Dr. Kevin Wickman

Kevin earned his BA in Chemistry from St. Olaf College in 1991 and his PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from the Mayo Clinic in 1995. After completing postdoctoral training with Dr. Sandra Gendler at the Mayo Clinic (1995-1997) and Dr. David Clapham at Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School (1997-1999), he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1999. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Pharmacology in 2005 and to Professor of Pharmacology in 2011. He was named Head of Pharmacology in June 2020 and currently holds the titles of Frederick and Alice Stark Endowed Chair, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, and Distinguished University Teaching Professor.

Assistant Professor/VVCC Manager

Dr. Ezequiel Marron

Ezequiel obtained his PhD in Biology (2008) after completing earning separate Bachelor’s degrees in Biology (2003) and Biochemistry (2005). During this time, and during his first postdoctoral training period at the NIH, his research focused on the pharmacology of opioid receptors and molecular mechanisms regulating ion channel gating. After joining the Wickman lab in 2013, he has focused his research on experience-dependent neuroadaptations in inhibitory signaling, while maintaining an interest in a variety of fields such as genomics/proteomics, structure-activity relationships, and ion channel gating. Whenever possible he balances research with his second passion – teaching. Dr. Marron is also the Manager of the University of Minnesota Viral Vector and Cloning Core.

Graduate Students

Timothy Rose

Tim earned his BS in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Minnesota at Duluth in 2016 and joined the Wickman lab in 2017. Tim applies techniques in ex vivo electrophysiology, intracranial viral manipulations, neuromodulation (chemogenetics and optogenetics), and behavioral analysis to understand cellular mechanisms underlying motivation and mood. Outside of the lab, Tim enjoys staying active outdoors, traveling, and experiencing different cultures.

Margot DeBaker

Margot earned her BS in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University in 2017 and joined the Wickman lab in 2018. She is interested in the mechanisms underlying neurological disorders relating to mood and motivation. Margot also enjoys running, biking, and being outdoors, as well as most activities relating to the preparation or consumption of food.

Shirley (Haichang) Luo

Shirley earned her BS in Pharmacology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, during which she spent two years in Sweden and Ann Arbor, Michigan, exploring the intriguing science and the lovely world. She joined Wickman lab in 2020, attracted by the beautifulness and the interestingness of the studying of neuroscience. Outside the lab, she enjoyed music, movies, and badminton. Her favorite drink is coffee, and she drinks only coffee.

Eric Mitten

Eric received his BS in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2019 and joined the Wickman lab in 2020. Eric is primarily interested in the neurobiological adaptations that underlie alcohol use disorder, with a particular focus on mechanisms of relapse. Outside of the lab, he enjoys listening to live music, cooking, playing video games, and exploring the Twin Cities one restaurant at a time!

Master Students

Manini Mantri

Manini got her Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from Maharashtra Institute of Pharmacy, India in 2019. She interested in studying mechanisms underlying mental disorders such as schizophrenia, PTSD and even drug addiction. When not in the lab she likes reading, learning languages and exploring new places.

Bushra Haider

Bushra earned her BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from North South University in 2018 and joined the Wickman lab in 2019. She is interested in learning about the mechanisms underlying alcohol addiction. Bushra is also fluent in 3 different languages. In her free time she enjoys travelling, playing volleyball, listening to music, baking and spending time with animals and family.

Technical Support

Melody Truong

Melody earned her BS in Genetics, Cell Biology & Development and Microbiology from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2018. Melody lends her expertise in cloning and viral packaging to the Viral Vector and Cloning Core. Outside of the lab, Melody enjoys art, music, and cooking.

Mehrsa Zahiremami

Mehrsa obtained her BS from Dalhousie University in 2015, with dual majors in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Biology. She obtained her MS in Neurogenetics at McGill University in 2018. Mehrsa lends her expertise in viral packaging to the Viral Vector and Cloning Core. Outside of the lab, Mehrsa enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, hiking, and working as volunteer for the Sexual Violence Center.

Courtney Wright

Courtney obtained her BS in ecology, evolution, and behavior from the University of Minnesota in 2015 and joined the Wickman lab in 2019. Outside of the lab, she enjoys traveling, painting, musicals, and volunteering at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Tyler Haeberle

Tyler earned his BS in Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology from Arizona State University in 2015. He spent two years teaching high school biology in Houston before joining the Viral Vector and Cloning Core, where he lends his expertise in cloning. Outside of the lab, Tyler enjoys rock climbing, hiking, golf, playing piano, and collecting vinyl records.


Graduate students

Baovi Vo
Allison Anderson
Nora McCall
Lydia Kotecki
Nicole Wydeven
Ana Fajardo-Serrano
Kelsey Mirkovic
Kevin Allen
Cydne Perry
Marco Pravetoni
Jose Colón Sáez
Maria Roman
Cheryl Marker

2016 - 2020 (PhD)
2016 - 2020 (PhD)
2013 - 2019 (PhD)
2011 - 2016 (PhD)
2010 - 2014 (PhD)
2012 (visiting student/SPAIN)
2009 - 2012 (PhD)
2008 - 2010 (MS)
2004 - 2008 (PhD)
2004 - 2008 (PhD)
2003 - 2008 (PhD)
2002 - 2006 (PhD)
2001 - 2005 (PhD)

Postdoctoral trainees

Allison Anderson, PhD
Farzaneh Assadian, PhD
Megan Tipps, PhD
Lei Zhang, PhD
Nicole Victoria, PhD
Matthew Hearing, PhD
Devinder Arora, PhD
Lev Koyrakh, PhD
Ilham Bettahi, PhD

2019 - 2020
2014 - 2018
2015 - 2016
2013 - 2015
2010 - 2013
2007 - 2010
2002 - 2006
2002 - 2004

Undergraduate Students

Nihan Gencerliler
Wilfredo Cruz Velez
Matthew Novitch
Daniele Young
Tyler Rehbein
Benjamin Yun
Tristan Driscoll
Felix Nwogbo
Jason Lewis
Connie Tang
Jason Spurlock

2012 - 2013
2010 - 2013
2011 - 2012
2011 - 2012
2007 - 2009
2007 -2008

Technical Support

Hannah Oberle
JingYing Zhang
Zhilian Xia
Nicholas Carlblom
Allee Hassing
Alex Shnaydruk
Jennifer Kutzke
Jaime Palmersheim
Desirae M. Haluk
Stephanie Cintora

2018 - 2019
2017 - 2019
2012 - 2017
2014 - 2017
2015 - 2016
2013 - 2014
2011 - 2012
2008 - 2011
2000 - 2001