Current Lab Members

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Jacqueline Barker, PhD

Principal Investigator

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Jacqui earned her BA in Psychology at Ohio Wesleyan University. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at Yale University, in the lab of Jane Taylor before moving to the Medical University of South Carolina to complete her postdoctoral training with Judson Chandler. Jacqui started her lab in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine in the fall of 2017.

jmb893@drexel.edu

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Kathleen Bryant

PhD Candidate, Neuroscience

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Katie is completing her PhD with the Neuroscience PhD Program at the Drexel University College of Medicine. Her work in the lab focuses on ventral hippocampal circuits in the regulation of behavioral flexibility. 

kgb57@drexel.edu

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Lauren Buck (Plyler), MS

Lab Manager

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Lauren completed her Master's in Neuroscience in 2018 where she developed expertise in the use of mouse models to investigate neural function.

lap352@drexel.edu

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Christina Curran-Alfaro, MS

PhD Student, Neuroscience

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Christina completed her Masters in 2020 in biology with a concentration in neurobiology at Rutgers-Camden where her work explored circuitry involved in spatial memory utilizing a teleost model. In the Barker lab, she is expanding her work to investigate  changes in behavioral response associated with low-dose ethanol exposure. 

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Laura Giacometti, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

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Laura completed her PhD with Dr. Ramesh Raghupathi in 2018, where her dissertation focused on sex differences in long term behavioral alterations following adolescent mild traumatic brain injury. She is building on her expertise in sex differences to investigate sex-specific effects of chronic ethanol exposure on astrocyte activity and its role in regulating reward seeking and depression-related behaviors.

llk34@drexel.edu

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Mark Namba, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Mark completed his PhD in Neuroscience under the mentorship of Drs. Janet Neisewander and Foster Olive at Arizona State University, where his primary focus was unraveling neuroimmune mechanisms of motivated behavior and the impact of HIV on cue-induced drug seeking. As a postdoctoral researcher in the lab, Mark will be building upon his expertise in behavioral pharmacology and addiction neurobiology to examine the role of glutamatergic and neuroimmune mechanisms in cocaine craving using translational rodent models of comorbid HIV and cocaine use disorders. 

mdn54@drexel.edu

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Mitch Nothem, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Mitch completed his PhD with Dr. James Barrett in 2020, where his dissertation focused on the effects of peripheral nerve injury and gabapentin on cortical pain processing. His postdoctoral work will focus on the interaction between chronic pain and substance use disorders.

man83@drexel.edu

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Christine Side

Research Assistant

Mitch completed his PhD with Dr. James Barrett in 2020, where his dissertation focused on the effects of peripheral nerve injury and gabapentin on cortical pain processing. His postdoctoral work will focus on the interaction between chronic pain and substance use disorders.

man83@drexel.edu

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Sam Stine

Master's student, Pharmacology and Physiology

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Sam completed her BS in Psychology at The University of the South and is working on her Master's degree in the Pharmacology & Physiology program with a research interest in drug use and behavior. 

ss5295@drexel.edu

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Michelle Willis

Medical Student,

NeuroAIDS T32 Fellow

Michelle is a medical student at Drexel University College of Medicine who joined the lab as part of the T-32 NeuroAIDS Summer Research Training Fellowship. Her research focus is on the combined effects of cocaine exposure and HIV on astrocytes immunoreactivity in mouse models of HIV infection.

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Qiaowei Xie, MS

PhD Student, Pharmacology and Physiology

Qiaowei has returned to the lab to complete her PhD in Pharmacology and Physiology. Her research focus is neural circuit dysregulation in preclinical models of HIV.

qx33@drexel.edu

Interns and Undergraduate Researchers

Former Lab Members

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Isabella Agyapong

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2018

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Brittanie Bland, MS

Master's student, Drug Discovery and Development, 2018

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Juliette DiFlumeri

Undergraduate Researcher, 2020

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Laura Figueroa, MS

Master's student, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, 2020

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Fatima Fleming

Pathway to SuperNOVA, 2022

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Brianna Hamilton

NeuroHIV T32 Trainee, Summer 2019

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Fangyi Huang

Master's student, Drug Discovery and Development, 2020

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Briana Johnson

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2019

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Wenhan Lu

Master's student, Drug Discovery and Development, 2018

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Yue Lu, MS

Master's student, Drug Discovery and Development, 2021

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Jessie Nagle

Master's rotation student, MCBG 2020

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Harsha Ohri

Rotating Student, Neuroscience PhD Program, 2018

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Binay Singh

Drexel Co-op student, 2020-2021

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Kaitlin Smith

Master's student, Master of Laboratory Animal Science Program, 2018