Course Directors

Alberto Pereda

Alberto E. Pereda
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Alberto Pereda is a Professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His laboratory is interested in the properties and dynamics of gap junction-mediated electrical transmission in the vertebrate brain. The approach involves investigating electrical transmission at identifiable auditory mixed (electrical and chemical) synapses on the fish Mauthner cells, as well mammalian brain structures. While the study of plasticity of chemical synapses has long been an area of primary interest to neuroscientists, less is known about the modifiability of electrical synapses. Alberto’s laboratory investigates mechanisms underlying changes in synaptic strength at electrical synapses, which ultimately requires determining their full molecular and structural complexity. Alberto has served as faculty in the Neurobiology course from 1996-2000 and 2004-2007, and directed the Grass Laboratory in 2012-2014. He began co-directing NS&B in 2020.

Stephanie White

Stephanie White

Stephanie White is Professor of Integrative Biology & Physiology at UCLA where she also chairs the Undergraduate Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program. Her lab studies the neural basis of socially-learned vocal communication using songbirds. She conducted her doctoral training with Russ Fernald at Stanford University, investigating the social regulation of reproduction in cichlid fish. She was a postdoc at Duke with Rich Mooney, studying the neural basis of birdsong. Steph has previously been a student in NS&B and co-directed the Grass Labs in 2009-11. She began co-directing NS&B in 2019.

Course Director Opportunity

Directors of MBL advanced training courses are leaders in their fields and are highly committed to the training of the next generation of scientific leaders. If you may be interested in serving as a course director for the Neural Systems & Behavior course, we would love to hear from you. Among other characteristics, successful course directors have a proven track record of training/mentoring and are familiar with the missions of the MBL and NIH/NIMH. Course directors serve five-year terms. Contact  Director of Education, Dr. Linda Hyman at for more information.

Course Faculty

Alberto Pereda, Albert Einstein College of Medicine 
Stephanie White, UCLA 
Felix Schweizer, UCLA 
Michael Wright, California State University Sacramento 
Krista Todd, Westminster University
Antonia Murin-Burgin, Instituto de Investigacion en Biomedicina de Buenos Aires
Serapio Baca, University of Virginia
David Weisblat, UC Berkeley 
Simon Hess, University of Cologne
Lydia Szczupak, Universidad de Buenos Aires 
Eric Fortune, New Jersey Institute of Technology 
Jan Grewe, University of Tubingen
Laura Quintana, Clemente Estable Biological Research Institute 
Vicky Salazar, Cape Breton University 
Ulises Ricoy, University of Arizona, Tucson 
Dawn Blitz, University of Miami 
Mark Beenhakker, University of Virginia 
John Huguenard, Stanford University 
Gaby Maimon, Rockefeller University 
Gwyneth Card, Columbia University

John Tuthill, University of Washington
Marie Suver, Vanderbilt University
Michael Dickinson, Caltech 
Matt Van der Meer, Dartmouth University 
Jess Cardin, Yale University 
Nic Tritsch, New York University
Stephen Cowan, University of Arizona, Tucson
Micahael Brecht, Humboldt University 
Ann Clemens, University of Edinburgh 
Mimi Kao, Tufts University 
Nancy Day, Whitman College 
Mark Alkema, University of Massachusetts Medical School 
Vivek Venkatachalam, Northeastern University
Meg Younger, Boston University
Shelley Adamo, Dalhousie University
Gina Poe, University of California Los Angeles
Harold Zakon, University of Texas, Austin
Joe Fetcho, Cornell University
Shigeki Watanabe, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Bianca Marlin-Jones, Columbia University
Cindy Moss, Johns Hopkins University
Ashlee Van't Veer, National Institute of Mental Health

Course Staff

Course Assistants

  • Mackenzie Macomber, Colby College
  • Kylee Meece, Western Kentucky University

Teaching Assistants 

Cycle I - Leech 

  • Christopher Winchell, UC Berkeley

Cycle II - Electric Fish

  • Katie Gallman, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Andrea Roeser, New Jersey Institute of Technology

            - Stomato-thalamo-gastric ganglion

  • Anna Schneider, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Scott Kilianski, University of Virginia
  • Savanna-Rae Fahoum, Miami University
  • Sonal Kedia, Brandeis University
  • Daniel Powell, Bowdoin College

Teaching Assistants

Cycle III - Fly

  • Sam Whitehead, Cal Tech
  • Jazz Weissman, Rockefeller University
  • Ellen Lesser, University of Washington
  • Sam Asinof, Janelia Farms

            - Mouse

  • Clayton Barnes, Yale University
  • Quentin Perrenoud, Yale University
  • Manish Mohapatra, Dartmouth
  • Ricardo Melani, New York University
  • Abhilasha Vishwanath, University of Arizona

Cycle IV - Birdsong

  • Nicole Tai, Tufts University
  • Hamish Mehaffey, UCSF

            - Worm

  • Mahdi Torkashvand, Northeastern University
  • Maedeh Seyedolmohadesin, Northeastern University
  • Gabriella Blanco, U Mass Medical School
  • Shankar Ramachandran, U Mass Medical School