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.

Contact: EKrookMa@umn.edu

Lab Managers & Technicians

Madison Smith is the KMLab Manager and head technician.  She 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: smit6612@umn.edu or kmlab@umn.edu

Edmund Havener graduated with a BA in neuroscience from Pomona College in 2022, joining the KM lab in July of 2024 as a Researcher 1.   He loves mountains, rivers, forests, trees, climbing, biking, running, and reading. 

Undergraduate Assistant Lab Manager

Grace Baniukiewicz joined the lab in March 2024. She is a junior at the University of Minnesota studying biology, hoping to pursue a master's degree in nursing. Outside of academics, she enjoys rock climbing, baking, and spending time with friends and family.

Postdoctoral Scholars & Research Scientists

Prakash Devaraju trained initially as a veterinary surgeon in India.  He then switched to a neuroscience research career and obtained his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside working with Dr. Todd Fiacco on astrocytic glutamate uptake.  In his post-doctoral research with Dr. Stanislav Zakharenko at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he studied hippocampus-dependent cognitive dysfunctions in mouse models of neuropsychiatric disorders.  After a brief stint as a researcher at the University of Utah, he has started as a research scientist at the University of Minnesota in February 2024.   In a joint project between the labs of Dr. Madhuvanthi Kannan and Dr. Krook-Magnuson, he will be examining cell-type specific contributions to hippocampal circuit dynamics in epilepsy.  When not busy with lab work, Prakash enjoys tamil songs, movies, jogging, yoga (only simple poses), biking, spending time with friends and family, exploring nature and out of necessity, preparing some Indian foods at home.


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.  She completed her thesis in April of 2024, and is currently doing a short postdoc in the lab before moving on to her next postdoc.  Her work in the lab has demonstrated that hippocampal CA1 inhibitory interneurons respond to cerebellar stimulation, and do so in a bidirectional, coordinated, manner, in-line with their functional roles.  In the process, she also examined CA1 interneuron responsiveness to objects (spoiler alert: they are!).  Some of her favorite activities outside the lab include gardening, biking, and reading books.

Contact: froul001@umn.edu 

Publications

You?  If you are interested in pursing a post-doc in the KMlab, please email Esther at ekrookma@umn.edu

Graduate Students

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.  

Contact: glass233@umn.edu 

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.  

Contact: hasti246@umn.edu 

Publications

Peroushini Villiamma graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience from Macalester College in 2020. She joined the KM Lab in 2024 as a doctoral student in the Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics program. She's excited to parse apart the communications between the cerebellum and the hippocampus during seizures. She enjoys walks, watching kdramas, and doing puzzles.


Contact: villi011@umn.edu



You?  If you are interested in pursing a graduate degree in the KMlab, consider one of these great programs:

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience

UMN's Medical Science Training Program

UMN's BioMedical Engineering (BME)

Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics Graduate Program

Already a member of a graduate program at the University of Minnesota?  Reach out to Esther at ekrookma@umn.edu

Post-Bacs

Jacob Weiner joined the KM lab in March of 2021 as an undergraduate, and contributed to many research projects during his undergraduate time in the KMLab.  Jacob graduated from the U of M in May of 2023, and became a Post-Bac in the KM and Netoff Labs in June of 2023.  In the future, he hopes to attend medical school.  Outside of lab and clinical-related activites, he loves to cook, read, watch movies, spend time with friends, and spend as much time as possible outside before winter comes.  

Undergraduates and Recent Graduates

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.  

Jarrett Rose joined the KM lab in June 2022, as a premed, neuroscience major at Macalester College.  He graduated from Macalester in the Spring of 2023. He was part of Macalester’s swim team, and he can often be found in the water, but also loves crocheting, roller blading, watching Star Trek, and baking cheesecakes.  


Adam Weiner is an undergrad student majoring in neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. He is interested in both medical and graduate school, with interests in how education, memory, and neuroscience converge, beginning in the KM lab in June 2023. Outside of academics, he enjoys being outside with friends, reading, cooking, playing sports, and learning new things. 

Molly Kimball is going into her fourth year of undergrad as a neuroscience major at the University of Saint Thomas. She started in the KMLab in June of 2023, working on a project examining electrical stimulation of the cerebellum for epilepsy in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy.  She is pre med and also works part time as an emergency department technician. 

Sidney Foreman joined the KM lab in June 2023. She is pursuing a major in Neuroscience and a minor in pharmacology. After her undergraduate degree, she plans to take a couple of gap years before pursuing medical school and a career as an anesthesiologist. In her free time, she enjoys reading, knitting, playing the violin/viola, and spending time with friends. 

Kat Paige joined the KM lab in June 2023. She is currently majoring in neuroscience with a minor in psychology. Outside of the lab, she plays clarinet in the marching band and enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and watching basketball.  

Aidan Holovnia joined the KM lab in September 2023 as a junior at the University of Minnesota.  He is studying Biology, Society, & Environment in the College of Liberal Arts and on a pre-med track.  He intends to pursue a career in psychiatry.  In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, spending time with his family, and reading. 

Olivia Stangler joined the KM lab in January 2024. She is majoring in both neuroscience and psychology at the University of Minnesota and is on the pre-med track. Outside of the lab, she is a member of the marching band and enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and being outdoors. 



Davey Johnson joined the lab in June 2024.  He is a senior at the University of Denver pursuing a B.S. in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience with plans on pursuing a master's degree in Neuropsychology after graduation.  In his free time, Davey enjoys skiing, hiking and being active with his friends. 



You?  If you are interested in contributing to the KMLab as an undergraduate, complete this form.

Additional Volunteers

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