Principal Investigator

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Jocelyn M. Richard, PhD

Jocelyn received her BA in psychobiology from Occidental College, where she worked in the lab of Nancy Dess, and completed her PhD at the University of Michigan in Kent Berridge's laboratory. Jocelyn conducted her postdoctoral work with Howard Fields at UCSF, and Patricia Janak at Johns Hopkins University, where she focused on dissecting the functional contributions of activity in ventral pallidal neurons to reward seeking behavior. She is particularly interested in how signals related to learning, affect and physiological state are integrated in the brain to generate motivated behaviors. These questions are the focus of her lab's work at the University of Minnesota.



Research Technicians


Christelle Cayton, B.A.

Christelle obtained her B.A. in Neuroscience Studies with a Psychology emphasis and a Biology minor from Macalester College.Her current research in the lab investigates the neural mechanisms underlying encoding of incentive value in reward and motivation pathways. In the future she plans to attend medical school and pursue a pediatric specialty. Her hobbies include yoga, ultimate frisbee, filmmaking and discovering new coffee shops.

Day 1 (May 31, 2018)

Day 1 (May 31, 2018)

MJ Carpio, B.A.

MJ attended Macalester College with a major in Neuroscience Studies and an emphasis on Philosophy. She wrote her senior capstone on the value of philosophical analyses to epilepsy research (philosophy of neuroscience), and the value of studying epilepsy to philosophy of mind (neurophilosophy). In lab, MJ is currently studying the effects of alcohol dependence on cue-elicited behavior and incentive value encoding. She plans on pursuing a higher education in neuroscience. In the meantime, she is trying to learn as much about a few techniques used in addiction studies, such as behavioral training, machine learning, brain clearing, photometry, and optogenetics. For fun, MJ likes to read non-fiction, cook for people, explore state parks in Minnesota, and bike, amongst other activities.


Graduate Students


Runbo Gao, B.S.

Runbo obtained his B.S. in Biological Science from Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China. He is currently a Master's student in Biological Science and plans to apply for a Ph.D. program in neuroscience after graduation. In his free time, he likes to play badminton, read books, and watch movies.


Undergraduate Students


Arianna Dart

Arianna is an undergraduate student at Macalester College. She is a senior majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Portuguese. She plans on graduating in May of this year, and will begin a job as a research assistant and coordinator at Boston Children's Hospital in June. She hopes to apply for medical school after taking a couple of years off to work and travel. In her spare time, Arianna loves learning new languages, baking, canoeing, reading and dancing.


Erica Wooner

Erica is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota majoring in Psychology and minoring in neuroscience. She is currently planning to go to medical school after obtaining her B.S., although research may be a good fit for her as well. For fun she enjoys dancing for the Dance Collective and MDC, and testing out her cooking skills with vegan foods.


Iris Lin

Iris is currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota in the College of Biological Sciences. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and scuba diving.


Dani Frazee

Dani is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Biomedical Engineering.