Matthew T. Colonnese, PhD

Principal Investigator   |  PhD Yale University

Dr. Colonnese established the Laboratory for Systems Neural Development at the George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C. in 2011. The group studies early brain activity using a multi-disciplinary approach including in vivo electrophysiology and network analysis of brain activity in the neonatal rodent.  Dr. Colonnese' expertise includes in vivo electrophysiology and fMRI in developing rodents, analysis of EEG in preterm infants, and anatomical assays of synapse development and connectivity in sensory systems.  Dr. Colonnese is an active scientist and lecturer, and continues to seek close relationships with clinicians to ensure the relevance of the laboratory's work to human health and development. 

Dr. Murata studies how neuronal activity propagates in intact neonatal animals. Activity is crucial for normal circuit formation, but is usually assumed to be passively transmitted.  Dr. Murata's work is revealing active mechanisms used by the developing brain to compensate for weak immature connections and ensure efficient information transfer, which facilitates proper wiring.  His expertise includes molecular biology, in vivo electrophysiology and 2-photon imaging, optogenetics,  mass spectroscopy-based proteomics, and synaptic biochemistry.

Marnie Phillips, PhD  

PhD  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Phillips is a developmental neurobiologist interested in the extent to which external factors, like experience, can influence synaptic development of the brain.  Her expertise includes patch-clamp electrophysiology, molecular biology, synaptic analysis, biochemistry, neuroanatomy and science communication.  Dr. Phillips' work is focused on development and funding of new projects, support of existing projects, training, regulatory compliance, and problem solving. When not working in the lab or writing manuscripts, you can find her on a backcountry trail or the climbing wall.

Maria Pompeiano, MD PhD  

MD PhD University of Pisa, Italy

Dr. Pompeiano is interested in the neurochemical basis of sleep-wake cycle development.   Her research is identifying the neuromodulator systems important for early sleep and wake behaviors in developing animals.  Her expertise includes over 20 years of experience in the biology of sleep and circadian rhythms, biochemistry, neuroanatomy and behavioral analysis.

Pouria Riyahi, MS

MS George Washington University

Mr. Riyahi is studying the effects of common neonatal insults on the normal development of activity in the cerebral cortex.  He conducts in vivo experiments and applies his engineering background in signal processing to the analysis of electrocorticographic activity in the developing neonatal rodent.

He earned his Master's in Engineering from GWU and is pursuing a doctoral degree in Biomedical Science at GW under the mentorship of Dr. Colonnese.

Former Lab Members

Program Analyst

Division of Extramural Research

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Bethesda MD

Alexis Gorin, PhD Candidate

PhD candidate, Neuroscience

University of Southern California

Laboratory of Judith Hirsch

Visual encoding in thalamic networks

Myron Houngbedji

Premed/Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University

NIH/NIDDK student research fellow

Kelsey Kuebler

Premed, George Washington University

Chongxi Lai, PhD Candidate

Scott Risney, MD candidate

School of Medicine

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA

Jing Shen, MSEE

Engineer

MathWorks, Natick MA

© 2016 by MT Colonnese and MA Phillips

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