OUR TEAM

ERIK S. MUSIEK, MD, PHD

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, Dept. of Neurology, Washington Univ. School of Medicine

Previous Training: BS, College of William & Mary; MD, PhD, Vanderbilt Univ. School of Medicine; Residency in Neurology, Hospital of the Univ. of Pennsylvania (UPENN), Dementia Fellowship; Washington Univ. School of Medicine.

Erik grew up in Hanover, NH, where he knew Brian Lananna as a little kid.  He played football in high school and ran hurdles in high school and college (and a bit in med school). He did his PhD work with Drs. Jason Morrow and BethAnn McLaughlin at Vanderbilt, and worked in the lab of Dr. Garret FitzGerald at Penn. His postdoctoral work was in David Holtzman's lab (where he overlapped with then-PhD student Jacob Basak).

In addition to his basic research, Erik sees patients in the Memory Diagnostic Center and participates in clinical research as an investigator in the Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (KADRC).

Click here for WUSTL Neurology biography 

JULIE DIMITRY, MS

Senior Lab Manager/Scientist

Previous training: B.S. and M.S., Univ. of Illinois.  Julie joined the lab in 2015 after many years in the department of Biochemistry managing the lab of Dr. Bill Frazier.  Julie brings experience and molecular biology expertise to the lab, and beyond her bench research project, she also manages the lab and takes care of most things.

 

PERCY GRIFFIN

Ph.D. Student- Molecular Cell Biology

Previous Training: B.A., Macalester College. Percy joined the lab in 2017 as a PhD student in MCB.  He previously worked on alpha-synuclein in the lab of Dr. Mike Lee at Univ. of Minnesota. Percy is originally from Ghana.

 

PATRICK SHEEHAN

Ph.D. Student - Neuroscience

Previous training: B.S., Clarion University. Pat joined the lab in Spring 2018 as a PhD student in Neuroscience. Pat had previous research experience at Brandeis University and the NIH prior to coming to WashU.

 

CELIA MCKEE

Ph.D. Student - Neuroscience

Previous training: B.A., Vassar College. Celia joined the lab in Spring 2018 as a PhD student in Neuroscience. As a tech at Duke University and the University of Virginia, she has studied retinal neurodegeneration, traumatic brain injury, and meningeal lymphatic function.  Fun facts: Celia lived in South Korea for a year teaching English. She is also a rock star and practices with her band every weekend.

 

JIYEON LEE, PHD

Postdoctoral Associate

Previous training: Ph.D., Seoul National University. Jiyeon joined the lab in Spring 2019. She majored in Circadian biology and completed Ph.D training in Dr. Kyungjin Kim's laboratory at Seoul National University, and at Asan Medical Center.  Her research is focused on a role of circadian molecules, especially REV-ERBα, in Alzheimer's disease.

 

MELVIN KING

Ph.D. Student - Neuroscience

Previous training: B.A., Dartmouth College. Melvin joined the lab as a PhD student in Neuroscience in Spring 2019. Originally from Fort Worth, TX, Melvin studied Chemistry at Dartmouth and completed a post-bacalaureate research program at the Univ. of Rochester before coming to WashU.

 

MICHAEL KANAN

Research Technician

Previous training: B.A., St. Louis Univ. Michael worked in the lab as an undergraduate for two summers, studying the impact of Bmal1 deletion on alpha-synuclein pathology. He then joined the lab as a technician in August 2019.

 

LUCY COHEN

Undergraduate Researcher

Lucy hails from Clayton, MO, and is currently an undergraduate student at Washington University. She joined the lab as a sophomore, and has worked with Jacob Basak and Pat Sheehan on projects related to neuroinflammation.

 

SHIRLEY CAI

Undergraduate Researcher

Originally from China, Shirley joined the lab as a sophomore at Washington University.  She has worked on astrocyte circadian clocks, first with Brian Lananna, and more recently with Celia McKee.

 

LAB ALUMNI

COLLIN NADARAJAH

Former position: Research Technician

Current position: MSTP student, WashU

Previous Training: B.A., Washington University.  Originally from Dallas, Collin completed an Honors Thesis in the lab as an undergraduate and stayed on as a technician after he graduated in Spring 2017, and spent 2 years in the lab, before departing in Summer 2019 to  become an MSTP student at Washington University.

 

JACOB BASAK, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Anesthesiology

Current position: Assistant Professor, Univ. of Colorado School of Medicine

Previous training: B.A., Univ. of Chicago; MD and PhD, Washington University MSTP, Residency in Anesthesiology, Barnes Jewish Hospital. Jacob joined the lab in Summer 2017, and spent 18 months in lab. His research interests focus on dementia and cognitive impairment after critical illness.  He departed in Summer 2019 for a faculty position at the Univ. of Colorado.

 

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BRIAN LANANNA, PHD

Former position: PhD student, Neuroscience.

Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Lab of Dr. Shin-Ichiro Imai, WashU.

Brian was the first graduate student to join the lab, and successfully defended in April 2019.  His work demonstrated that Bmal1 regulates astrocyte activation (Lananna et al, Cell Rep, 2018), and that the AD biomarker Chi3l1/YKL-40 is clock-controlled and influences glial activation and AD pathogenesis in mice and humans (manuscript under review). He is staying at WashU to pursue post-doc training on his primary interest, aging, in the lab of Dr. Shin Imai.

GERRY KRESS, PHD

Former position: Instructor in Neurology

Current position: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Neurology, Washington Univ. School of Medicine

Gerry joined the lab after completing a successful post-doc in the lab of Dr. James Surmeier at Northwestern.  In our lab, she published an important first-author J Exp Med paper showing that Bmal1 deletion alters amyloid-beta dynamics and plaque deposition. She received a K01 award from the NIA, and now has her own R01-funded lab at here at WashU.

 

MICHELLE CEDENO

Former position: Research Technician

Current position: Graduate student in Psychology and Neuroscience, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

 

DAVID XIONG, MD

Former position: Research Technician

Current position: Medical Student, Cleveland Clinic School of Medicine

LAURA QI, MD

Former position: Research Technician

Current position: Neurology Resident, Univ. of Missouri