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Lab Members


Benjamin Hayden

Ben received his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley and was a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University. In 2009, he was the Outstanding Young Investigator for the Society for Neuroeconomics. Since then, his research has been featured twice in Senator Tom Coburn's Wastebook, a government publication highlighting worthless science.

E-mail | Website | Calendar | CV


Anilu Chavez

Graduate student

Anilu received her bachelor’s in Neuroscience with a minor in Computational and Applied Math from Rice University. As a true Houston local, she is pursuing her PhD in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. She is studying the intersection of spatial navigation and memory; and plans to uncover key insights of the two through machine learning algorithms and neuromodulation.


Assia Chericoni

Graduate Student

Assia received her BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in robotics from the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome in Italy. She is now a Neuroscience Graduate student at Baylor College of Medicine.


Katherine Kabotyanski

Graduate Student

Kat received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Duke University. She then worked as a Research Assistant on the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute, and then as Research Manager for the Human Connectome Project at Harvard University before starting her M.D./Ph.D at BCM in 2020. She is completing her Ph.D. in the Quantitative and Computational Biosciences program, using explainable artificial intelligence methods for decoding, interpreting, and representing neural signals related to mood and cognition.


Melissa Franch

Post-doctoral fellow

After completing a B.S. in Biology and Science Education at North Carolina State University, Melissa worked as a teacher and research associate. In 2023 she received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UTHealth McGovern Medical School with Dr. Valentin Dragoi, where she discovered cortical representations of social learning. Melissa is interested in social cognition, especially its expression in autism, and continues to investigate neural computations of social behavior in the primate brain. 

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Georgios Kokalas


From Thessaloniki, Greece. Graduated from St. Olaf College in May, 2022 with a B.A. degree in Computer Science and Biology and a concentration in Neuroscience. Currently working as a Research Technician under the supervision of Professor Ben Y. Hayden at Baylor College of Medicine, aiming to gain further lab experience before applying for a Ph.D. program in Neuroscience. 

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Justin Fine

Assistant Professor

Justin received his PhD from Arizona State University. 



Kelly Bijanki

Baylor College of Medicine


Brett Foster

University of Pennsylvania


Sarah Heilbronner

Baylor College of Medicine


Matt McGinley

Baylor College of Medicine


Sameer Sheth

Baylor College of Medicine


Jeff Yau

Baylor College of Medicine


Seng Bum Michael Yoo

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Jan Zimmermann

University of Minnesota

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