Graduate Students

Nakul Aggarwal

Research Assistant

naggarwal5@wisc.edu

Nakul is a graduate student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD-PhD). His primary research interests involve the use of advanced imaging techniques to delineate neural alternations underlying the development of early childhood anxiety. More specifically, his thesis work focuses on cross-species longitudinal analyses of diffusion tensor and functional magnetic resonance imaging data from non-human primate and preadolescent human samples, with the end goal of identifying evolutionarily conserved neural patterns in the prefrontal-limbic circuit that may be predispose one to developing clinical anxiety. He ultimately hopes to combine his clinical and translational research training to pursue an academic career as a child psychiatrist and mental health researcher.

Josh Cruz

Research Assistant

jrcruz@wisc.edu

Josh is a graduate student in the Neuroscience & Public Policy Program (N&PP). His research interests are focused on studying the underlying neural mechanisms of affect, emotion regulation, and executive function in childhood and adolescence and how the development of impairments in these domains may contribute to psychopathology in adulthood. He uses a combination of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and psychophysiology measures to better characterize neural correlates and individual differences in pediatric anxiety and depression. In addition to his research, Josh is also a graduate of the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs as part of the N&PP and has broad interests in examining how advances in neuropsychiatric research shapes social and mental healthcare policy development.

Margaux Kenwood

Research Assistant

kenwood@wisc.edu

Margaux is a graduate student in the Neuroscience Training Program. Her interests lie in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying temperamental anxiety in non-human primates, with the hope of translating these findings into more effective and targeted treatments for anxiety and anxiety disorders in humans. She is excited about leveraging novel sequencing technologies, including laser capture-based microdissection and single cell transcriptomics, to further refine our understanding of the transcriptional alterations associated with temperamental anxiety. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, hanging with her cat named Cat, and throwing clay in the pottery studio. You can follow her on twitter @margaux_kenwood

Sascha Mueller

Research Assistant

skulick@wisc.edu

Sascha is a graduate student in the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Training Program. She is primarily interested in utilizing chemogenetic technology to further our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying anxious temperament in non-human primates, as well as refining these methods for future use in the clinical treatment of human anxiety disorders. Her current work focuses on using DREADDs in the amygdala to induce changes in anxiety-related behaviour, as well as characterizing the neuronal populations that are associated with viral transduction. Outside the lab, she enjoys spending time in Germany, reading the many works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and occasionally getting tattooed.

Rachel Puralewski

Research Assistant

puralewski@wisc.edu

Rachel is a graduate student in the Neuroscience Training Program. She is interested in the neural circuitry and molecular mechanisms that are relevant to the development of anxious temperament. She is currently investigating how differences in anxiety-related behaviors during the early-life of non-human primates relate to changes in the functional connectivity of the amygdala and prefrontal cortices. She is also studing how differing behavioral and connectivity growth trajectories may be reflected in the molecular signatures of anxiety-related brain regions.