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.

Jacqueline A. Hubbard, Ph.D.

Jackie Hubbard graduated from the University of Vermont in 2010 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Pharmacology. She then enrolled in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program at the University of California, Riverside and earned her M.S. in 2012. Her research interests, however, were in neuroscience. In Devin Binder’s laboratory, she used both in vivo and in vitro techniques to characterize astrocytic changes occurring during the epileptic pathogenesis. She defended her dissertation, titled “The regulation of aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and glutamate transporter-1 (GLT1) in an epilepsy model”, in July 2016. She is now continuing her research as a postdoctoral scholar and is focused on determining the mechanisms of astrocytic change in epilepsy and testing the efficacy of potential new antiepileptic drugs.

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.

Andrew Nakla

Andrew Nakla is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside majoring in Biology. He has received the Chancellor’s Research Fellowship for 2015-2016 and is currently investigating the levels of glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST), a protein found on astrocytes, in a mouse model of epilepsy. Techniques used in his project include Western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Som Chaturvedi

Som Chaturvedi 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
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