Ignore This Picture

Balice-Gordon Lab



Rita Balice-Gordon, Ph.D.

Rita Balice-Gordon completed undergraduate work at Northwestern University, graduate work at the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Zoology and Neurobiology from the University of Texas at Austin, in Dr. Wesley Thompson's laboratory.  She completed a postdoctoral fellowhip at Washington University School of Medicine, in Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman's laboratory. In 1994, she joined the faculty of the Dept. of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, becoming tenured in 2000 and Professor in 2005.  Dr. Balice-Gordon recently stepped down as Chair of Penn’s Neuroscience Graduate Group.  She and her laboratory study how connections are made and maintained in the developing brain, and how this process is impaired in neurodevelopmental and other disorders that affect cognition and behavior.  She is the recipient of numerous honors, has given more than 100 invited research talks around the world, serves on NIH study sections, on national and international committees, and on the editorial board of several leading scientific journals.  She is married and has three children.

In 2012, Dr. Balice-Gordon will be on leave from Penn to take a position as Head of Integrative Neuroscience in Pfizer's Neuroscience Research Unit in Boston, MA. The Balice-Gordon lab will remain open and operational during Dr. Balice-Gordon's leave.

email: rbaliceg@mail.med.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 898-1037

Research Associates

Marion O. Scott

Marion Scott is interested in the molecular mechanisms of neuromuscular development with a focus on neuromuscular diseases. She earned a B.A. in Biology from Franklin and Marshall College in 1975, and did graduate work in Human Biology at the University of Kansas in 1978. When Marion first started working at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1979, she examined the role that the then newly identified protein, dystrophin, plays in the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy and its potential utility for gene therapy. Marion continued her interest in neuromuscular development by studying other molecular aspects of muscle physiology. She joined the Balice-Gordon Lab in 2000, where she provides expert research supervision and technical guidance on a wide variety of molecular and genetic approaches in several ongoing projects within the lab in both zebrafish and mice. She is married and has two children.
email: mos@mail.med.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 898-3575

Lindsey McCracken is a clinical coordinator who works closely with our collaborator, Josep Dalmau, M.D., Ph.D., and keeps an extensive clinical database of patients with autoimmune encephalitis and a tissue bank of serum, CSF and brain from these patients. She joined the labs in 2010.
email: linmc@mail.med.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 746-8511

Postdoctoral Fellows

Christopher Hayworth, Ph.D.

Chris R. Hayworth, Ph.D., joined the lab in September, 2009. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2006 from the University of Texas at Austin, under the direction of Dr. Wesley Thompson, where he investigated the molecular mechanisms that prompt Schwann cells to take on their “reactive” phenotype following peripheral nerve injury. Chris went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship in the Consortium for Behavioral Neuroscience, under the guidance of Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, where he investigated the effects of novel redox agents in promoting cellular energy metabolism. Chris joined the Balice-Gordon lab in September, 2009, and is studying the structural and functional changes in presynaptic terminals during activity-dependent competition at developing neuromuscular synapses. He is married, and his wife is a postdoctoral fellow at Penn.
email: hayworth@mail.med.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 898-3575

Graduate Students

Emilia Moscato

Emilia Moscato is a fourth year student in the Neuroscience Graduate Group. She joined the Balice-Gordon lab in September, 2009, and defended her Candidacy Exam in May, 2010. She is characterizing the cellular effects of anti-NMDA receptor antibodies from patients with encephalitis.
email: emiliam@mail.med.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 898-3575

Ankit Jain

Ankit Jain is a third year M.D./Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience Graduate Group. He joine the Balice-Gordon lab in September, 2009, and defended his Candidacy Exam in June, 2010. He is currently developing and characterizing a mouse model of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.
email: ankj@mail.med.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 898-3575

Maarten Titulaer, M.D., Ph.D. is visiting fellow from The Netherlands. He joine the Balice-Gordon lab in January, 2011, and is currently characterizing the effects of anti-LGI-1 antibodies from patients with encephalitis in in vitro and in vivo models.
email: titulaer@mail.med.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 898-3575


Etan Aber is a senior at Penn. He joined the Balice-Gordon lab as an Honors BBB independent study student in January, 2011, and works with Kit Hayworth on analyzing optical measurements of neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular synapses expressing synapt-pHluorin. He is currently applying to M.D./Ph.D. programs for Fall, 2012.
email: aber@sas.upenn.edu
phone: (215) 898-3575

Carcha Bernard is a senior at Temple University and is in the MARC program. She is working on a zebrafish model of Batten's disease. She is currently applying to Ph.D. programs for Fall, 2012.
email: tuc07135@temple.edu
email: (215) 898-3575

[ Previous Lab Members ]