Lab members

Ben Philpot, Ph.D., Principal Investigator


Dr. Ben Philpot is an associate director at UNC neuroscience center. He earned his Ph.D. in psychobiology from the University of Virginia in the lab of Dr. Peter Brunjes.  He performed a neuroscience postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Bear at Brown University and M.I.T., before coming to UNC in 2004.  He is currently a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and a member of the Neurobiology Curriculum and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities.  He is the co-Director of a cross-disciplinary postdoctoral training grant for the CIDD.  He studies basic mechanisms of cortical plasticity during critical periods of brain development. His recent research has focused on identifying the synaptic basis and therapeutic approaches for treating monogenic neurodevelopmental disorders.

Matt Judson, Ph.D., Research Associate


Dr. Matt Judson earned his Ph.D. under Dr. Pat Levitt at Vanderbilt University. He was the recipient of a postdoctoral NRSA from NINDS, and he is currently a NARSAD Young Investigator. The principal focus of his research in the Philpot lab is to determine the cellular and circuit mechanisms underlying Angelman syndrome-like phenotypes in model mice, with an emphasis on factors contributing to excitatory/inhibitory imbalance. He is also using complementary diffusion tensor imaging and electron microscopy approaches to investigate causes of microcephaly in Angelman syndrome mice. His general research interests include neurodevelopmental disorders and forebrain circuit development and function.

Mike Sidorov, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr. Mike Sidorov earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at MIT in 2014. He is broadly interested in understanding how experience modifies synapses, cells, and circuits, and how these processes are disrupted in mouse models of human disease. As a graduate student, he studied how metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling regulates synaptic plasticity in mouse visual cortex, and tested the hypothesis that pharmacological inhibition of metabotropic glutamate receptors in adulthood may improve synaptic function and behavior in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. He currently focuses on how experience modifies synapses and circuits in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders, using in vivo and in vitro methods.

Bin Gu, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr. Bin Gu graduated from Duke University for his Ph.D. in 2015 and joined the Philpot lab. His broad research interests involve in exploring the mechanism of neurological disorders and translational studies leading to a treatment. His initial postdoctoral efforts were to examine seizure susceptibility and development in Angelman syndrome model mice and further dissect the cellular and circuit mechanisms to inform treatment strategies for the debilitating and intractable epilepsies commonly observed in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. He loves playing tennis and hanging out with his family and friends. Let’s go BLUE DEVILS.

Sally Hyojin Kim, Graduate Student


Sally earned her B.S. in Biology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. She started as an undergraduate assistant in the Philpot lab and received Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her research in 2013. After graduation, she worked as a research technician for one year, focusing on experience-dependent structural plasticity in Angelman syndrome mouse model using in vivo two-photon microscopy. She joined Philpot lab for her thesis in 2016 and has worked intensively with in vivo multiphoton microscopy and the behavioral experiments. She is broadly interested in how different forms of learning and memory are closely linked to the organization of synaptic networks.

Mason Riley, Graduate Student


Mason earned his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University in 2016 with a major in Biology and minors in chemistry and Spanish. He worked in a genetics lab previously, but became interested in researching neuroscience for his Ph.D. He joined the Philpot lab in May 2017. His project focuses on discovering the substrates disrupted in Angelman Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, in the hopes that these disrupted proteins can be targeted pharmacologically.


Marie Rougie, M.S., Research Technician


Marie Rougie earned her Master degree in Pharmacology from University of Strasbourg in France in 2007. She previously gained a lot of experiences in using microscopy and maintaining mouse colonies. She joined Philpot lab as a research technician in 2015. Her work focuses on molecular aspects of research such as immunohistochemistry and western blot. Also, she has been working on the IMPG2 project. Outside of the lab, she enjoys rock climbing.

Kiran Bettadapur, Ph.D., Research Specialist

Kiran earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 2017. He is currently in a process of transition from a synthetic organic chemist to a biologist. Kiran is currently working with Dr. HM Lee, for identifying small molecules that can regulate the expression of specific genes via high throughput screening processes. Additionally, he carries out in silico inverse drug screening computations to identify target proteins on which specific small molecules can act upon.

Sajeth Dinakaran, Research Technician

Sajeth recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a major in Experimental Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry.  During his undergraduate career, he studied the usage of SSRI compounds in depression networks and how they translate to maternally linked symptoms in offspring through behavioral assays in rodents.  Additionally, he developed computational skills including high and low pass filtering of neural signals in human sleep studies for hippocampal consolidation of memory during sleep phases.  In the future, he aims to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in Neuroscience.

Lab Alumni

HM Lee, Ph.D. – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Bram Kuijer, M.S. – Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering at Dartmouth college
Ellen Clark – Medical student (M.D.) at University of Colorado
Ralf Schmid, Ph.D. – Research director at Univ. of Pennsylvania Gene Therapy Program
Rebekah Nash, M.D./Ph.D. – Fellowship at Department of Psychiatry at UNC
Alexander Kloth, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor at Augustana University
Courtney Thaxton, Ph.D. – Biocurator, Berg Lab at UNC
Kelly Jones, Ph.D. – Medical Writer at Quintiles
Angela Mabb, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor at Georgia State University
Janet Berrios, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow in Brad Lowell lab at Harvard
Portia Kunz, Ph.D. – Faculty Instructor at Ragsdale High School
Rylan Larsen, Ph.D. – Scientist I at Allen Institute for Brain Science
Mike Wallace, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow in Sabatini lab at Harvard
Hsien-Sung Huang, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor at National Taiwan University
Koji Yashiro, Ph.D. – Alliance Manager at Bayer, Japan
Rebekah Corlew, Ph.D. – Project Director, Mass Media Fellowship at AAAS
Maile Henson, Ph.D. – Research Development Associate at Duke University
Thorfinn Riday, Ph.D. – Postdoc in Agulhon lab at Paris Descartes University
Adam Roberts, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor at California State University-Fullerton