John Cirrito, PhD.
Carla Yuede, PhD.
Rachel Hendrix, PhD.
Associate Professor of Neurology
John grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL but escaped to cold weather and seasons as soon as he could. He went to Boston College where he experienced several “Blizzards of the Century” so quickly began to appreciate beach weather much more than he had. In college he got his first taste of research by working with Dr. Michael Numan (Psychology) studying the neural circuits underlying maternal avoidance in rats. He graduated in 1998 and spent a year working in Research and Development at NEN Life Sciences (now Perkin Elmer) developing research reagents, including some that his own lab still uses. In 1999 he started his PhD in Neuroscience at Washington University in the lab of Dr. David Holtzman (Neurology) studying Alzheimer’s disease. At this point, John still had hair. Much of his PhD work focused on the proteins and cellular pathways that eliminate amyloid-beta (Aβ) from the brain. Here he developed the first use of in vivo microdialysis to study Aβ kinetics in the brain of a living mouse. This was the first time someone was able to measure Aβ peptide longitudinally. In the Holtzman lab he realized the importance and value of collaboration, having worked with numerous departments across the university as well as outside groups and industries. This is something he still feels very strongly about. John received his PhD in 2005, then became a post-doc in the lab of Dr. Steven Mennerick (Psychiatry) where he learned to pretend to be an electrophysiologist to study synaptic processes that regulate Aβ generation. This is pretty much when John lost his hair. He started his own laboratory (Neurology) at WashU in 2010, received tenure in 2015, and serves on more committees and review panels than he wishes to think about.
John and his life partner, Sandra, have a 6 year old son, Ben. The trio enjoys playing and traveling, especially if it involves a train. Luckily, John and Ben are roughly the same emotional age so they get along very well, often to the embarrassment of his wife.
Co-director of Behavior Core
Carla graduated from Missouri State University in 2000 with a BS in Psychology and Biomedical Science. From there, she moved to St. Louis to pursue a Ph.D in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in the laboratory of Dr. George Taylor (Psychology). During graduate school, she began a collaboration with the newly formed Animal Behavior Core (ABC) at Washington University and completed her dissertation research on the long-term behavioral effects of neonatal NMDA receptor antagonism under the guidance of Dr. David Wozniak (Psychiatry) in the lab of Dr. John Olney (Psychiatry). Following graduation, she began a postdoc studying the effects of stress on Alzheimer’s disease with Dr. John Csernansky (Psychiatry). In 2012, she made the move to the Neurology department to work with Dr. John Cirrito to develop micro-immunoelectrodes (MIEs) to study rapid kinetics of beta amyloid and other peptides involved in Alzheimer’s disease. In 2018, Carla became Co-Director of the ABC at Washington University, and splits her time between Cirrito Lab and ABC projects. The ability to combine multiple techniques to study different aspects of Alzheimer’s disease has been extremely exciting over the years and the collaborative nature of the Cirrito Lab is the perfect environment for those projects.
Todd is the chief histologist for the Cirrito Lab. He joined the lab in 2012 and is involved in all tissue staining projects. In addition to sectioning brains on the microtome and staining for fluorescence or light microscopy, Todd trains students and collaborators on these techniques. Todd is involved in optimizing antibody concentrations to detect and image beta amyloid plaques, microglia, astrocytes, and many other targets in the mouse brain, and processing all Cirrito lab orders. Todd is also the lab artist and has created several of the pictures and designs for the lab.
After obtaining her B.S. in Biochemistry with minors in Biology and Mathematics from Northern Arizona University, Dr. Hendrix earned her Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Her dissertation work characterized changes in both systemic and brain-specific glucose regulation influenced by overexpression of β-amyloid under the guidance of Dr. Steven Barger. In July 2018 she joined the Cirrito lab as a postdoc to study dynamic changes in release and aggregation state of both β-amyloid and tau with regard to synaptic activity. Beyond her love of sharing science knowledge with the non-scientific community, she enjoys exploring the city and surrounding trails on foot and climbing fake rocks in the gym with her husband.
Neuroscience Grad Student
Hannah completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2015. She joined Cirrito Lab in 2016 as a research technician, focusing primarily on the micro-immunoelectrode and its applications both in vivo and in vitro. Hannah recently returned to the Cirrito Lab as a 1st year Neuroscience Graduate Student to study the relationship between stress, sex, and Alzheimer's disease.
When not in the lab, Hannah enjoys spending time with her adorable dogs, hiking, and off-roading. While she dreams of a lab dog, she is sadly mistaken.
Clare received her B.S. at Southern Illinois University where she majored in Biochemistry. She continued on at SIUE to obtain her M.S. in Chemistry. She joined the Cirrito Lab as a technician in 2015 and started work for Washington University’s Microdialysis Core and the lab’s independent studies. Each avenue examines a wide array of diseases and mechanistic processes. She currently acts as the Cirrito Laboratory Supervisor. In her spare time she enjoys live music and art.
Woodrow (aka Woodward) earned a B.A. in biology and psychology at Truman State University followed by a M.A. at the University of Chicago. His master’s thesis was on the role of the orbital frontal cortex in rule learning; previous research interests include an ecological survey of bats in Central American rainforests, an investigation of housing preferences of middle class Americans, and various applications of biofeedback. He joined Dr. Cirrito’s lab in May 2018, acting as a research technician specializing in microdialysis, but has since transitioned into a micro-immunoelectrode extraordinaire/programming machine. Woodrow enjoys knitting, reading, and is a baller cook.
Despite being an incredible scientist, technician, and person, apparently Brooke is just too cool to provide a photo and bio for the lab website... even after months of requests.
Kate received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Emory University. She joined the Cirrito Lab as a research technician in 2019 with a focus on microdialysis. In her free time, Kate enjoys listening to music, photography, and spending time outside, especially when it involves hiking and/or mountains.
Derrick graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019 with a B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology. He joined the Cirrito lab as an undergraduate in 2016 and continued post-graduation as a research technician with a focus on the micro-immunoelectrode. Outside of neuroscience, Derrick is passionate about reimagining U.S. healthcare through health policy and social entrepreneurship. In his spare time, his hobbies include finding ways to travel the world on points and debating basketball analytics and international politics.
Kevin completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He joined Cirrito Lab in 2019 as a research technician, focusing on micro-immunoelectrodes. Outside of the lab, Kevin enjoys baseball, running, watching movies, and spending time with his dog, Jack.