Principle Investigator

Steve Van Hooser

Principal investigator

vanhoosr at brandeis dot edu | 781-330-0397

Google Scholar | ORCID | CV | github

Ph.D. Students

Derek Wise

My driving interest in neuroscience lies in the manner the brain represents, transforms and modifies information at the level of the circuit. In my current project, I deprive cells of their normal activity to assess how normally stabilizing forces may contribute to psychopathology, and to understand what factors contribute to epileptogenesis in infants. I'm also a HEMA fencer, a semi-retired enthusiastic hiker, and a consumer of the occasional role playing game.

dlwise at brandeis dot edu

Sophie Griswold

Cortical/cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is a neurological disorder characterized by deficits in vision in the absence of significant ocular pathology. My work explores a potential connection between premature onset of vision and the deficits in visual acuity displayed by individuals with CVI. Using electrophysiological recording and 2-photon microscopy, I hope to shed light on the etiology of this disorder of vision. Outside of lab, I enjoy reading, writing, playing and creating video games, and anything related to food. I am a lifelong bird enthusiast.

sophiegriswold at brandeis dot edu

Lisandro Martin

As a graduate student in the VH Lab I am interested in understanding the spatiotemporal relationship between the lateral geniculate nucleus and primary visual cortex with the goal of understanding how directional selectivity is computed. Additionally, I am interested in the response properties of feedforward interneuron in layer 4 of visual cortex. Outside of the lab I am an avid music listener, enjoy cruising on my board, surf the web, and go on the occasional hike.

lmartin at brandeis dot edu

Víkko Manuel Suárez Casanova

In order to process the movement of objects in an animal’s visual environment, it is necessary for the visual system to interpret the direction and speed of the stimulus. Decoding the spatial characteristics of a stimulus is well understood: tuning in primary visual cortex (V1) for spatial properties – stimulus orientation, a specific oriented degree of shape within the visual field of the cell, and spatial frequency (SF), or cycles per degree of visual angle, – does not change when other properties of the stimulus are altered. I propose to analyze the functional organization underlying stimulus speed processing, namely the relationship between spatial and temporal frequency and speed tuning using acute in-vivo electrophysiology and two-photon calcium imaging in the ferret visual cortex.

Outside of the lab, I serve on a variety of committees for the university including the Task Force on Undergraduate Curriculum and the Joint Biology and Neuroscience DEI committee. Outside of Brandeis, I enjoy playing tennis, reading, and sleeping.

suarez at brandeis dot edu

[] [Twitter] [LinkedIn] [ORCID] [GoogleScholar] [MyBiobliography]

Rico Rodriguez

Rico graduated from Yale with a B.S. in Neuroscience in 2010, only to ditch science for computers over the next decade as a software engineer. He is now back in the neuroscience game as a recently graduated M.S. and current PhD student, but this time he is good at computers, too. In terms of neuroscience, he is interested in predictive coding in the visual system, as well as the effect of psychedelic compounds on low-level visual processing. Rico's main hobbies are fighting (Wrestling, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jui Jitsu mostly) and listening to esoteric genres of music (Technical Death Metal, City Pop, and Vaporwave mostly). Most importantly, he is family man with a Boss-Lady wife and highly energetic toddler.

rrodriguez at brandeis dot edu

Junior Junior Students

Ricky Rodriguez the IV

Ricky Rodriguez is a primarily interested in loud sounds, brightly colored objects, and throwing things. He combines those interests in groundbreaking interdisciplinary research that involves throwing brightly colored objects at hard surfaces in order to make loud sounds.

rrodriguez at brandeis dot edu


Avi Lepsky

I am a research technician hoping to pursue graduate studies in systems neuroscience. I recently graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in neuroscience and computer science. In the lab, I study the ferret visual system, specifically how speed is detected and the role of inhibitory interneurons in the visual cortex. I also contribute to the Neuroscience Data Inteface (NDI) project, a data analysis platform built and maintained by the lab. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer and singing in the shower.

avilepsky at brandeis dot edu


Kelly Zhang

I am an undergraduate research assistant working on the Neuroscience Data Interface (NDI) project. NDI is a cross-interface platform that makes the storing, analysis, and sharing of physiological experiments easier across labs. I'm majoring in Biochemistry and Computer Science in hopes of utilizing my skills to contribute to the growing fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. Outside of academics, I love spending my time baking, reading, and traveling.

zhangk at brandeis dot edu

Judy Ye

I am an undergraduate research assistant interested in learning about the co-organization of speed, direction, and spatial frequency in the ferret visual cortex using 2 photon imaging. Additionally, I perform ferret care and histology. During my free time, I enjoy playing the clarinet both in an orchestra and as a soloist, playing rugby, and discovering new music.

judyye at brandeis dot edu

Gianna Everette

I am an undergraduate research assistant working to design, model, and assemble 3D printed carbon fiber microelectrode arrays and circuit boards that will track cell activity and preferences in the ferret visual system. I want to take my work and apply it to a future career to in Biomedical Engineering, further connecting research and technology. In my free time, I enjoy cooking and making pottery.

Ishaan Khurana

I am an undergraduate research assistant currently working on a neuronal morphology project in the ferret primary visual cortex. I am interested in understanding the relationship between neuronal morpohology and how it impacts function on an individual and system level. I am a biology and chemical biology major purusing a career in clinical research. In my free time, I practice/perform magic tricks and am involved in the Diversity in Medicine Podcast discussion group.

ishaankhurana at brandeis dot edu

Alex Stanley

I am an undergradutae research assistant in my sophomore year working on creating and building carbon fiber microelectrode arrays anc corresponding circuit boards to track neuronal activity in the ferret visual cortex. I hope to pursue a graduate degree in biomedical/biotechnological research. Outside of the lab, I enjoy reading and spending time with friends and family.

alexstanley at brandeis dot edu


Graduate Students, Postdocs, & Staff

Jared Clemens

Research assistant (2010-2012)

Gina Escobar

Postdoc (2010-2012)

Sarah Richards

Graduate student (2012-2018)

Claire Symanski (Jadhav Lab)

Graduate student (2013-2015)

Jenn Wolff

Lab Manager (2010-2015)

Neil Ritter (PhD 2016)

Graduate student (2011-2016)

Nora Anderson

Lab Manager (2015-2017)

Jason Osik (PhD 2017)

Graduate student (2011-2017)

Marjena Popović (PhD 2017)

Graduate student (2014-2017)

Arani Roy

Postdoc (2010-2017)

Leandro de Oliveira Royer

Postdoc (2015-2017)

Shen Wang (PhD 2020)

Graduate Student (2013-2020)

Daniel Shin

Research Assistant (2019-2021)

Chelsea Groves Kunhle (PhD 2021)

Graduate Student (2015-2021)

Zoey C. Keeley

Lab Technician (2019 -2022)

Andrea Stacy (PhD 2021)

Graduate Student (2016-2021)

Undergraduates and Masters Students

Heather Bernstein (BS 2012)

Wesley Alford (MS 2014)

Dennis Ou (2015)

Kevin Wang (BS 2015)

David Landesman (BS 2017)

Benyamin Meschede-Krasa (BS 2017)

Kamil Moroz (BS 2017)

Ziqi Wang (BS 2017)

Tudor Dragoi (BS 2018)

Andrew Lipnick (2018)

Nathan Schneider (BS 2018)

David Bressler (BS 2020)

Lauren Hayashi (2020)

Daniel Garcia (BS 2021)

Yijia Sun (MS 2021)

Sophie Greer (Intern, summer 2021)

Alex Cao (BS 2021)

Noah Gilman (BS 2021)

Sally Kane (BS 2021)

Alex Cao (BS 2021)

Noah Gilman (BS 2021)

Sally Kane (BS 2021)

Micaela Grimes (BS 2022)

Jiwon Suh (BS 2022)

Han Kang (BS 2022)