Current Lab Members
John A. Dani, Ph. D.
David J. Mahoney Professor of Neurological Sciences
Chair of the Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Director of the Mahoney Institute of Neurosciences (MINS)
Senior Research Investigator
Kechun Yang, Ph. D.
Kechun's research mainly focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying dopaminergic modulation of learning memory and drug addiction employing patch-clamp recording technique in acute brain slices.
Theodoros Tsetsenis, Ph. D.
Theo received his PhD in Natural Sciences from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) jointly with University of Heidelberg. During his doctoral studies, he investigated forebrain circuits that regulate fear and anxiety. For his postdoctoral work, he joined the lab of Thomas Sudhof at Stanford where he developed imaging tools for synapse formation and studied the role of synaptic cell adhesion molecules in learning and memory. In the Dani lab, Theo is interested in dissecting the role of monoaminergic signaling in aversive learning and hippocampal plasticity.
Manivannan Subramaniyan, Ph. D.
Mani obtained his PhD in Neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and joined Dr. Dani's lab in 2013. His goal is to understand the neural mechanisms of memory. Currently he is working on understanding how dopamine and other neuromodulators contribute to long-lasting memory. Mani uses various in vivo electrophysiological techniques such as local field potential and single unit recording and combined optical-electrophysiological techniques.
Alexey Ostroumov, Ph. D.
Alexey graduated from Kazan State University in Russia with a bachelor in Physics. After receiving his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience at International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA/ISAS) in Italy, Alexey joined Dr. John Dani’s laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Several years later, the lab relocated to the University of Pennsylvania, where Alexey is currently studying mechanisms underlying drug addiction.
David Connor, Ph. D.
David received his PhD in Psychology & Neuroscience from Temple University, where he investigated the effects of nicotine and nicotine withdrawal on emotional learning. In Dr. Dani’s lab, David is currently focused on investigating the impact of stress and drugs of abuse on mesolimbic substrates of addiction and cognition.
Shannon Wolfman, Ph. D.
Shannon received her PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago, where she investigated the neural circuits underlying aversion to nicotine. In the Dani lab, she is working to understand the synaptic changes underlying drug addiction.
Blake A. Kimmey
Blake received his B.A in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Upon graduation, he worked as a research technician prior to starting his graduate studies in 2013, with Penn’s Neuroscience Graduate Group. In 2014, Blake joined the Dani Lab for his thesis work. He is interested in studying synaptic mechanisms underlying drug addiction using slice electrophysiology and behavioral neuroscience techniques.
Dan received a bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from Swarthmore College in 2014. He worked as a research technician at Temple Medical School for two years before joining the Neuroscience Graduate Group at Penn. In the Dani lab, he uses behavioral pharmacology and electrophysiology to research the progression to drug addiction.
Sumithrra obtained her undergraduate degree in Engineering. She works as a Research specialist in Dr.Dani's lab on projects related to learning and memory. She performs in vivo recordings from the mouse brain and make micro drives for in vivo electrophysiology.