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WVU BRNI welcomes four new faculty members

The WVU Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute welcomes four new faculty members to its ranks this semester.

In November 2016, the WVU BRNI launched an unprecedented national search for six scientists to start a new push in quantitative neuroscience – an interdisciplinary approach to studying how the nervous system processes information within the human brain.

This cross-campus initiative was led by Dr. Spirou and 18 other faculty members from departments in the Health Sciences Center, the Statler College of Engineering, and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.  The first wave of recruitment lasted several months into 2017, and resulted in three new hires: Dr. Charles Anderson from University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Shuo Wang from Princeton University; and Dr. Joonhee Lee from Brown University.  In addition, the BRNI gained another new faculty member, Dr. Nicholas Brandmeir, through a hire in the Department of Neurosurgery. 

Dr. Anderson

Charles “Charlie” Anderson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology, Pharmacology, & Neuroscience. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from Northwestern University in 2012, and had been working as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh since then. Dr. Anderson’s research is focused on cortical mechanisms that shape the receptive fields of auditory cortical neurons. He combines 2-photon calcium imaging of individual neurons in awake mice, animal behavioral assays, and pharmacological and optogenetic manipulations to understand the synaptic- and circuit- level mechanisms that control how auditory cortical neurons encode specific features of sounds.

Dr. Wang

Shuo Wang, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering in the Statler College of Engineering (Evansdale campus), with a secondary appointment as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Physiology, Pharmacology, & Neuroscience. He received his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology in 2014, after which he did a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, before joining Princeton University as a postdoctoral research associate. Dr. Wang’s lab conducts research on human neuroscience. Using a diverse array of neuroscience methods, he investigates how the brain generates emotions, makes decisions, and processes social stimuli. In particular, he exploits the unique opportunities provided by intracranial electrical recordings during neurosurgical procedures

Dr. Lee

Joonhee Lee, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics, in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (downtown campus), received both his MA and his PhD in Physics from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea, in 2010. He did postdoctoral work at both Seoul National University and Brown University, before becoming a senior research associate at Brown University. Dr. Lee's research topics of interest include (a) the development of a novel method to monitor and modulate neural activity, from a single neuron up to the brain’s network level; and (b) implantable microdevice technology for optogenetic applications, with his expertise in nanophotonics and optoelectronics. He is also interested in campus-wide collaborations.

Dr. Brandmeir

Nicholas “Nick” Brandmeir, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery. After receiving his MS from the University of Maine in 2006 and his MD from Albany Medical College in Albany, NY, in 2010, he completed fellowship training focused on both neuro-intensive care and stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at the Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center, where he also did his residency training in neurological surgery. Dr. Brandmeir’s clinical research interests focus on exploring the clinical impacts of postural instability on people with movement disorders, as well as ways to modify or improve postural instability with neuro-stimulation. He is also interested in evidence-based medicine and applying new and rigorous study design techniques to neurosurgical applications.

Please join us in welcoming Drs. Anderson, Brandmeir, Lee, and Wang to WVU!