Current Graduate Students

Doris Voina

Doris Voina is a PhD candidate in Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington working with Eric Shea-Brown from UW and Stefan Mihalas from the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Prior to UW, Doris did her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Princeton University and was a Research Assistant there after graduation, working with Philip Holmes, Jonathan Cohen, and Naomi Leonard on models of decision-making in the brain and in groups of individuals. Her research concerns flexible neural architectures in vision, specifically how they are implemented in the brain, but also in artificial neural architectures. When not thinking about Computational Neuroscience, Doris enjoys the many hikes in the Pacific Northwest where she can recharge.

Si Jia Li

Si Jia Li is a graduate student at the department of Bioengineering, advised by Prof. Amy Orsborn. Prior to UW,  he received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Bioengineering from the University of Toronto and his master’s degree in computer science from Queen’s University (Canada).  His master’s research was on ultrasound detection of prostate cancer. For his PhD studies, his research interests are neuroengineering, brain computer interfaces (BCI), and learning. Specifically, he is analyzing brain recordings using machine learning, dimensionality, and connectivity methods. Modelling and understanding these recordings could shed light on motor learning mechanisms in the brain. His work could also potentially help develop BCI with better performance and bridge the gap between experiments and computational neuroscience theories.

Ellen Lesser

Ellen is a PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program, advised by John Tuthill in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Ellen graduated with a BA in Neuroscience from Wesleyan University, and worked as a postbac research assistant at the NIH and University of Maryland School of Medicine investigating motivation in rodent models. In her research at UW, she studies the neural circuitry underlying wing proprioception in flying fruit flies as a model for general principles of sensory feedback and motor control. In lieu of flying, Ellen spends her time outside of lab running and biking around the Seattle area.

Tony Bigelow

Tony is a PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program, advised by Anitha Pasupathy in the Department of Biological Structure. Tony graduated with a BS in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. During his time at the U of M, he worked in the lab of Karen Mesce investigating how locomotor networks rearrange after injury to regain motor function. His research at UW is focused on the mammalian visual system. In particular, he is interested in understanding how form and motion signals combine in the visual system allowing us to track dynamic objects in natural environments. Apart from neuroscience, Tony also enjoys cooking, baking bread, and running.

Michael Nolan

Michael Nolan is a graduate student in the electrical and computer engineering PhD program at the University of Washington. He is researching machine learning methods that can help understand highly variable brain activity data. Specifically, he is developing unsupervised learning methods for action decoding from motor cortical activity in nonhuman primate models. This work will allow for model-free neural data analysis and a more flexible approach to understanding the structure of neural data across variable organism behaviors. He is co-advised by Professors Amy Orsborn and Eli Shlizerman.
Before becoming a student at UW, Michael held several research positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both as a technical assistant with an anesthesia, sleep and consciousness lab led by Professors Christa Van Dort and Emery Brown and as research staff with the Biomedical Systems and Technologies group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He received his undergraduate and masters educations from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.
Michael is interested in developing a better understanding of the dynamics and structure of neural activity and using that to develop next-generation neurotechnology.

Scott Sterrett

Scott is a PhD Student in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Washington working with Adrienne Fairhall and David Gire. His research focuses on how the brain solves problems during natural behaviors. Currently, he studies neural circuits during odor-localization behavior in flies and mice. Previously, he completed a B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. In his masters, he studied marmoset vocalization behaviors with Xiaoqin Wang. At Hopkins, he was a Teaching-as-Research Fellow studying remote learning practices for engineering design courses.