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Injury and Recovery Laboratory

Cole Vonder Haar, Ph.D.

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Cole Vonder Haar, Ph.D.

Primary Investigator

Office: 2104 Life Sciences Building
Email: Cole.VonderHaar@mail.wvu.edu
Phone: 304-293-1787

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Dr. Vonder Haar is primarily interested in the long-term functional consequences of brain injury and other diseases and improving animal models of disease. He received his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Subsequently, he took a postdoctoral position at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Psychology's Behavioral Neuroscience area at WVU. Dr. Vonder Haar is available for mentorship for both graduate and undergraduate students. Please contact him for more details or see here.

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Kris Martens, Ph.D.


Office: 1204 Life Sciences Building
Email: Kris.Martens@mail.wvu.edu
Phone 304-293-2322

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Dr. Martens' interests are varied, but her ultimate goal is to help individuals recover function following injury, particularly in the case of TBI. She obtained her doctorate from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and went on to complete two postdocs. Her first was at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience in Lethbridge, AB, studying the effects of medial prefrontal lesions and her second was at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, helping to characterize the CHIMERA model of brain injury and serving as a behavioral expert for the School of Medicine. She is currently a Teaching Assistant Professor in Psychology at WVU. Dr. Martens is available to mentor undergraduate students in the lab. Please contact her for more details or see here.

Graduate Students

If you are interested in joining the lab as a graduate student, please see the info on this page

Christopher O'Hearn, B.A.

Email: cmohearn@mix.wvu.edu

Christopher is primarily interested in examining animal models of brain injury. He received a B.A. in Psychology from WVU and is continuing his education at WVU as a graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience program. A West Virginia native and Army Reservist, he enjoys exercising, the outdoors, and music.

Cory Whirtley, B.S.

Email: cwhirtle@mix.wvu.edu

Cory graduated with her B.S. in Psychology from WVU. She is a second year student in Psychology's Behavior Analysis program. Her interests revolve around understanding sensitivity to environmental contingencies in animals.

Jenny Ozga, M.S.

Email: jeozga@mix.wvu.edu

Jenny is a fourth year doctoral student in the Behavior Analysis program area at WVU. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2013 and her M.S. in Psychology at WVU in 2016. She is primarily interested in investigating the biological and environmental determinants of choice behavior, especially impulsive and risky choice.

Kristen Pechacek, B.A.


Kristen is a graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience program and is primarily interested in animal models of traumatic brain injury. She graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Psychology from St. Catherine University.

Michelle Frankot, M.A.

Email: mf0083@mix.wvu.edu

Michelle received her B.A. in Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University and her M.A. in Psychological Research from California State University, Long Beach. She is interested in behavioral changes following brain injury as well as potential treatments for brain injury.

Undergraduate Students

If you are interested in joining the lab as an undergraduate , please see the info on this page

Alix Gondringer

Alix is a senior Psychology major. She plans to go onto graduate school and pursue the clinical route of Psychology with a focus in neuropsychology. She enjoys being a member of Greek life on campus and spending as much time, as she can outside

Tasso Lake

Tasso is a senior at WVU, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Political Sciences. He hopes to earn a Master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. In his free time, he enjoys golfing.

Virginia Milleson

Virginia is a sophomore psychology major hoping to eventually earn her PhD in behavioral neuroscience. In her spare time she enjoys reading and is a member of the Mountaineer Marching Band..

Cassandra Mondrak

Cassandra is a senior Psychology student at WVU, with an interest in cognitive neuroscience. In her free time she likes to run or play with her four dogs at home.

Gabrielle Portillo

Gabrielle is an undergraduate student at WVU pursuing a B.S. in Psychology and Biology with an emphasis in Neuroscience. She plans on going to medical school after completing her undergraduate degree with a main goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, exercising, running, yoga, and taking care of her cats and dogs.

Trinity Shaver

Trinity is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology, Sociology, and Human Services, as well as a McNair Scholar. She enjoys being the secretary of WVU's Psychology club and Neuroscience club as well as conducting TBI research.


Binxing Zhu, B.A.

Laboratory Technician

Former Lab Members

Information about former Injury and Recovery Lab Members can be found on this page.