Zoe McElligott, Ph.D.

Zoe received her B.S. from New York University in Neural Science in 2003 and subsequently did her Ph.D. in the lab of Danny Winder at Vanderbilt University (2009) studying noradrenergic modulation of glutamatergic signaling in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Zoe then completed a post-doc with Mark Wightman at UNC learning in vivo and ex vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and spent a year in the Stuber lab at UNC learning optogenetic and behavioral techniques. The McElligott Lab officially launched in the fall of 2015 at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies and the Department of Psychiatry.

Away from the lab Zoe likes spending time with her family (husband, Tom, and daughter, Georgia) and all the animals on her crazy farm! She enjoys spinning yarn, knitting, cooking, dancing, and traveling to new places and obtaining new cultural experiences. Fun fact: Zoe loves singing karaoke!

Email: zoemce@email.unc.edu

Twitter: @nanopharmNC

Elizabeth Cogan, Ph. D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Liz received her BA in Psychology from Montclair State University in 2007, and received her PhD in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan in 2016, where she worked with Dr. Terry Robinson studying individual differences in response to reward paired cues.

Outside of the lab, Liz enjoys cooking, drawing, painting, Brazilian jiu jitsu, crossfit, and karaoke.

Email: cogane@email.unc.edu

Twitter: @sciencoeruleus

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María Luisa Torruella Suárez, Graduate Student, Neurobiology Curriculum

María Luisa received her BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale University in 2015. She joined the Neuroscience Curriculum at Chapel Hill in the Fall of that same year.

She is currently interested in how amygdalar and hindbrain circuits modulate voluntary alcohol drinking.

She is originally from Puerto Rico and enjoys exploring her new home in North Carolina. When not in lab, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, singing, and feminist critiques of science fiction.

Email: marluisa@email.unc.edu

Twitter: @maria_luisa_pr

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Adonay Teklezghi, Lab Technician

Adonay graduated with a BA in Biology and Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018. He started working with the McElligott lab as a Lab Assistant during his junior year. Adonay’s research has focused mainly on noradrenergic activity during withdrawal from alcohol. He plans to spend this year working for the McElligott Lab while applying to medical school.

Adonay was born in Stuttgart, Germany and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. He enjoys playing soccer and traveling. He spent a month this past summer backpacking through Europe!

Email: adonayt@live.unc.edu

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Isabel Bravo, Research Assistant

Isabel is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pursuing a B.S. in Quantitative Biology and Neuroscience, with a minor in Chemistry. She joined the lab during her freshman year and plans to graduate in 2021. Isabel works mainly on alcohol studies with Karl Schmidt, Ph. D. She hopes to attend medical school after graduation to become a physician-scientist.

Outside of the lab, Isabel is a sabre fencer for UNC’s Division I fencing team. She also volunteers weekly in the UNC Hospital Emergency Department. In her (rare) free time Isabel enjoys eating, napping, and traveling.

Email: imbravo@med.unc.edu

Twiter: @Isabel_M_Bravo

Shivani Mahendar

Shivani is an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Biostatistics BSPH and minoring in Chemistry. She plans to graduate in 2021 and plans to study medicine.

Shivani was born in Vermont, and moved (at least) seven times, since. She is EMT-B Certified and her hobbies include dancing, baking, and photography.



McElligott Lab Alumni
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Karl Schmidt, Ph.D., former postdoc, currently a scientist at Davidson College

Patric Perez, former PREP student, currently a graduate student at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Brennon Luster, Ph.D., former postdoc, currently a Medical Scientist Liaison for Eli Lily

Shanaya Fozdar, former undergrad research assistant

Rani Richardson, former rotation student, MD/Ph.D. Student at UNC

Catherine Normandeau, Ph.D., former visiting student

Kedar Dange, MPH, former undergrad research assistant

James Hutson, former undergrad research assistant

Anna Jones, former undergrad research assistant

Greg Tipton, former lab manager

Gunjan Patel, former undergrad research assistant

Jessica Vandenberg, former undergrad research assistant

Viren Makhijani, former BBSP rotation student

Anze Testen, former BBSP rotation student