Research Nurse Coordinator ll
Michelle Allen is a Nurse Research Coordinator with the Kummer lab. She received her nursing degree from St. Louis University and worked for many years as an RN in the Neurology and Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit (NNICU) at Barnes Jewish Hospital. In 2013 she became the dedicated Research Coordinator for the Division of Neurocritical Care. Allen provides essential support for numerous ongoing clinical and translational studies in the Kummer lab, assisting with efforts to translate results from the laboratory to patients in the ICU.
Claudia Fanizzi is a neurosurgery resident from Milan, Italy (Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico) who joined the Kummer lab between 2016 and 2017 as a Visiting Scientist to study subarachnoid hemorrhage pathophysiology. Claudia’s work was instrumental in the development of neurobehavioral tests in subarachnoid preclinical models, an important point in determining the suitability of these models for understanding neurocognitive deficits in human victims of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Fanizzi has since returned to Milan to complete her neurosurgical training.
Mihika Gangoli is a former graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University. She transitioned to the Kummer lab when her graduate mentor, Dr. David Brody, departed Washington University. Mihika developed quantitative radiological-pathological correlation methods in human brain tissue and implemented these methods to perform radiological-pathological correlations in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. She has gone on to a post-doctoral position at NIH where she continues to investigate MRI correlates of brain injury.
Hao is a post-doctoral researcher in the Kummer lab investigating synaptotoxic factors in the human brain. Hao developed a high-throughput in vitro assay for synaptotoxicity and is using this method to identify unique synaptotoxins for future therapeutic targeting. Hao’s second project involves the purification and structural characterization of amyloid-beta oligomers from the human and mouse brain using chemical and biochemical approaches.
Akshata Korgaonkar is a post-doctoral researcher in the Kummer lab with a long-standing interest in TBI. She received her graduate training at Rutgers University working with Dr. Viji Santhakumar where she identified a novel mechanism of altered hippocampal plasticity after TBI involving TLR4 modulation. She also conducted research into memory formation using a custom-built VR and 2-photon imaging platform before joining the Kummer lab in 2017. Since joining, Korgaonkar has focused her studies on the development of an MRI-based imaging paradigm with sensitivity for synaptic endpoints. She is also interested in the mechanism of gray matter injury in contusional TBI, and is investigating neuroinflammatory interactions after trauma. Korgaonkar’s recent work was recognized with an award to attend and present at the International Neurotrauma Society Meeting, and her research was a finalist in the abstract competition for the National Neurotrauma Society Meeting in 2019.
Tejaswi Makkapati received her bachelor of arts at the University of Tulsa, where she conducted chemistry, biochemistry, and clinical research. At Washington University, she conducted research in the Integrative Muscle Physiology lab before joining the Kummer lab. Makkapati is now a medical student at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Maverick Salyards’ work involves characterizing the role of neuroinflammation, and in particular microglia, on gray matter endpoints after brain injury. Salyards is also interested in the development of the SEQUIN method. He was awarded a BioSURF award to conduct his research in the Kummer lab. Salyards is now conducting clinical research in psychiatry at UT Southwestern.
James Sorrell is a former technician with the Kummer lab. Sorrell received his undergraduate degree from Drury University, and worked with Dr. David Brody before joining the Kummer lab in 2014. Sorrell is now employed at the Skandalaris center at Washington University, where he is a venture analyst, and has co-founded several startups, including Pro-Arc Diagnostics, a local biotech company that developed a blood-based diagnostic.