Sofia Beas, PhD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Beas grew up in El Paso, TX. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Science from the University of Texas at El Paso.

She attained a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2015, where she used rodent models to study age-related cognitive decline.

Dr. Beas then joined the National Institute of Mental Health as a postdoctoral fellow in the Unit of the Neurobiology of Affective Memory. Her postdoctoral work focused on investigating the cellular and circuit mechanisms by which exteroceptive and interoceptive signals affect PVT neurocircuitry and drive adaptive behavior.

Currently, Dr. Beas is an Assistant Professor in the Neurobiology Department at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Hobbies: Artisanal Chocolates, Coffee, Non-Fiction books, Learning new things, Thinking about life's big questions

Garrett Dyess

Lab Manager

Garrett recently finished his undergraduate degree at William Carey University, where he studied Social Science and Chemistry. After finishing college and taking the MCAT, he was accepted into the University of South Alabama for medical school. He plans to work in the lab until medical school begins and learn as much as possible about neurobiology, the techniques used to collect neural information, and data analysis.

Hobbies: he enjoys watching movies, playing pickleball, and spending time with other humans - but also his dog (emphasis on his dog).



Postdoctoral Fellows


Carine Lampert, Ph.D.

Carine is originally from Anta Gorda, Brazil. She first obtained a bachelor's in Pharmacy from the Centro Universitário Metodista IPA. Then, she obtained her Master's degree, and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). For her graduate work, she used a combination of approaches, including behavioral, biochemical, and electrophysiology (patch-clamp) techniques, to study motivated behavior and addiction. Carine then worked for two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Psychology Department at UFRGS and a year as a postdoctoral fellow in the Neuropharmacology Department at Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre (UFCSPA ). During this time, she also had the opportunity to work as a Lecturer for Biomedical courses at Cesuca/Cruzeiro do Sul.


Hobbies: She is a lover of music/dance, and she also likes to go hiking and play soccer.


Graduate Students


Briana Machen

Briana is an Alabama native and an alumna of The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She is currently a second-year Ph.D. student in the Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics Program. Her research interests include behavioral neuroscience and bioinformatics, and she is currently studying the long-term effects of chemotherapeutic agents on cognition and motivated behaviors.


Hobbies: reading, puzzles, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.


Undergraduate Students


Lauren Assaf

Lauren grew up in Madison, Alabama. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in neuroscience at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. After finishing her undergrad, she aspires to attend medical school and specialize in surgery.

Hobbies: she enjoys playing the flute, and piano, as well as lacrosse, reading, and listening to podcasts.



Morris Jackson

Morris Jackson is an undergraduate student at The University of Alabama at Birmingham majoring in psychology and philosophy.

Hobbies: He is interested in the philosophy of mind, the meaning of life, spirituality, and the natural world.


Mohammed Ghalib

Mohammed Ghalib is an Undergraduate Neuroscience student at UAB and is also pursuing his Masters in Multidisciplinary Biomedical Sciences. He aspires to attend Medical School soon and see where life takes him next.

Hobbies: He enjoys volunteering for good causes, mountain biking, and watching movies.



Rebekah Beyea

Rebekah Beyea is from Columbus, Ohio. She is an undergraduate student at UAB studying immunology and neuroscience, along with a Master's in Multidisciplinary Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in immunology. As a career, she would like to do research in the pediatric field.


Hobbies: She enjoys weight-lifting, reading science fiction, and playing board games with friends.