Congratulations, Abbie!

December 2019–  Congratulations to our stellar undergraduate researcher Abbie, who recently graduated with her degree in Experimental Neuroscience. We thank her for her hard work & dedication to our lab over the years. Wishing her all the best as she pursues graduate school in the fall of 2020. We will miss her!

Check Out Our Latest Publications

August 2019– August was an exciting month for the Olsen Lab! We had two papers published. Check them out below!

Astrocyte morphogenesis is dependent on BDNF signaling via astrocytic TrkB.T1. LM Holt, RD Hernandez, NL Pacheco, B Torres Ceja, M Hossain, ML Olsen, eLife August 2019. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.44667

Glial Dysfunction in MeCP2 Deficiency Models: Implications for Rett Syndrome. U Kahanovitch, KC Patterson, RD Hernandez, ML Olsen, International Journal of Molecular Science August 2019. DOI: 10.3390/ijms20153813

Farewell to Leanne

July 2019– Dr. Leanne Holt is moving to New York City to join Dr. Eric Nestler’s laboratory. Leanne will be missed by all of us. We know she will go on to do great things. The Olsen Lab wishes her all the best!


Welcome, Rachel!

June 2019– The Olsen Lab welcomes our new Laboratory Technician, Rachel Hedeen. Rachel is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech, holding degrees in Experimental Neuroscience & Psychology.

Leanne Holt Dissertation Defense

May 2019– Congratulations to Leanne on her successful dissertation defense on BDNF/TrkB T1 signaling as a novel mechanism for astrocyte morphological maturation!


Congratulations to Olsen Lab Graduating Seniors

May 2019– The Olsen Lab congratulates senior undergraduate researchers Alexis Crockett, Victoria Donald, Rachel Hedeen, Muhannah Hossain, Ersalan Jahangiri & Connie Kim on their graduation from Virginia Tech. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors as neuroscientists!

Victoria Donald, Dr. Olsen, & Rachel Hedeen

Congratulations, Muhannah!

October 2018 – During half-time for the VT vs. Miami football game, undergraduate Muhannah Hossain was asked to present his research to none other than President Sands himself. Muhannah’s poster was the culmination of his work over this past summer and we are proud to have him represent the Olsen Lab.
Congratulations Muhannah!

Welcome, Ray!

June 2018 – A warm welcome to our lab’s newest graduate student, Raymundo Hernandez! Ray completed his undergraduate education at Arizona State University and earned his degree in the Science of Psychology. After being accepted to Virginia Tech’s TBMH program (PhD) and completing his lab rotations, we are pleased to announce him as a fully-fledged member of the lab.

Olsen Lab Students Kelsey and Natasha Dissertation Defense

March 2018–Kelsey Patterson and Natasha Pacheco with Dr. Olsen after their dissertation defense.


Olsen Lab publishes new paper

February 2018— Olsen Lab publishes new paper in the eNeuro Journal:


Olsen Lab moves to Life Sciences 1
October 2017— Olsen Lab moves to a new building. The new lab space is located in Life Sciences 1 in room 212. 
Earl Gilbert joins the Olsen Lab
June 2017— Earl Gilbert has joined the Olsen Lab as a Research Technician. Earl has just graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience and hopes to gain some impressive research skills while working at the Olsen Lab before applying to graduate school in the upcoming year.
Leanne Holt is awarded NIH Fellowship
November 2016— Leanne Holt, PhD. student in the Olsen lab has received an individual fellowship from NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Astrocytes are a primary target of neuronal-derived BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor): a novel mechanism for dysfunction in Rett Syndrome.
Helen Joins the Olsen Lab
October 2016 — The Olsen Lab has hired Helen Vanderpool as the Lab Manager. Her previous experience includes administrative at the National Institutes of Health and research experience at the Neurological Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine.
Uri Joins the Olsen Lab
August 2016 — Uri Kahanovitch will be joining the Olsen Lab as Post Doctoral Fellow. He is a recent graduate from Tel Aviv University.
Olsen Lab moves to Virginia Tech
July 2016 — Dr. Michelle Olsen and her lab will relocate from the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) to join Virginia Tech’s School of Neuroscience. Dr. Olsen will begin her role as Associate Professor starting Fall of 2016. Two of her current graduate students: Jessica Boni and Leanne Holt will join relocate in the near future! Burruss Hall, Drillfield, flowering crab apple tree, spring