= 2023-2024 =

Co-Chair: Qixiu Fu
Pronouns: She/Her

Qixiu is currently a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience studying the computational mechanisms underlying the effects of DBS. Outside of her lab, she enjoys exploring various aspects of the NYC queer community and meeting new queer folks. One fun fact about Qixiu is that her hometown Chengdu is locally known as a queer city in China. (:

Co-Chair: Aleta Murphy
Pronouns: She/Her

Aleta is a third year Neuroscience PhD student in Dr. Nan Yang’s lab, where she works on human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) modeling to investigate autism spectrum disorder (ASD) -associated mutations on neural development and function. She completed her Master’s of Biomedical Science at Mount Sinai in 2021 in the lab of Dr. Kristen Brennand, where she studied 3D organoid models of brain development. Prior to Sinai, she completed her B.A. in 2017 at Rutgers University, majoring in Cell Biology & Neuroscience (CBN) and Psychology, and minoring in Art History. Outside of the lab, Aleta enjoys reading mystery novels, attending folk metal concerts, and perusing craft fairs.

Winston Cuddleston
Pronouns: he/they

Winston completed undergraduate at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2018 with a Neuroscience major and a minor in Biochemistry. He earned a Master of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from University of Nevada, Reno in 2020 studying coordinated programs of post-transcriptional gene regulation in the central nervous system.
Winston is now a PhD candidate in his third year in the Biomedical Sciences program specializing in Genetics and Genomic Sciences in the lab of Dr. Towfique Raj, where his thesis research is centered around genetic regulation of RNA editing in the brain. When he’s not in the lab, Winston enjoys spending time cooking and baking, brewing kombucha, camping, weight lifting, and writing short stories. At the end of a long day though, the most likely place to find him is on the couch with his wife and three cats, bingeing another Netflix series.

Secretary: Sam McConnell
Pronouns: they/he

Since graduating from Grinnell College in 2017, Sam has worked as a lab technician in Dr. Linda McLoon’s lab at the University of Minnesota and as a baccalaureate researcher in Dr. George Koob’s lab at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Their current research in Dr. Erin Rich’s lab is on how expectations of reward are represented and updated in neural activity.

When allowed to roam outside the lab, Sam attempts to ameliorate the effects of living under late-stage capitalism by seeking out new and interesting ways to release endorphins (along with some old standbys).

Treasurer: Kayla Townsley
Pronouns: She/Her

Kayla is a Neuroscience PhD student in the Huckins and Brennand Labs interested in genomic and epigenetic interactions that confer susceptibility to the development of complex psychiatric disorders. Kayla’s research approaches these domains through computational genetics and downstream CRISPR-based validation in patient stem cells.

She completed her undergraduate at Portland State University in Molecular Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Art. Before arriving at Sinai, she worked as a research assistant in the Ozburn Lab at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) studying the molecular underpinnings of Alcohol Use Disorders and the role of circadian rhythms in addiction.

Outside the lab, Kayla spends her time organizing in her communities and working to make STEAM fields pro-Queer and pro-BIPOC. Otherwise you can find her painting, reading intersectional feminist and marxist theory, or running the daily stressors away.

External Affairs Coordinator: Tri Dong
Pronouns: He/They

Tri graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. During his undergraduate, he worked in the lab of Dr. Marcelo Wood, where he studied how the epigenome integrates external experiences to impact learning and memory throughout the lifespan. This experience has inspired him to pursue a career in research.

Currently, Tri is a second-year PhD student in the Neuroscience program. Still interested in the topic of learning and memory, he is investigating circuit mechanisms underlying emotional memory encoding in Dr. Roger Clem’s lab (though most of the time, he breaks things and plays with the mice while wondering why he has yet to be fired).

Outside the lab, Tri enjoys the outdoors. He also likes reading, thrifting, and going to concerts.

First-Lear Liaison: Josh Grey
Pronouns: He/Him

Josh is a first year PhD student currently doing rotations through Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell labs with a particular interest in stem cell epigenetics and regeneration. He completed his most recent undergraduate in Michigan at Grand Valley State University in 2019 and earned his Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2020 from the same institution. He spent the last 3 years before Sinai as a research assistant in the Teixeira Lab at Michigan State University where his research focused on characterizing the epigenetic landscape of uterine fibroids. When he’s not being a fervid methods nerd, Josh enjoys cooking at home and trying to consume the city’s art, music, and fiction.

Alissa Valentine
Pronouns: She/They

Alissa graduated from Haverford College having studied perinatal mood disorders in female mice under supervision of Dr. Laura Been. Following further exploration into rodent work at Northeastern, Alissa switched focus towards working only with computers and away from working with living things. Currently, Alissa is a 3rd year PhD student and still studying psychiatric disorders (but in the human dimension) under the mentorship of Dr. Isotta Landi and Dr. Alex Charney. However problematic it may be, she enjoys utilizing Mount Sinai’s extensive electronic health records to examine health disparities within psychiatry. Outside of research, Alissa enjoys sleeping, eating, disassociating from her body, and undermining capitalism.

Henry Weith
Pronouns: He/Him
Henry graduated from Northeastern University in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering. During his undergrad he explored various types of research including mitochondrial population dynamics, genetic of wing patterning in butterflies, fluid dynamics of biomedical devices, and cancer immunology. Currently, he is a second-year PhD student in the Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell concentration of the Biomedical Sciences program. He works in Dr. Ali May’s lab studying the development of exocrine glands in mouse and humans. Outside of lab Henry enjoys reading, visiting art galleries, running, and techno.