PhD Students

Mollie Marr

Summary of Current Research

I am a MD/PhD student in Behavioral Neuroscience.  My research examines maternal psychological stress during pregnancy as a potential mechanism for the intergenerational transmission of childhood trauma.  I am using a novel machine learning algorithm to see if maternal psychological stress and its interaction with a history of maternal childhood trauma relates to infant neurobiological and psychosocial development. I double-majored in Theatre and Psychology with a minor in Applied Theatre, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.


Sam Papadakis

Summary of Current Research

I am part of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at OHSU. My research explores the impacts of the prenatal environment on the development of sensory processing disorders. I use resting state functional connectivity MRI and immunohistochemistry to investigate the role that prenatal inflammation may play in altering functional connections between sensory networks in the brain. My project utilizes human and non-human primate models, and I am able to translate findings between species using a novel machine learning approach. Prior to OHSU, I received a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Oberlin College in 2015, where I studied multisensory integration using electroencephalography (EEG) in Dr. Leslie Kwakye’s lab. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, photography, and traveling.


Anjanibhargavi Ragothaman

Summary of Current Research

I joined the PhD program in the department of biomedical engineering at OHSU in Fall 2017. Prior to joining the PhD program, I worked as Research Assistant for two years in Imaging and Genetics Center at University of Southern California. I completed her M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rutgers University, New Jersey and Bachelors in Electrical & Electronics Engineering at Amrita University, India. My doctoral research focuses on understanding the structural and functional brain changes related to balance and gait dysfunctions in people with Parkinson’s disease and to develop computational methods to improve the characterization of functional connectivity. I also have four years of industry experience as Software Engineer.


Elina Thomas

Summary of Current Research

I am a Ph.D. student in the Behavioral Neuroscience Department at OHSU. My research is focused on using resting state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) to identify neural systems present at birth which support emerging emotion regulatory ability. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify functional connections in the infant brain which may predict risk for future psychopathology. I hold a Masters in Physiology and Bachelors in Psychology from North Carolina State University and have prior research experience working with non-human primate and rodent models.