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.

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.

Thomas Richner, PhD has a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, a BS in Mathematics from Northland College,
and  PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He did postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in the labs of Chet Moritz and Adrienne Fairhall. Tom joined the KM lab and Netoff lab in September 2017.

Angela Nietz, PhD  received her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and when not in lab, she likes to hang out with her nephew. She also enjoys singing, playing the piano, and playing with her cats. She joined the KM lab in October 2017.

Graduate Students
Zoé Christenson Wick is pursuing a PhD through the Graduate Program for Neuroscience after receiving a BA in Psychology and a concentration in Neuroscience from St. Olaf College. Zoé joined the KM lab in March of 2015. When not in the lab, she likes to explore Minnesota with her camera, drink lots of coffee, read, and talk to her cats.

Zach Zeidler received a BA in Neuroscience from Colorado College and is currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience with a minor in Neuroengineering through the University of Minnesota. He joined the KM lab in March of 2015. Zach particularly enjoys the lab pranks whenever Esther is out of town.

Bethany Stieve graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Neurobiology. She joined the KM lab in June of 2018 to purse her PhD in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. Bethany enjoys hiking, camping, and going to concerts.  

Lab Manager and Researchers

Isaac Hoff graduated from the U of M in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. After working as a lab assistant for a few years, he joined the KM Lab in June 2017 as Researcher I to learn more about neuroscience research. Outside work, he loves playing sitar, listening to records, hiking, and relaxing with his cats and chinchillas.
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Clarke Sauve graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a BS in Biology and a minor in Marine Biology. They joined the KM lab in May 2018. In their free time, they enjoy reading, taking care of their aquatic turtle and continuing their education by taking classes at the U.

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Part Time Research Assistants 

Casey Xamonthiene graduated in Fall 2015 with a BA in Psychology and a BS in Neuroscience.  He joined the KM lab in May of 2015.In his free time, he likes to watch movies with friends and venture to a variety of restaurants.

Undergraduate Students
Mikaela Brandt-Fontaine is a Junior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in neuroscience with a minor in English literature. She has been at the Krook-Magnuson Lab since January 2016. She enjoys reading, writing, cleaning the lab and spending time with Kat. She plans to pursue a career in medicine after graduating.

   Haruna Gutierrez is a current University of Minnesota undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. She joined the KM lab in September 2016 as a volunteer researcher. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. 

Sami Mitchell is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and a minor in French Studies. She joined the Krook-Magnuson Lab as a freshman in April of 2017. She loves to sing, read, watch movies, and hike and rock climb when she has the chance.

Julia Barmash is a current undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She joined the lab in August of 2017. Julia enjoys volunteering at Children’s Hospital, reading, drinking tea, and ballet dancing. After completing her undergraduate work, she plans to continue on her rewarding journey to becoming a physician.

Madison (Madi) Tetzlaff is a UMN undergraduate student pursuing a dual B.S. in Neuroscience and Genetics, Cell Biology, & Development, with a minor in Philosophy. She joined the KM lab in March 2018 in order to learn and assist with basic neuroscience research practices. Outside of course/lab work, she enjoys reading philosophical and literary writings, exploring by foot or wheel, and sunrises. Following her undergraduate career, Madi hopes to go into medical research to improve outcomes for those facing acute neurological events.

Emily Hackerson is a sophomore majoring in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development and a minor in Health psychology. She joined the lab in March 2018. Outside of the lab Emily enjoys golf, photography, and music.

Shabad Washist is a junior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology. Shabad joined the lab in March of 2018. Outside of lab, he enjoys listening to and making music, exploring, and relaxing on his hammock. After graduating from college, Shabad plans to pursue a career in medicine.

Bayla Breningstall is a University of Minnesota senior majoring in Physiology and minoring in Neuroscience. She joined the KM lab in August 2018, to continue learning lab techniques and prepare herself for grad school. Aside from neuroscience, she enjoys bouldering, eating peanut butter, and occasionally attempting guitar.

L. Chad Wang is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Nutrition.  He joined the lab in April 2018.  Outside of the lab he likes to play tennis, play piano (especially Brahms and Chopin), eat, and volunteer at hospitals.

Chris Krook-Magnuson has a M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Eindhoven University, NL. He maintains the website (please direct any comments, questions at, moves furniture around, and will hopefully provide useful help with stats and programming when the time comes.