Lab Members


Ramnarayan RamachandranRamnarayan Ramachandran, Principal Investigator

Assoc. Prof., Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Assoc. Prof., Department of Psychology
Investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
Training Faculty, Vanderbilt Brain Institute

Ph.D. (Biomed Engg.), 2000, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
M.Sc. (Tech), 1991, Birla Inst. of Technology & Science, India
M.S. (Biomed Engg.), 1993, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Jane Burton PhotoJane Burton, Graduate Student

Au.D. (Audiology), 2017, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
B.A. (Psychology/Neuroscience), 2013, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Jane is a fourth year graduate student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program. She obtained her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) from Vanderbilt University in 2017 after completing her clinical externship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Jane has worked in the Ramachandran lab since May 2014, at which time she completed a T35 NIH traineeship. She is interested in combining her clinical knowledge with her passion for neuroscience by investigating changes in auditory perception and neuronal encoding following noise-induced acoustic injury. In her spare time, Jane sings in a few local and regional professional choral ensembles.

Jessica Feller

Jessica Feller, Graduate Student

M.A. (Anthropology-Biological), 2016, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
B.S. (Biochemistry/Molecular Biology), 2010, Michigan State University, East
Lansing, MI
B.S. (Zoology-Neurobiology/Animal Behavior), 2010, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Jessica is a third year graduate student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program. She is broadly interested in the neurophysiological and perceptual changes that occur following noise-induced hearing loss. She is currently examining how temporal processing is affected by sensorineural hearing loss and cochlear synaptopathy, as well as developing a behavioral paradigm to assess how synaptopathic noise exposure affects speech perception in realistic listening environments. Jessica is also investigating a variety of non-invasive electrophysiological measures that may be useful in the diagnosis of cochlear synaptopathy in a human clinical population. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with her dog and two rescue cats.

Chase Mackey, Graduate Student

B.S. (Neuroscience), 2016, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Chase is a third year graduate student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program. He is interested in correlating neurophysiological and behavioral measures of perceptual performance in cognitively-demanding listening environments. To this end, he has developed a variety of signal detection projects characterizing the speed and accuracy of spatial and temporal processing, and how this processing is altered following noise exposure. Chase is currently developing a novel behavioral paradigm to elucidate how cochlear synaptopathy may impact neural and behavioral measures of discrimination in realistic environments. When he is not in the lab, Chase records experimental rock/funk/electronic music, which is featured on Bandcamp.

Adriana PhotoAdriana Schoenhaut, Graduate Student

B.S. (Brain and Cognitive Sciences), 2017, University of Rochester

Adriana is a second year graduate student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and is co-advised by Dr. Mark Wallace. In the lab, Adriana studies how auditory and visual motion information is integrated and represented across levels of processing in the macaque brain. In her free time, she enjoys playing music, gardening, cooking, treasure hunting in Nashville thrift shops, and hanging out with her dog, Cash.

Amy Stahl PhotoAmy Stahl, Audiology Student

B.S. (Speech and Hearing Science), 2017, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Amy is a fourth year Au.D. student who has broad clinical and research interests in hearing aids and adults with hearing loss. She is currently completing her clinical externship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She has expanded her research horizons by joining the Ramachandran lab to understand how sound is processed in the brain and explore the neural mechanisms that underlie auditory perception. In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time with family and friends, being active outdoors, watching movies, knitting, and baking.

Kari JirikKari Jirik, Audiology Student

B.A. (Biology), 2020, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Kari is a first year Au.D. student who is generally interested in auditory neuroscience. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from St. Olaf College. Kari joined the lab because she is interested in studying auditory perception and hearing loss in an animal model. She plans to pursue a career in Audiology, whether that be research or in a clinical setting. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and reading.

Alex Tarabillo PhotoAlex Tarabillo, Research Assistant

M.S. (Biomedical Sciences), 2018, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA
B.S. (Biomedical Sciences), 2016, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Alex is a graduate from Iowa State University where he obtained his Master of Science in biomedical sciences. Alex’s interests lie in veterinary medicine and he hopes to pursue a career in the field sometime in the near future. He joined the Ramachandran lab in July 2018 and has since gained a better understanding of how animals can be used as models for advancements in both biomedical research and veterinary medicine. In his free time, Alex enjoys taking long jogs, playing soccer, and spending time with his dog, Bean.

Katy Alek PhotoKaty Alek, Research Assistant

B.S. (Neuroscience), 2018, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Katy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh where she completed a degree in Neuroscience.  She joined the lab to gain animal research skills and is excited to explore neuroscience research in relation to the auditory system and sound.  She has an interest in neuropharmacology and plans to return to school for further education.  In her free time, she likes hiking around Nashville, traveling to new places, singing and cycling.

Julie Choi imageJulie Choi, Undergraduate Student

Julie is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society or Neuroscience. Julie’s interests lie in the anatomies and physiologies of the special senses and doing community service. In her free time, Julie enjoys traveling, knitting, and playing squash. 


Alex McLeodAlex McLeod, Undergraduate Student

Alex is a junior pre-medical student at Vanderbilt University majoring in Neuroscience. He joined the Ramachandran lab due to his interests in both sensory systems and animal research. In his free time, he enjoys listening to new music, playing basketball, and spending time with friends.


Lab Alumni:

Post Doctoral Fellows:
Francesca Rocchi, Research Associate, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Jason Grigsby, Software Development Engineer, Yahoo! Inc., Champaign, IL

Audiology Students:
Rachel Archer, Audiology Extern, Bangor, ME
Maureen Virts, Audiologist, UChicago Medicine, Chicago, IL
Samantha Hauser, Graduate Student, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Julia Goddeeris, Audiologist, Bellevue ENT, Seattle, WA

Undergraduate Students:
Charita Veerapeneni, Medical Student, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Grant Mercer, Senior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Evan Mercer, Medical Student, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Natalie Schmidt, Senior, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Jennifer McCrate, Compliance Operations Associate, Gerson Lehrman Group, Austin, TX
Sri Reddy, Medical Student, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Harini Suresh, Medical Student, UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX
Molly Kaplan, MBA Student, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Tricia Tyson, Internal Medicine Resident, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Corey Mondul, Anesthesiologist Assistant, Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH
Abigail Bernard, Ob/Gyn Resident, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Research Assistants:
Namrata Temghare, Harvard Biosciences, St. Paul, MN
Jane Camarata, Research Assistant, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Maggie Dylla, Homemaker, Madison, TN
Justin Watson, Sales Representative, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Asheville, NC
Chaya Narayan, Scientific Writer, Bangalore, India
Peter Bohlen, Engineer, Baebies Inc., Durham, NC
Courtney Timms, Clinical Research Associate, Syneos Health, Dallas, TX