in the Gluck lab. I assist Dr. Herzallah with data analysis in his studies with cognition and Parkinson's Disease. I studied neuroscience and cognitive development at Sarah Lawrence College and Oxford University. I hope to pursue a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and its applications to education. I also write about the brain for the online magazine What Are These Ideas?



Lisa Haber-Chalom
(Research Coordinator)
E-mail: lhchalom@rutgers.edu

As Research Coordinator in the Gluck lab, I am responsible for the compliance of all documentation regarding human subject testing. I also help recruit subjects, maintain files on subjects/experiments, monitor the status of grants and collaborate on fundraising campaigns. I have an Admin. background, having worked in a variety fields including business, cultural and diplomatic in New York and in France.


 



Shira Lupkin
E-mail: shiralupkin@gmail.com

I am a research assistant in the Gluck Lab where I work on the ongoing sleep study, with Dr. Lerner, as well as some of the MDD/PTSD studies, with Dr. Herzallah. I recently received my Bachelorís degree in Psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University. During my time at Barnard, I spent three years doing research in a Social Cognition lab, as well as several months in a lab specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders. In the future, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.



Usha Persaud
(Research Coordinator)
E-mail: upersaud7@gmail.com

I studied Psychology at Mercy College as a masterís level graduate student and at Rutgers University as an undergraduate. I hope to obtain clinical research skills by assisting Dr. Herzallah on a study investigating learning in patients with major depressive disorder. By volunteering in Dr. Gluck's lab, I hope to gain valuable research experience with clinical implications that will aid in my pursuit of a PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Julia Superka
E-mail: j.e.superka@gmail.com

I am a research assistant in the Gluck Lab working with Dr. Herzallah. My main responsibilities include recruitment, testing and data management of the Parkinson's Disease study. In addition, I collect, manage and analyze data on the MDD/PTSD studies for Dr. Herzallah. I graduated from Gettysburg College in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Neuroscience. I have recently returned from a yearlong research assistantship at The University of New South Wales Australia where I was involved in PTSD research. I plan to pursue a a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in the near future.


UNDERGRADUATE INTERNS

Aparna Govindan
(Undergraduate, Second Year, BA/MD Program with Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, Chemistry Major and Political Science Minor)
E-mail: agovindan16@gmail.com

I am currently a second year student in the accelerated 7 year medical program with Rutgers-NJMS. For my first three years of the program I am pursuing a major in chemistry and a minor in political science. Outside of academics I am a member of the Honors College Advisory Council and a dance instructor at Tala Shruti School of Dance. This is my second undergraduate research position, and in my time working with the Gluck lab research team I hope to understand the impact of genetics on cognitive function and learn concepts that would be applicable in my medical career. I hope to learn skills that would complement my medical education and would be invaluable to my future research endeavors.


Donald Ohioma
(Undergraduate, 2015, Biology, Accelerated 7- Year Medical Program)
E-mail: Deo4@njit.edu

My name is Donald Ohioma. I am a third year student of the NJIT Albert Dorman Honors College and a Research Assistant at the Gluck Lab of Rutgers Newark. I play an active leadership role in many on campus organizations, from president to organization chair, all while working as an EMT in Hackensack, NJ. My career goals include training as a medical doctor, specifically in the field of neurology. Currently I have been working on the Sleep and Cognition study. Some of the responsibilities of my position include acquiring and testing subjects, designing and programming computer tasks, scoring neuro-psychological batteries, and updating lab informational documentation.



Elyon Obamedo
E-mail: elyonobamedo@yahoo.com

I am a senior majoring in Biology at the Honors college at Rutgers University. I have been a research assistant in Dr. Gluck's laboratory since my sophomore year and I am currently working on the Healthy Aging project with Dr. Jessica Simon. We investigate the roll of aging on cognition and gain insight on the roll of genetics and aging in order to create opportunities to identify individuals at risk for cognitive decline and promote healthy aging. Additionally, I am also active in the Pathways to Healthy Aging in the African American Community project by helping to establish forums throughout the community to promote healthy lifestyle changes and overall brain health awareness. From these experiences, I hope to learn more about the intricate relationships between genetics, structure, and cognition and also develop better critical and analytical skills.

 


Farah Al-Shammary
(Reporting to Joman)
E-mail: farah.alshammary@yahoo.com

Junior at the Rutgers-Newark Honor's College majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Women's and Gender Studies

My name is Farah Al-Shammary and I am currently a junior majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Womenís and Gender Studies in the Rutgers-Newark Honorís College. As of now, this is my first undergraduate research position and I will be working with Dr. Natsheh on her current research projects. My extracurricular activities include, amongst others, volunteering in the St. Josephís emergency department, volunteering for Wafa House, a domestic violence organization, and teaching elementary school children Arabic and Islamic studies at the Islamic Center of Passaic County. From this research experience at the Gluck lab, I hope to acquire many of the vital research and analytical skills that will prepare me for future research interests that are geared towards neuroscience and women's health as I pursue a career in medicine.


Iqra Baig
E-mail: petrichorphilic786@gmail.com

I am a Junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in both Biology and Chemistry in the Rutgers-Newark Honors College. I will be working on the Healthy Aging project with Dr. Jessie Simon. I hope to learn more about the effects of behavior and genetics on learning and memory. This research experience will help foster critical thinking and analytical skills that are essential in the medical field. As an aspiring physician, I plan to apply my unique experience in the Gluck research lab to the general population by actively participating in pertinent community outreach programs.


Jeetanjali Sawh
E-mail: anjali05sawh@gmail.com

As a sophomore in the Rutgers-Newark Honors College, I am majoring in both Applied Mathematics and Biology, and minoring in Computer Science. I joined the Gluck Lab with the hope of being able to combine my mathematics background with my interest in medical research through computational modeling. I plan on learning more about the short-term, long-term and side effects of medicine on disorders such as MDD.

Meaghan Pereiras
(2nd year Undergrad Psychology Major)
E-mail: mijpereiras@gmail.com

Currently a sophomore in the Rutgers-Newark Honors College, I am majoring in psychology and minoring in cognitive neuroscience. Hoping to pursue research in cognitive neuroscience after college, I joined the Gluck lab to explore the aspects of my minor which could be applicable to my future goals and to familiarize myself with the nature of researching in a professional setting. Outside of classes, I lead as an executive board member of the Newman Catholic Club, spending a great deal of my time participating in volunteer work that promotes nurturing of the social, emotional, and psychological well-being of homeless individuals in Newark. Through this current position in the Gluck lab, I hope to develop a better understanding of the impact of neurological disorders on cognition, the effects of sleep on mood and decision making, and the role of the hippocampus on learning and memory.




Mobinuddin Ahmad
E-mail: ma912@scarletmail.rutgers.edu

I am a sophomore in the Rutgers-Newark Honors College majoring in mathematics and with a minor in computer science and chemistry. I am also the Honors College Student Council Treasurer and the Rutgers-Newark Muslim Student Association Public Relations Head. I joined the Gluck Lab to fuse my mathematical and premedical background and explore the vast field of neuroscience. Essentially, I hope to use what I learn at Gluck lab to become a more well-informed physician in the future.






Naomi Kim
(Reporting to Itamar Lerner)
E-mail: naomi.kim@rutgers.edu

Undergrad, Junior, Biology and Psychology Majors

"I am a junior at Rutgers-Newark, and I major in both biology and psychology. I plan to pursue medicine to become a pediatric neurologist or psychiatrist. As a doctor, Iíd like to do clinical research as well. I joined the Gluck lab in hopes of gaining the knowledge and skills Iíd use in my future. I also wanted to learn more about the field of neuroscience, because Iím interested in neuropsychological disorders. At the lab, Iím currently involved with the sleep studies which investigate how sleep is related to mental health and cognitive functions."


Preethi Kamath
E-mail: pgk5@njit.edu

I am currently a second year student in the accelerated 7 year medical program with NJIT Albert Dorman Honors College and St. George's Medical School. I am pursuing a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Business. Currently I am working as a Research Assistant at the Gluck Lab at Rutgers Newark on the Sleep and Cognition study. By being a part of the Gluck Lab research team, I hope to learn more about neuroscience, clinical research, testing subjects, understanding the relationships between sleep and cognitive functions and develop connections with other researchers with similar interests as I pursue a career in medicine.


Raphia Rahman
(Reporting to Mohammad)
E-mail: raphiarahman@gmail.com

I am currently a senior completing my Biology major and Psychology minor at the Rutgers-Newark Honors College. I aspire to pursue a MD degree and specialize in neurosurgery after completing my undergraduate degree. My extracurricular activities include working as a medical scribe at Hackensack University Medical Centerís adult and pediatric emergency departments and as a licensed real estate sales representative at Weichert. My volunteer experiences include volunteering at the University Hospital and conducting clinical research as a research associate at Hackensack University Medical Center. By joining the Gluck Lab research team, I hope to acquire further knowledge as to how the fields of molecular and behavioral neuroscience, medicine, and clinical research are integrated in efforts to better understand and progress the treatment of neurological disorders. I also wish to cultivate skills in clinical neuroscience research and look forward to completing my honors senior thesis at the Gluck lab.


Ravi Sojitra
E-mail: raviisojitraa@gmail.com

I am currently a sophomore double majoring in Biology and Philosophy at the Rutgers-Newark Honors College. Some of my extracurricular activities include being a sophomore senator in the student government and the internal affairs committee. Outside of school, my volunteer work varies from privately tutoring students in calculus and chemistry to volunteering in the emergency department at The University Hospital. By being a part of the Gluck lab research team, I am hoping to explore current research interests and develop a better understanding of the relationship between genetics and cognition & memory. My post graduation goals consist of using the skills and experiences I develop in the Gluck lab to explore future research interests as I pursue career in medicine.

 


ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Beverly Stacy
E-mail: beverly.stacy@Facadeinteractive.com
Webmaster

I am the owner of the web design firm Façade Interactive and have been developing websites and web applications for 16 years in the New York City area. I have extensive experience in web technologies, database creation and online applications. I have used this knowledge to create/edit GluckLab Online for over 4 years.




Connie Sadaka
E-mail: sadaka@rutgers.edu
Lab Secretary


CLICK HERE to view Alumni of the Lab

CLICK HERE to view Collaborators of the Lab