Dr. Brandon Henderson (Principle Investigator) - Dr. Henderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Brandon received a BS (with distinction) in Chemistry at The Ohio State University. There he started research, initially as an Analytical Chemist in the lab of Dr. John Olesik. He then received his PhD in Pharmacology at The Ohio State University in the lab of Dr. Dennis McKay. He then continued his development as a NIDA-NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology in the lab of Dr. Henry Lester. Before starting his faculty position at Marshall University, Dr. Henderson also trained as a visiting postdoctoral fellow at Yale University under Dr Nii Addy and Dr. Marina Picciotto.


Dr. Alicia Avelar - Alicia recently received her PhD from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Alicia has a long history in brain-slice electrophysiology and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. Alicia joins the Henderson lab to bring her experience and also to learn the microscopy and behavioral assays familiar to the Henderson lab. 


Austin Akers - Austin is a recent graduate from Marshall University. During his undergraduate tenure at Marshall University, Austin was an undergraduate researcher in the lab of Dr. Piyali Dasgupta. Austin joins the Henderson lab as a Research Technician and is in charge of managing the mouse colonies. He is also in the process of becoming the jack-of-all trades in the lab: everything from fluorescence microscopy to animal behavioral assays.

Zachary Baumgard - Like Austin, Zach is a recent graduate of Marshall University. Zach has been accepted into the University of Pikeville College of Osteopathic Medicine but has decided to first complete a year of basic research science training. Zach was recruited into the Henderson lab to do this year of research and is currently working toward being a guru of fluorescence microscopy. 

former Lab members

Gabriella Casinelli - Gabriella is a current MD student in the Joan C. Edwards School of medicine, class of 2020. She is an alum of Marshall University's INBRE summer research program. Before starting medical school, Gabriella worked at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh doing animal research. For the Summer of 2017, Gabriella is working in the Henderson lab as a summer fellow and is responsible for conducting all of the animal behavior training with Austin. In her free time, she has been educating the lab about 'real' Italian food and rescues stray cats in Huntington.

Awero 'Faye' Osseni - Faye is currently an undergraduate at Marshall University. She is working in the Henderson lab for the summer of 2017 as a SRIMs Research Fellow. Faye is spending the summer learning about mouse brain anatomy, fluorescence laser microscopy, and how both help us understand the neuroadaptations that come with nicotine exposure. Faye is also involved in every club that exists at Marshall University and runs the annual African Fashion show.


For interested graduate students, we are looking for those with a strong desire to study addiction, psychiatric illness, and neurodegeneration.

Contact Dr. Brandon Henderson - hendersonbr_at_marshall.edu