Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Granato Lab

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Current Lab Members


Faculty

Michael Granato, Ph.D.

Michael Granato, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
 granatom@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-898-2745



Research Specialists

Melissa Baxter

Melissa Baxter
Research Specialist
 melbax24@gmail.com



Postdocs

Philip Campbell, M.D., Ph.D.

Philip Campbell, M.D., Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
 Philip.Campbell@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Phil is a psychiatrist-scientist interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of psychotic disorders. Using mutagenesis, behavioral phenotyping, and brain imaging approaches, he is studying the greatest known genetic risk for schizophrenia, the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, with the ultimate aim to identify novel molecular targets for therapeutic intervention.


Beth Harvey, Ph.D.

Beth Harvey, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
 bharvey@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Beth studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that promote regeneration of the optic nerve following an injury. She is specifically interested in how post-translational modifications, such as glycosylation, control protein function to mediate axonal regeneration. 


Joy Meserve, Ph.D.

Joy Meserve, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
 jmeserve@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Joy is interested in how genes and molecular pathways regulate behavior, and how these processes go awry in inherited neurological disorders. She is utilizing a simple behavior, the acoustic startle response, with a well characterized neural circuit to investigate how genes control neuron development and function. 


Jessica Nelson, Ph.D.

Jessica Nelson, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
 njessi@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Jess studies cell biological and molecular mechanisms of neural circuit plasticity. In particular, she is interested in how post-translational palmitoylation is utilized at the synapse to modify neural circuit function and behavior. 


Kristian Saied Santiago, Ph.D.

Kristian Saied Santiago, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
 ksaied@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

In humans, vision is the most important sense and damage to the retina or the optic nerve can cause irreversible vision loss. In contrast, amphibians and fish, including zebrafish, have retained a remarkable capacity to generate new CNS neurons, and to re-grow severed or damage axons and nerves, including the optic nerve. I am taking advantage of this regenerative capacity and I am performing a small molecule screen to identify molecular pathways required for optic nerve regeneration in vivo.


Lauren Walker, Ph.D.

Lauren Walker, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
 walkerla@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

How do regenerating axons know where to grow? Lauren studies how regrowing peripheral motor neuron axons interact with cues in their environment to reconnect with the correct muscle targets.



Graduate Students

Jaffna Mathiaparanam

Jaffna Mathiaparanam
Neuroscience Graduate Student
 jaffna@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Jaffna is interested in mechanisms of spontaneous CNS neuronal regeneration, a unique attribute of the zebrafish model. To study this, she is combining molecular and genetic manipulations with live cell imaging of neurons after injury.  


Patti Murphy

Patti Murphy
Neuroscience Graduate Student
 patmu@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Patti is interested in understanding and developing therapeutics for functional nerve regeneration, particularly to restore voluntary motor control after spinal cord injury. For her dissertation, she has focused on the molecular mechanisms that motor axons use to regenerate and reconnect to their original muscle targets.


Mafe Navarro

Mafe Navarro
Neuroscience Graduate Student
 namari@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Axons of injured neurons must regrow and connect to their original targets to restore function. Mafe is interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie functional regeneration. To do this, she utilizes live imaging of injured axons to investigate genes that promote axonal regeneration.


Elelbin Ortiz

Elelbin Ortiz
Neuroscience Graduate Student
 ortizel@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Elelbin is interested in how molecular and circuit mechanisms establish behavioral thresholds, or the point at which stimuli are sufficient to elicit a response from an organism. Her thesis work focuses on how a synaptic protein important for synaptic vesicle release and replenishment regulates the threshold of a conserved behavior, the acoustic startle response.


Hannah Shoenhard

Hannah Shoenhard
Neuroscience Graduate Student
 hshoen@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Hannah studies the genetic basis of a simple sensorimotor decision using transgenic approaches, pharmacology, and calcium imaging.


Lab Alumni

Name
Years in Lab
Current Position
Dr. Owen Randlett 2015-2019 Assistant Professor, University of Lyon
Dr. Melissa Ducommun Priest 2011 - 2018 Medical Writer, ETHOS Health Communications
Dr. Katherine Gribble 2010 - 2017 Postodoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Kurt Marsden 2010 - 2017 Faculty, NC State University
Dr. Juliane Bremer 2011 - 2017 Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Dr. Jessie Isaacman-Beck 2009 - 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
Dr. Roshan Jain 2008 - 2015 Faculty, Haverford College
Dr. Santanu Banerjee 2006 - 2014 Research Associate, Syracuse University
Hannah Bell 2011 - 2014 MD/PhD Student, University of Rochester
Dr. Allison Rosenberg 2008 - 2014 Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University
Dr. Marc Wolman 2007 - 2013 Faculty, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Dr. Camille Syrett 2011 - 2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Rajiv Sainath 2006 - 2012 Faculty, Temple University
Dr. Laura Gordon 2007 - 2011 Associate, BakerHostetler Law Firm, Philadelphia
Dr. Lili Jing 2004 - 2009 Postdoctoral Fellow, Children's Hospital, Boston
Dr. Harold Burgess 2001 - 2008 Group Leader, NIH
Dr. Kelly Palaisa 2003 - 2007 Patent Agent, MannyV IP
Dr. Michael Gyda 2002 - 2007 Director, Life Sciences Multimedia Productions
Dr. Valerie Schneider 2000 - 2007 Genome Curator, NIH
Dr. Gerald Downes 1999 - 2005 Faculty, UMass Amherst
Dr. Julie Lefebvre 2000 - 2005 Faculty, SickKids, Toronto
Dr. Kristen Lorent 1998 - 2001 Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Julie Waterbury 1999 - 2001 Group Leader, Merck and Co.
Dr. Joerg Zeller 1997 - 2001 Research Fellow, University of Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dr. Jing Zhang 1998 - 2001 Faculty, University of Madison, Wisconsin