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Research Staff

Full time staff not only support our research efforts, but develop their own independent lines of research.

Dr. Ryan Rakoczy

Postdoctoral Research Associate

2013 - BA in Psychology, Wright State University
2017 - MA in Neuroscience & Physiology, Wright State University
2021 - PhD in Biomedical Sciences, Wright State University

Joined Fall 2021

Dr. Rakoczy worked with Dr. Chris Wyatt during graduate school to study the control of breathing at the level of the Carotid Bodies: tiny organs that "sense" falling blood-oxygen levels and are responsible for the increased drive to breathe experienced when holding your breath. Trained as a cell physiologist, he is currently interested in understanding how psychedelic drugs, mainly psilocybin, work at the cellular level to ameliorate symptoms associated with a variety of mental health disorders.

Brianna Roberts

Research Technician

2021 - BS in Behavioral Neuroscience, Centre College

Joined Summer 2021

Prior to working in the McMurray Lab, Brianna studied the neuroendocrinological effects of substance abuse in Japanese quail with Dr. Karin Gill as an undergraduate student. These projects shaped her research interest in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying addiction and withdrawal. Although she transitioned from feathers and beaks to tails and squeaks (quail vs. rodent models) when she joined the lab, she continues to investigate several aspects of substance use disorders. Her current projects aim to address the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and other tryptamines for processes affected by drugs of abuse and mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. When she is not in the lab, you can probably find her at home with my pets and a good book, movie, or playlist!

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