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Our students come from a wide background. We have students whose home departments include the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Department of Bioengineering, and the Neuroscience Program. Additionally we have a number of students who participate in the Medical Scholars Program. See our past alumni.

There are a number of training opportunities on campus for our post-doctoral and graduate students including the Developmental Psychobiology and Neurobiology Training Grant, Advances in Sensory and Developmental Neuroscience and a new National Science Foundation Research Traineeship with a focus on miniature brain machinery.


Laboratory Director

Professor Martha U. Gillette


Dr. Gillette is professor of Cell & Developmental Biology, Physiology, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience; Director of the U of I Neuroscience Program; and on the faculty of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She is affiliated with the Institute for Genomic Biology, the Micro & NanoTechnology Laboratory, and the Center for Nanoscale Science & Technology. Professor Gillette received her A.B. from Grinnell College, M.S. from the University of Hawaii in Zoology, Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from the University of Toronto, and completed postdoctoral training in Neuroscience at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research seeks to understand at multiple levels the actions of molecules in neurons and glial cells, signal processing in brain, and the effects of circadian rhythms on brain function and metabolism.

Research Scientist

Dr. Jennifer Mitchell


Dr. Mitchell completed her PhD and post-doctoral training in Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of Illinois and has served since 2006 as senior research scientist in the Clockworks Laboratories on the Life Sciences campus and in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology.

Research Specialist

Ann Benefiel


Ann completed her BS in Psychology with a minor in Biology at the University of Illinois and has served in many research service roles, including as a member of the University's IACUC as well as Carle Hospital's Research Department and IRB. She joined the Clockworks Laboratory in 2014.

Graduate Students:

Eman Hamed (Neuroscience Program)


Collin Kaufman (Neuroscience Program)


Ghazal Naseri (Neuroscience Program)


Miles Norsworthy (Cell & Developmental Biology)


Amanda Weiss (Molecular & Integrative Physiology)






Scientist Coli