Here's some of the highlights of what we've been up to

Gail's work is highlighted in the news!

Congratulations to Gail Stanton, a medical student in the VTC School of Medicine, on having her work featured. Gail’s research focused on development of complex synapses in the visual thalamus. Gail also received an award for her poster at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s annual meeting.

Links: Press releasePaper 

February 2019

cant swim
Sabbagh 2016 JNeurochem

Ubadah publishes first author paper!

Ubadah Sabbagh’s first lead-author manuscript as a PhD student has been published in the Journal of Neurochemistry, and one of the figures was selected for the journal cover.

Links: Press release | Paper | Journal Cover

December 2018

Rachana wins research grant!

Congratulations to Rachana Somaiya, PhD student in the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health, on winning her first ever research grant. This was awarded by the Virginia Tech Graduate Research Development Program.

December 2018

Somaiya, Rachana is a student in the Translational Biology, Medical and Health (TBMH) at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.  (David Hungate/ Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)
Carrillo, Gabriela is a student in the Translational Biology, Medical and Health (TBMH) at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.  (David Hungate/ Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)

Gabby receives a travel award!

Congratulations to Gabby Carrillo on receiving a travel award to present at the Virginia Nordic Precision Neuroscience Meeting in Oslo, Norway.

august 2018

Welcome Gabby and Rachana!

Gabby Carrillo and Rachana Somaiya have joined the Fox Lab! They both are in students in the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health doctoral program at Virginia Tech.

August 2018

Carrillo, Gabriela is a student in the Translational Biology, Medical and Health (TBMH) at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.  (David Hungate/ Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)
Somaiya, Rachana is a student in the Translational Biology, Medical and Health (TBMH) at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.  (David Hungate/ Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)

neuroSURF fellows joined Fox Lab and presented at the annual VT Symposium. Another successful year!

Naomi Carter, Mia Genuario, and Chase Amos, all FBRI neuroSURF fellows, joined the Fox Lab and presented their work at the Virginia Tech Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, alongside the other neuroSURF fellows (15 undergraduates and 2 high schools students in total).  The program concluded another successful year!

July 2018

Ubadah wins two year neuroscience fellowship!

Congratulations to Ubadah Sabbagh on being selected as a fellow in the Society for Neuroscience’s Neuroscience Scholar Program!

Links: Press release 

july 2018

SfN Neuroethics

Aboozar's paper is published in eLife!

Aboozar Monavarfeshani’s paper “LRRTM1 underlies synaptic convergence in visual thalamus” was published eLife!

Links: Paper

april 2018

Gail wins best poster award!

Congratulations to medical student, Gail Stanton, who won the Member-in-Training Best Poster Award for the Visual Neuroscience section of the annual Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting.

april 2018


Ubadah receives Adaptive Brain & Behavior award!

Ubadah Sabbagh received an Adaptive Brain and Behavior Destination Area professional development award to train at the Alan Alda Center for Science Communication.

march 2018

Ubadah named a finalist for PD Soros Fellowship

Ubadah Sabbagh was selected to be a finalist for Soros Fellowship for New Americans.  Only 77 finalists were selected from 1,765 nominees.

march 2018

cant swim
spon1 team

Gabby's paper is published!

Gabby Carrillo’s manuscript on the role of extracellular matrix proteins in maintaining circadian rhythms was published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits.

Link: Paper

february 2018

Ubadah receives travel award for science policy!

Ubadah Sabbagh received an NIH-BEST award from Virginia Tech to attend the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 4-day training on Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE).

january 2018

Ubadah Sabbagh (David Hungate/ Dominion Images Photography)
cole surf

neuroSURF receives 5-year NIH grant!

A summer pilot program for undergraduate neuroscience research, directed by Dr. Fox, proved so successful that National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, of the National Institutes of Health, has provided $500,000 of funding for another five years.

Link: Press release

december 2017

Aboozar recognized with award from Society for Neuroscience!

Aboozar Monavarfeshani, a graduate student at the FBRI with the department of biological sciences in Virginia Tech’s College of Science, received a Trainee Professional Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience.

Link: Press release

november 2017


Courtney & Aboozar's paper is published!

Courtney Knill (medical student) and Aboozar Monavarfeshani’s (graduate student) paper on transmembrane collagens in the brain is publisehd in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.

Link: Paper

september 2017

Fox Lab renews NIH R01 Grant!

The Fox lab renewed one of its R01 grants. The project, entitled “Molecular mechanisms of retinogeniculate circuit formation” aims to identify target-derived factors that influence the unique development of synapses in visual thalamus.

september 2017


Ubadah is recognized for STEM outreach efforts!

Ubadah Sabbagh receives Fellowship Award from Roanoke CityWorks (X)po in recognition of his science outreach work in the community.

august 2017

Ubadah receives travel award to Capitol Hill!

Ubadah Sabbagh has received a travel award from the Coalition for the Life Sciences to travel to Capitol Hill and advocate for biomedical research during the Rally for Medical Research.

august 2017


neuroSURF students present at VT Symposium!

The FBRI neuroSURF program concluded last week with the fellows presenting their discoveries from lab at the VT Undergraduate Research Symposium in Goodwin Hall. Congrats to all the fellows and thanks to all of the faculty, staff, and trainees that helped prepare them for their presentations!

july 2017

Aboozar & Ubadah publish review!

Aboozar Monavarfeshani and Ubadah Sabbagh have published a review on the circuitry and function of the LGN, titled “Not a one-trick pony: Diverse connectivity and functions of the rodent lateral geniculate complex” in Visual Neuroscience.

Link: Paper 

june 2017

cant swim

Welcome Ubadah to the Fox Lab!

Ubadah Sabbagh, a doctoral student in the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health program, has passed his qualifying exam and joined the Fox Lab.

To learn more about Ubadah’s research and writing, please visit:

june 2017

Dr. Fox presents on parasites in Switzerland!

Dr. Fox presents his work on how parasitic infection alters brain circuits in Les Diablerets, Switzerland at the Neuro-ethology Gordon Research meeting

june 2017


Fox lab welcomes 3 FBRI neuroSURF fellows!

Welcome to James Cole (College of William and Mary), Joseph Teamer (Virginia State University), and Jonathan Van Name (College of William and Mary).

May 2017

FBRI neuroSURF program begins!

The neuroSURF program at VTCRI is a 10-week long summer program that gives students the opportunity to participate in hands-on hypothesis-driven independent research in an area of translational neurobiology.  The program encompasses a full-time, 40-hour week schedule.  More information about neuroSURF is available here:

may 2017

Gabriela Carrillo, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI)

Gabby accepted a position in the the TBMH doctoral program!


april 2017

Aboozar gives an oral presentation at ASN!

Aboozar Monavarfeshani was selected to give an oral presentation at the annual ASN meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas. Aboozar described his work on LRRTM1 in visual circuits.

march 2017

Jianmin Su presents findings of his research to faculty and students during the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute's annual retreat held at the Hotel Roanoke on November 3, 2015. (David Hungate for VTC)

Jianmin and James’ work on perinuronal nets is published in ASN Neuro!

Loss of Interneuron-Derived Collagen XIX Leads to a Reduction in Perineuronal Nets in the Mammalian Telencephalon

Link: Paper

january 2017

Copyright © 2019 Fox Lab. All Rights Reserved.