Happy birthday to all our NGP friends born in December. Pictured from left to right: Lars Nelson, Ben Noble, Sarah Light, Sydney Aten (no picture), and Josh Foster.
Congrats to David Phenis, who last week defended his dissertation titled, “Performance of Adult Rats Exposed to Elevated Levels of Kynurenic Acid during Gestation in a Rodent Target Detection Task: A Translational Model for Studying the Effects of Cognitive Training.” David graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a B.S. in Biochemistry. After graduation, David worked as a research assistant at the Cleveland Clinic examining transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2013 David joined the neuroscience graduate program at OSU and begin work as a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. John Bruno. The Bruno lab worked on exploring animal models of the cognitive deficits present in schizophrenia. David’s dissertation work focused on (1) the further validation of a rodent Target Detection Task (rTDT) analogous to human Continuous Performance Tasks, (2) the further validation of the embryonic kynurenine (EKYN) animal model of schizophrenia, and (3) the use of EKYN deficits in the rTDT as a platform to assess the efficacy of cognitive training via prior experience in cognitively demanding tasks.
Chris graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Classics. As a graduate student in Dr. Stephen Kolb’s lab, Chris’s work focused on the motor unit and how different pathophysiological stresses can impact its integrity. He has co-authored several papers (with a first-author in review), presented at multiple national and international conferences, and was awarded Travel Awards from both the American Academy of Neurology and the Neuroscience Research Institute. Chris served as Neuroscience Graduate Program student representative from 2015-2017 and in 2016 helped establish the Neuroscience Graduate Student Organization, serving as founding president. Following graduation, Chris will continue to study motor unit integrity and therapeutic strategies in the labs of Dr. Kolb and Dr. W. David Arnold at Ohio State.