People

Elizabeth Lucas, PhD

Elizabeth K. Lucas, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
Principal Investigator
elizabeth_lucas@ncsu.edu
919-513-1885

Dr. Lucas joined NC State in 2018 after completing her B.S. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and postdoctoral fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is impassioned by how the brain controls behavior and how this behavioral control goes awry in psychiatric illness. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, hiking, traveling, live music, and Eurogames.

Nina Baumgartner, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
nebaumga@ncsu.edu

Nina Baumgartner joined the Lucas Lab after completing her PhD in Neuroscience at Tulane University in May 2021. She is interested in all things behavioral endocrinology, with a special focus on gonadal hormones and cognition. In her free time, she enjoys cooking Cajun food, sewing, and spending time with her husband and their three pets.

Gaven Bell
Undergraduate Research Assistant
PEP Scholar
NCSU Biological Sciences 2023

Gaven is a junior at NC State majoring in Biology with a concentration in Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology and minors in Science Communication and Theatre. Her interests in the relationship between neuroscience, genetics, and behavior, and how they impact mental health led her to the Lucas Lab. After graduating she plans to earn a PhD and to pursue a career in research investigating the mechanisms that cause neurological disorders and to help develop treatments for these disorders. In her free time, Gaven loves to do a little bit of everything outdoors or in the theatre.

Kristen Adcock Binion
Graduate Student
Genetics
kadcock@ncsu.edu

Kristen Adcock is a Genetics PhD student that graduated from Pfeiffer University in 2019 with a degree in Biology, a minor in Chemistry, and a concentration in Forensic Science. She has always been interested in human health and understanding the underlying mechanisms behind disease. Her project investigates the neural circuits underlying sex differences in emotional memory with a focus on the lateral septum. In her free time, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, curling up with a good book, and hanging out with her dog.

Mandy Biraud
Senior Research Assistant
mcbiraud@ncsu.edu
919-513-6501

Mandy joined the Lucas lab in 2020 as the lab manager. After her graduation from a French university, she worked as a research assistant in different laboratories, studying gastrointestinal disease at INSERM Nantes in France, UCLA in California, and NCSU in North Carolina. Now days, she intends to extend her knowledge in different areas as she was always interested in studying behavior and addiction. Mandy traveled from France to the United States as she likes traveling and discovering new cultures. Her hobbies include sewing, restoring old furniture from the flea market, or swimming at the pool.

Kamryn du Plessis
Undergraduate Research Assistant
T34 U-TEAM Trainee
Biological Sciences, Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology Concentration 2022

Kamryn is an NC State sophomore majoring in Biology with a concentration in Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology. She joined the Lucas lab as she is passionate about bettering our understanding of the neurological mechanisms underlying mental illness, and hopes to one day contribute to innovative psychiatric treatment options. Following graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in Neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her cat and watching movies.

Amy Farthing
Graduate Student
CBS Neurosciences
alokichi@ncsu.edu

Amy earned her B.A. in Biology from Augustana College in 2014 and her M.S. in Natural Resource Sciences from Tarleton State University in 2017. Following that, she worked at the Environmental Protection Agency where she studied the effects of algal toxins and metalloid bioavailability using in vivo assays. Amy has always been interested in studying animal behavior and is excited to start learning how environmental conditions affect the brain and behavior. Her research project involves examining the role of puberty onset on socioemotional development. In her free time, she attends boxing classes at Title Boxing and enjoys spending time with her husband and dogs.

Zakiyah McCullough
Undergraduate Research Assistant
NCSU Plant Biology 2024

Zakiyah is a sophomore in Plant Biology and is interested in the field of ethnobotany. More specifically, traditional medicine and its similarities/differences in comparison to western medicine. After graduating, Zakiyah plans on going to medical school and becoming a doctor. She joined the Lucas lab to hopefully learn more about mental health as this can help her become knowledgeable and advocate for women's health in the future. In her free time, Zakiyah enjoys hanging out with friends and family, doing service work with Alpha Phi Omega, listening to music, and doing various arts and crafts.

Ari Ogunda
Undergraduate Research Assistant
NCSU Biochemistry & Biology, Human Biology Concentration 2022

Ari is an NC State senior double majoring in biochemistry and biology, with a concentration in human biology. He is interested in understanding the biomolecular mechanisms that control the processes of living organisms, using that knowledge to gain a better understanding of human health, and applying those principles to overall enhance our quality of life. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new music, hiking, and surfing.

 

Former Lab Members

Arabelis Wally, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Biological Sciences 2019
Kylee Brown, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Biochemistry 2020
Haley Edwards, Rotating Graduate Student, CBS Neurosciences
Ka’ayla Jones, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Psychology 2020
Sreetama Basu, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar
Ian McConnell, Rotating Graduate Student, CBS Neurosciences
Sam Harp, Rotating Graduate Student, Genetics
Garret Ryherd, Research Assistant, NCSU Animal Science 2018
Jemma Strauss DeFillipp, Rotating Graduate Student, CBS Neurosciences
Kenny Hlewicki, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Animal Science 2020
Elizabeth Kennelly, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Chemistry 2021
Suzette Ramirez, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Animal Science 2020
Arkady Bilenkin, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Biological Sciences 2020
Samantha Lambeth, Research Assistant, Virginia Tech Experimental Neuroscience 2019
Averie Bunce, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Biological Sciences 2020
Fatima Baloch, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Biological Sciences 2022
Dylan McDonald, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Biological Sciences 2022
Alex Yankoglu, Research Assistant, NCSU Psychology 2017, NCSU Physiology Masters Program 2021
Hugh Johnson, Undergraduate Research Assistant, NCSU Biological Sciences 2022