Benjamin T. Saunders, PhD

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Principal Investigator


Amy Wolff, PhD

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Staff Scientist

Amy obtained her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and continued there for her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in the lab of David Bilkey. Her doctoral thesis examined the long-term behavioral and neural consequences of alterations in the maternal environment, and the relationship of these changes to a schizophrenic phenotype. 

She then moved to Hamburg, Germany for a postdoctoral position in the lab of Ileana Hanganu-Opatz to explore how the communication between brain regions develops during early postnatal life, before moving to the UK to take up a Roche Postdoctoral Fellowship working with Dimitri Kullmann, David Bannerman, and Dennis Kaetzel. As part of this work, Amy utilized chemogenetic and optogenetic techniques to explore how the dysfunction of different types of neurons might be involved in schizophrenia. 

Amy then joined the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford as a Postdoctoral Neuroscientist working in the labs of Paul Dodson and Peter Magill investigating the in vivo firing properties of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in mouse models of Parkinson's disease.


Anne Collins, PhD

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Annie started her scientific career as an undergraduate research assistant in Ilene Bernstein’s lab  and Paul Phillip’s lab at the University of Washington, where she worked on projects investigating the effect of adolescent alcohol exposure on risky decision-making and contributing neural correlates, specifically phasic dopaminergic activity using FSCV. She graduated magna cum laude with honors and distinction in Psychology with a focus in behavioral neuroscience. As a research technician in Paul Phillip’s lab at the University of Washington, she worked closely with Jeremy Clark to investigate the role of phasic dopamine activity in Pavlovian learning.

She earned her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience program in Kate Wassum’s lab in the UCLA Psychology Department. She initially began investigating into the role of phasic dopamine activity within the ventral striatum in action-performance (Collins et al., 2016). From there, she became interested in the interaction between mesolimbic dopamine and acetylcholine transmission in mediating the ability of reward-predictive stimuli to initiate and invigorate the performance of reward-seeking actions using FSCV, choline biosensing, chemo- and opto-genetic technology (Collins et al., 2016).

In her free time she enjoys the operawriting science fiction, painting and sculpting.