Dr. Lou Blanpain, PhD
Lou is a Belgian student who graduated in Neuroscience and Cellular & Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. During college, he studied rodent hippocampal place cells in Dr. Knierim’s lab. He then worked for two gap years on the genetics of psychiatric disorders at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (Baltimore). Lou then came to Emory to pursue his MD-PhD working with Drs. Willie and Singer. During his PhD, his research focused on understanding circuits involved in memory and emotion, as well as non-invasive means of modulating such circuits. Specifically, he works with treatment-resistant epileptic patients who, for clinical reasons, temporarily undergo intracranial recordings, offering a unique opportunity to shed light on the workings of said circuits. Lou recently defended his thesis entitled “Multisensory Flicker Modulates Wisdespread Brain Networks via Resonance and Reduces Interictal Epileptiform Discharges in Humans — an intracranial EEG study.” Lou will now return to medical school to complete his MD.
Dr. Sena Agezo, PhD
Sena was a Neuroscience PhD student that worked jointly in the labs of Drs. Robert Liu, Gordon Berman and Larry Young at Emory University. He is interested in understanding how the oxytocin system in the striatum influences the neurophysiological mechanisms in behaviors such as social attachment, which gradually emerge over long timescales and involve a trajectory of dynamic behavioral interactions. He uses computational and quantitative approaches to try to understand how social signals are translated into neural activity to modulate social behavioral responses. His work involves recording electrophysiological activities in freely moving socially monogamous rodents, prairie voles. He also applies machine learning and deep learning techniques to extract behavioral dynamics as the voles cohabitate and form social bonds. Sena successfully defended his thesis entitled “Quantifying Animal Social Behavior during Pair Bond Formation” in Februrary 2023. He is currently a Portfolio Strategist at the D.E. Shaw Group.