Lab Members

Meet our group

Principal Investigator:

John Pearson

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. From 2015 to 2018, he was an Assistant Research Professor in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. In 2018, he moved back to the School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, with secondary appointments in the departments of Psychology & Neuroscience and Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Anne Draelos

Anne obtained bachelor's degrees in physics and computer science from NC State University. She completed graduate school at Duke University with a master's in electrical and computer engineering and a PhD in physics, focusing on low temperature quantum transport. Currently she studies machine learning and statistical techniques to facilitate real-time analysis of neural data, and is interested broadly in the design and construction of new measurement and analysis methods. For stress relief, she enjoys reading, MMA, and dancing with her husband.

Seth Madlon-Kay

After earning a BA in psychology and economics from New York University, Seth completed his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania where he used computational methods to glean new insights into the social behavior of non-human primates. His research interests include reproducible research practices and the application of probabilistic machine learning to understanding complex behavior, and he currently works on models for evidence integration in subjective legal judgements. His non-scientific activities include biking, reading Victorian novels with his wife, and attempting to appreciate jazz.

Graduate Students:

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.

Pranjal Gupta

CNAP Graduate Student

Pranjal is a second-year graduate student in the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program at Duke. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Computational Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he worked under Dr. Daniel Butts to use neural networks to elucidate retinal ganglion cell function. Pranjal's research interests include studying biological and artificial reinforcement learning as well as studying the neural basis of perception. Away from a computer, Pranjal enjoys meditation and playing basketball.

Na Young Jun

Neurobiology Graduate Student

Na Young is a third-year graduate student in the Neurobiology program at Duke University. She received her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University under Dr. Jessica Cardin, where she studied distinct patterns of network activity in Channelrhodopsin variants. After graduation, she worked on retinal circuitry with Dr. Jonathan Demb at Yale. At Duke, she is focusing on the computational understanding of retinal information processing. Na Young also loves to travel, especially when she travels to eat.

Kevin O'Neill

CNAP Graduate Student

Kevin is a second-year graduate student in the CNAP program at Duke. He received a BS in Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he worked with Dr. Selmer Bringsjord on developing human-like formal reasoning systems. Later, he worked as a Computer Scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory under Dr. Paul Bello developing cognitive models to capture mechanisms involved in perception, memory, attention, and reasoning. At Duke, studying jointly with Felipe De Brigard, Kevin's research now focuses on the processes underlying causal reasoning and other forms of inference. Outside the lab, Kevin enjoys playing the bass, cooking, and biking.

Daniela de Albuquerque

MD-PhD student

Daniela is a student at Duke's MD-PhD program. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Duke and wrote a senior thesis on the mechanisms of attention and working memory while working under Dr. Marty Woldorff. Before coming back to Duke, she was a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the NIMH, where she worked on developing computational screening methods for genomic and imaging biomarkers of working memory deficits in schizophrenia. As a first year ECE graduate student at Duke, she is interested in applying statistical machine-learning methods to model brain imaging data. When not in front of a computer, she loves to surf, read and hike.

Trevor Alston

Trevor is a second year Neurobiology graduate student at Duke University. He holds two Biomedical Engineering Degrees; he received his BS degree from Rutgers University and his MS degree from Northwestern University. His research interest is in Neuroengineering and brain-related technologies. Outside of the lab he likes hanging out with friends, playing games, and watching TV.

Raphael Geddert

Raphael is a second-year graduate student in the CNAP program at Duke. He double majored in Neurobiology and Psychology at UC Davis, and was a research assistant in Dr. Steve Luck’s lab exploring the mechanisms of threat attention in anxiety using EEG. Before coming to Duke, he next worked with Dr. Marjorie Solomon at the UC Davis MIND Institute studying cognitive control developed in teens with autism. Raphael’s interests include studying reinforcement and network learning and applying these to understanding cognitive control and behavior. Outside the lab he enjoys reading, piano, and rock climbing.

Miles Martinez

Miles is a first-year graduate student in the CNAP program at Duke rotating with John in the Fall. He majored in Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown, where he worked with Joo-Hyun Song to better understand how we learn new motor skills and underlying cognitive strategies for action. Right now, he's interested in applying computational methods to understand the interactions between perception and action. When not doing research, he loves getting outside and hiking or rock climbing - unless it's too cold, in which case you can find him indoors cooking or playing games.

Achint Kumar

Achint is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Physics department. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering from BITS Pilani, India in 2017. His ressearch is on using machine learning techniques to understand ultrasonic vocalizations in mice. In his spare time, Achint likes to read about the history of science, play tennis, and go hiking.

Undergraduate Students:

Chaichontat Sriworarat (Richard)

Richard is a third-year undergraduate majoring in an interdisciplinary program at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University. He is focusing on new, high-performance computational techniques to gain knowledge from massive biological datasets. In addition to research, he maintains a science Facebook page in Thai and is a member of Duke Climate Coalition.

Nicole Moiseyev

Nicole is a second-year undergraduate completing an interdepartmental major in Neuroscience and Computer Science at Duke University. She is working on a platform for real-time processing, analysis, and visualization of neuronal activity from calcium imaging data. Aside from research, she is an A.B. Duke Scholar, Design Team co-lead for the HackDuke planning committee, and a member of the Duke Innovative Design Agency.

Daniel Sprague

Daniel is a Third-year undergraduate student studying Computer Scienece with a minor in neuroscience and a certificate in Science & Society. His primary interest is in the use of computational methods to improve the way we research the brain. Outside of the lab, Daniel is a Duke Huang Fellow, President of his a cappella group, and a member of Hoof 'n' Horn.

Dominic Tanzillo

Dominic is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Neuroscience and Mathematics with a minor in chemistry. His research focuses on developing online machine learning techniques for real-time spike sorting. He hopes to graduate with distinction in both majors, using his research in this lab to form his thesis. Outside of lab, Dominic teaches an undergraduate course in Aerospace Medicine, works as an EMT with Duke University EMS, volunteers as a counselor with Camp Kesem, and is the founder of Duke SEDS. He also cooks a fantastic risotto.

Former members


Graduate Students:

Research Associates: