Michelle Bridi, Ph.D.
Michelle Bridi is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University. Her interest in neuroscience was sparked while studying biology as an undergraduate at McGill University, which spurred her to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. She loves to share her enthusiasm for neuroscience through teaching, mentoring, and organizing events that bring neuroscientists together. When not in the lab, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and camping.
Morgan Bridi, Ph.D.
Morgan Bridi is a native West Virginian. He attended West Virginia University as an undergraduate and has returned to Morgantown as an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (visit his lab's webpage for more info). During his years away, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the Hussman Institute for Autism and the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore, MD.
Victoria Shifflett is currently a laboratory technician for Dr. Michelle Bridi in the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at WVU. She received a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from WVU. Her interest in neuroscience came from undergraduate research looking at the nanoscale organization of dendritic spines in relation to Alzheimer's Disease. In the Fall of 2024, she plans on attending graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Currently, she is working on a model for stroke in mice to find out what is happening to the brain immediately after the stroke. She looks forward to learning new techniques and studying a side of neuroscience that is new to her. In her free time she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and being outdoors.
Bryan Rodriguez is currently a 3rd year PhD student in the Behavioral Neuroscience program in the WVU Psychology Department. His current research interests center around how sleep deprivation in adolescence may impact cognitive function and physiology once an individual matures into adulthood. He is also working on a project that centers around how the sleep/wake cycle is impact in an Autism-related mouse model via EEG/EMG recordings. Bryan is currently exploring career opportunities following graduate school, but would like to be able to teach and mentor young Latine/first-generation students. In his free time, he enjoy training martial arts, downhill skateboarding, and playing video games with friends.
Ben Menarchek is currently a 2nd year PhD student in the Cellular and Integrative Physiology Program at the WVU School of Medicine. His research project involves exploring the excitation/inhibition ratio using electrophysiological and behavioral techniques over the development of a mouse model as a mechanism of understanding synaptic plasticity. Along with this project, he is also observing abnormalities of the sleep/wake cycle in an autism-related mouse model using EEG/EMG recordings. Following graduate school, Ben’s long-term goal is to transition to a competitive postdoctoral position to gain the expertise and knowledge to become an independent research investigator. Outside of the lab, he enjoys hiking, exercising, and reading classical fiction.
Dara Althouse is currently a junior in the Neuroscience major at WVU. Additionally, she is minoring in both Anthropology and Psychology. In the Bridi lab, her project aims to investigate the homeostatic sleep/wake cycle in Autism-related mice models, accomplished via the use of EEG/EMG recordings. Following undergrad, Dara aims to attend graduate school and continue her research career in the field of neuroscience. Dara’s hobbies outside of the lab primarily consist of reading, baking, and spending time with friends.
Jacob Smertneck is a freshman Biology major with a minor in Psychology. In the Bridi lab, they are working on a project that centers around how the sleep/wake cycle is impacted in an autism-related mouse model via EEG/EMG recordings. Jacob has an interest in studying developmental disorders and psychiatric illness, and in their free time enjoys cooking, reading horror and non fiction, camping and spending time with friends.