Ferris Lab Members

Heather Ferris, MD, PhD

1998 B.A., Chemistry, B.S., Biochemistry, College of Charleston
2005 Ph.D., Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia
2006 MD, University of Virginia
2009 Residency, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
2012 Endocrinology Fellowship, Beth Israel Deaconess/Joslin Diabetes Center
2012-2017 Instructor, Harvard Medical School, Research Associate, Joslin Diabetes Center

Thaddeus Weigel, Neuroscience Graduate Student

B.A., Molecular Biology, Princeton University

I’m an NGP student interested in the roles of cholesterol in the brain in diabetes and Alzheimer’s. More specifically I’m studying how altering cholesterol synthesis in astrocytes affects cholesterol oxidation, oxidative stress in the brain, and circadian rhythms.

Nakul Karandikar, Lab Specialist

B.S., Biochemistry, University of Virginia



Josh Kulas, Postdoctoral Fellow

B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D., University of North Dakota

I am interested in neurophysiology and neurodegeneration. In particular, I am studying the role that glial cell interactions play in exacerbating neurodegenerative processes. I am also interested in understanding how central and peripheral metabolic dysregulation contribute to brain diseases.


Lisa Post, Neuroscience Graduate Student

B.S., Mathematics, University of Notre Dame
B.S.N., Regis University
Masters, Nursing Anesthesia, Northeastern University

I am working with Dr. Ferris and Dr. Bloom in Biology to dissect the roles of insulin receptor and IGF1 receptor in driving cell cycle reentry in neurons.

Josh Milstein, Neuroscience Graduate Student

B.S., Towson University

My research focuses on brain mitochondria. In particular we would like to better understand the dynamics of mitochondria in astrocytes in diabetes and dementia.


Mohsen Hosseinibarkooie, Postdoctoral Fellow

Bachelor in Genetics, Shahid Chamran University, Iran
M.S., Biochemistry University of Tehran, Iran
Ph.D., Institute of Human Genetics, Cologne, Germany


Joe Schinderle, UVA Undergrad




Claudia Reverte, UVA Undergrad




Cheryl Anderson, Nursing Resident

B.A. English, University of Maryland
M.A. Counseling, George Washington University
M.S. Nursing, Johns Hopkins University


Gabriella Toledo, Clinical Research Assistant

Ph.D., University of Virginia

Emily Bian, UVA Undergrad


Alumni- Current Position

Charity Kwamanakweenda, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Max Stevenson, Neuroscience graduate student, Georgetown University

Paige Harper, Clinical Research Assistant, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Advancement of Military Medicine

Noelle Castilla-Ojo, Medical Student, Harvard Medical School

Elaine Wang, MD, Pediatrics Resident, University of Connecticut