Current Group Members

Graduate Researchers:  Scott Lee, Poojan Pyakurel, Cheng Yang, Ying Wang, Pumidech Puthongkham, Jason Borgus

Research Technicians:  Elefterios Trikantzopoulos

Postdoc: Malli Ganesana

Undergraduates: Yash Maniar, Leah Ostendorf, Nivedha Kannapadi

Scott LeeScott
Fifth-year Graduate Student in Chemistry

Scott graduated from Boise State University in 2012 with a B.S. in Chemistry with a Forensics emphasis and a minor in Biology. While there, he did computational biochemistry research under Dr. Henry Charlier Jr. on the inhibition of human carbonyl reductase with diaryl ethers. His research in the Venton lab is on understanding transient adenosine release in the brains of rodents. Outside of chemistry, Scott classifies himself as an actor, a pianist, a golfer, and a tabletop gamer.

Poojan Pyakurel
fifth-year Graduate Student in Chemistry Poojan

Poojan came from Nepal to attend Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA in 2007 and got interested in the Venton Lab after seeing a poster about work that was being done with light stimulated neurotransmitter release. She got her undergraduate degree with honors in Chemistry and a minor in Psychology from Randolph College, and joined the Venton lab as a Research Technician in 2011. She continued her work as a graduate student and is now a fourth year student working on Drosophila projects. She is involved with the outreach program LEAD (Learning Through Experiments and Demonstrations) and enjoys doing science experiments with children. She also enjoys hiking and dancing.

Cheng YangCheng
Fifth-year Graduate Student in Chemistry

Cheng received his B.Sc in ACS Accredited Chemistry from East Tennessee State University in 2012. Now as a graduate student, his research interests include the development of enhanced electrode materials and coatings incorporating carbon nanomaterials for the real-time measurement of neurotransmitters, the development of microelectrode design suitable for neural implantation, and fundamental study of adsorption kinetics of neurotransmitter to carbon nanomaterial based electrochemical sensor. Traveling, singing, and playing guitar (in his home-made recording studio) are his favorite activities in his spare time. 

Ying Wang
Fourth-year Graduate Student in Chemistry

Ying graduated from Geneva College with a B.A. in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics in 2013. She was a summer undergraduate researcher at University of Pittsburgh. While at UPitt, her research was focused on the area of nanomaterials (such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and ZnO nanowires), and their physical properties, as well as biochemistry. Currently, she is working on the effect of adenosine transients on oxygen levels and blood flow in the brain of rodents using Fast Scan Cyclic Voltammetry.   

Pumidech Puthongkham
Second-year Graduate Student in Chemistry                                 Max

Max graduated from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand in 2014 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry (First Class Honors with Gold Medal). While there, he developed a graphene-PEDOT modified screen-printed electrode for pharmaceutical analysis. Currently, he is interested in the development of nanomaterial-modified microelectrodes for neurotransmitter analysis and the study of electrode processes. Apart from academic life, he enjoys cooking and eating.

Jason Borgus
Second-year Graduate Student in Chemistry

Elefterios Trikantzopoulous
Research Technician                                  

Elefterios Trikantzopoulos is a graduate of the  University of Virginia in Biochemistry. He joined the lab in May 2012. He currently works on the development and purification of carbon nanotube spun fibers and other CNT projects. In his spare time, he enjoys working out and traveling.

Malli Ganesana        
Postdoctoral Researcher          Malli

Malli received his PhD from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY in 2012. While at Clarkson, his research focus was developing electrochemical biosensors for environmental and clinical applications. Later he did his postdoc at Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH. While at Dartmouth his research focus was monitoring neurotransmitters in real-time using enzymatic biosensors during the evolution of stroke in vivo. His current research in Venton lab focuses on understanding the spontaneous, transient adenosine release in multiple brain regions of rodent brain during the evolution of ischemia-reperfusion injury. Outside of chemistry, Malli enjoys playing cricket, badminton, hiking and any outdoor activities.

Yash Maniar      
Undergraduate Researcher in Neuroscience    
Yash Maniar is a third year undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Bioethics. He joined the lab in the spring of 2014, initially working with Michael Nguyen's adenosine datasets. His current research with Malli Ganesana focuses on studying the effects of ischemia on stimulated dopamine in the rat brain. Besides science, Yash enjoys reading, traveling, and fantasy football.

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