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Health Science Campus
Block Health Science Building

Mail Stop # 1007
3000 Arlington Avenue
Toledo, Ohio 43614-2598
Phone: 419.383.4109
Fax: 419.383.3008

Graduate Students

Stuart Collins
Stuart Collins

Ph.D candidate
Project: MDMA induced changes to GABAergic interneurons and serotonergic terminals in rat hippocampus and the resulting alterations in excitatory/inhibitory transmission.
Advisor: Dr. Bryan Yamamoto
Hometown: Lima, Ohio
Undergraduate University: Ohio Northern University

I enjoy listening to music, hanging out with friends and playing sports. My future goals are to have a successful career in academia researching neuroscience. Oh, and to win the nobel prize.

Priyodashan Geoswamee

Priyodashan Geoswamee
Ph.D. candidate
Advisor: Dr. David Giovannucci

Laura Halpin

Laura Halpin
MD/PhD Candidate
Project: Neurotoxicity of methamphetamine
Advisor: Dr. Bryan Yamamoto, PhD.
Hometown: Mentor, OH
Undergraduate University: University of Toledo

I received my B.S. Biology and B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Toledo in 2008.  I am currently pursing a combined MD/PhD degree.  In the upcoming years I will be working to better understand the effects of substituted amphetamines, and working to develop skills that will make me an effective clinician and researcher.

Branden Stansley
Ph.D candidate
Project: Addressing the mechanisms and implications of L-dopa toxicity to non-dopaminergic neurons in both movement disorders and drugs of abuse.
Advisor: Dr. Bryan Yamamoto
Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio
Undergraduate University: Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte NC

I received my B.A. from Queens University of Charlotte in 2010 in Psychology and Biology. I also played lacrosse all four years while at Queens. I love music and if I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be something by Springsteen. I am interested in all things neuroscience, but more specifically how drugs and neurological movement disorders affect the brain.

Vishruti Makani
Ph.D candidate
Project: Characterization of neurogenerative effects of midi-GAGR in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Advisor: Dr. Joshua Park, Ph.D
Hometown: India
Undergraduate University: Nagpur University, India
Master's University: Campbell University, NC

I pursued my Bachelor of Pharmacy from Nagpur University, India and then joined Campbell University in North Carolina for further specialization in the field of Pharmacology. 

Amanda Blaker
Ph.D candidate
Project: Effects of stress and methamphetamine on the blood-brain barrier
Advisor: Dr. Bryan Yamamoto
Hometown: Farmington, Michigan
Undergraduate University: Albion College, Albion MI

I received my BA in Psychology from Albion College in 2012, with a minor in Cellular & Molecular Biology. I am very interested in learning how certain drugs of abuse affect the brain. More specifically, I am currently looking at the roles of stress and drug abuse on the structural and functional integrity of the blood-brain barrier. I'm a big Detroit Tigers fan and love University of Michigan football games! I also like music, hanging out with friends, and going to live concerts.

Eric Starr
Ph.D candidate
Project: PACAP Induced Signalling on Neuronal Excitability and Development within the Ciliary Ganglion
Advisor: Dr. Joseph Margiotta
Hometown: Claremont, CA.
Undergraduate University: California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA. 

I received my BA in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton.  I am interested in the electrophysiological, biochemical and behavioral characteristics underlying stress-induced synaptic plasticity within the autonomic nervous system. Currently, I am investigating the effects of PACAP signalling on neuronal excitability and development within ciliary ganglia. In the future, I hope to be able obtain my doctorate and to eventually teach and continue conducting research. In my spare time I love to play sports, listen to music, and be outdoors. 

Jack Imbery
Ph.D student
Project: Understanding the role of NAADP as a potent mobilizer of calcium from acidic stores within parotid acinar cells.
Advisor: Dr. David Giovannucci
Hometown: Yorktown, Virginia
Undergraduate University:  The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

I graduated in 2013 from The College of William and Mary with a BS in Neuroscience and a minor in Music. Outside of my scientific pursuits, I was a 4 year member of the William and Mary club tennis team and continue to play here at Toledo. Since I am fan of tennis that naturally means I am a Roger Federer fan and hope he has one more career year left in him. In regards to my love for music, some of my favorite bands include The Smiths, Oasis, The Stone Roses, and U2.  

Erin Semple
MD/Ph.D candidate​
Advisor: Dr. Bryan Yamamoto
Hometown: North Royalton, OH
Undergraduate University: Miami University, Oxford, OH

I received my BA in Psychology from Miami University in 2012, with minors in Mathematics and Neuroscience. I am interested in both the clinical and scientific aspects of neurological and psychiatric disorders. I am currently investigating how PTSD is affected by gender and age of onset, as well as developing my skills in clinical medicine.

Carmen Mitchell
PhD Candidate
Advisor: Bryan Yamamoto
Hometown: Columbus
Undergraduate University: University of Toledo

I received my B.S.P.S. (Bachelors of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences) in Medicinal Chemistry and Biology at the University of Toledo in 2013.  The important opportunities I discovered during my undergraduate career at UT led me to join the Biomedical Science Graduate program here at UT.  I joined the Yamamoto laboratory with hopes to better reveal epigenetic mechanisms that may take place during traumatic childhood events that could influence methamphetamine neurotoxicity as an adult.  Aside from enjoying the various challenges I’m continuously faced with in research, I am a weekend sand volleyball addict, an amateur taco connoisseur, and a contemporary fashion curator.   

Last Updated: 6/26/15