Adriana Cushnie

Entering Class - 2017


Undergraduate Institution and Major:

Brooklyn College – CUNY, BS, Psychology, 2017

Graduate Advisor:

Sarah Heilbronner, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Graduate Research:

I am studying anatomical connectivity to understand neural circuits that are involved in motivation and decision making.

Graduate Publications:

  • Cushnie AK, El-Nahal HG, Bohlen MO, May PJ, Basso MA, Grimaldi P, Wang MZ, de Velasco EMF, Sommer MA, Heilbronner SR. Using rAAV2-retro in rhesus macaques: Promise and caveats for circuit manipulation. J Neurosci Methods. 2020 Jul 12:108859.

Thesis Committee Members:

Lucy Vulchanova, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience (Chair)
Sarah Heilbronner, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience 
Jan Zimmermann, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Scott Sponheim, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry


Nicola Grissom, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Michael-Paul Schallmo, Ph.D. and Scott Sponheim, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
Sarah Heilbronner, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Undergraduate or Postbac Research:

I worked on a projected that  characterized how the acquisition of a place memory changes the function of particular synaptic circuits within the mouse hippocampus.

Undergraduate Awards:

Dean's List: Fall 2014-Spring 2017

Brooklyn College NIH MARC Scholar Fall 2015-Spring 2017

What Got You Interested In Research?

I have always been interested in understanding brain/behavior relationships, particularly questions targeting biological and behavioral factors that are involved in the development and organization of the brain.

Why did you choose the GPN?

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience offers me the research tools I need to pursue my interests.

Student mentor and their best advice:

Reshma Gore has offered too many to decide which is the best, but she has always been extremely helpful and supportive.

Favorite Itasca memory:

Biking around the park was fun. 


cushnie 2018