Meet Our Lab Team!

Principal Investigator

Tim Cope, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Biological Sciences and Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Director of Undergraduate Neuroscience

My research interests center on control of movement by sensorimotor integration in the mammalian spinal cord.  Using predominantly electrophysiological methods applied in vivo, we study neural signaling by spinal motoneurons, somatosensory neurons, and their central synapses.  Our primary analyses include electrical properties, synaptic function, and firing behavior of single neurons.  We are actively examining how these neurons and synapses respond soon and long after peripheral nerve injury and regeneration. 

Research Scientist II

Paul Nardelli
My research centers on motor and sensory integration in the mammalian spinal cord. Using in vivo electrophysiological methods, my primary focus is on nerve injury and repair, the chronic effects of chemotherapeutic drugs, and intensive care unit acquired weakness following sepsis. Specifically recording from afferents and motoneurons and analyzing the intrinsic and firing properties in response to a stimulus along with synaptic changes to these neurons.

Research Scientist I

J’Ana Reed, MSc
I have an extensive background working in neuroscience, doing research in behavioral, cognitive and developmental neuroscience. I completed my MSC in London, UK and then took a year off to travel around Europe. I am now working at the COPE lab as a research scientist and ecstatic to be back in Atlanta. My future plan in to become a neurosurgeon after gaining much needed experience and expertise from the Cope lab and from my other past endeavors.


Travis Rotterman, Ph.D.
I have a background in neuroanatomical approaches including immunohistochemistry and retrograde tracing techniques in combination with confocal and 2photon imaging. Since joining the Cope lab 4 years ago I have become a proficient electrophysiologist studying changes in motor circuitry specifically in the context of peripheral nerve injury. Recently, I have also developed a project working with a rodent model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease which is an inherited neurodegenerative condition impacting both motor and sensory axons ultimately leading to behavioral deficits
Nick Housley, PT, DPT, PhD

Graduate Researchers

Sebinne Lee

Jake Stevens
Jing Zhang

Undergraduate Researchers

Ethan Chang, B.S Candidate
Hello, I name is Ethan Chang, and I am a 2nd Year Neuroscience Major with a minor in Health & Medical Sciences. I am currently conducting research with Dr. Travis Rotterman on the effects peripheral nerve injury on spinal motor neurons. We are currently finishing up a project concerning neuroinflammation and the role it plays in dictating the extent of neuron degeneration in spinal motor neurons after they’ve been cut vs. crushed. My future aspirations are to attend medical school and ultimately become an impactful surgeon. 

Caitlin Fix, B.S Candidate

Olivia Herman, B.S Candidate

Rommy Sierra, B.S Candidate
Hello, my name is Rommy Sierra, and I am a third-year undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Health and Medical Sciences. I have been a part of Dr. Cope’s lab since the Summer of 2021. Currently, I work alongside Dr. Rotterman to investigate Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and its impact on motor and sensory axons. I perform in-vivo surgeries and reflex preparations on mice, immunohistochemistry on muscle and spinal dissections, and have practice with confocal microscopy. 

Ariana Kalantari, B.S Candidate

Lillian Kantor, B.S Candidate

Recent Lab Alumni:

  • Emily Pfhal
  • Violet Garcia 
  • Evelyn Gardolinski
  • Oreoluwa Amosu