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Meet Our Team


Geoffrey Swanson, PhD

Geoff Swanson, Professor in Pharmacology, serves as the Director of NUIN. He previously served as the NUIN Associate Director, as a faculty advisor, and member of the TGS NUIN Review committee. Geoff’s lab studies physiological processes mediated by glutamate, the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter, in the vertebrate central nervous system.

Contact Me:
  • 312-503-1052
  • Chicago: Lurie 8-119
Assciae Direcr, Evansn Camps

Daniel Dombeck, PhD
Associate Director, Evanston Campus

Dan Dombeck, Associate Professor in Neurobiology, serves as the Associate Director in Evanston. He previously served as the co-Chair of the Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Concentration Area and Qualifying Exam Committee. Dan's lab studies mammalian spatial navigation and spatial memory.

Contact Me:
  • 847-467-0475
  • Evanston: Pancoe 2-409
Assciae Direcr, Chicag Camps

Gregory Schwartz
Associate Director, Chicago Campus

Greg Schwartz, Associate Professor in Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, serves as the Associate Director in Chicago. He previously served as the Chair of the NUIN Admission Committee and as a member of the NUIN Advisory Board. Greg’s research program focuses on circuits in the retina and the early visual system in mice.

Contact Me:
  • 312-503-7503
  • Chicago: Tarry 5-733
Assisan Direcr

Jena Pitman-Leung, PhD
Assistant Director

Jena Pitman-Leung is a NUIN Alum (2007 graduate) who has worked as a Drosophila neurobiologist, sleep and career development consultant, and academic administrator. Please refer to Jena for:

  • Program activities and budget
  • Advising: Rotations and laboratory questions/concerns
  • Student groups, admin contact (except NUBAO, see Cassandra) 
  • TGS and NUIN policies, NUIN Handbook 
  • NUIN Curriculum 
  • TA assignments 
  • If you’re not sure who to ask

Zoom Office hours are Monday 3:30-4:30pm and Thursday 10:00-11:00am

Contact Me:
  • Evanston: 847-467-4246
    Chicago: 312-503-4308
  • Evanton: Hogan 2-171
    Chicago: Morton 1-645
Assisan Direcr NU PREP, Manager f Training and Prgram Develpmen

Cassandra VanDunk, PhD
Assistant Director NU PREP, Manager of Training and Program Development

Cassandra VanDunk is a developmental neurobiologist by training and currently works as a program administrator with a focus on inclusion. 

  • NUIN Administered T32 information, applications, appointments, etc.
  • NU PREP Scholar Inquiries
  • NRSA application assistance
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives and Efforts

Zoom office hours are Tuesday 3:00-4:00pm

Contact Me:
  • 312-503-2742
  • Chicago: Morton 1-645
    EV: Hogan 2-095
Senir Prgram Crdinar

Stephanie Valtierra, PhD
Senior Program Coordinator

Stephanie Valtierra is a NUIN Alum (2017 graduate) who has studied prion folding in neurodegeneration, and has worked in student career development and support. Please refer to Stephanie for:

  • Classes and registration
  • Rotation requirements
  • Milestone and related paperwork including committee meetings, seminar requirement, graduation planning etc
  • GSTS data entry 
  • Scheduling of thesis proposal and committee meetings (the Program Assistant does not scheudle these meetings) 

Zoom office hours are Thursday 1:00-2:00pm

Contact Me:
  • 847-491-5033
  • Chicago: Morton 1-645
    EV: Hogan 2-171
Senir Accning Specialis

Asta Stekovic
Senior Accounting Specialist

Asta Stekovic joined NUIN in 2019 after a career in finance and computer science in the business sector. Please refer to Asta for:

  • Everything finance (NUIN, NUIN administered T32, PREP)
  • Reimbursements 
  • Awards, including thesis proposal awards, travel awards, NTF 
  • Charges on student accounts

Zoom office hours are Wednesday 11:00-12:00pm

Contact Me:
  • 847-491-5033
  • Evanston: Hogan 2-171

Program Assistant

We are currently hiring! Please refer to the NUIN Program Assistant for:

  • Room/Zoom booking
  • Website questions
  • Listservs
  • NUIN@
  • General inquiries
Contact Me:
  • 312-503-4300
  • Chicago: Morton 1-645

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