ECD Group Members
Gregory L. Holmes, M.D.
neurologist and the Chair of the Department of Neurological Sciences who has both clinical and research interests in childhood epilepsy. He is widely published as a researcher focusing on the delineation, effects and treatment of pediatric/developmental
epilepsy. In addition to being active in professional society and hospital committees, he has served on the editorial boards of 10 epilepsy and neurology journals and has been on multiple NIH study sections. Dr. Holmes has also reviewed grants
from around the world including Canada, Israel, Australia, France, the UK and Belgium. He is the past president of the American Epilepsy Society and has received many honors including the American Epilepsy Society Research Award, Basic Science
Award (1989), Pierre Gloor Research Award, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (2001), Hoyer Lecturer, National Institutes of Health (2009) and Sachs Lecturer, Child Neurology Society (2009). Dr. Holmes is also the chief physician for Camp
Wee Kan Tu, a camp for children with epilepsy. Developing therapy to prevent epilepsy has been a lifelong goal.
Jeremy Barry, Ph.D.
My name is Jeremy Barry, and I'm an assistant professor in the department of Neurological Sciences. I’ve carved out a unique niche that bridges basic and translational science by employing a systems neuroscience approach to the origins
of cognitive deficits that accompany pediatric seizures. The culmination of this work has been my formalization of the temporal coordination theory, which states that a network’s ability to dynamically organize cell activity relative to
theta oscillations, both within and between relevant neural circuits, is necessary for normal cognition and is frequently disrupted as a long-term consequence of seizures experienced in early life. This theory is therefore of great relevance to
basic scientists interested in the organization of spike timing in relation to cognition as well as translational scientists that are concerned with how neurological insults in early development affect cognitive outcomes. Apart from my success
in both formulating and providing initial evidence for a new theory, I have become recognized for pushing the boundaries of technical limitations in neuroscience research. I was the first to formally characterize the electrophysiological properties
of propagating action potentials along axons in freely moving animals, carried out pioneering work that suggests preempting transcriptional factor changes following pediatric seizures can improve cognitive outcomes, and have recently developed
new tools for the simultaneous optical control and measurement of oscillations in the medial septum in order to effectively pace oscillations in both subfields of the dorsal hippocampus. My work with in vivo optogenetics is now serving as a foundation
for multiple NIH grants that aim to further test the temporal coordination theory in spatial cognition and incorporate closed-loop optical interfaces with hippocampal circuit physiology in order to correct pathological spike timing changes caused
by early-life seizures.
Amanda Hernan, Ph.D.
My name is Amanda Hernan and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences. I graduated from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth with a PhD in Experimental and Molecular Medicine with a focus on Neuroscience. My
lab is interested in understanding how neuropeptide modulation of developing astrocytic and neural networks can protect against deleterious long-term outcomes after early life seizures. Using single unit and local field potential recordings
during cognitive tasks that require careful cross-talk between the prefrontal cortex and other brain regions (mainly the hippocampus), my goal is to understand the underlying network abnormalities that lead to cognitive deficits in childhood
epilepsy. Please see my publications.
Matt Mahoney, Ph.D.
My name is Matt Mahoney, I'm an Assistant Professor in the ECD Group. I graduated from Dartmouth College with a PhD in Mathematics and I am interested in understanding computation in neural ensembles. My current research centers on building statistical
models of single unit ensemble firing and relating these models to behavior and disease.
Matthew C. Weston, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the department of Neurological Sciences. Fast synaptic transmission, mediated primarily by the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, is the primary means of information transfer between neurons in the mammalian central
nervous system. Recent genetic studies in humans indicate that as many as 75% of the mutations associated with severe childhood epilepsy syndromes are in genes whose protein products regulate synaptic transmission. I am interested in understanding
how these genetic mutations ultimately lead to the development of epilepsy, with the idea that alterations in synaptic function play a key role in this process. To do this, I use genetic mouse models of epilepsy as a starting point. To investigate
basic mechanisms (especially presynaptic) of neurotransmission in these models I combine patch-clamp electrophysiology with live and fixed imaging techniques of primary cultured neurons from various brain regions, and brain slice preparations
to examine synaptic transmission in more intact circuits and its relationship to network activity. This includes 2-photon multicellular calcium imaging to examine the activity of normal and mutant neurons and how each population is recruited by
evoked, spontaneous and epileptiform neural activity.
Michelle Kloc, Ph.D.
Willie Tobin, Ph.D.
My name is Jeff Brabec and I am a first-year graduate student working in Matt Mahoney’s lab. I received my B.S. in Biochemistry from Juniata College in central Pennsylvania. While in undergrad I worked in two different labs where I studied everything
from differential gene expression in oligodendrocytes to the influence of the gut microbiome on human health. I am using bioinformatic tools to identify if there are drugs used to treat other diseases that may prove effective in the treatment,
and possible prevention of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. When I’m not in lab I like to run on one of the many trails around Burlington.
My name is Erin Cullen and I am a PhD student with Dr. Matt Weston. I grew up outside Rochester, NY and received my B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. My research journey began during my first year there and I went on to spend
two and a half years in Dr. Kirk Erickson’s lab, examining the impacts of physical activity on gray matter structure in adults. Within neuroscience, I am most interested in determining the causes and consequences of abnormal brain activity,
especially in epilepsy.
name is Willie Curry, and I am a sixth year PhD student with Dr. Rod Scott in the NGP program at the University of Vermont. I earned my B.A. in Psychology at the University of Arkansas, and moved up to Burlington in 2013. Besides brain stuff,
I love reading (mostly sci-fi and Edwardian/Victorian literature), video games, and all facets of Japanese culture. I also have an (un)healthy obsession with music; my ongoing projects include writing a rock opera, assembling a sound installation,
and thinking of ways to be Pete Townshend.
Montana Kay Lara
Montana is an NGP graduate student working in the Mahoney lab. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Political Science from California Lutheran University. In the lab, she is working to establish a model for tuberous sclerosis
complex, a genetic disease presenting with epilepsy and associated neurological disorders, in order to identify unique genetic modifiers across a panel of complex phenotypes. Additionally, she is using network-based computational methods
that integrate functional genomic networks with machine learning to nominate and prioritize quantitative trait genes for different diseases. She likes dogs, bikes, and cookies.
My name is Seamus Mawe, I am a PhD student in the Complex Systems program under the supervision of Matt Mahoney. I graduated from the university of Vermont in 2017 with a degree in Mathematics with a focus on Statistics. I am working on building a
transfer-learning pipeline to analyze stained images with a deep neural network. Outside the lab I am something of a bookworm and am currently rereading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.
My name is Tyra Martinez and I am a Master's Student in Dr. Hernan's lab. I am primarily interested in the role of signaling modulation through melanocortin 4 receptors on astrocytes in preventing deleterious changes after early life seizures.
name is Matt McCabe. I am a fifth year graduate student in the Weston lab. I graduated from University of Missouri in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Political Science. I am primarily interested in the cellular and network-level etiology
of genetic epilepsies. In particular, my work focuses on synaptic abnormalities in in vitro cortical networks derived from genetically epileptic mice.
Amy Shore, Ph.D.
Khalil Abed Rabbo
I am currently doing Optogenetic and EEG research with Dr. Barry on septal-hippocampal circuits. We are studying the phasal and rhythmical relationships of neurological circuits on memory and spatial awareness.
Harriett Milligan (Mahoney Lab)
Rob O'Conner (Weston Lab)
Emily Tardie (Hernan Lab)
Paul Lehmann (Hernan Lab)
Jake Wagner (Hernan Lab)
Dominic Williams (Hernan Lab)