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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

Michelle Frankot, M.S.

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.

Kristen Pechacek, B.A.

Email: kmp0033@mix.wvu.edu

Kristen is a graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience program. She is primarily interested in the role of chronic neuroinflammation in the development of cognitive dysfunction, and how microglia mediate these inflammation-induced deficits. She graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Psychology from St. Catherine University. In her spare time, she enjoys going to sporting events, working out, and watching nextflix.

Cathleen "Cj" Fuertes, B.S.

Email: caf00009@mix.wvu.edu

Cj received her B.S. in Psychology and Certificate in Pre-Health Professions at The University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Upon graduation, she continued working at UT researching neural mechanisms of compensating for brain damage. As a graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience program, she is broadly interested in finding treatments for brain injury. In her free time, Cj likes to play instruments and video games.

Sarah Wampler, B.S.

Email: skw00005@mix.wvu.edu

Sarah is a graduate student in the Behavioral Neuroscience program. She received a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Bridgewater College. She is interested in researching potential treatment strategies for the impairments caused by traumatic brain injury. She enjoys skiing, hiking, and playing volleyball in her spare time.

Undergraduate Students

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

Alyssa Blancke

Alyssa is a sophomore from Southern Maryland. She is dual majoring in Animal & Nutritional Sciences and Psychology. Her hobbies include hiking, playing video games, and volunteering with A Moment of Magic. She loves the outdoors and adventure.

Brian Kotson

Brian is a math major with a computer science minor. He enjoys baking, knitting, and hiking.

Virginia Milleson

Virginia is a junior double majoring in psychology and neuroscience, with a religious studies minor. She hopes to eventually earn her PhD in behavioral neuroscience after undergrad. Outside of the lab, she is involved in Greek life and is a member of the Mountaineer marching band.

Antonio (Matt) Reck

Matt is a senior studying Neuroscience. After graduation he plans to attend graduate school and earn his PhD. in Behavioral Neuroscience. During his free time he enjoys listening to music, being outdoors, and traveling.

Camila Romero

Camila is a freshman majoring in Neuroscience. She hopes to either go to medical school or get her Ph.D. after graduation. During her free time, she enjoys listening to music, traveling, and volunteering.

Former Lab Members

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