William Stauffer

Principal Investigator
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Aydin Alikaya

Graduate Student Researcher
Aydin earned his B.S. in Neuroscience at Allegheny College in 2015. He has been working in the Stauffer Lab since January 2016. In the Spring of 2019, he was accepted into University of Pittsburgh’s Neuroscience MS program, and he will continue to perform his research here in the Stauffer Lab.

Jackie Breter

Research Assistant – Primate Specialist
Jackie earned a B.S./M.S. in Wildlife Biology from Penn State in 2005, and went on to work as a zookeeper at the Erie Zoo. After that, Jackie worked as an Animal Care Supervisor for the Systems Neuroscience Animal Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. Jackie joined the Stauffer Lab in November 2018.

Jianjiao Chen

Data Scientist
Jianjiao got her PhD in Computer Science and Application from Shanghai University, China in 2012. She is a computer scientist with expertise in bioinformatics and computational biology, machine learning, deep learning, and statistics. Jianjiao obtained versatile skills and experiences from different biological projects when working and training at Yale University, Georgia Tech Institute, Miami Miller Cancer Center, and University of Pittsburgh as a postdoc, which covered the fields of stem cell research, cancer, immunology. Jianjiao joined Dr. Stauffer’s Lab in January 2020.

Jing He

Postdoctoral Associate
Jing received his PhD in Life Science from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2016. For his thesis project, he identified PICK1 to be a potent endogenous inhibitor of Parkin, an important protective protein related to Parkinson’s Disease. Jing joined the Stauffer Lab as a Postdoc in July 2017.

Tao Hong

Graduate Student Researcher
Tao is interested in the neural mechanisms underlying reward processing and inference. He was a CNUP summer student in the Stauffer lab in 2019 and returned as a PhD student in the Program in Neural Computation at Carnegie Mellon University in 2020. Before switching to neuroscience, Tao graduated from Oberlin College in 2020 with a B.A. in Mathematics.

Willa Kerkhoff

Graduate Student Researcher
Willa graduated from Oberlin College in 2017 with a B.A. in Neuroscience and English. After graduation, she joined the Mathur Lab at the University of Maryland Medical School for one year before transitioning to work for two years in the Heintz Lab of Molecular Biology and the Freiwald Lab of Neural Systems at Rockefeller University. She is now a PhD student with the Center of Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and has been with the Stauffer Lab since August 2020. Her project focuses on the role of the insula in decision making and emotional affect.

Corentin Massot

Research Assistant Professor
Corentin is a computer scientist with expertise in Neuroscience. He received his PhD in Computer and Cognitive Science from the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France. During his research career, Corentin studied the visual, the vestibular and the oculomotor systems. His current research projects involve reinforcement learning and the analysis of dopaminergic activity in value-based decision making. Corentin joined the Stauffer lab in September of 2018.

Kati Rothenhoefer

Graduate Student Researcher
Kati graduated from American University in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology. She went on to do a two-year Post-baccalaureate Fellowship at the NIH, and is now a PhD student in the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Kati has been with the Stauffer Lab since June 2017. Her project is investigating how uncertainty affects dopamine reward prediction error response coding.

Olivia Wirfel

Research Technician
Olivia graduated with her B.S. in Biology from Gannon University in 2021. She joined the Stauffer Lab in June 2021.