Austin Keeler
Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Daria Chefan
Research Associate
Bio – I am deeply fascinated by the realm of extracellular vesicles (EVs) within neurocellular systems, as well as their involvement in cancer cells. My research aim is to unravel the role of EVs and their profound influence on neural communication and function. Through an interdisciplinary approach and fueled by relentless curiosity, I am committed to shedding light on the mysteries surrounding EVs. By understanding the intricate interplay of EVs in neurobiology, we can explore novel therapeutic avenues and contribute to the advancement of medical science.
Reethika Chokkakula
Graduate student – Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Siyang Liao
Graduate student – Biological Sciences
Bio – I am interested in using CRISPR to generate in-vitro and in-vivo models to study neurons, especially in the jaw pain area. My goal is to find new functional targets or circuits in the jaw pain generation process. My hobby is 8-ball pool.
Robert Ndzeidze
Graduate student – Biological Sciences
Bio – Hello! I am a Ph.D. student in Dr. Austin Keeler’s lab. My research interest is in disease mechanisms. My research is focused on the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis pain. My research goal is to investigate the molecular changes in peripheral neurons that innervate the temporomandibular joints during osteoarthritis. I am using tools such as Imaging Mass Cytometry for this study.
I enjoy playing soccer and tennis.
Milad Markhali
Graduate student – Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
My research endeavors focus on leveraging advanced data analytics tools to explore neural activity, specifically targeting the dorsal root ganglia of the spinal nerves. Through an interdisciplinary approach that integrates advantageous tools such as imaging mass cytometry and machine learning algorithms, my objective is to innovatively address the problem and gain insights into neural development, function, and dysfunction. Outside of research, in my free time, I enjoy spending time in nature.

Lab Events

Summer 2024 – Recent impromptu birthday party after a lab meeting. Delicious homemade cake, thank you Daria!

Spring 2024 – Enjoying the eclipse!