Home | People | Research | Publications | Pictures


The Katz Laboratory
838 Petit Science Center

100 Piedmont Rd, SE

Lab Phone: 404-413-5364


Paul S. Katz


*       Faculty Profile on the Neuroscience Institute Site

*       Director of the Center for Neuromics

*       Co-director of the Neural Systems and Behavior Course at the MBL at Woods Hole, MA.

*       Curriculum vitae (pdf file)

*       Courses:

*        Neurobiology (Biol 6102 / Neur 6010)

*        Neurobiology II (Biol 8020)

*       Office: 816 Petit Science Center, Phone: 404-413-5398

*       E-mail: pkatz@gsu.edu

I have an interest in understanding neural circuits, neuromodulation, and evolution.  The projects of the people in my lab reflect these interests.



Akira Sakurai, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

*       Home Page

*       Curriculum vitae

*       E-mail: akira@gsu.edu

I am looking at state- and timing- dependent serotonergic neuromodulation in the Tritonia swim circuit. I also discovered that there is functional recovery from injury in Tritonia. Lately, I have been comparing the CPGs for swimming in Dendronutus and Melibe.



Josh Lillvis

Ph.D. Student

*       E-mail: lillvis@gsu.edu


I am using a comparative approach to study the neuromodulation of synaptic strength.



Charuni Gunaratne

Ph.D. Student

*       E-mail: cgunaratne1@student.gsu.edu

I am using a comparative approach to study the function of state- and timing- dependent neuromodulation. 

Arianna Tamvacakis

Ph.D. Student

*       E-mail: tamvacakis@gmail.com


I am interested in studying how Tritonia recovers from injury.



May Chen

MS student

*        E-mail: mchen8@student.gsu.edu


I am learning MATLAB so that I can model the Melibe and Dendronotus swim CPGs.



Punam “Pooja” Mandania

Undergraduate Researcher

*        Email: pmandania1@student.gsu.edu



Caleb Young

Undergraduate Researchers

*       Email: cyoung22@student.gsu.edu




Former Lab Members:





Robert Calin-Jageman

Postdoctoral Associate and Adjunct Faculty until 2007

Now an Assistant Professor at Dominican University

*       Home Page

*       E-mail: rcalinjageman (at) dom.edu

Bob led the effort on the NeuronBank project. This is a neuroinformatics approach to organizing information about identified neurons and their synaptic connections. He also did computer simulations of the Tritonia swim network and created a tool called NeuronPM, which allows lab computers to be linked together to perform large parameter sweeps using the NEURON simulation environment. He later collaborated in the creation of Tavi He spends his time stalking Nobel Laureates.



Evan Hill, Ph.D.

Former Postdoctoral Associate, now post-doctoral associate with William Frost at Rosalind Franklin Univ.

*       E-mail: evan.hill (at) rosalindfranklin.edu

Evan did calcium signaling in Tritonia swim  CPG neurons. He examined the extent to which the calcium signals are caused by the membrane potential oscillations versus synaptic inputs that act through second messengers. He also looked at calcium  dynamics caused by stimulation of the serotonergic CPG member DSI (dorsal swim interneuron). This could helped uncover some of the mechanisms involved in spike-timing-dependent neuromodulation.





James Newcomb

Ph.D. Student – defended Aug 2006

*       Thesis: Homologous neurons and their locomotor functions in nudibranch molluscs

*       Curriculum vitae

*       Current Address:
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
NEC Box # 29
New England College
24 Bridge St
Henniker, NH  03242

*       E-mail: jnewcomb (at) nec.edu

Jim’s thesis was to compare the properties and functions of homologous identified neurons in closely related species. He has one paper published in J.Comp.Neurol., one in J.Comp. Physiol.A. and two more on the way. 


through 2011

Sagar Jhala

Undergraduate Presidential Scholar


I have identified serotonergic neurons in Aplysia that have their axons in particular nerves.

Jhala S, Tamvacakis AN, Katz PS. Toward locating the source of serotonergic axons in the tail nerve of Aplysia. Invert Neurosci. 2011 Aug 30. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 21877137.



Nina Milosavljevic

Undergraduate researcher

*       E-mail: nmilosavljevic1 (at) student.gsu.edu


Nina was an undergraduate on an exchange program from Serbia.  She learned confocal microsopy, immunohistochemistry, and dye back fills. She contributed to the NeuronBank Wiki.


Michelle Naugle

Research Assistant

*       E-mail: ontopofthisworld (at) yahoo.com

Michelle is now a graduate student in the Neuroscience Program the University of Texas in Austin.  She did many things in the lab including modeling, immunohistochemistry, and electrophysiology.

Lisa Hayden

Research Assistant

Lisa worked on a collaborative project between the GSU Department of Biology and the new Georgia Aquarium. We created a laboratory-based, hands-on educational program for K-12 students visiting the Aquarium. The project team included GSU Biology and CBN faculty, the GSU Bio-Bus, and a new GSU Biology intern program.

Priyal Shah

Undergraduate Research Assistant

*       E-mail: pshah (at) student.gsu.edu


Priyal did confocal imaging of immunohistochemically stained neurons.


*       Christie Lynn-Bullock


*       Lyudmila Popova, Ph.D.
E-mail: lala_popova@mail.ru

*       Skishnell Nairn

*       Mercy Abonambugre

*       Julie Shwiller – Lab Tech

*       Naim Dargouth – Computer Modeler

*       Nadja Spitzer, Technician

*       Yokesh Balaraman, MS Student

*       Stefan Clemens, Ph.D., Post-doc

*       David J. Fickbohm, Ph.D., Post-doc

*       Todd Cook, Undergraduate Researcher

*       Steve-Felix Belinger, Research Assistant

*       Duane McPherson, Ph.D., visiting scientist

*       Deron Davis, Undergraduate researcher

*       Yirong Wang, Computer Programmer

*       Ann Reedy, Research Assistant

*       Kristy Welshhans, MS student

*       Minhao Zhuo, technician

*       Anu Kapanaiah


Lab Wiki | NeuronBank | Neuroscience Institute | Neurobiology and Behavior

Center for Neuromics | Department of Biology | Georgia State University | Atlanta Neuroscience

Last modified: September 13, 2011