CURRENT LAB MEMBERS
SUSAN FERGUSON, PhD | Principal Investigator
Susan Ferguson grew up in the midwest and graduated with a BS in Biopsychology and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Michigan. After working at SIBIA Neurosciences in San Diego, she returned to the University of Michigan to pursue her doctorate degree in Neuroscience in the laboratory of Dr. Terry Robinson studying drug addiction circuits. She conducted her post-doctoral training in Dr. John Neumaier's laboratory at the University of Washington, and started her own laboratory in 2011. In addition to her passion for science, Susan enjoys the chaos of raising two boys, traveling, baking, and exploring the coffee shops and restaurants around Seattle.
ELIZABETH CRUMMY | PhD Candidate, UW Neuroscience Program
Elizabeth grew up in Orlando, Florida and graduated from the University of South Carolina - Columbia with a BS in Biomedical Engineering. She is currently a 4th year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Washington. Elizabeth focuses on poly-substance use models, behavioral economics, and cortical circuits involved in substance abuse.
TIM O'NEAL | PhD Candidate, UW Neuroscience Program
Tim grew up in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Knox College with a BA in Neuroscience and Biochemistry. He is currently a 4th year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Washington. Tim centers on the role of the nucleus accumbens in encoding individual vulnerability to heroin addiction.
BRIT BASKIN | PhD Candidate, UW Neuroscience Program
Britahny Baskin grew up in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts and graduated from Boston University with a BA in Neuroscience and Psychology and an MA in Psychological and Brain Sciences. She is currently a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Washington. Brit studies cue-induced drug seeking following prolonged abstinence while capitalizing on individual differences in heroin abuse risk and KCNQ3 expression in the VTA. When she is away from the lab, she likes to kayak, bake, watch stand-up comedy, and cheer on her favorite Boston sports teams.
ZACKARI MURPHY | MD/PhD Candidate
Zackari grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and graduated from Louisiana State University. He is currently a 1st year MD/PhD candidate in the Morehouse School of Medicine and Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Washington. Zackari is interested in the role of the orbital frontal cortex in risk taking behavior during drug seeking. In his spare time, he enjoys going to live music venues (R&B, Afrobeats, Hip-Hop, & Jazz), attending sporting events, bouldering, watching movies, gaming, and going to happy hour with friends.
DEREK MACDOUGALL | Research Technician
Derek grew up in Sammamish, WA and graduated with a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience from Western Washington University. He is interested in neural circuits that influence reward processing, impulsive and compulsive behaviors, and substance abuse risk.
FORMER LAB MEMBERS
AARON GARCIA | Graduate Student
Aaron Garcia grew up in Michigan and graduated with a BS in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. Aaron investigated the role of corticostriatal connections in patterns of drug intake that influence addictive behaviors and decision-making.
KANICHI NAKATA | Graduate Student
Kanichi Nakata grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a BS in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and a BA in Psychology. Kanichi focused on the role of the subthalamic nucleus in drug addiction.
TESS DONCKELS | Research Technician
Tess Donckels is a graduate of the University of Washington. Tess studied the neural circuits that regulate craving and how polydrug use affects addiction severity.
LINDSAY YAGER, PhD | Post-Doctoral Fellow (2014-2016)
Lindsay Yager focused on the role of the direct pathway striatal cells in drug-taking and drug-seeking behaviors in rats showing low- and high-risk addiction phenotypes following prolonged cocaine self-administration. Lindsay currently works as a Science Writer and Editor at the State University of New York, Buffalo.
SHILPA RAVINDER, PhD | Post-Doctoral Fellow (2013-2016)
Shilpa Ravinder explored how overexposure to sensory stimuli alters neural development and modulates behaviors related to ADHD, as well as addiction risk. Shilpa currently works as a Data Analyst at Amazon.
AMANDA WUNSCH, PhD | Graduate Student (2012-2016)
Amanda Wunsch studied subsets of glutamatergic nucleus accumbens inputs and their role in the regulation of addiction-related behaviors, including relapse. Amanda graduated from the University of Washington PhD program in Neuroscience in 2016. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Marina Wolf's laboratory in Chicago.
KERRY KERSTETTER, PhD | Post-Doctoral Fellow (2012-2015)
Kerry Kerstetter investigated the role of corticostriatal inputs in cocaine self-administration behaviors, including relapse. Kerry currently works as a Data and Research Analyst at Concur.