Graduate Students

KU-Lawrence Campus (KU-L)

Bryce Blankenfeld

Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and affects approximately 5.3 million Americans. A major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are composed of the microtubule associated tau protein.  

Jeremy Burnison

Auditory Brain computer interface using P300 signals. Unique spoken word stimuli with semantic relevance to BCI task. 

Heather Shinogle

To determine the distance between connexin containing gap junctions using a combination of acceptor photo-bleaching FRET and electron microscopy in a new technique we refer to as correlative FRET (cFRET).

Irma I. Torres Vázquez

My project focuses on axo-somatic mixed synapses (conjoined electrical [i.e. gap junctions] and chemical synapses) between spinal inhibitory interneurons (i.e., VIa) and spinal motor neurons.

KU-Medical Center Campus (KUMC)

Michael Cooper

Over 100 million American currently have pre or frank diabetes, and 70% of all diabetics will develop a peripheral neuropathy. My work is examining how physical activity may provide a benefit in prediabetes to rescue the development of a painful neuropathy often seen in patients.

Olivia Eller

Although migraine headache is one of the most common neurological disorders, the underlying mechanism triggering migraine is still poorly understood. Migraine sufferers often display comorbid pain disorders including interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia or chronic prostatitis, and fibromyalgia.

Andrea Freemyer

My dissertation work focuses on tinnitus, the perception of sound when no external stimulus is present.  The goal of my project is to understand the underlying mechanisms that produce neuroplastic changes in the central nervous system following sound damage induced tinnitus and to investigate why many individuals with tinnitus suffer from depression.

Isabella Fuentes

My project focuses on a mouse model of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome with comorbid mood disorders using neonatal maternal separation to induce early life stress.

Alison Greenlief

Chronic pain syndromes are a common clinical complaint, yet no good therapeutic is available. To combat this disparity, I will begin research by looking at the effects of CRF1 and CRF2 antagonists on painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis in a neonatal separation mouse model.

Scott Koppel

The ketogenic diet and its featured metabolite, ketone bodies, have a well-recognized therapeutic role in the treatment of intractable epilepsy. More recently, ketotherapeutics have gained increased interest as a potential therapy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and to improve brain aging.

Christopher Neal

Tinnitus (ringing in your ears) and hearing loss share many common causes ranging from disease and medication to exposure to damaging sound.  Despite these shared causes, it is possible to have tinnitus without any corresponding hearing loss or hearing loss without any tinnitus. 

Ian Weidling

My project aims to determine if there is a link between changes in mitochondrial respiration and levels of tau cleavage. Tau is a microtubule associated protein which aggregates into tangles in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Pau Yen Wu

It has been shown that chronic stress alters the functioning of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, but the downstream influences on metabolism and the peripheral nervous system have been poorly studied. 

Contact Information

The University of Kansas
Neuroscience Graduate Program
c/o Dr. Rick Dobrowsky
School of Pharmacy, Ste 2001-D
2010 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047
Telephone: (785) 864-3531 or (785) 864-3893
E-mail: or

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