Team

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, PI

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.

Tia N. Donaldson, PhD Candidate

I am passionate about science and the brain and love sharing this with others. I completed my bachelor’s degree here at UNM and I am a proud Psychology Honors Program and Ronald E. McNair Scholars alumna. I completed a master’s degree at Northern Illinois University before returning to UNM as a PhD student in the Psychology department.

My research interests include spatial learning and memory and how the noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems influence learning. I love all things about the hippocampus and locus coeruleus and hope to apply my research to developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Davey Gregg, Tech

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.

Infania Pimentel, Tech

I am a first-generation college graduate from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Chemistry, B.S. in Psychology, and a minor focus in Computer Science. I am currently involved in preclinical neuroresearch with the McKenzie lab in the Department of Neurology, clinical neuroresearch at Center for Brain Recovery and Repair (CBRR), as well as working with Dr. Atlas through CARC with prospects of developing polymer physics based predictive models. I plan on earning a PhD in the field of Biomedical Engineering so that I may eventually tie in the knowledge that I am gaining, to formulate solutions to some of the complex issues that I am passionate about. I am specifically interested in applications of biotechnology in neurology. Independent of what I research, it is important to me that my work is used to promote neuro- health and longevity.

Andy Nyikos, Undergraduate Assistant

I am interested in the intersection of neuroscience, computer science, and digital media and am passionate about advancing our ability to understand and modulate the brain’s activity with emerging technologies. I am completing a bachelor’s in Film & Digital Media at UNM and plan to pursue further research in these fields after my undergrad.

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.

YOU

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

Almuni

Praveen Paudel, Master’s in Biology

Keith Baugh

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