Lab Members

Michael Long

Principal Investigator
Michael Long studies the neural circuits that underlie complex behavior. He trained with Barry Connors (Brown University) and Michale Fee (MIT). His laboratory examines brain networks during the perception or production of skilled movements (often vocalizations) with a special interest in understanding the cellular and network properties that contribute to these behaviors.

Arkarup Banerjee

Postdoctoral Trainee
Arkarup did his Ph.D. at the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the Albeanu lab, where he studied computations and neural circuits involved in olfactory sensory processing. He also developed and built a microscope for simultaneous in-vivo two-photon imaging and photo-stimulation. He is interested in understanding neural circuit mechanisms that underlie sensorimotor transformations in ethologically relevant behaviors and is spearheading the effort to investigate countersinging in Scotinomys teguina.


Banerjee A, Long MA (2017). Ready, Steady, Go! Imaging Cortical Activity during Movement Planning and Execution. Neuron, 94(4):698-700.

Banerjee A, Marbach F, Anselmi F, Koh MS, Davis MB, Garcia da Silva P, Delevich K, Oyibo HK, Gupta P, Li B, Albeanu DF (2015). An Interglomerular Circuit Gates Glomerular Output and Implements Gain Control in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb. Neuron, 87(1):193-207.

Sarkar B, Banerjee A, Das AK, Nag S, Kaushalya SK, Tripathy U, Shameem M, Shukla S, Maiti S (2014). Label-free dopamine imaging in live rat brain slices. ACS Chem Neurosci, 5(5):329-34.

Gregg Castellucci

Postdoctoral Trainee
Gregg studies how the brain generates rhythmic motor sequences, and is especially interested in
the production of human speech and animal vocalizations. In 2017, he completed a joint PhD in
linguistics and neuroscience at Yale University under the direction of Stephen R. Anderson and David McCormick. In the McCormick Lab, he investigated the biological and genetic basis for
ultrasonic vocalization in house mice. He then joined the laboratory of Janghoo Lim in the Yale
Department of Genetics, where he studied the neurobiological mechanisms of pathological
articulatory variability in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. In the Long lab, Gregg uses human
intracranial electrophysiology to examine the role of IFG and sensorimotor brain regions in
generating speech.


Castellucci GA, McGinley MJ, McCormick DA (2017). Foxp2 knockout disrupts vocal
development in mice. Sci Rep, srep23305.

Castellucci GA, Calbick D, McCormick DA (in review). The temporal organization of mouse
ultrasonic vocalizations.

Robert Egger

Postdoctoral Trainee
Robert is interested in understanding how elementary building blocks of the brain – ranging from ion channels to the morphology of single neurons and architecture of neural networks – can be combined to generate remarkably complex behaviors. During his doctoral studies with Dr. Marcel Oberlaender at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen, Germany, he combined large-scale anatomical reconstructions of neural networks with biophysically detailed models of single neurons to reveal mechanisms underlying sensory-evoked signal flow in the somatosensory cortex. Now, he is using electrophysiological measurements to study how interactions of excitatory and inhibitory neurons generate precise and robust network activity patterns underlying song production in zebra finches.


Rojas-Piloni G, Guest JM, Egger R, Johnson AS, Sakmann B, Oberlaender M (2017). Relationships between structure, in vivo function and long-range axonal target of cortical pyramidal tract neurons. Nat Commun, 8(1):870.

Kornfeld J, Benezra SE, Narayanan RT, Svara F, Egger R, Oberlaender M, Denk W, Long MA (2017). EM connectomics reveals axonal target variation in a sequence-generating network. Elife, e24364.

Landau ID, Egger R, Dercksen VJ, Oberlaender M, Sompolinsky H (2016). The impact of structural heterogeneity on excitation-inhibition balance in cortical networks. Neuron, 92(5):1106-1121.

Egger R, Schmitt AC, Wallace DJ, Sakmann B, Oberlaender M, Kerr JN (2015). Robustness of sensory-evoked excitation is increased by inhibitory inputs to distal apical tuft dendrites. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 112(45):14072-7.

Narayanan RT, Egger R, Johnson AS, Mansvelder HD, Sakmann B, de Kock CP, Oberlaender M (2015). Beyond Columnar Organization: Cell Type- and Target Layer-Specific Principles of Horizontal Axon Projection Patterns in Rat Vibrissal Cortex. Cereb Cortex, 25(11):4450-68.

Egger R, Dercksen VJ, Udvary D, Hege HC, Oberlaender M (2014). Generation of dense statistical connectomes from sparse morphological data. Front Neuroanat, 8:129.

Meyer HS, Egger R, Guest JM, Foerster R, Reissl S, Oberlaender M (2013). Cellular organization of cortical barrel columns is whisker-specific. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 110(47):19113-8.

Egger R, Narayanan RT, Helmstaedter M, de Kock CP, Oberlaender M (2012). 3D reconstruction and standardization of the rat vibrissal cortex for precise registration of single neuron morphology. PLoS Comput Biol, 8(12):e1002837.

Hu Y, Egger R, Zhang P, Wang X, Chen Z (2010). Interface solitons excited between a simple lattice and a superlattice. Opt Express, 18(14):14679-84.

Zhang P, Egger R, Chen Z (2009). Optical induction of three-dimensional photonic lattices and enhancement of discrete diffraction. Opt Express, 17(15):13151-6.

Oberlaender M, Dercksen VJ, Egger R, Gensel M, Sakmann B, Hege HC (2009). Automated three-dimensional detection and counting of neuron somata. J Neurosci Methods, 180(1):147-60.

Margot Elmaleh

Graduate Student
Margot did her undergraduate work with Barry Connors, where she completed her honors thesis exploring interneuron connectivity in the superficial layers of mouse medial prefrontal cortex with paired intracellular recordings. After helping characterize mouse models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Dr. Neil Shneider post graduation, she moved to NYU and helped Jayeeta Basu start her new lab. In the Basu Lab, she studied hippocampal back projections to the entorhinal cortex, using optogenetics and whole cell patching in vitro. Margot is currently a graduate student investigating motor learning in the zebra finch.


Sharma A, Lyashchenko AK, Lu L, Nasrabady SE, Elmaleh M, Mendelsohn M, Nemes A, Tapia JC, Mentis GZ, Shneider NA (2016). ALS-associated mutant FUS induces selective motor neuron degeneration through toxic gain of function. Nat Commun, 7:10465.

Cruikshank SJ, Ahmed OJ, Stevens TR, Patrick SL, Gonzalez AN, Elmaleh M, Connors BW (2012). Thalamic control of layer 1 circuits in prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci, 32(49):17813-23.

Paul Frazel

Graduate Student
Paul studied Biology and Philosophy at Dartmouth College as an undergraduate, where he worked on the molecular mechanisms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with Dr. Bryan Luikart. He was then hired as a technician in Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s laboratory, spending one year at Rockefeller and then helping the lab transition to Stanford. Now an NYU MSTP student, Paul wants to uncover the neural and genetic basis of countersinging behavior in Scotinomys teguina, in order to better understand mechanisms underlying mammalian social behaviors.

Elnaz (Ellie) Hozhabri

Graduate Student
Ellie is a graduate student in the Long lab, focusing on the functional connectivity within HVC that enables zebra finches to produce such a beautifully precise sequence of song. She was born in Tehran but grew up in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from UT Austin, as a Neuroscience and Biology major with a French minor. Before joining NYU, she studied fear memory circuits in the Drew lab at UT Austin, and later joined the Taniguchi lab at the Max Planck Florida Institute to study the development and integration of chandelier cells into cortical circuits.


Steinecke A, Hozhabri E, Tapanes S, Ishino Y, Zeng H, Kamasawa N, Taniguchi H (2017). Neocortical chandelier cells developmentally shape axonal arbors through reorganization but establish subcellular synapse specificity without refinement. eNeuro, 4(3), ENEURO.0057-17.2017.

Devorah Kranz

Devorah graduated from Brandeis University with highest honors in Neuroscience and an additional major in Philosophy. She studied with Dr. Eve Marder, exploring how central pattern generators have the ability to produce rhythmic outputs that are both plastic and extremely reliable. Specifically, her undergraduate thesis focused on the effects of temperature and neuromodulation on the crustacean cardiac ganglion and neuromuscular junction.

Nicole Leal

Nicole graduated from New York University with a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology, where she developed and carried out a research project with Dr. Pascal Wallisch looking at music preference as an indicator of psychopathy scores. While at NYU, she also worked with Dr. Dayu Lin using optogenetics to investigate the role that the ventrolateral subdivision of the ventromedial hypothalamus plays in mediating aggression in mice. Nicole has explored animal behavior on a larger scale, having previously completed field work in South Africa studying social behavior in elephants, and in Costa Rica examining the predation habits of jaguars.

Felix Moll

Postdoctoral Trainee
Felix completed his PhD in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Andreas Nieder where he recorded from single neurons in awake, freely behaving crows (Corvus corone). In his current work, he performs 2-photon calcium imaging in singing zebra finches to dissect the network activity of large populations of HVC neurons.


Moll FW, Nieder A (2017) Modality-invariant audio-visual association coding in crow endbrain neurons. Neurobiol Learn Mem, 137:65–76

Moll FW, Nieder A (2015) Cross-Modal Associative Mnemonic Signals in Crow Endbrain Neurons. Curr Biol, 25:2196–2201

Moll FW, Nieder A (2014) The long and the short of it: rule-based relative length discrimination in carrion crows, Corvus corone. Behav Process, 107:142–149


Sam Benezra
Graduate Student: 2010-2016
Postdoctoral (Columbia: Randy Bruno)

Aimee Chow
Lab Manager: 2014-2016
Administrative Assistant (NYU Neuroscience Institute)

Rachel Clary
Research Assistant: 2012-2014
Graduate Student (Columbia University, Neuroscience)

Celine Joiris
Undergraduate: 2010-2012
Graduate Student (Cornell University, Human Ecology)

Madeleine ‘Maddy’ Junkins
Lab Manager: 2016-2018
Graduate Student (Yale University, Neuroscience)

Kalman ‘Vigi’ Katlowitz
Graduate Student: 2014-2018
Medical School (NYU Health)

Georg Kosche
Graduate Student: 2012-2016
Postdoctoral (FMI: Botond Roska)

Daniel Okobi
Graduate Student: 2011-2015
Medical Internship (University of Miami, Neurology)

Michel Picardo
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2013-2016
Faculty (INMED, Neuroscience)

Brandon Robinson
Research Assistant: 2010-2012
Graduate Student (University of Washington, Physics)

Daniela Vallentin
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2010-2016
Faculty: (Freie Universität Berlin, Biology)