Principal Investigator:
Holly Hunsberger, PhD
Assistant Professor

I received my PhD from West Virginia University under the mentorship of Dr. Miranda Reed. There, I studied glutamate’s role in Alzheimer’s disease pathology using novel microelectrode array technology.  In 2016 I transitioned to Dr. Christine Denny’s laboratory to complete my postdoctoral career at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI/RFMH).  While there, I received a K99/R00 to study the sex-specific impact of anxiety on Alzheimer’s disease progression. I opened my independent laboratory at Rosalind Franklin University within The Chicago Medical School in November 2021.

As a proponent of work/life balance, I teach cycling and fitness classes in the evenings. I am an avid runner, triathlete, and hiker. I have a fondness for the outdoors and music and have been known to sing the anthem for sporting events as singing is a long-time hobby.  



laboratory Technician
Lainey Toennies
Lainey graduated from Iowa State University with her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, focusing in companion animal nutrition. While at Iowa State, Lainey discovered her passion for teaching others. She tutored students in the sciences and assisted in anatomy and physiology laboratory courses. After graduating, she interned at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.  There she studied nutrition. Lainey led Egyptian FruitBat population nutrition studies and developed a hydroponics program intended for the nutritional enrichment of various species across the zoo. 

Lainey provides a unique perspective at the Hunsberger Alzheimer’s and Aging Lab.  Her keen eye for detail accompanied her as she was tasked with the job of refining the newly established laboratory at Rosalind Franklin University. A latin proverb states,“by teaching, we learn”.  Lainey uses this phrase to enhance herself both in and out of the laboratory.  When she isn’t in the laboratory, you can find Lainey with a camera in hand photographing pets and wildlife, or at home baking and crafting with her two labradors by her side.  

Graduate Student
Kameron Kaplan
Kameron graduated from DePaul University in 2020 where he studied psychology. During his time at DePaul he found a passion for neuroscience and neuropharmacology. He worked as a lab assistant and pharmacy technician during his undergrad in preparation for graduate school. He is now a second year PhD student at Rosalind Franklin University studying in Dr. Hunsberger’s Alzheimer’s and Aging lab. Here he is interested in studying memory traces and neuronal ensembles, also known as engrams. Kameron intends to bring a neuropharmacological approach to the lab, and is interested in the way drugs affect memory formation. In his free time, he likes to hike, longboard, and spend time with his golden retriever.


Past students

Undergraduate summer research intern, lake forest college

Olivia Godek

INSPIRE Summer Intern

Perla Arias