Lab Members

We are looking for new Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows to join the lab!

Tim Machado, PhD

Assistant Professor

    I'm interested in understanding how descending pathways command the brainstem and spinal cord to initiate and modify movements—especially across different brain states (like hunger, thirst, and arousal). Previously, I was a postdoc working in the Deisseroth Lab at Stanford. Before that, I started a company called CTRL-labs that used ideas related to my doctoral work to build non-invasive technologies for decoding motor intention. I went to graduate school at Columbia where I studied spinal motor circuits. Outside of lab, I enjoy running, biking, and trying to be outside.

Jeff Gauthier, PhD

Senior Research Investigator

    I'm interested in using large-scale imaging and electrophysiological recordings to understand how brainstem circuits generate precise movements. Previously I studied hippocampal representations of reward, both as a post-doc with David Tank at Princeton University and an Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College. If I'm not in lab I'm probably singing, dancing, or playing music in Philadelphia's thriving folk music scene.

Abby Lieberman

Neuroscience Graduate Student (co-advised by Minghong Ma)

    I am interested in using experimental and computational approaches to study how movement execution changes across internal states. I started my PhD in neuroscience in 2022. Previously, I studied action selection at University of Maryland Baltimore and cognitive flexibility at NIAAA. When I'm not in lab you can find me doing hot yoga, cooking too much food, crafting, and squealing over cute animals.

Kerry Nix

Neuroscience Graduate Student

    I’m interested in using imaging and computational methods to understand neural bases of cognition, communication between brain areas, and variation of these across brain states. Before beginning my PhD in Neuroscience in 2022, I studied how reward influences behavior at UC Berkeley, and visual and language processing in epilepsy patients using TMS-EEG at Stanford University School of Medicine. Outside the lab, I like biking around Philly, hiking trails, and singing.

Tammi Coleman

Research Specialist (joint with Kate Wofford)

    I have 32 years of experience as a certified animal health technician. Specializing in anesthesia, clinical care, in vivo research experiments, and behavioral training. During my 25 years at Penn, I have collaborated with and helped five successful laboratories focused on research in Gene Therapy, Neuroscience, Otolaryngology, and Neurosurgery. As a laboratory manager for the Machado Lab, I assist staff and students with the study of how circuits across the brain send commands to control movement during different behavioral states by using multi-region neural recording techniques. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, walking with my two dogs, and making art.

Marie Fina

Research Specialist (joint with Diego Contreras)