Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Esther Krook-Magnuson, PhD has a BA in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University. She completed her thesis work in the lab of Dr. Molly Huntsman, and completed her postdoctoral training at UC Irvine with Dr. Ivan Soltesz. She joined the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota in December 2014.

Esther's Mentoring Statement can be found here.


Lab Managers & Technicians

Madison Smith graduated from Carthage College in 2012 with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Psychology. After spending a few years outside of science working as a manager at a local restaurant, she joined the lab in March 2021. Outside of work, Madison enjoys making ceramics, spending time at her family cabin, and reading.

Contact: or

Benjamin Kottke graduated from Luther College in 2020 with a BA in Biology and Spanish. He joined the KM lab in June of 2021 after spending a year working various part term jobs and completing several classes. In his free time, Ben enjoys playing and watching soccer, listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and anything that involves puzzles.

Contact: or

Postdoctoral Scholars

Martha Streng, PhD has a BA in Neuroscience from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. She joined the KM lab in August 2017. When she's not daydreaming about cerebellar physiology, Martha enjoys gardening, hanging out with her cats, and going to see her wife perform with Ballet Co.Laboratory.



Graduate Students

Jessica Froula graduated with a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College in May 2016 and joined the K-M lab via the Graduate Program in Neuroscience in June 2019. Inside the lab, you will often find her admiring neuronal morphology on the fluorescent microscope or at the electrophysiology rig. Some of her favorite activities outside the lab include yoga, pet sitting, and exploring the Twin Cities' many restaurants and breweries.

Contact: froul001[at]


Lauren Glassburn received a BA in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in May 2018 and is now pursuing a PhD through the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. She joined the KM lab in July 2020 and is looking forward to learning slice electrophysiology. When she’s not in lab, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, and hanging out with her pet bearded dragon, Beardo.


Shayne Hastings graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2018. She joined the KM lab in 2021 as a doctoral student in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. Her scientific interests include neuromodulation and brain circuit physiology. Shayne enjoys cross stitch, hiking with her friends, and relaxing with her cat Mowgli.



Linh Luong joined the lab fall of 2021 as a first year Masters student at the U. She immigrated to America when she was 10, and lived in Wisconsin. She studied Neuroscience and Anthropology at Luther College. Her undergraduate projects included ground penetrating radar Archaeology and Corvid Cognition. She is interested in both Neuroscience and Bioengineering, and is currently investigating epilepsy in the KMLab. Linh enjoys hiking, backpacking, reading, and painting!

Undergraduate Students

Laurel Schuck joined the KM lab in March 2021 as a sophomore at the University of Minnesota pursuing a degree in neuroscience in the honors program with minors in psychology and French. After her undergraduate, she plans to attend medical school and continue research through a career as a neurologist. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, sewing, and spending time with friends.

Jacob Weiner joined the KM lab in March of 2021. Jacob is from Rochester, MN which is about 90 minutes South of the cities, and hopes to major in Neuroscience with a minor in Health Psychology (class of 2023). After his undergraduate studies, he hopes to attend medical school for either Neurology or Dermatology. Outside of coursework, he loves to cook, read, watch movies, spend time with friends, and spend as much time as possible outside before winter comes.

Samuel J. Phillip joined the KM lab in October 2021. He plans on majoring in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota and graduating in Spring 2023. In the future, he plans on attending medical school or a neuroscience graduate program. Outside of his studies, Sam enjoys sports, theater, movies, chess, and yoyoing.

Jarrett Rose joined the KM lab in June 2022. He is a premed, neuroscience major at Macalester College with plans of attending medical school after attaining his undergraduate degree. A part of Macalester’s swim team, he can often be found in the water, but also loves crocheting, roller blading, watching Star Trek, and baking cheesecakes.

Cadence Hitt joined the KM lab in August 2022 as a rising sophomore at the University of Minnesota. She is pursuing a degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Pharmacology. After her undergraduate studies, she plans to attend medical school to either become a neurologist or a surgeon. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with friends, reading, and going to local coffee shops.

Claire McDonald is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. With interests in neuroscience research and science communication, she joined the KM Lab in December 2022. Outside of her studies, she enjoys swimming at the lake, teaching her dog tricks, and trying new recipes in the kitchen.

Additional Volunteers

Chris Krook-Magnuson has a M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Eindhoven University, NL. He provides useful help with stats and programming.