The lab opened August 2020. We are hiring at all levels, please come join us at the University of New Mexico! Apply here.

Sam McKenzie


I am interested in memory, neural plasticity, how neurons synchronize, and how signals are transformed within and between brain regions. I want to use what we have learned about normal hippocampal-cortical coupling to develop novel therapeutics to treat epilepsy. I completed my bachelor’s in neuroscience at McGill working with Véronique Bohbot, my PhD at Boston University with Howard Eichenbaum, and my postdoc with György Buzsáki at NYU . As of August, 2020 I am an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Weitian Sun


My primary academic interest lies in uncovering the mystery behind memory, which includes engram modifications in memory development and how synaptic plasticity shapes memory. I’m also interested in the connection between the hippocampus and the cortex, which works collectively to encode memories. I obtained my PhD in neuroscience at the University of Technology of Sydney. I was studying how learning affects memory consolidation during my PhD. After finishing my PhD, I moved from Sydney to Albuquerque to join McKenzie lab investigating the mnemonic functions at the cellular and subcellular level.

Outside of science, I enjoy travelling, delicious food, and video games.

Khia Yang

BSGP Doctoral Candidate

I am interested in the neural circuits underlying learning and memory, particularly how the brain generalizes and discriminates between stimuli. I am a descendent of Vietnam War refugees, so having family who struggles with mental health motivated my interest to understand how learned experiences alter behavior. I obtained by Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Davey Gregg


I am interested in using machine learning to decode neural activity associated with executive control. This knowledge can be used to develop brain-computer interfaces that can help restore lost functionality due to injury or disease. I completed a Bachelor’s in biology at UNM. 

My current research involves seizure forecasting using artificial neural networks and deep brain stimulation.

Alex Sommer


I am interested in neural plasticity and how brain circuits remap in response to pathological conditions. I am additionally interested in investigating alterations in learning and memory, including possible mechanisms by which to restore function. I completed my bachelor’s in biomedical engineering at Purdue University followed by my master’s degree looking at alterations in hippocampal plasticity using rodent models of pre-clinical temporal lobe epilepsy.

Neil Mahto

Highschool Scholar

I am intrigued by the brain and neuroscience. Currently, I am a high school student at the Albuquerque Academy hoping to one day be a practicing New Mexican neurosurgeon. In the lab, I hope to be part of advancements in the fields of neuroscience and neurosurgery. I hope to one day be on a list of people who helped cure Epilepsy.


Epilepsy, seizure-forecasting, closed-loop design, learning and memory, excitatory-inhibitory balance, neural plasticity, neural rhythms, coding and decoding.


Praveen Paudel, Master’s in Biology

Infania Pimentel

Grace Picha

Keith Baugh

Tia Donaldson

Andy Nyikos

Meenakshi Kakani

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