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University of Pennsylvania Lab Members

Jay Gottfried

Dr. Gottfried obtained MD and PhD degrees from New York University, and subsequently completed a neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2001 he received a Physician-Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, giving him an opportunity to work with Prof. Ray Dolan at University College London, where he launched his work on the neural organization of human olfaction. Between 2004 and 2017 Dr. Gottfried was a faculty member in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University, continuing his research program on odor information processing in the human brain. In July 2017 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania, as the Arthur H. Rubenstein Professor of Neurology and Psychology and a Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) University Professor. His current research program spans a multidisciplinary range of approaches, including olfactory functional imaging in human and mouse subjects, intracranial EEG recordings in epilepsy patients, and immunohistochemical characterization of the human olfactory system. His favorite smell is shiso leaf and his favorite superhero is Plastic Man. Contact:

Pei-Ching Chang

Pei received her PhD in Neuroscience with Dr. Apkarian at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Gottfried lab. She moved with the lab from Chicago to Philadelphia. She is interested in how odor information is processed in the brain to give rise to the perception of odors using fMRI in small animals. Pei-Ching loves to cook and travel. Her favorite smell is brown butter, and her favorite superhero is Yoda. Contact:


Gulce Nazli Dikecligil (Naz)

Naz received her undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. For her doctoral work, she studied the laminar and cell type specific functional properties of gustatory cortex neurons using extracellular recordings under the mentorship of Dr. Alfredo Fontanini at Stony Brook University. She joined Gottfried lab at UPenn as a post-doctoral researcher in the summer of 2017. She is interested in context-dependent olfactory perception and studying the neural mechanisms that mediate such dynamic interpretation of olfactory stimuli. She will be using multisite intracranial EEG recordings in human subjects as well as electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches in rodent models to address these questions. Her favorite superhero is Mary Poppins and her favorite scent is that of her grandmother’s detergent. Contact:


Jasper de Groot

Jasper (1989) obtained his BSc, MSc, and PhD in Psychology at Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was a postdoc at Monique Smeets' lab in Utrecht, until he was elected a Niels Stensen fellow enabling him to go to UPenn to work in the lab of professor Jay Gottfried, PhD, MD. In the coming year (starting 10/2017), Jasper will be extending his behavioral research on the human olfactory communication of fear by examining the neural identity of "fear odor", along with charting the learning capacity of humans when it comes to "social" odors. His favorite smell is hexanal and his favorite superhero is spiderman. Contact:


Koichiro Iwai

Koichiro majored in applied chemistry at Yokohama National University. He obtained his PhD in Engineering at Nagoya Institute of Technology. Subsequent to his PhD, he mainly engaged in the evaluation of odor cognition and effects using chemical analysis and behavioral techniques at Toyota Central R&D Labs in Japan. Since Nov 2018, he's been a visiting scholar in the Gottfried lab. He is interested in the neural mechanisms of the odor coding system. Although he can't eat it, his favorite smell is fresh peach, and his favorite superhero is Ant-Man. Contact:




Peter Kirk

Peter graduated with a BSc in Psychology from the University of East Anglia, having also studied for a year at Temple University. During undergraduate studies, he researched memory encoding using EEG, with supervision from Dr. Louis Renoult. Following this, he completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from University College London. There, under the supervision of Dr. Lasana Harris, he investigated the neural correlates of dehumanized perception using fMRI. He is currently a research specialist in the Gottfried lab, using fMRI to investigate the human olfactory system. In his free time he snowboards, and shoots film photography. His favorite smell is fried shiitake mushrooms, and his favourite superhero is X-Men's Nightcrawler. Contact:


Sarah Kwon

Sarah obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Stony Brook University, studying Psychology and Biology with concentrations in physics and chemistry. Under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia Whitaker, she investigated psychological and neural characteristics of neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders. She worked on the Low Maternal Progesterone Model of Autism, then went on to examine behavioral and morphological consequences of perinatal SSRI exposure in rodents for her honors thesis. Currently, Sarah is working on profiling the expression and distribution of human odorant receptor genes throughout the olfactory epithelium and bulb. Beyond academia, Sarah enjoys winter sports and longboarding. Her favorite scent is that of coffee and her favorite superhero is Sherlock Holmes. Contact:


Lulu Tsai Korsak

Lulu majored in biochemistry and minored in chemistry and Chinese at the University of Rochester. She earned her PhD studying critical periods in the developing olfactory system with Dr. Gilad Barnea at Brown University. As a postdoc at Drexel University, she studied local protein translation in the axons of olfactory neurons and pressure-dependent cell migration. Currently she studies the anatomy and wiring of the human olfactory system. Her favorite smell is decanal and her favorite superhero is Ozymandias (the Watchmen version). Contact:



Clara Raithel

Clara earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Marburg University, Germany. During her undergraduate, she visited Dr. Dana Small’s lab where she investigated the effects of artificial sweeteners on brain response to sweet taste. To follow up on her interest in the chemical senses and to learn more about neuroimaging methods, she completed a Research Master in Cognitive Neuroscience at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Under the supervision of Dr. Anne Roefs, she wrote her master’s thesis on the effects of calorie expectations on nutrient metabolism and brain activity. In August 2018, Clara joined the Gottfried lab to pursue her PhD, during which she will investigate human olfaction using fMRI. Her favorite smell is that of home, and her favorite superhero is Disney’s Mulan. Contact:


Shruti Ramachandra

Shruti graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, and a minor in Spanish from the University of Maryland in 2015.  Previously, she worked as a research technician in the Neuroscience Department at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C.  There, she was involved in research studying the relationship between cardiovascular surgery and white matter in the brain.  She is currently a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Pennsylvania, and a research specialist in the lab.  Her favorite scent is the smell of new textbooks, and her favorite superhero is Spiderman. Contact:


Nisha Sanghani

Nisha graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Public Health from the College of New Jersey in May 2018. There, she worked in a plant genetics lab where they studied the function of Arabidopsis CYP72A enzymes in chemical defenses against environmental stress with Dr. Leeann Thornton. In her free time, she likes to go to the beach.  She is currently a research specialist in our lab. Her favorite smell is eucalyptus spearmint and her favorite superhero is Iron Man. Contact:


Future Members:

This could be you! Postdoc positions open at UPenn!

Northwestern University Lab Members


Agnes (Xiaojun) Bao

Agnes earned her B.S. in Biology from Nanjing University and Stony Brook University. She entered the Northwestern Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program in 2011. Her current research interest is to understand the role of associative piriform connection in odor coding, and how the underlying neural processes contribute to odor perception. She uses psychophysical and fMRI techniques in human subjects, as well as behavioral, immunohistological and pharmacological methods in mice. She likes the smell of sandalwood best, and her favorite superhero is Professor X.


Daria Boratyn Porter

Daria received her Bachelor's in Science degree from Umass Amherst before spending time working at Massachusetts General Hospital/Martinos Center. She is currently pursuing her PhD through NUIN. Daria is interested in applying advanced imaging techniques to study olfaction, and currently working on a project that examines olfactory generalization. She enjoys the beach and New England sports teams. Daria’s favorite smell is sunscreen, and her favorite superhero is the Christian Bale version of Batman.


Isabel Hutchison

Isabel completed a BSc at Imperial College London and a PhD at the University of Manchester before joining Prof. Gottfried’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow. She is interested in sleep (in all capacities), dreaming, and emotional memory consolidation. At Northwestern she will be using fMRI, odor-based targeted memory reactivation and electrophysiological techniques to investigate emotional memory processing in sleep. She loves the scent of lilacs, and her favorite superhero is Sandman.


Heidi Jiang

Heidi received her Bachelor's Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University in 2011 and is currently a neuroscience Ph.D. student at Northwestern University in Chicago. She uses electrocorticographic and fMRI techniques to understand spatiotemporal coding in human olfactory cortex. Her favorite smell is freshly brewed chrysanthemum tea and her favorite superhero is Arm-Fall-Off-Boy.


Laura Shanahan

Laura Shanahan received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2012, and is currently a neuroscience graduate student. Laura is interested in the neural mechanisms underlying sleep’s role in memory, and for her current project, she is using odors to facilitate memory consolidation in human subjects while they sleep in an MRI scanner. Laura’s favorite odor is the smell of new books and her favorite superhero is Darkwing Duck.



Lab Alumni

Olga Lacki (Emeritus Research Specialist)

Jia Li

Eva Gjorgieva

Ava Weibman

Lisa Qu

Jaimie Spahr

Shayna Rose Levine

James Howard

Christina Zelano

Joanna (Keng Nei) Wu

Sydni Cole

Nick Bowman

Mathieu d'Acremont

Katherina Hauner

Jonas Olofsson

Wen Li

Appu Mohanty

Connie Choi

Ritu Chouhan

Katherine Khatibi

Katie Phillips