PMRF Lab Director; Principal Investigator

Jacob G. McPherson, PhD

  • Assistant Professor | Program in Physical Therapy and Dept. of Anesthesiology; Washington University School of Medicine.
    • Faculty | Washington University Pain Center and Program in Neurosciences
    • Affiliate Faculty | Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship | Physical Therapy, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship | Physiology and Biophysics; University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle)
  • PhD | Biomedical Engineering; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering
  • MS | Biomedical Engineering; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering
  • BS | Biomedical Engineering, Applied Sciences; University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Lab Manager

Jeremie Ferey, PhD. Jeremie received his Bachelor’s in Biology and Human Nutrition, Foods, & Exercise (HNFE) from Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) in May 2012. He received his PhD in Bioenergetics and Exercise Science from East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) in December 2016. His dissertation was on the calcium sensitive kinase, CaMKK alpha, and skeletal muscle hypertrophy and glucose metabolism. Jeremie completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis studying the effects of maternal obesity on offspring cardiac health and metabolism. He spent a few years in private industry before coming back to Wash U, and he joined the PMRF Lab in Fall 2024 where he provides general lab support and performs histology experiments. 

Post-doctoral Fellows

Javier de Lucas Romero, PhD. Javier received his bachelor’s in Health Biology from University in Alcalá (Spain) and headed his masters in Neuroscience from the Autonomous University of Madrid. His PhD focused on Cellular Signaling and was completed under the guidance of Dr. José A. López-Garcia at the University of Alcalá. His research centers on understanding spontaneously active neurons in pain processing, particularly in pathological conditions like inflammation or neuropathic pain in the context of spinal cord injury.

Also: currently recruiting post-doctoral fellows! Candidates should have a PhD (or equivalent doctoral-level degree) in Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, or a closely related field, or an MD. Expertise in any of the following areas is highly desirable: animal electrophysiology (in vivo or in vitro); animal behavioral neurophysiology; experience with humans or animals with spinal cord injury, stroke, or neuropathic pain; analysis of biophysical signals (e.g., neural/spike, EMG, ECoG, ENG); Matlab programming; data acquisition and instrumentation.

Research Scientists and Technicians

Lucía López Nieto, MS; Research Assistant. Lucía holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Alcalá (Spain) and a certificate in Veterinary Technical Assistance. She completed her Master’s in Education in 2022. Lucía joined the lab in the summer of 2023. Her responsibilities include animal handling, conducting behavioral assessments, providing support for peri- and post-operative care, and performing histological techniques. 

Leila Etemadi, PhD; Senior Scientist. Joining Fall 2024!

Also: looking for individuals with an interest or expertise in lab operations/management. A background in neuroscience and/or animal work would be ideal. Qualifications could be tailored to the specific candidate.


Maria Bandres, BS; PhD Candidate (Biomedical Engineering). Maria received her Bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from Simon Bolivar University (Caracas, Venezuela) in June 2015. Maria joined the PMRF Lab in Spring 2018, where she uses in vivo electrophysiology and neural-computer interfaces to develop intraspinal stimulation approaches that simultaneously restore motor and sensory function after spinal cord injury.

Gerson Moreno Romero, BS; PhD Candidate (Biomedical Engineering). Gerson received his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Florida International University in 2020. He joined the PMRF Lab in Fall of 2022, and he is working to characterize in vivo spinal stimulation for the dorsal region to better understand and develop multi-modal neurorehabilitation techniques.

Avery Twyman, BA; PhD Candidate (Biomedical Engineering). Avery received her Bachelor’s in Biological and Medical Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2022. She joined PMRF in the spring of 2023. She is exploring patterns in pain processing of neuropathic pain, and hopes to make stronger connections between neural responses and the individual perception of pain after spinal cord injury.

Jane Wu; Undergraduate Research Assistant. Jane is from Pleasanton, California and is majoring in Neuroscience at WashU with a minor in global health anthropology. She joined PMRF in Fall 2023 and is currently investigating correlations between ISMS and monoamine release for neuropathic pain after SCI.

Alec Basten, BS, MS, SPT. Alec completed his BS and MS in Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at Washington University School of Medicine.


  • Jefferson Gomes, lab manager. Jeff began his career at WUSM, working as a scientist in the department of Cell Biology and Physiology before moving to Texas and ultimately to Miami. In 2021, Jeff returned to WUSM to take a lead role in the PMRF Lab, where he is a scientist and lab manager. Jeff has broad expertise in animal neurosurgery and histology, including spinal cord injury models.
  • Megan Buchanan, BS graduate student in Biomedical Engineering; FIU and WashU 2018-2021
  • Lloraine Campos, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2018-2019 
  • Valentina Melero, BS in Biomedical Engineering and Coulter Undergraduate Research Excellence (CURE) fellow; FIU 2015-2019
  • Behdad Tahayori, PT, PhD; post-doctoral fellow; FIU 2017-2018
  • Vivian Soliz, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2016-2018
  • Luis Barreto, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Nathalie Brossard, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Alexander Copa, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Daniel Duben, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Rayniel Perez, BS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Afra Toma, BS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Kelly Rojas; FIU undergraduate student and McNair Fellow