Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Parikh-headshot Vinay Parikh, Ph.D.

Biography: Dr. Vinay Parikh is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Head of the NECO Lab at Temple University. He also holds an affiliated faculty appointment in the Center for Substance Abuse Research at Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Parikh served as the Director of Neuroscience Program in the College of Liberal Arts and provided strategic leadership, direction, and guidance for all educational and professional activities in the program. Dr. Parikh’s research generally concerns neuromodulation of cognition in health and disease. For many years, his laboratory is engaged in delineating the contributions of cholinergic and glutamatergic signaling in modulation of distinct cognitive processes, specifically those involved in attention and executive functions. His research has also focused on the role of neurotrophins as key regulators of neurochemical circuit adaptations and cognitive functioning in aging and psychiatric disorders such as drug addiction and schizophrenia. Recent areas of interest include genetic and cellular substrates of cognitive reserve and resilience in aging, and neurobehavioral biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Parikh has authored/co-authored over 80 academic publications that include peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and has delivered more than 150 scientific presentations and invited talks at professional conferences and institutions. Dr. Parikh serves as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, and as an editorial board member for European Journal of Neuroscience. He is an active reviewer of over 35 scholarly journals in the fields of Neuroscience, Psychology and Pharmacology. Dr. Parikh has also served on numerous grant review panels and scientific/education advisory committees. He is an active member of many professional societies including the Society for Neuroscience, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, American Society for Neurochemistry and the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Additionally, he has received many prestigious awards including the Research Faculty Recognition Award from the University of Michigan (2008), New Investigator Award in Alzheimer’s Disease from AFAR (2010),  and Young Investigator Awards from NARSAD (2011) and ACNP (2014), respectively.

Graduate Students

Alyssa Kniffin, B.S. (with Dr. Bangasser)

Biography: Alyssa received her B.S in Psychology with a minor in Biology at James Madison University. She was involved with research investigating the gut-brain axis and hippocampal dependent spatial tasks. Additionally, she participated in a study to examine sex differences in the brain that occur due to changes in hormone level via tamoxifen. Currently, Alyssa is a second year doctoral student investigating sex differences in CRF regulation of the septohippocampal cholinergic system. Alyssa’s long-term goal is to teach at a university where she can continue her passion for neuroendocrinology research and mentor future students.


Morgan Graham, B.A.

Morgan is a second year Master’s Student in the Neuroscience Program interested in psychopharmacology research. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. As  an undergraduate student, she worked on a project examining motivational impairments in depression. Morgan enjoys reading and watching baseball.

Research Assistants

Hiroko Hida
Biography: Hiroko is a CLA Neuroscience major (exp. ’25) and is interested in research at the intersection of neuroscience and psychology to understand mental health maintenance and recovery. She likes to go hiking, birding, making baked goods, and learning about various random topics in her free time.

Sandeeep Maligireddy
Sandeep is a sophomore CST neuroscience student. He is interested in neurodegeneration and neurodevelopment, especially as it relates to schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. In his free time, Sandeep likes to rock climb and go to concerts. He is also the Vice-President of the Japanese Conversation Club.

Dhriti Patel
Biography: Dhriti is a senior majoring in Neuroscience, with a minor in Sociology. She aspires to pursue M.S. in Behavioral/Cognitive Neuroscience or Clinical Psychology and become a therapist to assist individuals with behavioral issues. Outside of her academic pursuits, she thoroughly enjoys working with dogs and offer her services as a pet sitter and dog walker. Additionally, Dhriti love for the great outdoors and nature fuels her passion for photography.

Laasya Ravipati

Paul Christian Stowel
Biography: Paul is a junior in the Temple Honors Program majoring in both Neuroscience and Psychology. Outside the classroom, he serves as the Vice President of the Nu Rho Psi Neuroscience Honors Society. Paul’s research interests include neurodegeneration, neuroplasticity, and psychedelic therapies, and in the future, he hopes to attend medical school and work toward a career as a neurosurgeon or neurologist.

Lab Alumni

Sally Dolan, B.S.
Yash Laliwala, B.S.

Nish Patel, M.S. (Penn Medicine)
Mariah Williams, M.S. (University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center)
Aryan Patel, B.S.
Kena Patel, B.S. (Penn Medicine)
Rylee Usher, B.S.
Anne Lu, B.S.
Miranda Targum, B.S. (Penn Medicine)
Nolan Hamilton, B.S. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
Patrick Kenney, B.S. (Occupational Therapy, Salus University)
Victoria Lefferts, B.S.
Evan Haley, B.S. (University of California at Davis)
Irem Asci, M.S. (Bioengineering Program, Temple University)
Carcha Bernard, B.S. (University of Pittsburgh)
Meghna Bhattacharya, B.S. (Cooper Medical School of Rowan University)
Megan Casey
Robert Cole, Ph.D. (Medical University of South Carolina)
Drew E. D’Amore, M.A. (College of New Jersey)
Roslyn DeVassy, B.S.
Michael Duggan, Ph.D. (National Institute on Aging)
Jasmine Forde, B.S. (Mathematica)
Tara-Jade Francois, B.S. (Temple University)
Jennifer Ann Francesconi, B.A. (Rutgers University)
Jane Gaisinsky, B.S. (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)
Brandon Garrett, B.S. (Aetna)
Dawn M. Guzman, B.S. (University of Texas at Austin)
Evelynn Harrington, M.S. (University of South Carolina School of Medicine)
Aubrey N. Kelbaugh (Temple University)
Munir Gunes Kutlu, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine)
Surbhi Joshi, B.S. (Regenosine Inc.)
Asal Matchanova, B.S. (University of Houston)
Rashi Magan, B.S. (University of Pennsylvania)
Adnan Mookhtiar, B.S. (University of Miami School of Medicine)
Sean X. Naughton, Ph.D. (Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai)
Leonardo Ortega, Ph.D. (UNAB, Colombia)
Patrick N. Osuagwu, B.S. (University of the Sciences, Philadelphia)
Khushali N. Parikh, B.A.
Purav J. Patel, M.A. (University of Wisconsin – Madison)
Tara Peterson, B.S. (Avrobio, Inc.)
Cameron J. Pollock, B.S. (Johns Hopkins University)
Cheryl L. Rehmann, B.A.
Amanda Schafer
Zoe R. Steinberg, B.S. (University of Colorado Boulder)
Jacob Strupp, M.S. (Founder and CEO, Bilateral Tech, Inc.)
Kevin Taylor, B.S. (Tegra Analytics)
Joel Wiener, B.S. (Temple Lewis Katz School of Medicine)
Cassandra Wolsh, B.S. (Univeristy of Texas at San Antonio)
Brittney Yegla, Ph.D. (Supernus Pharmaceuticals)
Matty Zimmermann, B.S. (Thomas Jefferson University)
Avery Zucco, Ph.D. (Wistar Institute)

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