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Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Christoph PröschelChristoph Pröschel, Ph.D.
KMRB 2-9629
Phone: (585) 273-5368
chris_proschel@urmc.rochester.edu

Glial progenitor cells and role of astrocytes as critical modulators in CNS disease and repair

Postdoctoral Scholars

Heather NatolaHeather Natola, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
heather_natola@urmc.rochester.edu

Heather graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.Sc. in Biology, and received her PhD from the University of Rochester in Neuroscience in 2017. Using the rat contusion injury model, her work has identified a novel pharmacological treatment for acute spinal cord injury. A true animal friend, she devotes much of her free-time to helping animals in need.

Research Staff

Jessica ArmandJessica Armand
Laboratory Technician
jessica_armand@urmc.rochester.edu

Jessica graduated in 2018 from Binghamton University with a degree in Biochemistry. She is interested in neuroimmunology. As a member of the spinal cord research team she has taken a particular interest in the role of microglia in spinal cord injury treatment. Jessica hopes to pursue a career in pharmaceutical industry.

Anissa ElahiAnissa Elahi
Laboratory Technician
anissa_elahi@urmc.rochester.edu

Anissa graduated in 2017 from the University of Rochester with a degree in Neuroscience. As a member of the spinal cord research team, Anissa currently studies novel pharmacological therapies for spinal cord injury. In addition, she has studied motordeficits in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Anissa’s hobbies include international cuisine and politics.

Michiko FeehanMichiko Feehan
Laboratory Technician
michiko_feehan@urmc.rochester.edu

Michiko graduated in 2018 from University of Rochester with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Michiko is a member of the spinal cord injury research team. She is interested in the development of regenerative medicine therapies, in particular the response of astrocytes to spinal cord injury.

Kourtney KorczakKourtney Korczak
Laboratory Technician
kourtney_korczak@urmc.rochester.edu

Kourtney graduated in 2017 from SUNY Buffalo with a degree in Biological Science. She is the head surgical specialist of our spinal cord research team, focusing on the thoracic contusion injury model. Kourtney is interested in testing novel therapeutics to treat spinal cord injury. She is also avid equestrian who loves the outdoors.

Justin TownsendJustin Townsend
Laboratory Technician
justin_townsend@urmc.rochester.edu

Justin graduated in 2018 from St. John Fisher with a degree in Biology and Religious Studies. The most recent recruit to the spinal cord research team, Justin is assisting with on-going studies to examine new pharmacological interventions for the acute treatment of spinal cord injury – which goes hand in hand with his goal to become a physician scientist.

Adam ViscaAdam Visca
Laboratory Technician
adam_visca@urmc.rochester.edu

Adam graduated in 2018 from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Biology. Adam works as a part of the spinal cord injury research team. He is also interested in the use of stem cells in medicine, including the potential of iPSC-derived astrocyte transplants for treatment of spinal cord injury. A vocalist in his spare time, Adam wants to apply his research experience towards a career in medicine.

Graduate Students

Li XieLi Xie
Genetics Ph.D. Graduate Student
li_xie@urmc.rochester.edu

Lie Xi joined the Proschel Lab in 2016, and is currently applying his extensive molecular skill towards analyzing the effects of EIF2B mutations in VWM disease on astrocyte function. He also collaborates with the spinal cord research team on investigating the effects of new pharmacological treatments on the Immune response in acute SCI. Lie Xi also became a proud father this year!

Research Assistants

Mahlon SchafferMahlon Schaffer
Biochemistry and Chemistry 2020
mschaff2@u.rochester.edu

Julia WhittenJulia Whitten
Neuroscience 2019
jwhitte5@u.rochester.edu