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Murugan Lab


Malavika Murugan

Assistant Professor

Malu received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Dr. Rich Mooney's lab at Duke University. She subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Ilana Witten's lab at Princeton University. 

Selected Awards:

2017 - Allison J. Doupe Fellowship, McKnight Foundation.

2016-2019 - Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain Postdoctoral Fellowship, Simons Foundation.

2010-2011 - Broad Research Award, Ruth Broad Foundation.


Maha Rashid

Graduate student

Maha received her B.A. in Neuroscience at The College of Wooster in Ohio. In lab, she is interested in studying the neural correlates that underly familiarity and social recognition using tracing, optogenetic and in vivo imaging tools. Outside of lab you can find her exploring Atlanta, usually at a park, hole-in-the-wall food spot, or a local brewery.


Jennifer Isaac

M.D./Ph.D Graduate student

Jenni received her B.S. in Neuroscience for Davidson College in Charlotte, NC. She then worked as a research assistant in the Glickfeld Lab at Duke University. After three years of medical school, she started her Neuroscience PhD. In lab, she is interested in investigating the anatomical and functional changes in lateral septal connectivity in neurodegenerative mouse models. Outside of lab, Jenni enjoys running marathons, playing soccer and strolling on the Beltline.

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Jarildy Javier

Graduate student

Jarildy received her B.A. in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution from Colby College, Waterville, ME. After spending some time in science eduction abroad, she became a NIH PREP scholar at Northwestern University. Her thesis work is focused on using calcium imaging to understanding the neural substrates underlying pair bonding behavior in the prairie vole. She is co-mentored with Dr. Larry Young. When she's not in lab, Jarildy likes trying out restaurants, drinking bubble tea, and singing loudly during drives with friends.


Ben Dykstra

Graduate student

Coming soon!


Hyma Balasubramanian

Graduate student

Hyma is a graduate student in the lab, hailing from India. She is the recipient of the George W Woodruff Fellowship, and the Simon-Emory Fellowship in Computational Neuroscience through the neuroscience graduate program of Emory. She has an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, and a master's in Computational Neuroscience from the Bernstein Centre of Computational Neuroscience, Berlin, Germany. In the lab, she is working towards identifying the extent of shared and distinct representations of social and non-social reward processing present in the reward circuitry and the computations that underlie communication between such representations. Outside the lab, Hyma enjoys cooking and hosting events for her friends and family.


Sarah Thomas

Research Technician

Sarah is a recent Emory College and Oxford graduate who majored in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. She is currently working with graduate students in investigating the neural circuits underlying social recognition. In her free time, she enjoys skateboarding and binge-watching anime.

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Sonia Karkare

Undergraduate research scholar

Sonia is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory College. In the lab, she is working with graduate students to understand the effects of oxytocin on social behavior. During her downtime, Sonia likes to watch Netflix with her cats.


Hannah Klein

Undergraduate research scholar

Hannah is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology in Emory College. She works closely with graduates students to identify the neural circuits underlying social recognition. Outside the lab, she enjoys playing volleyball, going on walks, and exploring downtown Atlanta.


Nick Schappaugh

Research Technician

Current position: PhD student, Georgia State University

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Manish Bhatta

Undergraduate research scholar


Yesenia Garcia 

Rotation student, currently in Dr. Shanon Gourley's lab


Madison Li

Undergraduate research scholar


Eli Chlan

Rotation student, currently in Dr. Machelle Pardue's lab


Viviana Valentin

Rotation student, currently in Dr. Shanon Gourley's lab


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