Meet the Team
Sarah Stanley, MBBCh, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease
Dr. Sarah Stanley is Assistant Professor in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute with a secondary appointment in neuroscience. Dr. Stanley trained in clinical endocrinology and internal medicine at Cambridge University and London hospitals including Hammersmith Hospital. She joined Professor Steve Bloom’s Lab as a Wellcome fellow and completely her PhD on neural regulation of appetite at Imperial College. As a Medical Research Council fellow, Dr. Stanley joined Professor Jeffrey Friedman’s lab at Rockefeller University, working on murine models for CNS glucose sensing and later on the development of tools for wireless neural regulation using radiowaves and magnetic fields. She joined Icahn School of Medicine in 2015 and her laboratory focuses on developing new techniques to investigate neural regulation of glucose metabolism.
Alexandra Alvarsson, PhD
Alexandra Alvarsson, PhD, is a postdoc in the Stanley lab. She is particularly interested in the link between metabolism, endocrinology and the brain, and she believes there is a call for a deeper understanding of how these entities interact during healthy and disease states. She did her PhD in the lab of professor Per Svenningsson at the Karolinska Institute where she focused on the characterization of experimental models of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. She has also investigated diabetes-related complications under Professor Kerstin Brismar and Dr. Harvest Gu at the Karolinska Institute. In Dr. Sarah Stanley’s lab her aim is to map the circuitry, identify markers and assess the roles of glucose-sensing neurons of the central nervous system. These neurons are implicated in pathological conditions characterized by altered glucose sensitivity, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity and insulin-induced hypoglycemia. The long-term goal of this research is to identify alternative therapeutic interventions for metabolic disorders by targeting the central nervous system. To this end she is using viral tools, neuroimaging techniques, biosensor techniques, behavioural assays, magneto- and radiogenetics.
Mitchell Bayne, BS
Mitchell Bayne, BS, is enthusiastic to join the lab as an Associate Researcher. After earning a degree in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, he is excited to continue studying the autonomic nervous system as it applies to glucose regulation.
Kavya Devarakonda, BS
Kavya Devarakonda is a neuroscience graduate student in the Stanley lab. Kavya graduated from Georgetown University in 2013 with a major in neurobiology and a minor in business administration. After college, she spent two years as a postbaccalaureate fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in the laboratory of Alexxai Kravitz, where she studied the role of striatal dopamine D2 receptors in physical activity and obesity. Currently, Kavya is using cell-type-specific tools to investigate the role of glucose-sensing neuronal populations in feeding behaviors.
Jennifer Nam, BS
Jennifer is a student in the neuroscience graduate program at Mount Sinai. She graduated from Hunter College in 2014 with a B.A./M.A. in Biology and concentration in Biotechnology, and worked there as a research assistant before joining Mount Sinai in 2015. During her time at Hunter College with Dr. Carmen Melendez-Vasquez, she studied the role of cytoskeletal proteins in myelination, particularly in the mouse central nervous system during development. Now as a member of Sarah Stanley’s lab, Jennifer is testing the mechano- and thermosensitive properties of different TRPV variants. Now as a member of Sarah Stanley’s lab, Jennifer is testing the mechano- and thermosensitive properties of TRPV variants as a means of regulating neuronal glucose-sensing.