Harris Lab

In Pursuit of Synapse Structure and Function...

The Laboratory of Synapse Structure and Function investigates the structural basis of learning and memory, synapse development, and the ultrastructure of synaptic plasticity using in vivo and in vitro preparations, hippocampal slice physiology, serial section transmission electron microscopy, and 3D reconstruction.

Current Lab Members at UT Austin

P.I.: Kristen M. Harris, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Center for Learning and Memory
Institute for Neuroscience
The University of Texas at Austin

kharris@mail.clm.utexas.edu

Kristen has served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the Medical College of Georgia. She has been a Professor at UT Austin since 2006. More info and CV

John Mendenhall, MA 
Research Associate 

jmenden@mail.utexas.edu

John joined Kristen Harris's new lab at UT in 2006. His main responsibilities in the lab are tissue preparations, multi-dimensional imaging, visualization, and analysis. 

Masaaki (Masa) Kuwajima, Ph.D.
Research Associate

mkuwajima@mail.clm.utexas.edu

Masa uses electron microscopy and immunolabeling methods to investigate subcellular structures that underlie brain cell functions in learning and memory, normal brain development, as well as in disease models. More info

Lyndsey Kirk, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

lyndskirk@gmail.com 

Lyndsey is primarily interested in how synapses change with cognitive decline in aging. She uses a combination of animal behavior, genetics, physiology, and 3DEM to study the ultrastructural changes of synapses, astroglia, and subcellular organelles that occur and may contribute to loss of cognitive ability. 

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Olga Ostrovskaya, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
olga.ostrovskaya@gmail.com

Olga's specialty is in electrophysiology. Her current focus is the dynamics of neuronal ultrastructure in the context of learning and memory across different developmental stages.

Patrick Parker
Research Assistant / Course Specialist

patrickparker@mail.clm.utexas.edu 

Patrick assists in the 3D reconstruction of dendrites, with a focus on quantifying synapses and creating lab protocols to teach best uses of Reconstruct. He acts as the SynapseWeb administrator and Course Specialist for Prof. Harris's class.

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Dakota Hanka
Research Assistant
dakotahanka@utexas.edu

Dakota aids in the 3D reconstruction and quantification of dendrites, axons, and other neuropil objects. His focuses are data collection, analysis, and developmental testing of new computational tools used in the lab.

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Dusten Hubbard
Research Assistant

dusten@utexas.edu

Dusten aids in the 3D reconstruction and quantification of dendrites, axons, and other neuropil objects. His focuses are data collection, analysis, and developmental testing of new computational tools used in the lab.

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Anna-Maria E. Escherich, MS, PMP
Project Manager/Lab Manager
amescherich@austin.utexas.edu


Anna-Maria is actively involved with the oversight of the NeuroNex NSF grant, as well as other NIH-awarded grants in the Harris Lab.  In addition, Anna-Maria is involved in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the lab.

   

 

Undergraduate Researchers:

  • Kyle Zatyko
  • Matthew Hooper
  • Aaron Luna
  • Corey Haines

Former Lab Members

Research Scientists:

  • Sergei Kirov, Ph.D.

  • John C. Fiala, Ph.D.

  • Bitao Shi, M.D.

  • Jennifer Bourne, Ph.D.

  • Larry Lindsey, M.S.

  • Guan Cao, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Gordon M.G. Shepherd, M.D., Ph.D.

  • David Selig, M.D.

  • Patricia Suppes, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Frances Jensen, M.D.

  • Jared Bowden, Ph.D.

  • Beth Bell, Ph.D.

  • Deborah Watson, Ph.D.

Technicians:

  • Libby Perry

  • Robert Smith

  • Jamie Hurlburt, DO

  • Anusha Mishra

  • Marcia Feinberg, M.S.

  • Lara Petrak

  • Alex Goddard

  • Karen M. Szumowski

  • Clayton Smith

Graduate Students:

  • Marc Seid, Ph.D.

  • Linnaea Ostroff, Ph.D.

  • Mark Witcher

  • William Risher

  • Jennifer Salgado

  • Peter Sultan, M.D.

  • Paul S. Jackson, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Ann Clemens, Ph.D.

  • Andrea Haessly, Ph.D.

  • Michael Chirillo, Ph.D.

  • Seth Weisberg, Ph.D.

  • Heather Smith, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Students:

  • Rachel Ventura

  • James Cooney

  • Priya George

  • Sean Behounek

  • Amy Pohodich

  • Junho Ahn

  • Katherine Williams

  • Michael Musslewhite

  • Ryan Ellis

  • Mikayla Waters

  • Alyssa Herbort
  • Kate Dembny
  • Paola Gonzalez
  • Alyssa Herbort
  • Sindy Ventura
  • Marshall Drake
  • Masha Aseeva
  • Katie Hedgpeth

Current Collaborators

  • Daniel Johnston, Ph.D.               

  • Chandrajit Bajaj, Ph.D. 

  • Wickcliffe C. Abraham, Ph.D.

  • Josef Spacek, MUDr, DrSc

  • Mike Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D.               

  • Mitya Chklovskii, Ph.D.           

  • Mary Kennedy, Ph.D.           

  • Terrence J. Sejnowski, Ph.D.           

  • Tom Bartol, Ph.D.

  • James Carson, Ph.D.  

  • Karin Sorra, Ph.D.

  • Cailey Bromer, Ph.D.

Past Collaborators

  • Matthew A. Xu-Friedman, Ph.D.

  • Wade G. Regehr, Ph.D.

  • German Barrionuevo, M.D.

  • David B.T. McMahon, Ph.D.

  • Howard Eichenbaum, Ph.D.

  • Viktor Popov, Ph.D.

  • Yannan Ouyang, Ph.D.

  • David Kantor, Ph.D.

  • Erin M. Schuman, Ph.D.

  • Steven Finkbeiner, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Sohail F. Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Anna Maloratsky, M.D.

  • Kori M. Jacobs, Ph.D.

  • Michael E. Greenberg, Ph.D.

  • Ingrid Carlbom, M.S., Ph.D.

  • Demetri Terzopoulos, Ph.D.

  • James F.A. Traniello, Ph.D.

  • Ben Kater, Ph.D.

  • John Lisman, Ph.D.