Meet the members of the Lipscombe Lab


Diane Lipscombe, Ph.D.


Photo of Diane Lipscombe

Diane graduated with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from University College London in 1986 and then studied with Richard W. Tsien as a postdoctoral associate at Yale University School of Medicine and subsequently at Stanford University Medical School. In 1992, she joined the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University. She studies the expression, regulation, and function of voltage-gated calcium ion channels in different regions of the nervous system. Diane is also interested in their role in chronic pain and psychiatric disorders. She works closely with undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees. Diane directs Brown University’s Robert J. & Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science and directs NIH-funded Predoctoral Training Programs in Neuroscience. She is also the current president of the Society for Neuroscience. For more information, visit her Vivo profile. Twitter: @diane_lipscombe


Sylvia Denome


Lab Manager 


Photo of Sylvia's garden

As the Lipscombe Lab manager, Sylvia takes care of day to day operations and manages the mouse colony. Her background is in molecular biology and she is an avid gardener.


Misha Koksharov, Ph.D.


Postdoctoral Scientist


Misha earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Enzymology at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) in the lab of Professor Natalia Ugarova. His work in Moscow focused on protein engineering of firefly luciferase enzyme to develop mutants with high thermostability and different colors of bioluminescence. His subsequent research shifted to the use of bioluminescent reporters to study gene regulation in mammalian cells and genetics/behavior in Drosophila. In the Lipscombe lab, he works on the NSF NeuroNex bioluminescence project, continuing his work with protein engineering to develop new bioluminescent sensors and tools for neuroscience applications.


Javier Lopez-Soto, Ph.D.


Postdoctoral Scientist


Photo of E. Javier Lopez Soto

Javier’s  interest focuses on regulation of synaptic proteins in neurons according to cell type, developmental, and physiological state. He studies how alternative splicing, a mechanism that fine-tunes the properties of neuronal proteins for specific cellular tasks, is tightly regulated in pain pathways and integrated with other layers of gene expression to control nociception.


Kathryn Russo


Graduate Student


Photo of Kathryn Russo

Kathryn is a third year PhD student in the Neuroscience program, and studies the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). She is particularly interested in understanding the functional and molecular underpinnings of the disease in order to elucidate avenues for rescuing deficits caused by ALS. Before coming to Brown, Kathryn graduated from Temple University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and spent two years at Massachusetts General Hospital as a post-baccalaureate research assistant.


Kristin Webster, Ph.D.




Photo of Kristin Webster

Kristin has a dual appointment as a member of the Lipscombe Lab and as a Research Development and Support Specialist at the Carney Institute for Brain Science. She returned to Brown in 2018 after spending three years as a postdoc at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. At the Carney, Kristin organizes events and coordinates public engagement initiatives. In lab, her dissertation research focused on characterizing alternative splice isoforms of CACNA1C and she is interested understanding how voltage-gated calcium channels contribute to psychiatric disease. Kristin joined the Lipscombe lab as a graduate student in 2010 after earning a B.A. in Neuroscience from Hamilton College. Twitter: @kristinmwebster


Josh Whitt, Ph.D.


Postdoctoral Scientist


Photo of Josh Whitt

 Josh’s general interest lies in how membrane transport proteins set cellular excitability in neurons and how the activity of these proteins may be dynamically regulated across normal and disease states. He first examined this during his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he examined how dynamic regulation of the large conductance, voltage and calcium-sensitive potassium (BK) channel helped set circadian timekeeping in the brain’s master clock. Currently, Josh aims to understand whether spinal cord motor neuron excitability is altered in animal models of ALS and what mediates this alteration. When not doing science, he enjoys spending time with his family as well as beekeeping and bread baking.


Lipscombe Lab Alumni



Summer Allen, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scientist


Research/Writing Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center (UC Berkeley)


Arturo Andrade, Ph.D.


Former Postdoctoral Scientist


Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Hampshire



Thomas Bell, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine


Andrew Castiglioni, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Principal Biologist, Chem/Bio Proliferation Analysis & Detection Group, Strategic Security Sciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory


Daniel DuBreuil, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Postdoctoral scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital (Wainger Lab)


Nina Gray, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Senior Executive Director, Neuroscience Institute, NYU School of Medicine

@neuronina on Twitter


Aaron H. Held, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Postdoctoral scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital


Thomas Helton, Ph.D.


Former Postdoctoral Scientist


Sr. Research Associate at National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences


Yu-Qiu “Rachel” Jiang, Ph.D.


Former Postdoctoral Scientist


Postdoctoral scientist at City College of New York


Zhixin Lin, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Scientist, Icagen Inc.


Spiro Marangoudakis, Ph.D., MBA


Former Graduate Student


Corporate development strategist, Cell Signaling Technology


Jen Q. Pan, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Stanley Center, Broad Institute


Jessica Raingo, Ph.D.


Former Postdoctoral Scientist


Group leader, Laboratorio de Electrofisiologia, IMBICE CIC-CONICET, La Plata, Argentina


Stephanie Schorge, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Professor of Translational Neuroscience, University College London


Cecilia Phillips Toro, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Sarah Lawrence College


Weifeng Xu, Ph.D.


Former Graduate Student


Assistant Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology