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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. 


Rodrigo Herrera Molina, PhD
PhD University of Chile

Dr. Herrera Molina is a visiting scientist and Lab Director at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg, Germany and the Universidad Bernardo O'Higgins in Santiago, Chile.  He is a biochemist with a PhD in Biomedicine and is developing new technologies for studying the cellular and circuit mechanisms essential for plasticity, learning, memory and memory recall.

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 ion channel electrophysiology, molecular cloning, synaptic analysis, viral mediated gene transfer, biochemistry, neuroanatomy and science writing.  Dr. Phillips' work is helping to understand the degree to which early sensory input shapes the neonatal brain. When not in lab, you can find her on a backcountry trail or climbing wall.

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Ruben Tikidzhi-Khamburyan, PhD

MS Physics Southern Federal University

PhD Computer Science/Neuroscience

Kogan Research Institute for Neurocybernetics, Russia, 

Dr Tikidzhi-Khamburyan is a computational and theoretical neuroscientist interested in information processing in neural networks.  He is creating detailed biophysical models of network development to understand the neuronal mechanisms of sensory perception and how early neuronal assemblies are formed.  


Le Nguyen
Undergraduate researcher, George Washington University 


Priscilla Pang
Undergraduate researcher, George Washington University 

Former Lab Members

Program Analyst

Division of Extramural Research

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


Alexis Gorin, PhD

PhD Neuroscience

University of Southern California

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

PhD, Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

Janelia Farms

The Applied Physics & Instrumentation Group (APIG) 


Scott Risney, MD

Department of Pediatrics

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Pouria Riyahi, PhD
PhD George Washington University

Clinical Data Scientist and Manager

Sinaria, Inc., Washington D.C.

Jing Shen, MSEE


MathWorks, Natick MA


Maria Pompeiano, MD PhD  

MD PhD University of Pisa, Italy

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Nate Boley

Bachelor of Science, Muhlenberg College

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