Owen Lab Team Members

Scott Owen, PhD
Principal Investigator

Scott has a longstanding interest in the synaptic and cellular physiology that drives neuronal circuit activity and behavior. He grew up in Pennsylvania and obtained his undergraduate training in Physics at Amherst College. He completed his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University in the laboratory of Richard Tsien, where he identified a novel synaptic mechanism through which the Autism-linked peptide oxytocin sharpens local circuit function in the hippocampus. In his post-doctoral work with Dr Anatol Kreitzer at the Gladstone Institutes and UCSF, Scott integrated in vivo and ex vivo physiology with novel imaging and behavioral approaches to determine how local microcircuits in the basal ganglia improve learning of complex behaviors. Scott is passionate about integrating mechanistic studies in model systems with direct investigation of cells, synapses, and circuits in the human brain, to deepen our understanding of human brain function and to improve the translation of treatments for neurological disease from the lab to the clinic. Outside of the lab, Scott can most often be found running, hiking, playing soccer, and exploring Northern California with his family.

Kristina Micheva
Senior Research Scientist

Kristina is coinventor of array tomography, a method that enables multiparameter imaging of the molecular composition and ultrastructure of tissues. Kristina is interested in synapse organization, function and plasticity, and uses array tomography to explore synaptic connectivity in rodent and human brain. She obtained her Ph.D. with Dr. Clermont Beaulieu at Université de Montréal, Canada, where she described for the first time the activity-dependent changes in inhibitory synapses on dendritic spines in somatosensory cortex.  Kristina then trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Peter S. McPherson at McGill University in Montreal, working on the biochemical characterization of a then newly discovered synaptic protein, that she named endophilin. Subsequently, she moved to Stanford University where together with Dr. Stephen J Smith she developed array tomography, and later with Dr. Dan Madison she explored the synaptic connectivity and myelination of parvalbumin interneurons in cortex. Outside of the lab, Kristina enjoys karate, skiing, and the ocean.

Jason Clark, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

Jason’s primary interests involve information processing at both the individual neuron, and the microcircuit level, that are responsible for goal directed behaviors. He is particularly interested in how neuromodulators regulate changes in information processing that lead to changes in behavior, particularly as it relates to excitatory/inhibitory balance in both typical and atypical behaviors such as those observed in Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and a variety of other neurological conditions. Jason received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Georgia Southern University, and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of Georgia.

Jon Schor, MD, PhD
Pediatric Neurology Resident

Jon has a long-standing interest in combining engineering and systems neuroscience to better understand and treat neurologic disease. He received his BS from Caltech in Biology and Chemistry, where he investigated the neural pathways of aggression in the fruit fly. He then moved to San Francisco to complete his MD/PhD at UCSF. During his PhD in the lab of Alexandra Nelson, he researched the neural mechanisms underlying Deep Brain Stimulation as a treatment for Parkinson's Disease. He is currently a Pediatric Neurology resident at Stanford, where he is excited to combine his clinical acumen and basic science experience to address the pediatric movement disorder population.  Outside of the hospital and the lab, Jon does a lot of long-distance running, sewing, and hiking with his wife and dog.

Aneysis Gonzalez-Suarez, Ph.D.
Medical Student

Aneysis Gonzalez-Suarez received her B.S. in Biology from Florida International University in 2014. After graduating, she spent two years as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she studied how the biophysics of SSRI protein targets influence their role in neural physiology. She then completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Yale University. There, she studied how the temporal dynamics of individual neurons influence circuit computations, particularly that of motion perception. Now, as an M.D. candidate at Stanford, Aneysis is interested in how important neurosurgical treatment interventions alter basal physiological function and an animal’s behavioral output. Outside of science and medicine, Aneysis enjoys reading, hiking, working out, and traveling.

Deniz Bingul
Graduate Student, Neuroscience Program

Deniz received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Middlebury College, where she studied neurometabolic coupling as it supports LTP. Before Stanford, she was a research assistant in the Axel lab at Columbia, studying information seeking in mice. In the Owen lab, she is particularly interested in impulsivity and the basal ganglia network oscillations that characterize Parkinson’s disease - and how we might modulate impulsive behaviors using interventions such as deep-brain stimulation. Outside of lab, she loves to cook for people, swim, and road-trip.

Rennie Kendrick
Graduate Student, Neuroscience Program

Rennie Kendrick received her B.S. in Biology from University of Oregon in 2020. After graduation, she spent a year as a research assistant at University of British Columbia studying the molecular organization of a brain region important to anxiety, the central amygdala. As a graduate student in the Neurosciences program at Stanford, she is interested in using computational and experimental approaches to translate across species (mouse to human) and modalities (molecular to cellular). Outside of science, she enjoys biking, skiing, and running. 

Emmalyn Leonard
Neuroscience Graduate Student

Emmalyn received her degree in Biochemistry from University of Oregon in 2021. As an undergraduate student and research assistant, Emmalyn studied the neural signals underlying visually-guided behavior. As a graduate student in the Owen Lab, she is interested in studying circuit physiology (with a particular focus on the striatum) in both health and disease contexts. Outside of science, she enjoys running, swimming, and watching movies.

Gursajan Gill
Research Assistant

Gursajan graduated from Williams College where he studied the modulation of the HPI axis in zebrafish. At the Owen lab, he is excited to contribute to projects focused on in-vivo physiology and mouse behavior. Outside of lab, he enjoys baking, biking, and going on long road trips.

Nivetha Ramasamy
Research Assistant

Nivi received her B.S. in Neuroscience and B.S.P.H. in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2023. In undergrad, she studied thalamo-cortical oscillations involved in sustained attention and completed her thesis on obesity-associated signaling pathways involved in colon cancer. At the Owen lab, she is interested in how the morphology of neurons and neural tissue changes across development and species. Outside of science, she loves doing bhangra (a north Indian folk dance), playing her violin and guitar, trying new foods, and traveling.

Jenny Nguyen
Undergraduate Student

Jenny is a 3rd year undergraduate student majoring in bioengineering. She is interested in discovering surgical interventions for neurological diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders. In the Owen lab, she is studying the underlying mechanisms of deep brain simulation in a mice model of Parkinson's disease. Outside of lab, she works at the farm and enjoys going to the beach and eating with her friends and family.