We are a diverse team of scientists with a wide range of skills, backgrounds, and experiences. Graduate students and post-doctoral trainees in the lab have pursued careers in academia, science policy, industry, scientific writing and consulting.

Stephen Maren, PhD

University Distinguished Professor

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Institute for Neuroscience

Office: 3200B Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB). Email me:

Google scholarORCiDTAMU profile

James E. Hassell, Jr., PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Year entered: 2022

Office: 3146 ILSB. Email me:

Annalise Binette

Graduate student (Neuroscience)

Year entered: 2017; Awarded NIH Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (2020-2022)

Office: 3201 ILSB. Email me:

Cecily Oleksiak

Graduate student (Neuroscience)

Year entered: 2018

Office 3201 ILSB. Email me:

Kay Vasudevan

Graduate student (Neuroscience)

Year entered: 2019

Office: 3201 ILSB. Email me:

Hugo Bayer, MS

Graduate student (Neuroscience)

Year entered: 2021

Office: 3200 ILSB. Email me:

Tuğçe Tuna, MA

Graduate student (Neuroscience)

Year entered: 2021

Office: 3200 ILSB. Email me:

Laila Melissari, MS

Senior Research Associate

Office: 3200 ILSB. Email me:

Graduate Alumni

Texas A&M University
  • Michael S. Totty (Neuroscience, PhD, 2022) • Thalamic coordination of prefrontal-hippocampal interactions underlying the retrieval of fear extinction memories . Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, Lieber Institute, Baltimore, MD.
  • Reed L. Ressler (Neuroscience, PhD, 2021) • Synaptic and associative mechanisms of fear conditioning to unpredictable threats. Current position: Scientist, Capsida Biotherapeutics, Thousand Oaks, CA.
  • Karthik R. Ramanathan (Neuroscience, PhD, 2020) • Role of thalamic nucleus reuniens in Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction. Current position: Senior Research Associate, Spark Therapeutics, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Thomas F. Giustino (Neuroscience, PhD, 2019) • Noradrenergic modulation of stress-induced deficits in fear extinction • NIH NRSA. Current position: Medical Writer • Axiom, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Travis D. Goode (Neuroscience, PhD, 2018) • Brain systems coordinating fear to uncertain threats • NIH NRSA. Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University Medical School, Cambridge, MA.
  • Qian “Angie” Wang (Biology, PhD, 2017) • Exploring the role of infralimbic cortex inhibitory circuits in the context-dependent extinction and renewal of fear. Current position: Assistant Professor, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR.
  • Jingji Jin (Neuroscience, PhD, 2017) • Neural circuits underlying context- dependent memory retrieval. Current position: Data Scientist, State Farm Insurance, Madison, WI.
  • Gillian M. Acca (Neuroscience, PhD, 2017) • The interaction of progesterone and allopregnanolone with fear memories. Current position: Science Policy Analyst, National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC.
  • Janice J. Kim (Psychology, MS, 2014) • Reversible inactivation of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis blocks reinstatement but not renewal of extinguished fear. Seoul, Korea.
University of Michigan
  • Caitlin A. Orsini (Psychology, PhD, 2012) • Neural circuitry underlying contextual regulation of fear after extinction • NIH NRSA. Current position: Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Austin, TX.
  • Joshua M. Zimmerman (Neuroscience, 2010, PhD) • Compensatory neural circuits for fear learning without the basolateral amygdala. Current position: Compliance Applications Area Lead, Bloomberg NYC, New York, NY.
  • Chun-hui Chang (Psychology, PhD, 2009) • Extinction of recent fear: Behavioral and neural mechanisms. Current position: Associate Professor, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.
  • Christine A. Rabinak (Psychology, PhD, 2009) • The associative representation of fear memories mediated by the amygdala. Current position: Associate Professor, Wayne State University.
  • Jennifer A. Hobin (Psychology, PhD, 2006) • Neural circuits for context-specific expression of pavlovian fear memory after extinction • NDSE Graduate Fellowship. Current position: Deputy Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Washington, DC.
  • Kevin A. Corcoran (Psychology, PhD, 2004) • Participation of the dorsal hippocampus in the acquisition, expression, and context-dependency of extinction of learned fear • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Current position: Scientific Writer, Prescott Medical Communications Group, Chicago, IL.
  • Ki A. Goosens (Psychology, PhD, 2002) • Conditional plasticity in the amygdala: Substrates, molecular mechanisms, and the relationship to fear behavior • HHMI Graduate Fellowship. Current position: Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York, NY.

Postdoctoral Alumni

Texas A&M University
  • Jianfeng Liu, PhD (2021) • Current position: Assistant Professor, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, China.
  • Olivia W. Potvin (Miles), PhD (2020) • Current position: Research Program Manager, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.
  • Paul J. Fitzgerald, PhD (2017)Current position: Research Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Crystal M. Erickson, PhD (2013) • Current position: Surgical Neurophysiologist, National Neuromonitoring Services, Little Elm, TX.
University of Michigan
  • Jee-Hyun Kim, PhD (2010)Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Psychiatry, Deakin University School of Medicine, Australia. link
  • Chun-hui Chang, PhD (2010)Current position: Associate Professor, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. link
  • Ewelina Knapska, PhD (2009) • Current position: Professor, Nencki Institute, Warsaw, Poland. link
  • Jinzhao Ji, MD, PhD (2007)Current position: Physician Assistant, Private Practice, Raleigh, NC.

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