On July 27, 2021, The Safar Center held its annual Student Research Day, featuring presentations by summer students working at the Safar Center. We had a record breaking 19 students who gave 17 presentations to a virtual audience of 37 faculty, students, and staff. Eight outstanding mentors guided these students on their projects to make spectacular scientific presentations. Our students represented a broad spectrum of training levels including undergraduate, and graduate trainees from many local, national, and international institutions including a trainee from the University of Bath, in the UK. We are very grateful to the many sources of support for these trainees including the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Summer Research Program, the Pitt Center for Neuroscience, the State of PA CUREs program, among others. The presenters and (mentors) and project titles are shown below:


  1. Beate Wehrmeyer (Corina Bondi, PhD): Instrumental learning and attentional set-shifting during adolescence: A comparison of two models of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  2. Mihaela Toader (Corina Bondi, PhD): Neurobehavioral and physiological effects of TBI in spontaneously hypertensive rats
  3. Tyler Ranellone (Corina Bondi, PhD): Effects of positive allosteric modulation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on sustained attention and cholinergic neurotransmission after experimental TBI
  4. Rithika Reddy (Corina Bondi, PhD, Anthony Kline, PhD): Intranasal administration of L-Myc immortalized human neural stem cells after cortical impact injury enhance spatial learning
  5. Emma Kotes (Amy Wagner, MD, Erica K. Fan, MPH): Acute infection and cellular immunity associations with seizure among individuals with moderate-to-severe TBI
  6. Sofia Seppi (Mioara Manole, MD): Development of Novel 20-HETE inhibitors for neurotherapeutics
  7. Vincent Vozzella (Anthony Kline, PhD): Music medicine as a novel therapy for promoting neurobehavioral and cognitive recovery after experimental TBI
  8. Kelsey Palmer (Anthony Kline, PhD): Evaluating the potential efficacy of amantadine as a bridge therapy prior to environmental enrichment after brain trauma
  9. Claudia Bianchine and Rebecca Greenwald (Amy Wagner, MD, Erica K. Fan, MPH): Treelet transform analysis of chronic inflammatory levels and associations with cognition
  10. Simone Mohite (C. Edward Dixon, PhD): Evaluating BACE1 as a biomarker for TBI
  11. Aakriti Dave (Shaun Carlson, PhD): Characterizing dual mild lateral fluid percussion injury 2 weeks post-injury regarding neuroinflammatory and synaptic immunoreactivity
  12. Emmanuelle Satcho (Shaun Carlson, PhD): Characterizing a neuroinflammatory response in dual mild lateral fluid percussion injury model through Iba1 and NeuN immunoreactivity alterations at 5 weeks post-injury
  13. Adi Mittal (C. Edward Dixon, PhD): Chaperone changes after controlled cortical impact
  14. Sneha Padamati and Sri Akkineni (Amy Wagner, MD, Ashley Russell, PhD): Male vs female asphyxial cardiac arrest comparisons of expressed dopamine markers and neural cell death via Western blot and immunohistochemistry analysis
  15. Anisha Mandava (Amy Wagner, MD, Ashley Russell, PhD): A behavioral and histological analysis of soluble gp130 as a potential treatment for TBI-associated impairment
  16. Aditya Kumar (Amy Wagner, MD, Ashley Russell, PhD): Interleukin-7 associations with regional neuro-inflammation and astrogliosis after experimental TBI
  17. Andrew Toader (Alberto Vazquez, PhD, Mioara Manole, MD): Differences in excitatory and inhibitory neuron oxygen metabolism elucidated by intrinsic optical imaging and optogenetics in awake mice