Alexander Herman is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School and a member of the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Francisco as part of the prestigious NIH Medical Scientist Training Program. Prior to that, he studied complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute. He obtained his B.A. in Physics with High Honors from Wesleyan University. Dr. Herman's interests include the neural mechanisms of decision making that are impaired in depression, addiction and parkinson's disease that may be amenable to treatment with neuromodulation. He combines invasive and non-invasive methods including intracranial electrophysiology, direct brain stimulation, magnetoencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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Dr. David Darrow is an assistant professor at the department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota and is the principal investigator (PI) for the E-STAND clinical trial and Co-PI on the Mood and Cognition study at the University of Minnesota. He received bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Mathematics at Texas A&M University, and then completed medical school at University of Texas Medical Branch, in addition to a master’s degree in public health with a focus on biostatistics. His interest in combining his background in mathematics and engineering with reducing human suffering led him to the University of Minnesota.


PHD / Researcher

Dameon earned his BS and Electrical Engineering from MIT and his PhD from the University of Connecticut. He dislikes puppies and long walks on the beach. Rainbows are tolerable.


BA/MD Undergraduate Student

Flora Yang is currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota, and is a part of the 7-year BA/MD Joint Admissions Scholars Program, majoring in Human Physiology.

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2nd year Medical School Student

Erika Kaske is a second-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Prior to beginning medical school, she received her bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and spent two years conducting cognitive and social neuroscience research at the University of Chicago.

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2nd Year Medical School Student

Matt McMillan earned a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is now a medical student at the University of Minnesota interested in Psychiatry and Neurology.

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Undergraduate Student

Emily is a neuroscience major and a public health minor. Her areas of interest are the cognitive effects of addiction, depression, and anxiety. Outside of research she volunteers at North Memorial Hospital and is on the CBS Student Board.


Kate Dembny

MSTP Student

Kate is a current student in the MSTP at the University of Minnesota. She earned her BS in Neuroscience and her BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas and spent 3 years doing post-baccalaureate research the NIH. Her interests include neuromodulation, computational tool development, statistics, and hanging out with her cats.

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Ahmed Ramadan


Dr. Ramadan had his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University, quantifying human motor control by system identification methods. He completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the Maryland Robotics Center and the Dept. of Physical Therapy at the University of Maryland, focusing on rehabilitation robotics. His vision is to develop engineering solutions to improve the quality of life in human subjects with pain or movement impairments.

Blair Vail 

PhD Student 

Blair earned a B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University, followed by three years of research experience at New York State Psychiatric Institute. Their interests include cognitive and neural substrates of psychiatric disorders, invasive electrophysiology, neuromodulation, and computational modeling.

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Rebecca Hayes

Neuroscience Graduate

Rebecca graduated from the University of Minnesota with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in computational biology. Her interests include adult neurogenesis, psychiatric disorders, and data analysis.

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Mathew Maple

Lab Manager

Matthew earned his B.S. in Biology with a Neuroscience minor, and a Master of Biological Sciences degree with an emphasis in neuroscience, both from the University of Minnesota. He is interested in making life easier for people with any sort of psychiatric or neurological illness, injury, or other dysfunction.



Research Scientist

Seth Koenig obtained his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Washington. His interests include electrophysiology, data analysis, computer programing, behavior, and eye movements.


Developmental Psychology Graduate

Jessalyn Dvorak

Jess earned her B.S. in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Social Justice from the University of Minnesota. She also volunteers as the lab manager in the Early Language and Experience Lab at the Institute of Child Development. Her interests include the impacts of varying environments on the development of the brain, plasticity, and social neuroscience.

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