Pelled Lab 2018

Galit Pelled, Ph.D.

Gait Pelled, PhDPrincipal Investigator

Associate Professor


I received my PhD in Neuroscience from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. In 2004, I joined Dr. Alan Koretsky’s lab at NINDS/NIH as a postdoc fellow. In 2008, I joined Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. My research focuses on identifying cellular mechanisms that are activated post-injury and lead to rewiring of neuronal connections (i.e. plasticity). We use state-of-the-art functional MRI, extracellular and intracellular electrophysiology recordings and optical imaging to map plasticity. We develop novel strategies based on optogenetics, transcranial magnetic stimulation and other genetic-based manipulations to guide plasticity in order to maximize the functional outcome.

Institution Degree Field of Study

Vijai Krishnan, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


I graduated with a PhD in Neurophysiology, where my research addressed novel synaptic modifications in retinal neurons. My area of training and expertise lie in applying molecular and electrophysiological techniques in probing neuronal function. In the Pelled lab, I am currently involved in studying the effects of spinal cord injury in altering plasticity mechanisms, using rodent models. I am also investigating the therapeutic role of non-invasive neuronal techniques in nerve injury.

Institution Degree Field of Study
University of Madras B.S. Microbiology
Vellore Institute of Technology M.S. Biomedical Genetics
Louisiana State University Ph.D. Neuroscience

Juliette Anne Brown, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

I graduated from MSU with a dual major Ph.D. in Pharmcology & Toxicology, and Environmental Toxicology.  My thesis focused on understanding how specific populations of neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area coordinate metabolic signals and motivated behaviors to control energy balance.  I recently joined the Pelled Lab where I will be exploring novel non-invasive approaches to managing epilepsy.

Institution Degree Field of Study
Saginaw Valley State Univeristy B.S. Biochemistry, Philosophy Minor
Michigan State University Ph.D Dual: Pharmacology & Toxicology, Environmental Toxicology

Shengqiang Xu, Ph.D.

Postodoctoral Fellow

I completed my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology.  I was an exchange student in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Sheng Xiao, where he conducted work in the area of cancer biology.  I am interested in interdisciplinary and translational research. I am a research associate and my current work focuses on the deep understanding the structure and functions of the electromagnetic perceptive gene (EPG).

Institution Degree Field of Study
Peking University B.S. Cytology and Genetics
Harbin Institute of Technology M.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Harbin Institute of Technology Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering

Samuel Shin, M.D., Ph.D.

1376534326928Postdoctoral Fellow


I am a MD/PhD who trained at the University of Pittsburgh under the direction of Dr. C. Edward Dixon.  I initially started clinical training as a neurosurgery resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center until I realized that the field of neurology and basic science research is where I have my passion.  This lead to a change in clinical training program, and currently I am projected to undergo training as a neurology resident at Johns Hopkins.  My research interest is on the mechanisms of neural injury (specifically TBI) and various neuromodulation techniques to enhance recovery.  Clinically, my interest is on managing patients suffering from neurological injury in the critical care unit.  I plan is to pursue an academically oriented career that can combine both clinical and research interest.

Petra Telgkamp, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker Medical School), studying central respiratory rhythm generation and modulation in a mouse model. Other research projects in my past include investigations of cellular excitability and synaptic plasticity in different model systems. During my Master’s thesis at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, I was introduced to electrophysiological patch-clamp recordings, and I characterized AMPA/Kainate receptors in rat cerebellar astrocytes. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Raman Lab at Northwestern University I applied electrophysiological techniques to study cerebellar neuronal plasticity, and in the Smith lab at Indiana University I extended my research focus considering evolutionary adaptations and adjusted the focus of my research to include neuroethological considerations (using the weakly electric fish as a model system).  In the Pelled lab, I plan to conduct research aimed at guiding the development of novel genetic and molecular-based neuromodulation techniques.

Institution Degree Field of Study
Universität Kaiserslautern B.S. Biology
The University of Chicago Ph.D. Biological Sciences

Peter Malinski, M.S.

Laboratory Manager

I graduated from Ohio University with multiple specializations in Biochemistry and Geology. In my biochemistry work I focused on engineering nano-sensitive nitric oxide electrodes which were utilized in measuring the nitric oxide concentrations in vascular tissue. In my geologic work I focused on the interaction between volatile concentrations (such as H2O) and impact cratering on the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and Ganymede. In my recent work at University of Michigan, I have utilized whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology to map out sub-populations of Neuropeptide Y, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, and Somatostatin in the Inferior colliculus which is part of the mid-brain and a pivotal structure for auditory processing.

Institution Degree Field of Study
Ohio State University B.S. Biochemistry
Ohio State University M.S. Geology and Planetary Science

Carolina Cywiak, M.S.

Ph.D. Student

I completed my Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in Venezuela at Universidad Simon Bolivar where I investigated a novel isoform for PKA. My Bachelor’s degree is in Medicinal Biology from Bar Ilan University in Israel. I recently joined the Pelled lab to explore novel mechanisms to reduce pain for individuals with nerve injuries via non-invasive neuronal techniques.

Institution Degree Field of Study
Bar Ilan University B.S. Molecular and Medicinal Biology
Simón Bolívar University M.S. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Alexander Farnum, B.A.

Ph.D. Student

I received my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. I worked alongside Dr. Pelled at Johns Hopkins University in the Center for Genetic Muscle Disorders. We conducted clinical trials for the safety and efficacy of various pharmacological agents intended to counteract the debilitating effects of Duchenne and limb-girdle muscular dystrophies. I recently joined the Pelled Lab at Michigan State University as a graduate Ph.D. student, where my research investigates the impact of magnetic stimuli directly on behavioral responses.

Institution Degree Field of Study
University of Maryland, College Park B.A. Psychology

Lab Alumni

Sarah Park, Ph.D.: Postdoc fellow, 2012-2014

Yan Jouroukhin, Ph.D.: Postdoc fellow, 2012-2014

Ya Yang, Ph.D.: Postdoc fellow, 2012-2014

Tali Kobilo-Moav, Ph.D.: Postdoc fellow, 2013-2015

Mary Sorrell, Ph.D.: Postdoc fellow, 2014-2016

Nan Li, Ph.D.: Ph.D. student, 2008-2013

Yang Han: M.A. student, 2011-2012

John Downey: Undergraduate student, 2008-2011

Albert Mendoza: Summer student, 2014

William Stokes: Laboratory technician, 2015-2017

Anna Heeyun Schwarz: Undergraduate student, 2015-2017

Benjamin Thiesen: M.D. Student, 2015-2017