Current Leadership

WISE President, Deborah (DeeDee) Rupert

I am a M.D.-Ph.D. student at Stony Brook University completing my Ph.D. graduate work here at Cold Spring Harbor in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Shea. I study animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders and am currently studying the role of the mecp2 gene, mutations of which cause the vast majority of Rett Syndrome cases. I obtained my bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota where I studied Neuroscience and worked in the behavioral primate lab of Dr. Julie Neiworth. Following the completion of my undergraduate studies, I matriculated to Columbia University where I received my Master of Science degree from the Institute of Human Nutrition and completed my thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Harry Shair at New York State Psychiatric Institute. My interest in nutrition lead me to a position at Columbia University Medical Center’s cardiology unit where I conducted stage III and IV clinical trials. During this time, I completed Columbia’s Master of Arts Biotechnology program, working under the direction of Dr. Sander Markx. I continue to hold a strong interest in nutrition as well as basic science research aimed at the identification of druggable targets. I am the President of WiSE. (Served as Vice President in 2019 and In-House Education Chair Founder in 2018)

Interim Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Marie Dussauze

I am a graduate student at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Dr. Florin Albeanu’s lab. I am investigating the neural substrates of sensorimotor integration in the olfactory system. I received my bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Versailles Saint Quentin (France). During my first internship, I studied the influence of stress and microbiota upon the early stages of olfactory processing at INRA (France). This research experience affirmed my attraction to neuroscience and steered me towards sensory systems. I had the chance to further foray into sensory neuroscience during my Masters at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, and then my internship in Dr. Laurent Bourdieu’s lab at IBENS (Paris) where I studied how the somatosensory cortex integrates complex multiple whiskers stimulation. I am the secretary/treasurer of WISE.


Outreach Chair, Alexa Pagliaro

I am a graduate student in Dr. Stephen Shea’s lab where I study the inhibitory circuitry that supports auditory cortical plasticity, and its disruptions in a model of Rett Syndrome. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience and Spanish from Wellesley College. There, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Sharon Gobes where I investigated the neural mechanisms of auditory learning and memory in zebra finch songbirds. In particular, I studied how distinct inhibitory neuronal subpopulations and lateralized brain activity support learning. When I’m not in the lab, you can find me playing tennis, skiing, or catching a New York Philharmonic concert.

Chair of Mental Health, Connor Fitzpatrick

I am a second-year graduate student in the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and am pursuing my thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Chris Vakoc. My project focuses on investigating the role of gene regulation in the pathology of small-cell lung cancer, with a particular interest in the transcription factor ASCL1. After earning my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at Stony Brook University I took a few years off from school to work in different research laboratories before applying to graduate programs. Outside of lab I am typically spending time with my girlfriend and our dog, going to live music concerts, or drinking coffee and relaxing. I am incredibly excited to be the Mental Health Chair of WiSE as mental health has played a major role in my own personal life, and I hope to carry my experience and compassion to this position. Through participating in WiSE I am extremely eager to grow as an individual and learn to be a better ally for underrepresented groups in science. Another major goal I have is to encourage more men to become active and engaged activists for equality and diversity in STEM.

Chair of Workshops, Andrea Moffitt

I am a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the groups of Dr. Dan Levy and Dr. Michael Wigler, where I develop computational and statistical methods for genomic technologies, with applications in liquid biopsy and gene expression in cancer and autism. My current focus is on a method for highly sensitive detection of cancer in the blood using patient-specific mutations to monitor response to therapy and detect relapse early. Prior to joining CSHL in 2017, I earned my Ph.D. in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from Duke University. As a graduate student, I was supported by the Hertz Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. My dissertation work, in the laboratory of Dr. Sandeep Dave, utilized integrative computational genomics to define the molecular and cellular origins of five different subtypes of lymphoma. I obtained my B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology where I received the Goldwater Scholarship and the Georgia Tech President’s Scholarship, while taking on leadership roles in dance, orchestra, and engineering organizations on campus. Outside of the lab, I enjoy traveling with my family, attending dance and theater performances, playing board games, crafting and crocheting, and spending time with friends. I am the Workshops Chair of WiSE, and look forward to contributing to the many exciting efforts of WiSE at CSHL!

Chair of In House Education, Nicole Sivetz

I am a first-year graduate student of the Watson School of Biological Sciences PhD program at CSHL. My research interests include mechanisms driving cancer metastasis and evasion from the host immune system. I graduated in 2019 from Monmouth University with bachelor’s degrees in Molecular Biology and Chemistry.  As an undergraduate, I developed antisense therapies and inhibitory compounds targeted against epidermal growth factor receptor in the context of glioblastoma multiforme. I was also a summer intern with the Reproductive Toxicology (2017) and Discovery Genomics & Proteomics (2019) groups of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Outside of the lab, I enjoy hiking, yoga, and trying to cook. I am the In-House Education Chair of WiSE.

Chair of Social Media, Rhonda Drewes

I am a research technician in Pavel Osten’s laboratory. My position mainly focuses on using different microscopes, working with post-docs and graduate students on a variety of projects, and helping to maintain the lab in various other duties. I graduated with a Bachelors in Science in Neuroscience and a minor in Italian from Binghamton University. In college I was involved with the local Zoo, worked in an entomology lab, and cooked crepes every weekend. I plan to pursue graduate studies in Neuroscience beginning next year. For fun I like to watch baseball, paint, play video games, read, and bake.

Prior Leadership

Our Co-Founders:
Jackie Giovaniello, PhD:          | President (2015-2017) | President Emeritus (2017-2018)
Lital Chartarifsky-Lynn, PhD:           | Vice President (2015-2016) |  President (2017) | WiSE Events Chair (2015-2018) |
Alexandra Ambrico:        | Vice President (2015-2017) | Education & Outreach Chair (2015-2018) |

Past Board Members:
Cassidy Danyko:          | Vice President (2020) | Outreach Chair (2019) |
Alexandra Nowlan:    | President (2018-2019) | Practice Talks Chair (2017) |
Lyndsey Aguirre:           | Outreach Chair (2018-2019) |
Grinu Mathew, PhD:               | Workshops Chair (2019) |
Sarah Starosta, PhD:               | Secretary/Treasurer (2019) |
Brianna Bibel:                 | Social Media Chair* (2015-2019) |
Shaina Lu:                          | WiSE Speakers List Chair (2017) |  Treasurer/Secretary, Vice President (2019) |
Tzvia Pinkhasov:            | Mental Health Chair (2019) |
Kaitlin Watrud, MS:            | In-House Education Chair (2018-2019)|
Christine Scaduto, PhD:        | Diversity & Inclusion Chair (2017) | Vice President (2018) | WiSE Events Chair (2018) |

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