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The Team

The Cummings lab is eager to welcome prospective members with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences.
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Kirstie A Cummings, PhD

Assistant Professor & Principal Investigator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Email: kac3 [at] uab.edu

Curriculum Vitae

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Dr. Cummings received a BA in Music and a BS in Cell & Molecular Biology from SUNY Binghamton University in 2011. She then earned her PhD in ion channel biophysics in the Department of Biochemistry at SUNY University at Buffalo. After graduating in 2016, she pursued her postdoctoral training in systems neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Cummings joined the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2022. Outside of the lab, Dr. Cummings enjoys listening to and playing music, baking, and playing with her dogs.

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Rodrigo Campos-Cardoso, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Pronouns: he/him/his

Email: rcamposc [at] uab.edu

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Dr. Campos-Cardoso received his degree as a Biologist at the Federal University of Viçosa in 2015. After that, he completed his master's (2018) and PhD in Neurosciences (2022) at the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto. Rodrigo has been interested in the effects of the HPA-axis responses on memory and behavior in adolescent and adult rodents. Dr. Campos-Cardoso joined The Cummings Lab in September of 2022. In his spare time, Rodrigo enjoys gardening and cooking for his friends.

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Zephyr Desa, BS

Associate Researcher

Pronouns: He/him/his

Email: zdesa [at] uab.edu

Zephyr will receive his BS in biology and psychology in May of 2022 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He joined the lab as an associate researcher and is interested in synaptic plasticity and fear conditioning. After working in the lab and gaining experience with new techniques, he plans to attend graduate school and pursue a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. Outside of the lab Zephyr loves to camp, hike, rock climb, and play drums.

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This could be you!

PhD student

We are recruiting PhD students! Prospective PhD rotation students should contact Dr. Cummings with a description of their research interests. Looking forward to meeting you!

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Kenya Barnes

Undergraduate researcher

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Email: kenyanb [at] uab.edu

My name is Kenya Barnes and I’m a junior majoring in Neuroscience. My research and academics include the neuroscience behind pain, motivation, and clinical treatments that treat different neurological issues related to pain and psychology. I’m currently on a pre-med track but became increasingly interested in research and the MD/Ph.D. pathway after studying abroad spring of 2022 to conduct research. Although not directly related to neuroscience, I’m also interested in becoming an OB/GYN! Outside of academics, I thoroughly enjoy traveling, hiking, listening to music, watching movies, and getting/making coffee (I have my own espresso machine!).

Jace Duhon

Undergraduate researcher

Email: duhonj [at] uab.edu

Information coming soon!

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Victoria Landar

Undergraduate researcher

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Email: valandar [at] uab.edu

Victoria Landar is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in neuroscience. She joined the lab in August 2022 and is interested in learning about mechanisms that dictate fear responses as well as developing general skills in the laboratory. She plans to study medicine and hopefully become a physician after receiving her BS in neuroscience in May 2025. In her free time, Victoria enjoys singing, playing the clarinet, and spending time at church.

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Julia Souza

Undergraduate researcher

Email: jasouza [at] uab.edu

My name is Julia Souza, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience. I'm very interested in learning about areas of the brain that affects emotion and motivation, and how the process works. In the future, I plan on attending medical school and becoming a Cardiologist. Outside of school I love to travel. I’m originally from Brazil so I spend a lot of my time going back and forth to visit my family and visiting other countries in the process!