Lab Personnel

Natalie C. Tronson, Ph.D. : Principal Investigator

Natalie C. Tronson, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Natalie grew up in Australia, where she completed her B.Sc (Psychology) with 1st Class Honours at the University of New South Wales. After graduation, she moved to Yale University for her PhD and has been on this side of the world ever since. Natalie conducted her dissertation research under the tutelage of Jane R. Taylor, PhDon mechanisms of memory reconsolidation. She subsequently worked as a post-doc with Jelena Radulovic, MD, PhD at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, examining the signaling mechanisms and stress-enhancement of context fear conditioning. When it's not too cold, she's often outdoors, running, biking, or swimming.
Curriculum Vitae

ntronson@umich.edu

Katie Collette : Post-Doctoral Fellow

Katie Collette

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Katie completed her B.S. in Chemistry and PhD in Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics (Neuroscience emphasis) at the University of North Dakota. She performed research as an undergraduate and graduate student in the lab of Dr. Van Doze. She received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to study the role of the α1A adrenergic receptor subtype in the differentiation and cell survival phases of adult neurogenesis. She also studied the role of the α1A and α1B adrenergic receptor subtypes in learning and memory, lifespan, and cancer incidence. As a postdoc in Dr. Tronson's lab, she is examining epigenetic modifications leading to cognitive impairments after myocardial infarction. She would like to use the knowledge gained during her postdoctoral work in the Tronson lab to study adult neurogenesis and epigenetic modifications during the development of stress-induced depression. Katie is logical like Mr. Spock but enjoys knitting, sewing, and baking like Martha Stewart (without the jail time). She also watches a lot of Netflix in her time away from the lab but who doesn't? She enjoys running but has never been fast or even close to fast.

Ashley Keiser : Graduate Student

Ashley Keiser

Graduate Student

Ashley graduated from Northern Michigan University with a B.S. in Psychology & Sociology. At NMU, Ashley worked with Dr. Adam Prus studying the effects of novel antipsychotic drugs in animal models for improvement of cognitive deficits that are prevalent in patients with schizophrenia. Specifically, she looked at the effects of neurotensin-1 agonists in working memory, attention, and depression paradigms. Ashley is particularly interested in cytokine and downstream signaling in response to stress and inflammation, and sex differences in signal transduction mechanisms underlying memory formation. In her free time Ashley enjoys traveling, comedy shows and board games.

Daria Tchessalova : Graduate Student

Daria Tchessalova

Graduate Student

Daria is a graduate student in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Michigan. She is a candidate in the Tronson laboratory in the Biopsychology Department, studying immune modulation of memory. Her current research focuses on the long-lasting effects of a sub-chronic, systemic inflammatory event on memory processes. Daria graduated from Connecticut College with a double major in Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology. In her free time, Daria enjoys traveling and catching up on her favorite shows.

Caitlin Posillico : Graduate Student

Caitlin Posillico

Graduate Student

Caitlin is currently a graduate student in the Biopsychology area of Psychology at the University of Michigan. She obtained both her B.S. and M.S. in Neuroscience at the University of Delaware where she studied the effects of pregnancy and stress on the function of the neuroimmune system and depressive-like behaviors in female rats under the direction of Dr. Jaclyn Schwarz. Caitlin’s primary research interests are to understand the mechanisms underlying inflammation in the brain and how aberrant neuroimmune signaling subsequently affects cognitive processes. Currently, she is studying the effects of acute immune activation on intracellular signaling cascades and astrocyte function in the context of memory formation and retrieval. In her “spare” time, she enjoys watching Netflix, regretting her decisions to watch Netflix, and anything that involves pesto.

Brynne Raines : Lab Manager

Brynne Raines

Lab Manager

Brynne is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she majored in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a minor in Biological Anthropology. As an undergrad, Brynne began pursuing her interests in research by joining the lab of Dr. Laura Olsen studying PTS2 receptor signaling in plant-specific peroxisomes. She has also worked in the Pathology lab of Dr. Richard Miller as an animal technician. Brynne joined the Tronson lab in March 2016 and couldn’t be happier. At present, she is working on elucidating the molecular mechanisms/signaling involved in memory retrieval in context-fear conditioning by studying the lateral septum. In her free time, she enjoys watching questionably terrible reality television and nature programs about primates (Gelada baboons are awesome), sleeping, and reading comic books.

Dana Feldman : Undergrad RA, Class of 2018

Dana Feldman

Undergrad RA, Class of 2018

Dana is an undergraduate student majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. One day, she hopes to use her research skills as a physician. Dana enjoys tutoring at the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital through a student organization called Opportunities to Educate Children. She also loves to play with her adorable dog, Sophie, attend football games, paint, and travel around the world.

Rosa Garcia-Hernandez : Undergrad RA, Class of 2018

Rosa Garcia-Hernandez

Undergrad RA, Class of 2018

Rosa is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience. She found the lab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program in the fall of 2014. Her research is primarily centered on the effect on cognition of systemic inflammation after myocardial infarction. She is an active member of M-STEM Academies, Student Ambassadors, and Rotaract Michigan. In her free time she enjoys reading, camping, playing soccer, and eating chocolate.

Ilana Bruckman : Undergrad RA, Class of 2017

Ilana Bruckman

Undergrad RA, Class of 2017

Ilana Bruckman is a Senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN).  She has passion for helping others and desires to accomplish that goal either through medicine or psychology.  Ilana has been passionate about biology and psychology since high school, when she was inspired by an influential teacher.  Ilana is excited to get involved in research at Michigan so she can understand the molecular mechanisms essential to learning and memory formation, as well as learn how to be part of a research team.  Given Ilana's strong science background and her extremely detail oriented and hardworking nature, she is ready to accept this challenge. Her hobbies and likes include walking her dog, Sophie (also known as Sophaloph, or the Sophster), reading, being a camp counselor, and exercising.

George Lu : Undergrad RA, Class of 2017

George Lu

Undergrad RA, Class of 2017

George is a senior studying BCN with minors in Biochem and Latin. Since joining the lab in his junior year, he has been working with Katie to study the molecular mechanisms that lead to cognitive deficits after myocardial infarction, and his current project focuses on microglial activation and dysregulation of gene expression. On campus, George enjoys singing in his a cappella group and helping at events to promote science interest in the young community through the Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity. He likes to pretend he's active, and often considers going to the gym while opting to watch Netflix instead. After graduation, George plans on taking a year off to do more memory-related research before applying to grad school.

Lining (Pauline) Pan : Undergrad RA, Class of 2018

Lining (Pauline) Pan

Undergrad RA, Class of 2018

Pauline is currently a BCN junior and joined Tronson Lab when she was a sophomore. She is primarily working with graduate student Ashley on sex differences with regards to context fear memory, and will complete her honor thesis on the role ventral hippocampus in fear memory next year. Her plan after graduation is going straight to graduate school and conducting more memory related research. Outside the lab and class, she spends most of time playing and snuggling with her golden retriever, and watching videos and doing research about how to be an excellent golden retriever mom.

Rebecca Barlow : Undergrad RA, Class of 2017

Rebecca Barlow

Undergrad RA, Class of 2017

Rebecca is an undergraduate majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience hoping to one day be a PA. Rebecca enjoys spending time on campus as a member of FIMRC, United 2 Heal, and the pre-PA club. In her free time, she enjoys watching reruns of The Office, eating pasta, napping, and playing with her adorable golden retriever puppy Piper.

Eric Nicolau : Undergrad RA

Eric Nicolau

Undergrad RA

Rachel Fenberg : Undergrad RA, Class of 2019

Rachel Fenberg

Undergrad RA, Class of 2019

Rachel is an undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Physics. Rachel does not have an formal lab experience, and is soaking up all of the information she can while in lab! Rachel spends her summers as a camp counselor. In her free time, Rachel volunteers at C.S. Mott in the Pediatric Infusion unit and enjoys playing tennis.

Former Members

Annie Minns : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2015

Annie Minns

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2015

Alexandra Rubin : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2016

Alexandra Rubin

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2016

Allie is an undergraduate student majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology and minoring in Gender and Health. Allie had no lab experience before joining Tronson Lab and enjoys learning new things everyday in lab. On campus, she participates in Global Brigades, Pre-Medical Club, and What the F Magazine. In her free time, Allie likes to exercise, cook, read, and watch reality TV.

Mara Darian : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2016

Mara Darian

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2016

Mara is an undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in International Studies. She joined Tronson Lab as junior without any formal lab experience. She has greatly enjoyed learning from such a supportive group, and will be completing her senior honors thesis studying sex differences in memory formation. Mara also works as an SLC Facilitator, and is involved with Armenian Students’ Cultural Association and Alpha Epsilon Delta, a Pre-Health Honor Society on campus. In her free time, she enjoys working with children, running with her dog (or after her dog?) and reading Harry Potter for the tenth time.

Iris Song : Former Undergrad RA

Iris Song

Former Undergrad RA

Brianna Schwarcz : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2016

Brianna Schwarcz

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2016

Lacie Turnbull : Former Lab Manager

Lacie Turnbull

Former Lab Manager

Lacie Turnbull is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She is received Highest Honors Neuroscience major and a minor in Gender and Health. Lacie is highly involved here at the University and is a member of the Phi Rho Alpha Sorority where she served on the Executive Board; member of the University of Michigan Ballroom Dance team where she and her partnertook 1st at many competitions and was awarded a scholarship at the Arnold Classic; dedicated member of New Life Church; member of the IM Flag Football Team; and an a philanthropist who takes part in many volunteering events around campus and with her sorority. Lacie is also currently working on an honors thesis in the lab examining Memory Reconsolidation. In her free time, Lacie enjoys cheering on the Michigan Football Team, dancing, and staying active. After graduation, Lacie plans on taking a year off before Medical School when she will be continuing research and studying abroad.

Elissa Donzis : Former Post-doctoral Fellow

Elissa Donzis

Former Post-doctoral Fellow

Elissa began her scientific career working with Dr. Linda deGraffenried at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) as a high school student investigating molecular mechanisms associated with tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells for potential adjunct treatment. She then attended Baylor University for her undergraduate training, while she continued working with Dr. deGraffenried during the summers. She earned a B.S. in Neuroscience and Biochemistry from Baylor University and continued her training at The University of Texas at Dallas as a graduate student. Her dissertation work was supervised by Dr. Tres Thompson where she earned a PhD in Cognition and Neuroscience studying the modulation of hippocampal dependent memories due to emotional arousal. In her free time, she is an avid follower of the San Antonio Spurs and she enjoys playing many competitive sports.

Ian Speirs : Former Lab Manager

Ian Speirs

Former Lab Manager

Ian graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in neuroscience as a member of the class of 2011. Before coming to the Tronson Lab, he spent three years working in the lab of Dr. Martin A. Philbert, focusing on nanoparticle protein modifications and the role of glia in neurotoxicity . He enjoys long walks on the beach, cable movies, and eating carbs. Ian is now at Michigan State University in medical school

icspeirs@umich.edu
Abigail Tan : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Abigail Tan

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Phil Guison : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Phil Guison

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Ian Osborn : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Ian Osborn

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Danielle Dubois : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Danielle Dubois

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Ruoxi Fu : Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014

Ruoxi Fu

Former Undergrad RA, Class of 2014