Lab Members

Devin K. Binder, M.D., Ph.D.

Originally from the Bay Area, Devin K. Binder went to Harvard University as an undergraduate, where he studied biology, anthropology, and neuroscience. He was awarded the Hoopes Prize at Harvard for his summa cum laude senior honors thesis “Serotonin and behavioral state.” Deciding to pursue both neuroscience and clinical medicine, he enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Duke University. At Duke, he graduated 1st in his medical school class, and contributed to epilepsy neuroscience with his Ph.D. dissertation “The functional role of neurotrophins in the kindling model of epilepsy.” Subsequently, Binder completed a one-year internship in general surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and a six-year residency in neurological surgery at UCSF. At UCSF, he did a one-year fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Alan Verkman, leader in the field of aquaporin biology. Following residency, Binder was awarded the Van Wagenen neurosurgical fellowship for one year of neuroscience and neurosurgery at the University of Bonn. There, he did another fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Christian Steinhäuser, Director of the Institute for Cellular Neuroscience at the University of Bonn. Following a three-year stint at the University of California, Irvine, in the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Anatomy & Neurobiology, Binder joined the Division of Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, Riverside in January 2010. Binder is a dedicated teacher, having won awards for teaching at Harvard, Duke, UCSF, and UCI. He welcomes all those interested to apply to the laboratory for more information.

Carrie R. Jonak, B.S.

Carrie R. Jonak received her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2011. She began her career at the University of California, Riverside in 2013 and focused on reproductive neuroendocrinology for four years. She has brought her expertise to Devin Binder’s laboratory with her position as lab manager and research associate. In addition to providing managerial support, she is using multielectrode array (MEA) analysis to identify novel electrophysiological biomarkers in a mouse model to test the efficacy of potential new drugs for the treatment of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS).

Jonathan W. Lovelace, Ph.D.

Jonathan's science interests began with psychology and he received his psychology B.A. in 2009 at Cal State University, San Marcos. For graduate school, he became more interested in the biological factors involved in psychological processes, and more specifically neurological disorders. He enrolled in UCR's Systems Neuroscience Ph.D. program in the Psychology dept where he focused his research on electrophysiology in mice, and defended his dissertation, "Schizophrenia and Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Prefronal Cortex" in 2014. Jonathan is now a Post Doc under P.I.s Dr. Devin Binder, and Dr. Khaleel Razak at UCR, conducting research on a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). The main goal of this research is to identify novel electrophysiological biomarkers in mice that will translate to human clinical trials for treatment of FXS.

Thomas R. Murphy, Ph.D.

A Riverside native, Tom received his B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside in 2009. With a burgeoning interest in glial cells, he enrolled in UCR’s Neuroscience Ph.D. program and joined the lab of Dr. Todd A. Fiacco. There, he utilized confocal imaging and brain slice electrophysiology to study the role of astrocyte swelling in seizure models, and successfully defended his dissertation “Examining the Role of Astrocyte Swelling and Swelling-Induced Glutamate Release in Two Models of Neuronal Hyperexcitability”, in 2016. Now, as a postdoc in the Binder and Fiacco labs at UCR, Tom is using in vivo seizure models and two-photon imaging to continue exploring the temporal and functional relationship between astrocyte swelling and seizure generation.

Patricia S. Pirbhoy, Ph.D.

Patricia Pirbhoy received her B.S. in Biological Sciences in 2010 and Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of California, Irvine. There she pursued her research interests in learning and memory. Under the mentorship of Dr. Oswald Steward, she successfully defended her dissertation, titled “Phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 as a mechanism to regulate translation at activated synapses.” Patricia is now a Post Doc under the mentorship of Dr. Devin Binder and Dr. Iryna Ethell at UCR and will be using multielectrode array (MEA) analysis and candidate pharmacological inhibitors to identify molecular mechanisms involved in auditory hypersensitivity in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS).

Jenny Szu, B.S.

Jenny Szu received her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and is a neuroscience Ph.D. graduate student at the University of California, Riverside. Her research utilizes optical coherence tomography to detect intrinsic optical changes in models of cerebral edema, epilepsy, and mild traumatic brain injury. Additionally, she is exploring the role of aquaporin-4 during astrocytic swelling on neuronal excitability in animal models of chronic epilepsy.

Jennifer M. Yonan, B.S.

Jennifer received her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2011. From 2011 to 2014, she worked as a Research Assistant at UC Irvine’s Reeve-Irvine Research Center studying neuronal regeneration following spinal cord injury. She is currently a Ph.D. graduate student in the Neuroscience Department at the University of California, Riverside where her research focuses on the role of astrocytic aquaporin-4 water channels in the formation of edema following spinal cord injury.

Allison Peterson

Allison Peterson graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2015 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. She is a Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. graduate student at the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on the regulation and localization of the astrocytic membrane protein glutamate transporter-1 (GLT1) during epileptogenesis. She is also investigating modulation of glutamate and water homeostasis as a potential therapeutic strategy for epilepsy.

Dillon Patel

Dillon Patel is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside majoring in Neuroscience. He is currently identifying electroencephalogram (EEG) and optical biomarkers of post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) with histopathological correlation to aquaporin-4 and Kir4.1.

Binder Laboratory Alumni

Name Current Position
Alex Halim Medical student, University of Virginia
Alexander Lin MSTP student, UC Irvine
Amandip Gill Neurosurgery resident, UC Irvine
Christopher Owen Neurosurgery resident, UC Irvine
Mariam Amini Medical student, Pomona
Andy Treister Medical student, UC Irvine
Anish Nanduri Medical student, Pomona
Gi Eun Yang Medical student, South Korea
Som Chaturvedi Medical student, 
Name Current Position
Darrin Lee  
Neurosurgery resident and Ph.D student, UC Davis
Huzaifa Hakimuddin Undergraduate, UC Irvine
James Yeh Undergraduate, UC Irvine
Kiran Rajneesh Neurology resident, University of Vermont
Marcus Seldin Graduate student, Johns Hopkins University
Atsushi Kimura Orthopedic surgeon and researcher, Japan
Devin McBride Postdoctoral scholar, Loma Linda
Andrew Nakla  
Jackie Hubbard Postdoctoral scholar, UC San Diego