Schoppik Lab

Balance is key

We study the development, function, and dysfunction of the vestibular system.

The lab is full. Next openings will be in late 2020/early 2021.


Oreo cheesecake. No corn. He plays in a band made up of doctors called "Steely Gland."
E-mail David here

David Ehrlich, Ph.D.

David’s first paper showed that zebrafish learn to move to balance. His second discovered a surprising role for the vestibular system in cerebellum-dependent coordinated movements. His list of publications at Google Scholar. David is now on the job market!


Chocolate volcano. With "optional" vanilla ice cream. Not pictured: hazelnut coffee.

Kristen D'Elia

Kristen did her undergraduate work at Providence College, where she studied neural differentiation and neuronal migration. She worked extensively as a tutor and continues her outreach work today looking to engage young women in STEM. She optimized a technique to birthdate developing neurons during her rotation (paper) and now studies the development of locomotor circuits as a graduate student in both the Schoppik and Dasen labs.


Something something Sox Nation.

Something something Sox Nation.

Dena Goldblatt

Dena did her undergraduate work (and a Masters) at Brandeis University where she studied synapse development. She’s working to understand the development of balance circuits at the synaptic level.


Chocolate windmill.

Chocolate windmill.

Kyla Hamling

Kyla did her undergraduate work at Lewis & Clark College studying neural development. She's investigating how the development of vestibulo-spinal neurons helps fish learn how to balance. 


Paige Leary (who needs to choose a dessert!)

Paige is currently spearheading our research into neurodegeneration, looking at how balance and gaze stabilization are impacted in a zebrafish model of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.


David Schoppik, Ph.D.

David trained as an undergraduate in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU, did his doctoral work with Steve Lisberger at UCSF, and worked as a postdoc with Alexander Schier and Florian Engert at Harvard University. Scientific genealogy at Neurotree. List of publications can be found at Google Scholar. 


Basak Rosti got her Bachelor and Master's degrees at Istanbul University and spent five years running the zebrafish research arm in Joseph Gleeson's laboratory. She worked on the molecular logic that controls development of neurons in the vestibulo-ocular reflex circuit.

Zoë Dobler kicked off our research into the neural mechanisms that give rise to the debilitating symptoms of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a neurodegenerative disease. She’s off to UCLA.

Paula Cruz Vázquez joined us through NYU’s SURP program for the summer. She worked on identifying genes expressed in the motoneurons that move the eyes.

Ali Ehrlich looked at gene expression patterns in developing vestibular neurons for her rotation. She’s currently in Justin Blau’s lab.

Brooke Holey built an apparatus to look at how fish balanced in flowing water, and how fish responded to olfactory cues for her rotation. She’s currently a doctoral candidate in David Schneider’s lab.

Vaishali Talwar looked at the neurons responsible for posture for her rotation in the lab. She’s currently in Dayu Lin’s lab.

Ann Privorotskiy studied the development of oculomotor neurons while she was an undergraduate at the Macaulay Honors College at Baruch.  

Katherine Harmon: Katherine received a bachelors degree in neuroscience from Bowdoin College in 2014, where she learned to be an ace in vivo intracellular electrophysiologist. Her research focused on the developing vestibulo-spinal neurons responsible for balance. Katherine is now working towards her M.D. at SUNY Stonybrook.

Marie Greaney: Marie transitioned from plant-coaxing to fish-wrangling after graduating from Haverford College in 2014. She published her first paper on the development of ocular motoneurons in 2016. She built a bleeding-edge microscope in collaboration with Elizabeth Hillman's group and used them to study the neural circuits responsible for locomotion. Marie is now at the University of Chicago for graduate school. 

Mahdi Choudhury: Mahdi joined us as an NYU undergraduate and looked looking into how zebrafish learn to stabilize their gaze as they grow.

Zhiwei Li: Zhiwei rotated in the lab, where she worked to develop our pipeline to analyze data generated by combined imaging and electrophysiology.

Avenelle Onaifo: Avenelle also spent the summer in the lab (2016) as part of NYU's Girls in Science, Technology and Medicine summer program. She too worked on coding eye movements to understand how gaze stabilization develops.

Margaret Zhang: Maggie spent the summer in the lab (2015) as part of NYU's Girls in Science, Technology and Medicine summer program. She worked on coding eye movements to understand how gaze stabilization develops.  

Simon Sun: Simon graduated in 2011 from the College of William and Mary with a double major in music & neuroscience. He received his MS in Biology form Virginia Commonwealth University, characterizing proteins involved in cell migration during development with Gregory Walsh. Simon is now a graduate student in Dick Tsien's lab.  

David Tingley: David got his bachelors degree in Cognitive Science (specializing in Neuroscience) from UCSD. There, David worked in Douglas Nitz’s lab, working on several projects employing electrophysiological and computational approaches. He then spent a year of research with Janet Wiles at the University of Queensland to study bio-inspired computation. David is now a graduate student in Gyuri Buzsaki's lab.

Katelyn Carbonell: Katelyn is a University of Illinois at Chicago graduate.  Upon completion of her bachelor's degree in Psychology she spent time working in a psychosocial rehabilitation center and inpatient psychiatric unit at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Il. Outside of the lab, Katelyn spends most of her time outdoors, including biking and long walks with her two dogs. Kate now works at Weill Cornell Medical College.