Lab Members

Meet our group

John Pearson

Principal Investigator

John earned his bachelor's degree in physics and math from the University of Kentucky and his PhD in physics from Princeton. He became a neuroscientist at Duke, where he did his postdoctoral training with Michael Platt, working on the neurobiology of reward and decision-making. He joined the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences as a Research Assistant Professor in 2015.

Shariq Iqbal

Research Associate

Shariq, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, graduated from Duke in 2015 with a degree in Computer Science, upon which his interest in the applications of computation to healthcare and biological sciences led to his current position as a Reseach Associate in P[λ]ab, where he works on a variety of projects involving data pipelining, analysis/modeling, and writing code for cognitive tasks. He is passionate about solving problems and helping others with data science and machine learning. Outside of that, his interests include: playing soccer, music production, playing guitar, and watching his Blue Devils and Wolverines.

Abhishek Upadhyaya Ghimire

Research Associate

Abhishek graduated from Duke in 2016 with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering along with a minor in Computer Science. Originally from Nepalgunj, Nepal, he is passionate about software development, designing new stuffs, and problem solving. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, learning about new culture, reading latest international news, and playing cricket.

Athelia Rosa Paulli

Research Associate

Athelia grew up as a third culture kid, calling Singapore home, and graduated from Duke in 2016 with a degree in Neuroscience. She is committed to the understanding and illumination of the human brain, psychopathology, and their neurological interactions with memory, music, cognition, and emerging technologies. As a Research Associate in P[λ]ab, she assists in data collection and analysis, and is continually exploring ways of applying computational and statistical sciences to neurological problem solving. Outside of the lab, Athelia can be found playing the ukulele, adventure traveling, creating animations of the brain, and petting dogs.

Xin (Cindy) Chen

Data Scientist/Research Associate

Xin is a Master of Statistics from North Carolina State Univeristy. She joined P[λ]ab as a data scientist/research associate with her interdisciplinary background of both statistics and computer networks. She is interested in developing models to process large data and explore their statistical meanings. In the spare time, Xin likes playing basketball, drawing pencil sketches and exploring historical stories.

Robert Gramer

Medical Student Researcher

Bobby is a third year medical student currently pursuing a Master's in Clinical Research through Duke's Clinical Research Training Program as a Rauch and DTMI scholar. Bobby ultimately intends to lead an academic career in functional neurosurgery, entrenched in collaboration with myriad other disciplines. By working with neuroscientists, neurologists, engineers, and programmers he hopes to push the boundaries of current neurosurgical modalities such as DBS and HIFU, whilst innovating novel neuromodulatory therapies, to improve prognosis and quality of life for those living with epilepsy, movement disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and psychiatric illness. In his free time, Bobby enjoys being outdoors and active, by exploring North Carolina’s abounding beauty, and playing any and all sports, his lifelong love being basketball. To further this pursuit, he is currently obtaining his pilot’s license.

Andrew Bartuska

Research Associate

Andrew is a senior at Duke, studying for a B.S. in Neuroscience, with plans to pursue a medical career after he finishes at Duke. Originally from central Kentucky with a detour through south Florida for middle and high school, he has loved his time in Durham and all of the incredible opportunities that Duke has offered. In the lab, Andrew is involved in the electrocorticography studies, specifically looking at social cognition and Theory of Mind. Outside of the lab, he loves reading, swimming, the sun, and learning more about other cultures.

Kelsey McDonald

CNAP Graduate Student

Kelsey is a graduate student in the CNAP program at Duke University. She received a BA in Psychology from Princeton University, writing a senior thesis in computational reinforcement learning under Dr. Yael Niv. Before coming to Duke, she was a research assistant in Dr. Catherine Hartley's lab at Weill Cornell Medicine, studying the neurodevelopment of learning and decision making. At Duke, she is focusing on using computational models to study neuroeconomics, learning, and decision making. Outside of the lab, she loves to cook, read, and play with her husky puppy, Khaleesi.


Dennis Turner, MD

Deep Brain Stimulation Project

Nandan Lad, MD, PhD

Deep Brain Stimulation and ECoG Projects

Patrick Hickey, DO

Deep Brain Stimulation Project

Saurabh Sinha, MD, PhD

ECoG Project

Jonathan Viventi, PhD

ECoG Project

Steven Szabo, MD, PhD

Pupil and Eye Tracking

Andrew Krystal, MD

Pupil and Eye Tracking

Elizabeth Johnson, PhD

Pupil and Eye Tracking