People

Samuel Sober, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Director, Simons-Emory International Consortium on Motor Control

Director of Graduate Studies,
Emory Neuroscience Graduate Program

President,
Atlanta Chapter, Society for Neuroscience

CV    GoogleScholar

Bryce Chung, Ph.D
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Senior Manager, Technology and Innovation, Simons-Emory International Consortium on Motor Control

Bryce is a postdoc who is pursuing his interests in feedback control of sensorimotor systems using a multipronged approach that integrates biological experiments, computational analysis, and mathematical modeling. His goal in the Sober Lab is to characterize the timescale of neural patterns across populations of neurons that control complex motor behaviors. His experimental methods include developing high-density flexible multielectrode arrays to record multiple single motor units and employing mutual information and Bayesian inference methods to analyze patterns in neural activity.

Bryce is the Technology and Innovation Lead on a prestigious multi-institutional Simons Foundation grant and manages customization and fabrication of multielectrode arrays for collaborators across multiple species while also developing a user-friendly data analysis pipeline to extend the Lab’s analysis approaches to a larger audience. His team includes undergrads to postdocs and spans from Columbia University in New York to the Salk Institute in California.

Bryce graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 with a bachelor’s of science in chemical engineering and a masters of business administration with a concentration in finance. In 2017, under the supervision of Dr. Donald Edwards at Georgia State University, Bryce completed and defended his dissertation titled, “Locomotor network dynamics governed by feedback control in crayfish posture and walking.” His work included in vitro hybrid experiments using a brain-machine interface and real-time biomechanical simulations to determine the role of sensory feedback during posture and locomotion. In addition, he used computer simulations of a neural network to characterize the dynamics of a locomotor control circuit using a parameter sweeping technique. Finally, he implemented a simplified nonlinear oscillator model to illustrate that sensory feedback can change network output by controlling the underlying bifurcations.

Email: bryce dot paul dot chung at Emory dot edu

Selected Publications

BP Chung and DH Edwards. (2019). Discrimination of bursts and tonic activity in multifunctional sensorimotor neural network using Extended Hill-Valley method. Journal of Neurophysiology, Article in press.

Chung, B., Bacqué-Cazenave, J., Cofer, D. W., Cattaert, D., & Edwards, D. H. (2015). The effect of sensory feedback on crayfish posture and locomotion: I. Experimental analysis of closing the loop. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113(6), 1763-1771.

Bacqué-Cazenave, J., Chung, B., Cofer, D. W., Cattaert, D., & Edwards, D. H. (2015). The effect of sensory feedback on crayfish posture and locomotion: II. Neuromechanical simulation of closing the loop. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113(6), 1772-1783.ard (6/2014).

Awards

Kenneth W. and Georganne F Honeycutt Fellowship, Georgia State University (Aug 2015 – May 2017)
Brains & Behavior Fellowship, Georgia State University (Aug 2012 – May 2017)

Amanda Jacob, Ph.D
Associate Scientist and Research Coordinator
Senior Manager, Operation, Simons-Emory International Consortium on Motor Control

amandaAmanda is a research scientist who is primarily interested in how protein, cell, and circuit structure contributes of function.  Amanda serves as the Sober lab research coordinator, ensuring that research in the Sober lab runs smoothly. She is also operation manager of the Simons-Emory International consortium on motor control, helping to coordinate the consortium labs’ joint research efforts.

Amanda received degrees in physics and chemistry at Georgia Tech before receiving her PhD in neurobiology in 2012 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While at UNC, she worked under Dr. Richard Weinberg using light and electron microscopy to investigate the organization of AIDA-1 and AMPARs, two different proteins involved in synaptic plasticity.  After her graduate studies, she joined David Fitzpatrick’s group at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience as a research scientist. In the Fitzpatrick lab, she studied the organization of GABAergic circuitry in primary visual cortex and  managed histological processing of tissue.

Email: amanda dot louise dot jacob at Emory dot edu

Publications

Jacob AL, Weinberg RJ. (2015) The organization of AMPA receptor subunits at the postsynaptic membrane. Hippocampus 25:798-812

Jacob AL, Jordan BA, Weinberg RJ. (2010) Organization of amyloid-beta protein precursor intracellular domain-assoicaited protein-1 in the rat brain. J Comp Neurol. 518:3221-36

Alynda Wood
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

Prior to entering Emory’s Neuroscience Graduate Program, Lyndie received her undergraduate degree at Hampshire College, where she majored in Neuroscience. She then completed the Postbaccalaureate Intramural Training program at NIH working under Dr. Leonardo Belluscio, where she studied the development and plasticity of the olfactory system. Her current research focuses on the neurophysiological and anatomical underpinnings of motor learning in songbirds.

email: alynda.noel.wood at emory dot edu

Honors/Awards

Emory Neuroscience Outreach Award (2018)
Emory Neuroscience Director’s Award for Extraordinary Leadership (2018)
Emory Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Career Teaching Award (2018)
Gordon Research Conference Poster Prize (2018)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2015-2020)
ARCS Scholar Award (2016-2018)
Emory University Division Scholar Award (2014-2019)

Publications

Lehmann, K.S., Wood, A.N., Cummings, D., Bai, L., Stevens, B., Belluscio, L. Complement 3 signaling is necessary for the developmental refinement of olfactory bulb circuitry
(BioRxiv: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/449454v1.full)

Fan, F., Jia, L., Ebrahim, S., May-Simera, H., Wood, A.N ., Morell, R.J., Liu, P., Lei, J., Kachar, B., Belluscio, L., Qian H., Li, T., Li, W., Wistow, G., Dong, L. (2017) Maturation arrest in early postnatal sensory receptors by deletion of the miR-183/96/182 cluster in mouse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(21), E4271-E4280.

James McGregor
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

jamesJames received a B.S. in Biology and Neuroscience, with a minor in chemistry, from Brandeis University. There, he worked in the Turrigiano lab and studied the effects of behavior on expression of firing rate homeostasis in rat visual cortex. James’ research in the Sober lab is focusedon reinforcement learning and error correction.
Email: james dot neal dot mcgregor at emory dot edu

Publications

Hengen KB, Torrado Pacheco A, McGregor JN, Van Hooser SD, Turrigiano GG. (2016) Neuronal Firing Rate Homeostasis Is Inhibited by Sleep and Promoted by Wake. Cell.165(1):180-91.

Andrea Pack
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

Andrea Pack_pictureAndrea graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and minors in Applied Mathematics and Dance. Before joining the Emory Neuroscience Graduate Program, she worked in Dr. Randy Nudo’s lab at University of Kansas Medical Center studying neural mechanisms underpinning plasticity following stroke and traumatic brain injury. Andrea’s current research focuses on how patterns of coordinated activity across multiple neurons and muscles emerge during the learning of a skilled behavior.
Email: andrea dot r dot pack at emory dot edu

Honors/Awards:
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (3/2017).

Publications

Srivastava K, Holmes CM, Vellema M, Pack A, Elemans C, Nemenman I, and Sober SJ Motor control by precisely timed spike patterns PNAS 114(5):1171-1176 (2017).

Rachel Conn
Graduate Student, Neuroscience (Emory University)

Rachel graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Physics. While at Tech, she worked in the lab of Simon Sponberg to study motor coordination in hawk moths. Her experiences as an undergraduate researcher and as a ballet dancer inspired her to begin her PhD to understand how the brain, the body, and the environment interact to accomplish skilled motor behaviors. Specifically, she investigates how the encoding properties of neurons in the song bird motor cortex change during learning.

Email: rachel dot elizabeth dot barker at emory dot edu

Honors/Awards

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship 2017

Sean O’ Connell
GT/Emory BME graduate student (joint with Dr. Chethan Pandarinath)

Sean graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. He is working jointly as a graduate student in the labs of Chethan Pandarinath and Sam Sober. The main goal of his project is to uncover new insights into the neural mechanisms of skilled motor behavior. Currently, he is developing a new protocol for collecting forelimb EMG recordings from rats during a complex behavioral task. He plans to eventually characterize different types of reaches and grasps with this EMG data and other kinematics using a range of computational techniques, including Latent Factor Analysis via Dynamical Systems (LFADS).Currently, he assists the lab with design and fabrication of electronic components for processing and acquisition of neural signals. For access to recent code developments in the Sober Lab click here.

Email: Sean underscore oc at emory dot com

Matt Williams
GT/Emory BME graduate student

Matt graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2019 with B.S. degrees in both biomedical and mechanical engineering. While at RIT, he worked in the biological microsystems lab and designed a device to remove air bubbles from microfluidic cell culture systems. Matt’s current research focusses on single motor unit control in mouse forelimbs.
Email: matthew dot Williams 2 at emory dot edu

Publications

Kyle Thomas
GT/Emory BME graduate student

Kyle graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.S. in biomedical engineering and a B.S.A.S in systems engineering. His past research includes work with identifying the mechanisms behind ciliary beating and with developing microfluidic devices for chloride analysis in sweat. With a goal to develop neural prostheses, his current research focuses on understanding how coordinated activation across neurons leads to skilled motor behaviors.

Honors/Awards

Fellow, T32 Training Program in Computational Neuroengineering

Publications

Bottier, M., Thomas, K., Dutcher, S. K., Bayly, P. V. (2019). “How does cilium length affect beating?” Journal of Biophysics116(7), 1292-1304.

Abi Grassler 
Research Specialist

Raveena Chhibber 
Research Specialist

Kailash Nagapudi 
Research Specialist

Kailash graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2019. During his time there, he worked in the Platt and Botchwey labs and studied the effect sickle cell disease has on cerebral vasculature in murine models. At the Sober lab, he primarily works on the rodent behavior and EMG projects, focusing on getting new experiments off the ground, and designing and fabricating new flexible multi-electrode arrays.

Samir Chowdhury
Undergraduate Researcher

Alumni
Former Trainees

Varun Saravanan, PhD  2020 – Current Position: Data Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

David A. Nicholson, PhD 2017– Current Position: Machine Intelligence Engineer at Embedded Intelligence

Lukas Hoffman, PhD 2017 – Current Position: Software Engineer at Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

Kyle Srivastava, PhD 2016 – Current Position: Senior R&D Engineer at Boston Scientific

Staff

Connor Gallimore (Research Specialist)
David Hercules (Research Specialist)
Laura Waters-Goggins (Research Specialist)
Conor Kelly (Lab Manager, Undergraduate Researcher)
Mackenzie Wyatt (Undergraduate Researcher)
Rachel Rarick (Research Specialist)
Diala Chehayeb (Research Specialist)
Jonah Queen (Research Specialist)
Claire Tang (Undergraduate Researcher)
Rana Alsiro (Undergraduate Researcher)
Emily Berthiaume (Undergraduate Researcher)
Carolyn Mclaughlin (Undergraduate Researcher)
Je Eun Park (Undergraduate Researcher)
Sevara Rakhimova (Undergraduate Researcher)
Jeffrey Simpson (Undergraduate Researcher)
Reid Schwartz (High School Student)