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Current Trainees

Jacob Boos

Emily Burrage

Krista Garner

Krista is a third year PhD student in the Cellular and Integrative Physiology program in the WVU School of Medicine. She works with Dr. Timothy Nurkiewicz where she studies the cardiovascular and reproductive ramifications of maternal inhalation exposure to engineered nanomaterials (ENM). Currently, she is working on assessing the critical window of gestational exposure to pinpoint the time at which the greatest detriment to microvascular function and fetal outcomes occur. Specifically, she is interested in how exposure alters components of the renin-angiotensin system and therefore alter microvascular function and health outcomes. “As a trainee I am able to hone my research and professional skills by being exposed to scientists outside of my discipline. Additionally, this T32 will provide ample opportunities for potential collaboration and intellectual guidance.”

Kristen Pechacek

Gabriella T. Ponzini

Gabriella T. Ponzini is in her first year as a trainee on the training grant. She is also a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Psychology. As part of her research with Dr. Shari Steinman, Gabriella studies methods to improve the recognition and treatment of anxiety disorders. As a trainee on the grant, she will have the opportunity to study the developmental pathways of anxiety disorders in post-stroke patients. "As a trainee, I will have the opportunity to conduct research to understand why and for who anxiety disorders develop in post-stroke patients. This research will help me develop methods to improve early recognition of anxiety disorders and access to evidence-based mental health care for patients. I will also have the opportunity to experience new research methods in basic science and learn from colleagues in various disciplines, which will help inform my clinical research in the future." 

Ariel Thomas

Ariel is in her second year of the Stroke and Comorbidities T32 Fellowship, and a fourth year in the Neuroscience PhD program. Ariel’s research combines biomechanical modeling, motion capture, musculoskeletal modeling, ultrasound, and electromyography to investigate movement disorder after stroke. The T32  Fellowship has funded her clinical research in designing and applying a rehabilitation technique using Virtual Reality, Biomechanical Modeling, and Functional Electrical Stimulation to assist motor-impaired stroke survivors with their movements. Support from the fellowship has allowed her to present findings at the Society for Neuroscience Conferences in 2018 and 2019, the RehabWeek Conference in Toronto, Canada, and attendance at the 2019 Experimental Biology (EB) Conference in Orlando, Florida.