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!
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.
María Luisa Torruella Suarez, Graduate Student Neurobiology Curriculum
María Luisa received her BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale University in 2015. Along with learning about medieval manuscripts and the anthropology of bilingualism, she developed a passion for Neuroscience that she is now pursuing in the Neurobiology Curriculum at Chapel Hill. 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 writing poetry, singing, and feminist critiques of science fiction.
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!
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.
McElligott Lab Alumni
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