Members of the Grippo Lab
Angela Grippo, PhD, Principal Investigator
My name is Angela Grippo. I am an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Northern Illinois University. I received a BS from Drake University (1998), and a MA (2000) and PhD (2003) from the University of Iowa. I completed two postdoctoral fellowships, at Loyola University Medical Center (2003-04) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (2004-08). In 2008, I joined the Department of Psychology at Northern Illinois University. The research program in the Grippo Lab is focused on the association between mood disorders and heart disease, and also mechanisms involved in social stress, emotion, and cardiovascular function. In my free time, I like to travel, and I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and horseback riding. When I am looking for a good laugh, I like to watch Modern Family or Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Oreoluwa Akinbo, BA, Graduate Student
Bawo ni! My name is Oreoluwa Akinbo, Ore (oh-ray) for short. I received my BA in Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Neuroscience from Butler University. I fell in love with the brain watching brain surgeries and documentaries on Discovery Health. I am particularly interested in schizophrenia and other anxiety and depression related disorders. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience and Behavior at NIU in both the Grippo and Matuszewich Lab. When I’m not in lab or studying, I love capturing life on my dslr, cooking and crafting projects I’ve found on Pinterest. *Ore joined the lab in the fall of 2017. She has been assisting with our ongoing studies focused on stress, behavior, and the brain.
Sarah Ciosek, BA, Post-Baccalaureate Assistant
My name is Sarah Ciosek and I am from Crystal Lake, IL. I have recently graduated from NIU with my BA in psychology (2017). Having assisted with human research in the past, I am very much enjoying learning about animal methods in Dr. Grippo’s lab. I am applying to psychology doctoral programs this fall, and hope to lead my own research laboratory someday. Outside of lab, you can find me working on crossword puzzles, teaching dance, or binge-watching the Harry Potter films and Law & Order: SVU. *Sarah joined the lab in the summer of 2017. She has been assisting with our studies of social stress, behavior, and the brain.
Miranda Cox, Research Rookie and Undergraduate Assistant
My name is Miranda Cox and I’m from Fox Lake, IL. I’m an undergraduate student working towards a degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. I am very excited to start my career in research with the Grippo Lab to supplement my education here at NIU. After NIU, my next step is to attend an accredited graduate program for Genetic Counseling. When I’m not in class, I love to spend my time reading, watching shows on Netflix, and playing sports with my friends. *Miranda joined the Grippo Lab in the fall semester, 2015, as part of the NIU Research Rookies program. She is assisting with our studies of social isolation, stress, and the potential benefits of exercise.
Nicole Holzpafel, Undergraduate Assistant
Hi! My name is Nicole Holzapfel and I am from Saint Charles, Illinois. I am a psychology major here at NIU and I am on the path to go to med school. I want to be a Neuropathologist when I am done with school, with a focus on CTE! I just think the brain is so incredibly interesting and there's still SO much we do not know about it! Currently, I am looking at Arizona or Pittsburgh for med school. Also, I am a Pharmacy Tech at the Jewel in Elburn. I really enjoy going to the gym, cooking and watching scary movies! *Nicole joined the lab in the summer of 2017, and has been assisting with studies of social stress, behavior, and the brain.
Marigny Normann, BS, Graduate Student
My name is Marigny Normann (pronounced mare-in-ee, the 'g' is silent) and I'm from Pittsburgh, PA. I received my BS in Psychology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I have always been interested in the brain and behavior, which led me to study animal models of depression and ADHD at Edinboro. I'm excited to continue researching the physiological impacts of mood disorders at NIU! I am currently working towards my PhD in Neuroscience and Behavior. When I am not doing school work or lab work, I can usually be found in my kitchen trying to make elaborate meals or watching a Disney movie on VHS with my Guinea pig. *Marigny joined the lab in the summer of 2016. She has been assisting with our environmental enrichment and exercise experiments, and our new studies on cognition.
Samantha Sujet, BS, Post-Baccalaureate Assistant
My name is Samantha Sujet and I’m from Gilberts, IL. I graduated from NIU in May 2017 with my BS in Psychology. I’m very excited to be helping in the Grippo Lab and gaining research experience while I look into graduate school programs, most likely for school psychology. I’ve always been intrigued by the brain and its complexity. In my free time I like to work, hang out with my boyfriend and hang out with my cat. *Samantha joined the lab in the summer of 2017, and has been assisting with our studies of social stress, behavior, and the brain.
Tang Watanasriyakul, MS, Graduate Student
My name is Tang Watanasriyakul. I received a BS in Psychology (2013) and an MS in Physiology & Neuroscience (2016) from Wright State University. I am currently a PhD student at Northern Illinois University in the Neuroscience & Behavior program, working jointly in the Grippo Lab as well as the Matuszewich Lab. My research interests include stress-related HPA dysfunctions, social buffering, and related neural mechanisms. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my 2 feline babies, cooking, and Pokémon hunting around campus. *Tang joined the lab in August, 2016. He has been contributing to our studies of oxytocin, stress, exercise, and social stress.
Neal McNeal, PhD
Lab Member from Aug, 2008 - Jul, 2016
Dr. McNeal joined the Grippo Lab in 2008 as a graduate student. He completed his PhD in 2015, and remained on the team as a postdoctoral fellow. His research focused on the behavioral, neuroendocrine, and cardiovascular consequences of disrupting social bonds using the prairie vole model, as well as the potential protective effects of antidepressant treatment. He is an author on multiple publications, and is the first author on a publication in Psychosomatic Medicine. He has contributed to several presentations, and is the first author on conference presentations such as for the Society for Neuroscience and Experimental Biology. He has won several awards as a student, including a Dissertation Completion Fellowship and an Outstanding Graduate Student Award from NIU. He now works as a Research Psychologist for the United States Navy (currently stationed in San Antonio, TX).
Melissa-Ann Scotti, PhD
Lab Member from Jul, 2010 - Dec, 2014
Dr. Scotti was a postdoctoral fellow in the Grippo Lab from 2010-2014. Her research explored the role of oxytocin and other hormones in the link between depression and heart disease. She is an author on multiple publications, and had an NIH Postdoctoral National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She is the first author on several presentations at conferences including Experimental Biology, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, and the Illinois Brain, Behavior and Immunity Conference. She now works for the Department of Research Administration at the University of Colorado Hospital (Denver, CO).
William Colburn, MA
Lab Member from Aug, 2012 - Jul, 2016
Wil was a graduate student in the Grippo Lab from 2012-2016. He assisted with studies of social stress and behavior. He is an author on several conference presentations, including the first author on poster presentations at the Experimental Biology Conference and Animal Behavior Conference. He received his MA degree in 2016. He now works as an Animal Care Technician at Rush University (Chicago, IL).
Joshua Wardwell, PhD
Lab Member from Aug, 2010 - May, 2016
Josh was a graduate student in the Grippo Lab from 2010-2016. His research focused on stress and social behavior, especially the mechanisms underlying vicarious stress. He is an author on several publications and presentations, including the first author on posters at the Chicago Chapter Society for Neuroscience Conference and the Experimental Biology Conference. He received his PhD in 2016, and is currently a Freelance Scientific Editor for Cactus Global Communications.