Lab Members

Neurocircuitry & Cognition Team

Nathan W. Schultheiss, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Dr. Schultheiss is a talented and experienced nathan_headshot_profile_pictureneuroscientist who joined the lab to conduct large scale multi-site in vivo electrophysiological recordings from freely-behaving animals. These experiments will help elucidate network properties that gives rise to memory and cognition.

Dr. Schultheiss  earned his Doctor of Philosophy at Emory University in 2009 with Dr. Dieter Jaeger conducting sophisticated computational analyses of neurophysiological mechanisms at synaptic and cellular levels. He then conducted three years of postdoctoral research with Dr. Michael Hasselmo at Boston University from 2010-2013 focusing on in vitro  recordings from medial entorhinal cortex neurons. Dr. Schultheiss then moved to in vivo recordings with Dr. A. David Redish at the University of Minnesota from 2013-2015.


Leila M. Allen, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Allen is interestLeila Feinberged in studying the neural mechanisms underlying memory and dementia. In the lab she conducts neurobiological and behavioral experiments exploring the neural computations of a hippocampal-prefrontal network using high-density arrays of tetrodes. Currently, she is using high resolution 3D printing techniques to produce rat brain implant systems.

Dr. Allen earned her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine in the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior in 2015, and her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 2005 in Psychology and Biology. She is also currently a full-time instructor in the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Leila Allen’s Google Scholar Page

Maanasa Jayachandran, M.S.

Doctoral Graduate StudentMaanasa_crop

Ms. Jayachandran is interested in the neurobiological mechanisms of disease processes related to cognition and behavior. She is currently using confocal microscopy to map specific projection pathways of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex using viral DREADDs and test their behavioral relevance. Importantly, Ms. Jayachandran explores the computational contributions of these pathways using high-density drivable arrays of tetrodes to record neural activity while manipulating neurotransmission in specific pathways. Prior to joining the lab, Ms. Jayachandran explored the role of the active zone protein Bruchpilot (BRP) in Drosophila, and miRNA-218 in motor neuron development in zebrafish.

Ms. Jayachandran earned her Master of Science degree at the University of Sydney in Brain and Mind Sciences in 2014, and her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Miami in Biochemistry and Neurobiology in 2013.

Puck Reeders, B.S.

Doctoral Graduate StudentFullSizeRender_Puck_crop

Ms. Reeders is interested in the neurobiology of memory in humans and animals. In the lab she is developing sophisticated cognitive tasks (e.g., a cross-species  temporal reward discounting task) that will be paired with neuroimaging in humans and circuit manipulations in rats. Currently, Ms. Reeders focuses on the relationship between sequence memory and temporal reward discounting. She is also conducting studies of the underlying neurocircuitry in humans using probabilistic tractography, an approach with high translational potential. Previously Ms. Reeders worked in the clinical neuroradiology at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Ms. Reeders earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami in Psychology and Chemistry in 2015.

Adam Draper, B.S.

Doctoral Graduate Student

Mr. Draper  is interested in the neurobiology of memory in humans and animals. In the lab he is focusing his efforts on in vivo neurophysiological recordings using high-density arrays of tetrodes targeting multiple brain regions of the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex system. Currently, Mr. Draper is conducting multi-site recordings across a hippocampal-thalamus-prefrontal cortex system in order to better understand the contributions of this critical neurobiological circuit to memory and behavior.

Mr. Draper earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware in neuroscience in 2016.


Maximilian Schlecht

Doctoral Graduate Student

Mr. Schlecht joined the lab as a Research Technician  in order to assist with research disrupting activity in specific circuit pathways in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal circuitry.  He is adept with confocal imaging and histology which is used to determine DREADD expression patterns in specific circuits of the rat hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex connection pathways. He now joins the lab as a graduate student and will begin mapping circuitry in mPFC-RE-HC pathways using dual-labeling retrograde tracer appraoches.

Mr. Schlecht earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University in 2015.


John Perez

Undergraduate Research AssistantJohn_DSC_0010_Crop

Mr. Perez is currently studying Psychology and Neuroscience. He works with Maanasa Jayachandran focusing on sequence memory in rats.




 Randee Viena

Undergraduate Research AssistantRandee_DSC_0021_Crop

Ms. Viena is currently studying Psychology and Neuroscience. She works with Maanasa Jayachandran focusing on sequence memory in rats.




 Alexis Cedeno

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mr. Cedeno works with Adam Draper on construction of high density tetrode assemblies for neural recordings in freely behaving rats.




 Arina Polyanskaya

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ms. Polyanskaya is currently studying Psychology and Fine Art, with a minor in Art History. She works with Maanasa Jayachandran focusing on sequence memory in rats.




Lab Alumni

Julio Castillo (2015-2017)

Undergraduate Research AssistantIMG_0136

Mr. Castillo contributed to experiments on the neurobiology of sequence memory. He has since been accepted to Case Western Reserve University School of Medical, where he will train to earn his M.D. Best of luck Julio!



Meifung Su (2015-2017)

Lab Manager

Ms. Su  managed operations, supported logistics, and contributed to technical development. She led the design team that uses CAD software to produce custom 3D printed neurosurgical implants, culminating in a US Patent for the NeuroCap surgical system.


Vicannia Merisma (2015-2016)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ms. Merisma worked under Puck Reeders assisting in research on sequence memory and temporal reward discounting in humans.




  Daniel Alvarez (2016)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mr. Alvarez worked on construction of high density tetrode assemblies for neural recordings in freely behaving rats.





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