Anthony Peng, Principal Invesitgator
PhD, Massachusetts Insitute of Technology
Growing up outside of Washington DC, I developed a love for science at a young age. I always took things apart to find out how they worked. These interests led me to pursue my B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University. When taking a neuroscience course in college, I became intrigued with biology and decided to continued my training in the Speech and Hearing Biosciences and Technology graduate program, a joint program between Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that bridged the gap between biology and engineering. During my doctoral studies, I learned much of the molecular and cell biological approaches that I use today and developed a strong background in auditory research with Dr. Stefan Heller. After completing my thesis, I decided the best way I could help improve hearing loss, was through the basic understanding of how the system worked. I believe that only through understanding how the system works, can we fix it when it malfunctions. For instance, you’re your car is not working properly, who do you take the car to? A mechanic of course, because they know how the car works, therefore are able to fix it. After my thesis, I joined Dr. Anthony Ricci’s laboratory to further our understanding of the function of the auditory system. In Dr. Ricci’s lab I developed new tools to better assess the mechano-electric transduction mechanism.
In my lab now, we continue to pursue the mechanisms of mechanotransduction, using and creating the best tools to directly answer questions pertaining to how we sense sound.
Giusy Caprara, Post-doctoral Fellow
PhD, University 'G. D’Annunzio' of Chieti-Pescara
Since young age I was really fascinated by science and after the first time I walked in a lab I decided that that place was my future. I was particularly attracted by Biology, so I pursued my BS in Biological Science at the University of Perugia (one of the oldest universities in Europe; founded in 1308) and my MS in Applied Biochemistry and Biomolecular Methodologies at the same University. I started working in the physiology field during my Bachelor and Master’ degrees in the Valeria Marsili’ lab.
I completed my PhD program in Basic and Applied Medical Science at University 'G. D’Annunzio' of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, in the laboratory of Maria A. Mariggiò During my PhD program I defined the physiological role of the Neuronal Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP43) in skeletal muscle. During this time, I collaborated with other expert scientists in the skeletal muscle field such as Antonio Musarò (University "La Sapienza" of Rome, Italy) and Clara Franzini-Armstrong (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia).
To pursue my dreams, I moved in the US and joined Anthony Peng’s lab to acquire new skills and to take a step forward in my career. I’m still interested in elucidating physiological mechanisms and in particular the roles of unconventional myosin motors in mechanotransduction.
Andrew Mecca, Neuroscience Program Graduate Student
BS, Michigan State University