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We are a group of like-minded scientists who are passionate about understanding the complexities of neurovascular interactions and energy delivery in the brain. We focus on understanding multiple aspects of brain physiology, from the biological mechanisms that regulate how blood flows throughout the vascular network in health, to the mechanisms by which blood flow is disrupted in dementias. The lab is located in the Department of Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. If you are interested in learning more and potentially working with us, please use the contact form to get in touch!

Tom Longden, PhD
Principal Investigator

I received both my B.Sc with honors and my Ph.D in Pharmacology from the University of Manchester in the UK, and I then completed my postdoctoral training under Mark Nelson at the University of Vermont. I am passionate about ion channels, GPCRs, cerebral blood flow, and I am fascinated by pericytes. When I am not in the lab, I am usually to be found walking my dog or reading. A major goal of mine is to build an exciting, nurturing research environment in which trainee scientists can develop their ideas and contribute answers to some of the big questions of vascular biology and neuroscience.

Ashwini Hariharan, PhD
American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow

I grew up in Mumbai, India where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences followed by a Master’s degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology. I graduated with a Ph.D in Anatomy from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand; my doctoral research focused on the implications of endothelial nitric oxide synthase deficiency for Alzheimer’s disease. I am interested in exploring the intricacies of cerebrovascular function, especially in relation to neurodegeneration. Besides science, I enjoy reading and traveling.

Nick Weir, PhD
American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow

 I received my B.Sc (Pharmacology and Physiology), M.Sc (Neuropharmacology) and Ph.D (Biomedical Engineering) from Nottingham Trent University, UK. My doctoral research focused on generating and characterising cortical organoids using mass spectrometry and transcriptomic techniques. In my postdoctoral training with the Longden lab and am interested in learning new techniques and exploring mechanisms of vascular plasticity within the brain. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, exercise and board games.

Liuruimin (Amy) Xiang
Graduate Student, Program in Neuroscience

I originally came from Guangzhou, China and I earned my B.A in Neuroscience from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. During my college years, I started learning patch clamp and picked up a passion for ion channels. Currently, I am fascinated by different types of ion channels in different vascular cells and how they contribute to controlling brain blood flow. In my free time, I enjoy sports and gaming. If I am not sitting in front of the patch rig, then I may be playing badminton in the gym.

Abby Vigdermann
Graduate Student, Program in Neuroscience

I received a double B.S./B.A. in Neuroscience and Psychology from Brandeis University. I have worked in labs studying sleep and circadian rhythms in Drosophila melanogaster and chronic stress response in rats, both at the University of Pennsylvania. I am interested in the role neurovascular coupling plays in various processes such as learning and memory and the stress response. Outside of lab, I write and play music, consume pop culture content, and spend quality time with my cat.

Dominic Isaacs
Graduate Student, Program in Neuroscience

My name is Dom and I joined the Longden lab as a neuroscience PhD student where I am interested in the ways actively computing neurons meet their energy needs to sustain both computation and cell health. I hold B.S./M.S. degrees in bioengineering from the University of Colorado, where my master’s thesis work focused on investigating biophysics and electrophysiology with advanced light microscopy techniques.
In my free time I enjoy mountain biking, playing music, (trying) artistic endeavors, and seeing my German shepherd, Storm.

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Geralin Virata
Graduate Student, Program in Neuroscience

I received my B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. While at UCD, I worked in Dr. Rebecca Calisi’s lab focused on understanding the effects of stress on reproductive health and parental care in Columba livia. Following my time at UCD, I joined the post-baccalaureate program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where I joined the lab of Dr. Mary Kay Lobo to observe how chronic stress can impact circuits in the brain and promote depression-like behaviors in mice. I am now a first-year graduate student at UMB interested in identifying mechanisms underlying neurological disorders. Outside of lab, I enjoy going on walks, watching anime, and painting. 

Serena Edwards
Lab Technician

I grew up in Port Antonio, Jamaica, and currently I am a completing my undergrad towards my Bachelor’s in science. I was previously enrolled at BCCC in which I earned both a Lab Animal Science and Biotechnology certificate. I worked as a technician in previous labs that worked on cancer research at the SoBran Institution at Johns Hopkins University and sex differences in the brain using behavior studies at UMB. My long-term goal is to become a veterinarian and in my free time I enjoy reading, exercising, spending time with my pets and watching anime.


Jessica Crowder, Rotating Graduate Student (2024)MS candidate in Molecular Medicine at University of Maryland. 
Kim Papastrat, Rotating Graduate Student (2024)PhD candidate in Neuroscience at University of Maryland.
Ro Whitten, Rotating Graduate Student (2022)PhD candidate in Neuroscience at University of Maryland.
Isabella Zafra, Rotating Graduate Student (2021)PhD candidate in Neuroscience at University of Maryland.
Barry Huang, Lab Manager (2019-2021)M.D candidate at New York Institute of Technology .
Ryan Mayers, Rotating Graduate Student (2021)PhD candidate in Neuroscience at University of Maryland.
Colin Robertson, Rotating Graduate Student (2020)PhD candidate in Neuroscience at University of Maryland.
Daniela Garcia, Postdoctoral Fellow (2019)now Team Leader at PreScouter.
Cullen Ross, Lab Manager (2018-2019), now Lead Product Quality Technician at iVeia.

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