Our Team

Horner lab members, summer 2021

Current Team Members

Matthew K Hogan
Matthew Hogan
Postdoctoral Fellow
Matt’s research focuses on activity associated plasticity in the brain and spinal cord, particularly after injury. He has helped to develop and deploy a novel spinal stimulation system to electrical patterns which may promote recovery. Prior to joining Dr. Horner’s lab, Matt completed his PhD in biomedical engineering at the University of Houston under the mentorship of Dr. Ravi K Birla. He participated in the development of multiple engineered cardiac tissue models including heart muscle, ventricle and whole heart models. He also deployed several novel bioreactors for the conditioning and maintenance of in vitro tissue mimetic cultures. Matt enjoys woodworking, guitar, coding, cooking and sports. Most weekends he can be found tinkering in his workshop at home or being forcibly cultured by his more sophisticated significant other.
Cinzia Stigliano
Cinzia Stigliano
Postdoctoral Fellow
Cinzia works on the delivery of therapeutic agents with nanoparticles to spinal cord injury in mouse and rat models. She completed her PhD in biotechnology at the University of Bari, Italy and she worked as postdoctoral fellow in the Houston Methodist Department of Nanomedicine before deciding to apply her nanomedicine expertise to the field of neuroregeneration. Cinzia loves to travel, and she enjoys taking yoga and spinning classes in her free time.
Cinzia Stigliano
Laura Montier
Postdoctoral Fellow
Laura’s current work examines changes in mitochondrial regulation in response to therapeutic stimulation after spinal cord injury. She is a senior postdoctoral researcher with a background in epilepsy research. For the past 8 years she has been studying the negative effects of neuronal excitation, and in the context of regenerative medicine, she now has the opportunity to study the positive effects of neuronal excitation. Laura joins our team after 3 years of postdoctoral research on human genetics of epilepsy at Baylor College of Medicine, where she developed a novel method to genetically biopsy the site of epileptogenesis for novel somatic mutations by collecting trace tissue from SEEG depth electrodes during routine seizure evaluation. She completed her PhD at University of Houston studying the long-term effects of adenosine therapy during early development on glial morphology, behavior, and survival in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. Laura has a passion for translational neuroscience research that will improve the lives of individuals with some of the most challenging health conditions.
Allison Frazier
Julio Mejia
Graduate Student
Julio received his B.S in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2017. As an undergraduate, he spent three years in the Alper Lab helping to develop novel CRISPR/Cas9 technologies to optimize directed evolution, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biological sciences. After graduation, he worked in the Davis Lab using single-cell genomics to help identify, characterize, and harness niche stem cells and macrophage populations that partake in certain musculoskeletal and nervous system diseases. Moreover, he spent this last year working in private industry research helping to optimize and bring to market several cancer CAR immunotherapies. His primary projects in the Horner lab revolve around using big data and bioinformatics to help characterize the specific immune niches that take place during spinal cord injury and neuromodulation.
Allison Frazier
Allison Frazier
Research Assistant
Originally a vet tech for 6 years, Allison joined the Houston Methodist Research Institute and merged her appreciations for veterinary science and research.
Allison Frazier
Frances Humes
Research Assistant

Frances’s background includes clinical animal care, field research, colony management, and mitochondrial function. Frances obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Auburn University, Alabama. She then worked in Dr. Wendy Hood’s lab where she contributed to projects examining mitochondrial function in response to stress, with an emphasis on evolutionary implications. She also spent time as a field team manager examining the behavioral and physical ecology of small primates. Frances joined the Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2019, where she primarily assists on pre-clinical projects examining spinal cord injury and motor function outcomes. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors exploring Houston with her fiancé and dog.

Allison Frazier
Kris Hoffman
Biomedical Engineer
As a lab technician, Kris is involved in many projects in the lab. His primary focus is data gathering and analysis for a revolutionary study creating a magnetic resonance imaging biomarker sensitive to the central nervous system’s myelin structure that will help discover and monitor the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. As well, Kris is skilled in systems engineering and integration; contributing to many other ongoing projects in the lab, including the production of prototype devices for behavioral studies and optogenetics devices.

Former Team Members

Bethany R Kondiles
Lesley Chaboub, PhD
Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2022)
Bethany R Kondiles
Betsy Salazar, PhD
Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2021)

Current: Research Scientist, Department of Urology, Houston Methodist Hospital

Bethany R Kondiles
Bethany Kondiles, PhD
Former Graduate Student (2017-2019)

(co-mentored w/Dr. Chet Moritz)

Current: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of British Columbia

Bethany R Kondiles
Tatiana Wolfe, PhD
Former Research Scientist (2015-2017)

Current: Assistant Professor, Medical Physicist, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Bethany R Kondiles
Sarah Mondello, PhD
Former Graduate Student (2012-2017)

(co-mentored w/Dr. Chet Moritz)

Current: Research Faculty at University of Washington

Bethany R Kondiles
Samuel (Nutt) Emerson, MD PhD
Former Graduate Student (2007-2012)

Current: Neurosurgery Skull Base Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Bethany R Kondiles
Berit Powers, PhD
Former Graduate Student (2006-2011)

Current: Assistant Director, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Carlsbad, CA, USA

Bethany R Kondiles
Drew Sellers, PhD
Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2002-2011)

Current: Research Associate Professor (Principal Scientist), Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Bethany R Kondiles
Denise Inman, PhD
Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2003-2011)

Current: Associate Professor at University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth

Bethany R Kondiles
Elizabeth Stoll, PhD
Former Graduate Student (2007-2010)

(co-mentored w/Dr. Robert Rostomily)

Current: Director at Western Institute for Advanced Study

Bethany R Kondiles
Jurate Lasiene, PhD
Former Graduate Student (2004-2009)

Current: Senior Project Manager, PSI CRO AG, Vilniaus, Lithuania

Bethany R Kondiles
Wendi Lambert, PhD
Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2007-2009)

Current: Senior Staff Scientist, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Bethany R Kondiles
Bryan White, PhD
Former Graduate Student (2004-2009)

(co-mentored w/Dr. Randall Moon)

Current: Senior Lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, WA, USA

Bethany R Kondiles
Sutapa Ray, PhD
Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2007-2009)

(co-mentored w/Dr. Robert Rostomily)

Current: Medical Communications Manager, Medical Affairs at Impel NeuroPharma

Bethany R Kondiles
Laura Horky, MD
Former Graduate Student (1999-2004)

Current: Nuclear Medicine Physician, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA, USA

Resident Research Trainees  

William Steele, MD Neurosurgical Resident, 2018, 2019

Zain Boghani, MD Neurosurgical Resident
Currently: Neurosurgeon, Northeast Georgia Health System

Virendra Desai, MD Neurosurgical Resident, 2018, 2019
Currently: Assistant Professor, Director of Pediatric Surgical Epilepsy and Functional Programs at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health

Meng Huang, MD Neurosurgical Resident, 2018, 2019
Currently: Endoscopic/Minimally Invasive and Complex Spine Neurosurgeon, Houston Methodist Hospital

Sean Barber, MD Neurosurgical Resident, 2017, 2018
Currently: Neurosurgeon, Houston Methodist Hospital

Robert Scranton, MD Neurosurgical Resident, 2015, 2016
Currently: Neurosurgery Specialist, Covenant Medical Group

Visiting Scholars

Benjamin Dunning Summer Intern 2021, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Jacob Buergler Summer Intern 2021, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA

Maddalena Horner Summer Intern 2020, 2021, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston, TX, USA

Allison Gentry Summer Intern 2020, 2021, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Sarah Trusler Summer Intern 2020, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Alexa Graham Summer Intern 2019, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA

Saad Sidiq Summer Intern 2018, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Reniba Plavila Babu Summer Intern 2018, University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX, USA

James Hunter Long Summer Intern 2018, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

David Gustavo González Sánchez Summer Intern 2018, Tecnologico De Monterrey, Monterrey, MEX

Kendrick Lim Summer Intern 2017, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

John Boom Summer Intern 2017, St. John’s School, Houston, TX, USA

Drew Levy Undergraduate Research Fellow, Summer Intern 2017, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Jocelyn Nikita Campa MD/PhD Rotation Student 2017, Tecnologico De Monterrey, Monterrey, MEX

Jonny Cummock MD/PhD Rotation Student 2016, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Dixita Viswanath MD/PhD Rotation Student 2016, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Roberto Alcazar Felix MD/PhD Rotation Student 2016, Tecnologico De Monterrey, Monterrey, MEX

Pranav Gadangi Summer Intern 2016, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Amanda Altenhofen Summer Intern 2016, 2017, Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA

Cassandra Baker Undergraduate Research Fellow 2016-2019, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Caio Quini, PhD Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2018, Sao Paulo State Univeristy, Sao Paulo, BRA