Meet Our Team

Mathieu Wimmer, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator | mathieu.wimmer@temple.edu | @WimmerLab

The once controversial idea that parental experiences, such as stress or diet, can shape the physiology and behavior of their offspring via epigenetic mechanisms has become an active area of research. Dr. Mathieu Wimmer studies the influence of drug abuse in fathers (sires) on future generations. His research program combines animal models of drug addiction and memory formation with molecular biology techniques to investigate the impact of paternal drug taking on drug-related behaviors and memory formation in progeny.

Dr. Wimmer is also interested in epigenetic remodeling events in the brain that underlie these inherited changes in behavior. Dr. Wimmer received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. Ted Abel. His postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. Chris Pierce at Penn focused on the transgenerational epigenetics of cocaine addiction. Dr. Wimmer’s research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Reza Karbalaei, PhD.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Reza graduated from Tehran University in 2005 with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology. He earned an M.S in Molecular Biology from the national institute of genetic engineering and biotechnology (NIGEB), where his work focused on cloning new genes in the B. subtilis genome.  His Ph.D. in Medical Proteomics from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences focused on the meta-analysis of available high-throughput data on Alzheimer's disease.  In the Wimmer lab, Reza has been developing bioinformatic analytical pipelines for large sequencing data sets. His projects are aimed at delineating the molecular signatures associated with chronic drug exposure in reward-related brain regions. He is also continuing to purse meta-analyses of existing data sets related to addiction-like behaviors in rodents and chronic drug use in humans.

Dr. Karbalaei's publications

Dana Zeid, PhD.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dana earned her B.A. in Psychology from Marshall University in 2016. Under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Gould, she received her Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State University in the summer of 2021. Her graduate research focused broadly on genomic, neurobiological and behavioral underpinnings of learning and addiction in rodent models. Dana joined the Wimmer lab in the Fall of 2021. Her current research interests include mechanisms underlying multi- and transgenerational inheritance of drug addiction phenotypes, as well as the development and study of rodent behavioral paradigms. 

Dr. Zeid's publications

Elizabeth Smedley, PhD.

Postdoctoral Fellow | @ebsmed

Beth earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of New Hampshire in 2015. While at UNH, she studied thalamic nuclei and their influence in flexible goal-oriented behavior. She then pursued her Ph.D. in Dr. Kyle Smith's lab at Dartmouth College. Her graduate work focused on contributions of ventral pallidum and nucleus accumbens in cue-driven motivation and behavioral phenotypes. She continued as a postdoc for a year in the Smith Lab using optogenetic and chemogenetic techniques to manipulate motivated behaviors. In the Wimmer lab, Beth is looking forward to exploring the multi- and transgenerational impact of drugs of abuse leveraging a combination of behavioral and molecular approaches. 

Dr. Smedley's publications

Joanna Severino Perez

Ph.D. Student

Joanna graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a B.S. in Biology in May of 2021. While at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Joanna was a research assistant in Dr. S. Tiffany Donaldson's lab where she studied environmental enrichment as a treatment for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. She also contributed to work concerning the effects of amphetamine exposure in adolescent rats. She joined the Wimmer lab as a PhD student in fall 2021 and hopes to investigate the epigenetics of chronic drug use and how drug addiction may contribute to cognitive deficits. Outside of the lab, Joanna likes making and listening to music, fitness, and reading comics.

Paris Roserie

PhD Student

Paris graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a B.S in Psychology and specialization in Neuropsychology. While completing his undergraduate degree, his research under the tutelage of Dr. Webbe focused on concussion testing in patients using an objective Virtual Reality system (NVIT). Paris then joined Drs. Mihailidis and Khan's laboratories at the University of Toronto where he helped develop and Artificial Intelligence Response System for fall detection. Paris joined the Wimmer lab as a PhD student in the Fall 0f 2021. He plans to investigate the epigenetic processes contributing to substance abuse and addiction-related behaviors.  In his free time, Paris enjoys listening to musing, working on his vacation rental business and traveling. 

Carmen Dressler

Lab Manager and Research Technician 

Carmen Dressler graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Neuroscience in December of 2020. She joined the Wimmer lab as a laboratory technician in February 2021. Carmen is excited to participate in the research dedicated to the effects of opioids on memory and addiction. In the future, she plans on attending medical school and pursuing a career as an emergency medicine doctor.

Andrew Pan

Research Technician 

Andrew graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. He worked in the biotech industry after graduation where he was able to gain molecular biology experience before joining the Wimmer lab in summer of 2023. As a laboratory technician, he hopes to contribute to our knowledge of the factors that influence addiction susceptibility by utilizing a combination of behavioral and molecular techniques. He plans to pursue graduate school.

Brandy Martin

Master's Student 

Brandy earned her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Lincoln University in 2020. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Neuroscience: Systems, Behavior, and Plasticity Program. She joined Wimmer Lab in the fall of 2021. Brandy's research interest centers around gaining a comprehensive understanding of the influence of parental drug exposure and environmental factors on addiction susceptibility and behavioral outcomes in offspring. Beyond her academic pursuits, she finds joy in traveling, exploring new restaurants, and music.

Ahana Majumdar

Master's Student 

Ahana is an international medical graduate from the West Bengal University of Health Sciences, India having completed her degree in 2022. Currently specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Temple University, her primary focus lies in the field of researching and comprehending diseases at a population level. Driven by an unwavering passion for uncovering medical enigmas through clinical research, Ahana possesses a keen interest in investigating the intricate mechanisms underlying transgenerational inheritance of drug addiction phenotypes and behavioral adaptations in animals. 

Camryn Krumbhaar

Undergraduate Student 

Camryn is pursuing a BS in Neuroscience in the College of Liberal Arts with a certificate in Spanish for Health Professions. She joined the Wimmer Lab in January 2021 and is part of Temple's Honors Program, planning to graduate in May 2024. Camryn intends to enter medical school after graduation and aspires to complete a residency in pediatrics, following with sub-specialization in pediatric oncology or child abuse. She is very passionate about public health and hopes to gain experience within both the lab and the community. Camryn is the President of the Public Health Club FIMRC and the public relations chair for Nu Rho Psi, the honors neuroscience society. Camryn is currently working under her mentor Dr. Smedley, focusing on the effects of hippocampal lesions and heroin self-administration.

Maddie Funk

Undergraduate Student

Madeline is pursuing a BA in Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts with a minor in Cognitive Neuroscience and Biology (class of 2024). She joined the Wimmer lab in summer of 2022 in hopes to gain more knowledge about drug addiction and relapse, the epigenetics of addiction, and understand how memory plays a role in it as well. After her time at Temple, Madeline intends to enter medical school to become a neurologist. Outside of the lab, Madeline is a part of Phi Sigma Sigma and Diamond Dogs. 

Cass Tilley

Undergraduate Student

Cass is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice in the College of Liberal Arts, and is a part of Temple’s Honor Program (class of 2024). They joined the Wimmer lab in the spring of 2023 to better understand the epigenetics of substance use and how early life stressors affect vulnerability to addiction. After completing their undergraduate studies, Cass plans to attend graduate school to study behavioral neuroscience with a focus on how early life adversities affect addiction and criminal behavior in adulthood. 

Renee Goga

Undergraduate Student

Renee is pursuing a bachelor’s of science in Biology (Class of 2024) with minors in Clinical/Health Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.  She joined the Wimmer Lab in hopes of expanding her knowledge of addiction and the mechanisms underlying susceptibility/resilience to neuropsychiatric diseases. After graduation, Renee aspires to attend medical school and become a physician. Outside of the lab, Renee is an Emergency Medical Technician, a student athlete on Temple University’s women’s rowing team, a Morgan’s Message Ambassador, and a member of Temple's Phi Delta Epsilon Chapter for pre-medical students.

Lily Fetterman

Undergraduate Student

Lilly is a sophomore in the honors program with a major in Neuroscience and minor in clinical and health psychology (class of 2025). She joined the Wimmer Lab in the Spring of 2023 and hopes to learn more about the impact of chronic drug exposure on memory and cognition in males and females. Lilly plans to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience after graduation. 

Angela Harbeck

Undergraduate Student

Angela is pursuing a BS in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology from the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University. She joined the lab in the summer of 2023 to gain knowledge about how opioids affect memory. Angela intends to begin a doctorate program after graduation to continue her education in Neuroscience. Outside of the lab, Angela works as certified nursing assistant and participates in the publication of the trainee-led scientific publication Grey Matters

Lauren Blagmond

Undergraduate Student

Lauren is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience in the College of Liberal Arts (Class of 2025). She joined the Wimmer Lab in the fall of 2023 and is hoping to obtain a deeper understanding of persistent drug exposure and its effects on memory and epigenetics. After graduation, Lauren plans to attend medical school to become an anesthesiologist. 

Gianna Laurito

Undergraduate Student

Gianna is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with a minor in Clinical and Health Psychology from the College of Liberal Arts (Class of 2025) and is a part of the Temple Honors Program. She joined the Wimmer Lab in the fall of 2023 and is hoping to obtain a deeper understanding about the relationship between opioid abuse and epigenetics. Outside of the lab, Gianna participates in the publication of Temple Universities undergraduate neuroscience journal Grey Matters. After graduation, Gianna plans to attend PA school in hopes of becoming a Psychiatric PA.

Alumni

Isabell James, former undergraduate RA

Caesar Imperio, MD, PhD - Former Postdoc Fellow and Psychiatry Resident

Citlalli Tomas Baltazar, B.S. Neuroscience 2023 & MiNDS alumn

Mariyah Jiwanji, B.S. Neuroscience 2023, & MiNDS alumn

Chethan Reddy, B.S. Neuroscience 2023

Sydney Roth, B.S. Neuroscience 2023

Claudine Van Arman, former undergraduate RA 2023

Charlotte Bavley, PhD, former Postdoc

Hannah Mayberry, PhD in Psychology with specialization in Neuroscience 2022

Andre Toussaint, PhD in Psychology with specialization in Neuroscience 2022

Heather DeSalvo, B.S. Neuroscience 2021, M.S. Neuroscience 2022

Ben Dunham, M.S. Neuroscience 2022

Maina Beauplan, M.S. Neuroscience 2022

Charita Kunta, B.S. Biology 2022

Cindy Lam, B.S. Neuroscience 2022

Priya Doshi, B.A. Psychology 2022

Ricardo Fortuna, B.S. Neuroscience 2022

Paola Amaro, B.S. Biology 2022

Kiera Caldwell, NIDA summer Intern 2021

Angela Bongiovanni, B.S. Neuroscience 2017; former lab manager and lab technician

Elizaveta Valovatsky, Former BRIDGE Scholar - 2021

Sydney Hewitt, B.S. Neuroscience 2021

Dyess Ellis, B.S. Neuroscience 2021

Danait Selamawi, B.S. Neuroscience 2020

Sydney Famularo, B.S. Neuroscience 2019; former lab technician

Chau Do, B.S. Neuroscience 2020

Sam Schumacher, B.S. Neuroscience 2020

Abubakar Elhassan, Diversity Scholar, summer 2020

Drew Peterson, PhD, former Postdoc

Tara Thompson-Felix, MD. former Postdoc/Psychiatry Resident

Tamia Johnson, Diversity Scholar, summer 2019

Annaka Westphal, NIDA Summer Intern 2019

Cat Pierce, Former Webmaster and Research Assistant, Temple Class of 2021

Rachel Carpenter, B.A. Psychology 2018; M.S. Neuroscience 2019

Shivam Bhakta, B.S. Neuroscience 2019

Sara Downey, B.S. Neuroscience 2018, M.S. Neuroscience 2019

Kyle Peer, M.S. Neuroscience 2018

Alexandra Ellis, B.S. Neuroscience 2017; former lab manager and technician

Anna Kolesnik, B.S. Neuroscience 2017