Elelbin Ortiz

Elelbin is a fourth-year student (2015 cohort) studying the molecular mechanisms that establish simple circuits and behaviors, like the acoustic startle response, in Michael Granato's lab. Outside of lab, she enjoys salsa dancing, biking, and exploring Philly. Previous leadership roles include: GLIA outreach chair, co-director for the Upward Bound neuroscience course.  She can be contacted at ortizel@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

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Jeni Stiso

Jeni is a third-year graduate student (2016 cohort) in Danielle Bassett and Tim Lucas's labs investigating the role of the hippocampus in segmenting temporal events. When she is not sitting at her computer coding, Jeni enjoys hiking, dog-watching, and exploring every restaurant in Philly with 4 stars or more on Yelp. This is Jeni's second year as a full GLIA member, and she has helped organize professional development seminars, the student retreat, and mentoring opportunities. Jeni can be contacted at jeni.stiso@gmail.com

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Ina Mexhitaj
Professional Development

Ina is a fourth-year student (2015 cohort) in Dr. Amit-Bar-Or’s lab. She is studying the interaction between the nervous and immune system in pediatric patients who have multiple sclerosis. When she is not singing to the cells or trying to coax data out of the FACS machine; Ina enjoys group exercising, Broadway shows, and reading in the romance languages. This is Ina’s first year as a full GLIA member but for the past year she has been involved in the planning of Fuel for Successful Scientists and Return of NGG Alumni seminars. Ina can be contacted at mexhitaj@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

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Lyles Clark

Lyles is a 3rd year NGG student studying adult neurogenesis and traumatic brain injury in the Eisch lab. Outside of lab, you can find them learning how to play the cello, brewing beer, or hanging out with their cats. Lyles has been involved in multiple outreach activities and is now serving as the co-chair of outreach.Lyles can be contacted at k.lyles.clark@gmail.com


Ruthie Wittenberg

Ruthie is a third year student (2016 cohort) studying drug evoked synaptic plasticity in John Dani’s lab. Outside of lab she enjoys riding her horse, hiking, and exploring new restaurants. This is Ruthie’s third year as a GLIA member and during this time, she has been involved in multiple outreach events and also serves as the co-leader for Research Fridays. Ruthie can be contacted at wittenb@pennmedicine.upenn.edu



Brenna Shortal

Brenna is a second-year graduate student (2017 cohort) studying how the brain regains consciousness following exposure to anesthetic drugs in Alex Proekt's lab. This is her first full year as a member of GLIA, and Brenna is looking forward to fulfilling her role as secretary. When she is not in the lab, Brenna enjoys checking out new restaurants and museums around the city. She also likes spend time on her friends' rooftops. Brenna can be contacted at bshortal@gmail.com


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Sydney Cason
Public Relations

Sydney is a third-year student (2016 cohort) in Erika Holzbaur’s lab studying the role of motor proteins in neuronal autophagy. When she isn’t at the microscope, Sydney enjoys hiking, running, theatre, and food. This is Sydney’s second year serving as GLIA's Public Relations Chair. In addition to overseeing the online presence of GLIA and the Neuroscience Graduate Group (NGG), she leads the student side of NGG recruitment and is involved in both professional development and outreach activities. Sydney can be contacted at sydney.e.cason@gmail.com


Rosa Leon

Rosa is a fourth-year student (2015 cohort) in Matthew Hayes’ lab. Her thesis work is looking at the interaction between serotonin and glucagon-like peptide-1 and its effect on the regulation of food intake and stress. Outside of the lab, Rosa enjoys traveling, cooking, and staying active. Rosa has been a member of GLIA for 2 years, in that time she been involved in different mentoring opportunities and has helped plan and organize Brain Bee, the Neuroscience Public Lecture, and professional development seminars. Rosa can be contacted at rosaleon@pennmedicine.upenn.edu 



Kyra Levy
Community Building

Kyra is a third-year student (2016 cohort) in Tom Jongens' lab studying the role of a synaptic cell adhesion molecule, Neurexin, in Autism Spectrum Disorder in Drosophila. Outside of the lab, Kyra enjoys yoga, playing with her dachshund, and eating at one of the many amazing restaurants in Philly. This is Kyra’s second year as a GLIA member; she has been involved in planning social events for NGG students and serves as GLIA’s community building chair. Kyra can be contacted at kyra.levy5@gmail.com