Meet Our Previously Supported Research Scholars

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2008 & 2009 Shuwen Cao -- Dr. Cao received her Ph.D. in Genetics in 2012. Her

dissertation was "Cytokine Signaling in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease." She is

currently a postdoctoral associate at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

2010 & 2011 Heather Allen Reish -- Ms. Reish earned an MS in Neurobiology in

2016. Her thesis was "Mechanisms of Adaptive and Immune Function in Parkinson's


2012 & 2013 Aaron Thome -- Dr. Thome received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and

Immunology in 2016. His dissertation was "Microglia orchestrate the inflammatory

response to alpha-synuclein in Parkinson disease models." He is currently a

Research Assistant Professor at Houston Methodist Neurological Institute with a

research program studying immunomodulatory therapies in Alzheimer's disease,

Parkinson's disease, and ALS.

2014 Lindsay Stoyka -- Dr. Stoyka received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2020. Her

dissertation was "Role of Endogenous Tau on Lewy-like Pathology." A student in

UAB 's Medical Scientist Training Program, she is currently in medical school at UAB.

2015 Rachel Underwood -- Dr. Underwood received her Ph.D. in Cell, Molecular,

and Developmental Biology in 2020. Her dissertation was "Rab27 Mediated Regulation

of Alpha-synuclein Propagation and Toxicity." She began a postdoctoral

fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in Fall 2020.

2016 Kaela Kelly -- Dr. Kelly received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2020. Her

dissertation was "Pharmacodynarnic Responses and Efficacies Associated with

LRRK2 Inhibition." She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University.

2017 Aubrey Schonhoff -- Aubrey continues her work on the role of microglia and

macrophages in the brain in models of Parkinson's Disease.

2018 Greg Williams -- Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. in Genetics, Genomics and

Bioinformatics in 2020. His dissertation was "The Role of T Cells in an Alpha-synuclein

Mediated Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease." He is currently working as a

Research Associate in the Harms lab at UAB. He is interviewing for postdoctoral


2019 Nicole Gallups -- Nicole continues her studies to test novel immune system

therapies in models of Parkinson's Disease.

2020 Casey Mahoney -- Casey is using super-resolution microscopy techniques to determine how the combination of different protein aggregates found in the brains of individuals with Parkinson's Disease cause changes in neuron structure. She is focused on how a mutation in a gene called GBA, which increases risk of Parkinson's Disease, influences formation of Lewy pathology in the brain.