Lab Members

Click names for email

Dr. Franck Polleux – Ph.D.

Professor of Neuroscience


Dr. Franck Polleux did his undergraduate and graduate studies at Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, (France) where he obtained his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1997. He then joined the laboratory of Dr. Anirvan Ghosh at Johns Hopkins University for his post-doctoral training. In 2002, Dr Polleux was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience Center and Department of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill where he became an Associate Professor in 2008. In August 2010, he joined The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

In November 2013, he was recruited as a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University to join the new Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind, Brain, Behavior Institute.

Throughout his career, Dr Polleux has focused on the identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal development in the mammalian brain. More recently, his lab started studying the genetic basis of human brain evolution as well as the signaling pathways underlying synaptic loss during early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease progression.

CV • PubMed • Google scholar •  Research Gate • Mendeley




Victoria L Hewitt

Victoria is a neuronal cell biologist with an interest in how organelle interactions contribute to neuron maintenance and neurodegeneration. She joined the Polleux lab in 2019 to investigate how interactions between mitochondria and the Endoplasmic Reticulum contribute to neuronal function.




2016_2_16_justin_headshot-25Justin O’Hare, Ph.D.

Justin carried out his graduate work in the lab of Nicole Calakos at Duke University Medical Center. He joined the Polleux lab in 2017 where he studies how the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria networks regulate spatiotemporal dynamics of dendritic calcium in the context of synaptic integration, plasticity, circuit function and behavior. PubMed



IMG_3012Heike Blockus, Ph.D.

Heike did her graduate work in Alain Chédotal’s lab at Sorbonne Université – Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. She joined the Polleux lab in 2016 where she studies the role of srGAP2A and its human-specific paralog srGAP2C in synaptic plasticity and circuit dynamics. PubMed



IMG_7825_websitephotoEwoud Schmidt, Ph.D.

Ewoud did his graduate work in the lab of Dr Jeroen Pasterkamp at the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. He joined the Polleux lab in 2014 where he studies the role of SRGAP2A and its human-specific paralog SRGAP2C in synaptic development and circuit formation. PubMed


Graduate Students



Daniel Virga

Daniel is a graduate student in the Biological Sciences program. He joined the Polleux lab in 2018 and studies the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptoxicity in Alzheimer’s Disease. PubMed



Andres Villegas

Andres is a graduate student in the Neurobiology and Behavior program. He joined the Polleux lab in 2018 and studies the role of Pdzd8 in the circuit dynamics of adult neurogenesis.




Research Technician

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Qiaolian Liu





Lab Manager



Melba Colon








Former Postdocs

Yusuke Hirabayashi • Associate Professor or Neurobiology at The University of Tokyo

Tommy Lewis, Jr • Assistant Member, Aging & Metabolism Research Program at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Chandana Kondapalli • Research Associate in Neurobiology at Boston Children’s – Beth Stevens lab

Abhishek Sahasrabudhe • Benson Lab at Mount Sinai 

Seok-Kyu Kwon • Senior Researcher at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul, South Korea

Justine Kupferman • Scientist at Kallyope

Hunki Paek • Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University Medical Center.

A. Paul Barnes • Assistant Professor at OHSU

Cécile Charrier • Assistant Professor – CNRS,  Department of Biology at Ecole Normale Supérieure- Paris France

Julien Courchet • Assistant Professor- INSERM, Université Claude Bernard- Lyon 1, France

Kaumudi Joshi • Global Project Manager at Genentech

Bonnie Marsick • Associate Director, Media Production at ScienCell Research Laboratories.

Georges Mairet-Coello  • Principal Scientist – Team leader Union Chimique Belge (UCB), Brussels · Drug Discovery

Takayuki Sassa • Assistant Professor at Univ. Hokaido- Japan

Yuji Tsunekawa • Research Scientist in Dr Fumio Matsuzaki at RIKEN CDB Institute, Kobe, Japan.


Former Graduate Students

Daniel Iascone • Post-doc in the lab of Dr. Amita Sehgal at the University of Pennsylvania

Annie Lee 

Dante Bortone  Post-doc in the lab of Dr Massimo Scanziani lab – UCSD- HHMI

Jaeda Coutinho-Budd • Assistant Professor at University of Vermont

Jacqueline DeMarchena Powell • Medical science writer and editor with Education and Training Systems International (ETSI).

Sabrice Guerrier  Assistant Professor of Biology at Millsaps College

Randal Hand • Post-doc in the lab of Dr Alex Kolodkin at Johns Hopkins Univ. -HHMI

Ashton Powell  Biology Instructor at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Julie Seibt • Lecturer in Sleep & Plasticity. Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, UK

Former Research Technicians    

  • Miyako Hirabayashi
  • Virginie Courchet
  • Courtney Benson
  • Elizabeth Boutt
  • Lisa Plummer
  • Marie Rougié

Undergraduate Students

  • Chelsea Noble
  • Dean Liou
  • Amul Bathia
  • Maxime Camo
  • Petr Slivka
  • Melody Lee
  • Janet Berrios
  • Hannah Bishop
  • Rocky Cheung
  • Eldon Peters
  • Patrick-Olivier Rattis
  • Laetitia Poccard-Chapuis

Polleux Lab Pictures


Annie Lee’s Defense party May 2018


Columbia Univ. 2016

Polleux lab 2015

Columbia Univ. 2015

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Scripps 2013

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Scripps 2012


Scripps 2011

outside formal

UNC-Chapel Hill 2009

lab pic 2-march08

UNC-Chapel Hill 2006-2008

polleux labpic2

UNC-Chapel Hill 2002-2005