MA, MS, Lab Manager, Adjunct Instructor in Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University, PMA® CPT, PhD Student
Gregory is a PhD student and lab manager in the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory. He is an adjunct instructor in the Biobehavioral Sciences department of Teachers College, Columbia University. He has worked as a Research Assistant in the Center for Cerebral Palsy Research and the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.
Working as a professional modern dancer and PMA® Certified Pilates, Gregory toured extensively both domestically and internationally. Much of his dance career included working with dance and disability, working as a rehearsal director, administrative assistant and dancer with Heidi Latsky Dance, where he now serves on the board of directors. As a first-generation LGBT Latinx student, he advocates for diversity in STEM and is the current president of Queer TC. Science communication is also a passion and he and is the social media manager for Know Science.
Gregory holds master’s degrees in each of motor learning and applied statistics. Much of his research focuses on applying data-driven approaches (e.g., machine learning) to advance healthcare and analytics in the treatment of people with neurological disorders, with a specific interest in precision medicine. He also investigates digital biomarkers using wearables sensors to be incorporated into future clinical trials.
Gregory is an avid foodie, loves traveling, adventure, and a good cup of coffee.
Brian Espinoza graduated with a M.A. degree in Motor Learning and Control from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2020. While studying Motor Learning and Control, Brian served as a research assistant in the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory. He received his BA in Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science with a concentration in Exercise Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has previously taught nutrition to at-risk populations and worked with college athletes as a personal trainer. His research interests include the effects of exercise on Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease. In his free time, Brian likes to make exercise programs for friends and colleagues while also researching new exercises and their benefits.
Sophie graduated from the Motor Learning and Control program at Teacher’s College with a M.A. degree in 2020. Sophie completed her undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College, where she created her own integrative major that combined studies in neuroscience, movement studies, and child development/psychology. She was an excellent member of the Neurorehabilitation Lab and loved learning alongside so many inspiring movement scientists! Sophie was involved in the Merengue Dance for Stroke study in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The study investigated the use of merengue dance for individuals in the chronic phase of stroke recovery. Sophie is a former ballet dancer, a lifelong yoga student, and a certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner. She is passionate about the use of holistic movement interventions for neurological populations. In her spare time, Sophie loves hiking, doing the New York Times Crossword puzzle, and attending dance and theater performances throughout New York City.
Sam Landa is an undergraduate student at Columbia University School of General Studies. Prior to studying at Columbia, Sam toured and performed as an acrobat and dancer, specializing in trapeze. Interested in performance from a young age, he studied dance and performed with The Washington Ballet. At the age of fifteen, he moved to Montreal, completing his academic high school studies while training as an acrobat at the L’Ecole Nationale de Cirque, the leading school for circus arts in North America. Down the road, he hopes to find new ways of integrating the arts and sciences, and to explore how the two fields can support each other’s development.
When not studying or flipping round, he enjoys running, creating visual art, and cooking.
Amy Jang has always had a strong desire and passion to motivate local students. At the end of the eighth grade, Amy put her passion to action and started Youth Hope Summit, a nonprofit organization that strives to empower students and the youth in the community. Youth Hope Summit has currently donated over 550 pairs of shoes to local elementary schools through the “On the Path to College, One Step at a Time” campaign.
In addition to her passion for volunteering, Amy has a keen interest and love for all things STEM, with a focus on bioinformatics. Amy interned at the University of Southern California (USC) Information Science Institute during the summer following her junior year. There, she developed a prototype semantic representation of ENIGMA, a global neuroscience consortium. She published her work in multiple research papers and technical papers, including “Designing an Ontology for the ENIGMA Neuroscience Collaboration” and “Automatic Generation of Portions of Scientific Papers for Large Multi-Institutional Collaborations Based on Semantic Metadata,” which was part of the proceedings of the International Semantic Web Conference. She also participated in the Knowledge Capture and Discovery Hackathon, winning the award for Best Interdisciplinary Collaboration. In addition to USC, Amy also collaborated with Edwards Lifesciences to create a prototype version of an automated heart valve sewing machine. She is currently working on research at the Neurorehabilitation Research Lab and at Columbia Engineering Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing.
Her passion for bioinformatics also led to her participating in many club-related activities. Currently, she is on the executive board of Columbia Data Science Society and Columbia Systems Biology Initiative. Outside of STEM and volunteering, Amy loves to play piano and has performed at various recital halls, including Carnegie Hall. In her free time, Amy loves being up in the sky, whether that be ziplining or parasailing, and looks forward to skydiving and bungee jumping one day!
PT, DPT, Research Physical Therapist Dept. of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine Columbia University Medical Center, Doctoral student
Lauri is a physical therapist and 6th year doctoral student who has a background in working with chronic stroke survivors and robotic devices. She received her B. S. in Exercise Science from The Florida State University in 1999, and her D.P.T. from the University of Miami in 2004. She has experience working with patients with a variety of functional deficits, but for the past 7 years has been working specifically with robotic rehabilitation devices in a population of stroke survivors.
She is currently pursuing her research interests in understanding the role of manual guidance utilizing robotic devices in chronic stroke survivors to improve deficits in gait.
When not working in the lab and studying, she enjoys running, cooking, reading, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her dog, Mo.
Paige Fuentes is a master’s student in the Neuroscience and Education program and has recently joined the Neurorehabilitation Research Lab under the guidance of Dr. Lori Quinn. She is interested in exploring the subject of neurodegenerative motor disorders and is eager to gain experience in the realm of rehabilitation. She enjoys crafting, traveling, and doting on her bulldog.
Shreya Jain completed the master’s program in Motor Learning and Control at TC in December 2018. During the course of the program, she worked in the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Lori Quinn. She graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani, India and worked as a project assistant for a year in a neurobiology research laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research. Working on projects dealing with Parkinson’s Disease inclined her research interests towards motor control and movement rehabilitation using non-pharmaceutical, exercise-based methods. She is now a doctoral student at the University of Southern California Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, working with Dr. James Finley on investigating locomotor learning and control in people with Parkinson's Disease and designing effective interventions. She enjoys dancing, and has been trained in the Indian classical dance form of Odissi.
Danit Mark is a second year master’s student in the Movement Sciences program, studying Motor Control and Learning. She has a B.S. in Exercise Science from Rutgers University. She is very excited to begin her career in the field of neurorehabilitation and to work on different projects involving physical activity across a variety of populations.
When Danit is not in class, she serves as the Executive Vice President of Peak Potential. Peak Potential is a volunteer-run non-profit organization that allows children with physical disabilities to rock climb. Assisting those with movement difficulties to exercise and become stronger is what lead Danit to her love for the field. In her spare time, Danit is an avid rock climber and teaches classes in both climbing and technical skills to children and adults of all ages.
Elizabeth is a former research assistant at the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory. She graduated from Barnard College in 2018 with a major in biology and minor in dance. She currently works as a clinical research coordinator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai researching psychological stress and environmental factors that influence child health outcomes. When not a work, Elizabeth enjoys working out and coaching classes at her gym. She is currently applying to doctoral programs in physical therapy.