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Principal Investigator

C.J. Malanga earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1989, and his M.D. and Ph.D. in Pharmacology & Toxicology from West Virginia University in 1997. After completing residency training in Child Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship with Dr. Barry Kosofsky at Harvard Medical School before coming to UNC in 2005. He is currently an Associate Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Psychology; and a member of the Neurobiology Curriculum, the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies (CAS) and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD). His research interests focus on the development and function of brain circuits involved in reward perception and reinforcement of motivated behaviors. His laboratory studies mouse models of human neurodevelopmental disorders, including prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse and genetic mutations relevant to autism. malangacj[at]neurology.unc.edu

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

Meng Chen earned his medical degrees from Jiujiang and Xuzhou Medical Colleges in 1999, and his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, in 2002. From 2002-2006, Meng pursued postdoctoral training with Dr. Jianguo Gu at the University of Florida. After pursuing postdoctoral work at Duke University with Dr. Nicole Calakos in electrophysiology and with Dr. William Wetsel in behavioral neuroscience, Meng joined the lab in 2012. mengchen[at]email.unc.edu

 
 
 
 
 
 

Graduate Students

J. Elliott Robinson earned his B.S. from Georgetown University in 2007. After a year as an IRTA Fellow at NIAAA with Dr. Markus Heilig, Elliott joined the UNC Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and is now a student in the UNC Curriculum in Neurobiology. Elliott joined the lab in 2009. john_robinson[at]med.unc.edu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Laboratory Manager

Jeff DiBerto earned his B.S. from UNC Chapel Hill in 2013. Jeff joined the Laboratory of Developmental Neuropharmacology as Lab Manager in 2013. diberto[at]live.unc.edu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Undergraduates

Richard Park is a senior majoring in Biology. He is receiving course credit (BIOL-395) for his work in the lab.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Lab Alumni

Caroline Rauffenbart earned her B.S. in Biology from UNC in 2014. Her senior thesis work contributed to one publication, in preparation, with our lab. Caroline was awarded an NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA), and is now an IRTA Fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, working with our collaborator, Dr. Markus Heilig.

R. Grant Muller earned his B.S. in Biology and Psychology from UNC in 2013. His senior thesis work resulted in one publication with our lab. Grant is now working as a research assistant at Vanderbilt University in the Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery.

Eric W. Fish was a postdoctoral research fellow in our laboratory from 2007-2013, and during that time contributed to 10 peer-reviewed publications, with two more under review. Eric is now working as a Research Associate in the UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies with our collaborator, Dr. Kathy Sulik.

Michael C. Krouse was the Manager of the Laboratory of Developmental Neuropharmacology from 2010-2013, and during that time contributed to seven peer-reviewed publications, with one more under review. Michael is currently a medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Sierra J. Stringfield is a graduate student in the UNC Neurobiology Curriculum, and is currently pursuing her doctoral work with Dr. Donita Robinson in the UNC Behavioral Neuroscience Program. Sierra rotated with us in the Winter of 2012, and her rotation work resulted in one publication with our lab.

Abigail E. Agoglia is a graduate student in the UNC Neurobiology Curriculum, and is currently pursuing her doctoral work with Dr. Clyde Hodge in the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. Abi rotated with us in the Fall of 2011, and her rotation work resulted in two publications with our lab.

Elaina C. Howard was a postdoctoral research fellow in our laboratory from 2009-2011. Elaina is now working as a clinical trials specialist with Impact Pharmaceutical Services in RTP, NC.

Alice M. Stamatakis is a graduate student in the UNC Neurobiology Curriculum, and is currently pursuing her doctoral work with Dr. Garret Stuber in the UNC Neuroscience Center. Alice rotated with us in the Summer of 2010, and her rotation work resulted in one publication with our lab.

Buddy A. Whitman is a 2012 graduate of the UNC Neurobiology Curriculum, having earned his doctorate in the laboratory of Dr. George Breese in the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. Buddy rotated with us in the Spring of 2009, and his rotation work resulted in one publication with our lab.

Jing Wang was a postdoctoral research fellow in our laboratory from 2008-2009. Jing is now on faculty at Harbin Medical University in Harbin, China.

Megan M. McGuigan was the Manager of the Laboratory of Developmental Neuropharmacology from 2007-2010, and during that time contributed to two peer-reviewed publications. Megan graduated from the UNC School of Nursing in 2012.

Thomas M. Jarrett is a student in the UNC Medical Scientist Training Program, and completed his doctoral work with Dr. Joey Johns in 2013. Prior to matriculation as a medical/graduate student, Tom worked as a research assistant in the Laboratory of Developmental Neuropharmacology in 2007, and during that time contributed to one peer-reviewed publication. Tom also rotated with us in the Summer/Fall of 2007.

Thorfinn T. Riday is a graduate student in the UNC Neurobiology Curriculum, and completed his doctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Ben Philpot in 2013. Prior to matriculation as a graduate student, Thorfinn was the Manager of the Laboratory of Developmental Neuropharmacology from 2003-2007, and during that time contributed to three peer-reviewed publications. Thorfinn rotated with us in the Summer/Fall of 2007, and his graduate rotation work resulted in one publication with our lab.