Current UWIN Postdoctoral Fellows

Laura Arjona, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Laura Arjona works in collaboration with Joshua R. Smith in Electrical Engineering and Chet Moritz in Rehabilitation Medicine. Laura’s research focuses on high performance readers and protocols for backscatter-based neural implants. Neural implants have the potential for significant impact in medicine, from restoring the use of limbs after spinal cord injury, to “electroceutical” alternatives to drugs, to brain-computer interfaces. Laura will be developing technology that will enable higher performance data transfer, as well as low latency bi-directional communication, which is essential for high-performance control of the nervous system. Laura holds a doctoral degree in Engineering for the Information Society and Sustainable Development from the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. She received a master’s degree in Information and Communication Electronic Systems from UNED University in Madrid, and a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Granada. Laura was awarded a specialization fellowship from the University of Deusto, and a Researcher Staff Training fellowship from the Basque Country Government.   She is co-funded by UWIN and the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
Michael Beyeler, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Michael Beyeler works in collaboration with Ione Fine in Psychology and Ariel Rokem at the eScience Institute. His research focuses on improving stimulation algorithms for retinal prostheses. In patients with retinal diseases such as macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa, retinal prostheses are being developed to directly stimulate remaining healthy cells in the retina. However, translating visual input into electrical pulses that elicit desired visual perception is nontrivial and requires a deep understanding of the sensory processing in the human retina. Michael aims to further our understanding of how these devices interact with the underlying retinal circuitry by leveraging both computational and data-driven approaches, in order to develop the algorithms and tools that can power novel sight restoration technologies. Michael received a doctoral degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine as well as a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland.  He is co-funded by UWIN and the eScience Institute.
Kinsey Bice, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Kinsey Bice works in collaboration with Chantel Prat in Psychology and Rajesh Rao in Computer Science and Engineering. Kinsey’s research aims to optimize language learning by identifying how to direct brain activity into the best state for learning. Using EEG and machine learning techniques, her project will provide insight into the functional correlates and flexibility of the brain’s activity at rest, and will help in developing software and technologies that could make it easier for adults to learn new languages. Kinsey received her doctoral degree from Pennsylvania State University in Psychology with a dual-title in Language Sciences and a Specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lylah Deady, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Lylah Deady works in collaboration with John Tuthill in Physiology & Biophysics and Andre Berndt in Bioengineering. Lylah’s research seeks to design and implement genetically encoded tools to query neuronal circuitry in real time. Her work at UW concerns developing a sensor to report neuronal inhibition and use it to identify the role of GABAergic input in Drosophila leg proprioceptive circuits. Lylah received her doctoral degree in Physiology & Neurobiology from the University of Connecticut.
Anisha Keshavan, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Anisha Keshavan works with Jason Yeatman in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Ariel Rokem at the eScience Institute. Anisha’s research focuses on big data methods for analyzing neuroimaging data. Advances in MRI technology and image segmentation have enabled researchers to begin to understand the mechanisms of healthy brain development as well as psychiatric and neurological disorders. However, accurately measuring the brain at a scale large enough to accommodate genetic association and precision medicine studies is challenging; expert neuroanatomist tracings can take a long time, while automated algorithms are not accurate enough. Anisha aims to develop methods to combine the accuracy of experts with the speed of computers by incorporating crowdsourced image segmentation with deep learning algorithms. Anisha received a doctoral degree in Bioengineering from the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Graduate Program, and a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is co-funded by UWIN and the eScience Institute.
Tom Libby, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Tom Libby works in collaboration with Sam Burden in Electrical Engineering and Tom Daniel in Biology. Tom’s research seeks design and control principles for locomotion, using a combination of model-based dimensional reduction and comparative experiments in animals and robots. His work at UW concerns multi-modal actuation of flight, and specifically investigates how moths coordinate inertial and aerodynamic forces with center of mass manipulation to execute and stabilize maneuvers. Tom received his doctoral degree and his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also the technical director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research (CiBER).  He is co-funded by UWIN and the Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI).
Allie Widman, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Allie Widman works in collaboration with Steve Perlmutter and Adrienne Fairhall in Physiology and Biophysics. Allie’s research aims to understand how targeted activity-dependent spinal stimulation, a potential treatment for spinal cord injury, alters neuronal circuits to improve forelimb function. Through a brain-computer interface, this stimulation protocol induces plasticity based on precise timing of neural activity. The focus of her study is to identify the time course and specificity of this spike-timing-dependent plasticity in descending and somatosensory pathways using neurophysiology and modeling experiments. Allie received a doctoral degree in Neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas. In addition to being named a WRF Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow, her awards include fellowships from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health.  She is co-funded by UWIN and the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

Emeritus UWIN Postdoctoral Fellows

Miriam Ben-Hamo, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Miriam Ben-Hamo works in collaboration with Horacio de la Iglesia in Biology and Matt Reynolds in Electrical Engineering. Miriam’s research is aimed at testing and validating newly developed wireless sleep research technology in order to explore questions regarding the regulation and function of sleep. She focuses on changes in sleep architecture during breeding and development in a social group of owl monkeys. Miriam has a doctoral degree in Ecological Physiology from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, where she was a recipient of the Negev Graduate Fellowship, and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. She comes to the UW after holding Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer positions at Princeton University. In addition to being named a WRF Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow, her awards include a Postdoctoral Fellowship for Women in Science from the Israeli Council for Higher Education.
Hannah Choi, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Hannah Choi works in collaboration with Eric Shea-Brown in Applied Mathematics and Wyeth Bair in Biological Structure. Her research aims to understand the circuit mechanisms underlying adaptable responses in the visual system. She combines mathematical modeling and experimental methods at the level of populations of spiking neurons to investigate the mechanisms that allow for contextual modulation of neuronal circuits. This research is critical to understanding how the nervous system encodes and responds to real-world stimuli over time. Hannah has a doctoral degree in Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a recipient of an Integrative Cancer Biology Program Fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Nick Foti, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Nick Foti works in collaboration with Emily Fox in Statistics and Adrian KC Lee in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Nick’s research interests are in developing machine learning methods that can be applied to phenomena exhibiting complex dependencies. His work at the UW focuses on uncovering the effective connections between the auditory sensory areas of the brain and the attentional network. To do this, he works with extremely noisy time series data arising from magnetoencepholography (MEG) recordings. This work has implications for both neuroscience research and for developing smart hearing aid technology. Nick holds a doctoral degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Tufts University.  He is co-funded by UWIN and the eScience Institute.
Gabrielle Gutierrez, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Gabrielle Gutierrez works in collaboration with Eric Shea-Brown in Applied Mathematics and Fred Rieke in Physiology and Biophysics. Her research is aimed at understanding how neural circuits in the retina implement functional computations using the rich assortment of available biophysical mechanisms. Using a combination of experimental electrophysiology techniques, normative theories, and computational modeling, Gabrielle seeks to understand how local neuron properties contribute to global circuit function. Her work will provide insight into the multiple solutions that allow neural circuits to adapt to the immensely complex stimuli encountered in nature. Gabrielle holds a doctoral degree in Neuroscience from Brandeis University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she majored in Physics and minored in Applied Math. Gabrielle was awarded an IGERT training fellowship at Brandeis.
Guillaume Lajoie, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Guillaume Lajoie works in collaboration with Adrienne Fairhall and Eberhard Fetz in Physiology and Biophysics and Nathan Kutz in Applied Mathematics. His research interests lie at the interface of mathematics and theoretical neurosciences, focusing on problems involving information processing in externally driven neural systems. His work at the UW aims to elucidate mechanisms of artificially induced plasticity in the motor cortex by recurrent brain-computer interfaces. Guillaume has a doctoral degree in Applied Mathematics from the UW and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics from the University of Ottawa, Canada. He comes back to the UW after holding a Bernstein Fellow of Computational Neuroscience position at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Goettingen, Germany.  In addition to a WRF Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship, his awards include a graduate research scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and a postdoctoral scholarship from the Fonds de recherche nature et technologies du Québec.  He is co-funded by UWIN and the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
Thomas Richner, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Thomas Richner works in collaboration with Chet Moritz in Rehabilitation Medicine and Adrienne Fairhall in Physiology and Biophysics.  His research focuses on developing strategies for delivering proprioceptive (awareness of body position) information to the central nervous system through a neural interface.  Restoring proprioception, the sense of where a limb is in space, would greatly increase the utility of a neuroprosthesis system, but specifically modulating proprioceptive neurons within the central nervous system is a major challenge. His approach leverages optogenetics to target this pathway.  Tom received a doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Northland College.  He is co-funded by UWIN and the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
Eatai Roth, one of UWIN Postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering Eatai Roth works with Tom Daniel in the Department of Biology.   His research seeks to reveal fundamental patterns of control and computation that underlie complex animal locomotor behaviors. He focuses on postural control in flying moths, co-opting tools from control theory, machine learning, and system identification to extract models from complex and high-dimensional behavioral data. Eatai comes to the UW with a doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.  In addition to being named a WRF Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow, his awards include an ARCS Foundation Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  He is co-funded by UWIN and the Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI).