BREATHE Trainees



Emanuel Boutzoukas, MS

Boutzoukas’s research focuses on counteracting cognitive declines in aging using non-invasive brain stimulation paired with cognitive training. He aims to use multimodal neuroimaging and neuropsychological testing to characterize mechanisms of cognitive improvement in older adults. He is currently a Clinical Neuropsychology Intern at the Tampa VA.

Emanuel Boutzoukas

Predoc Alum

Rachel Kelley, PhD, RD

Dr. Kelley’s research focuses on respiratory muscle dysfunction in disease. Using animal models, she is exploring diaphragm muscle abnormalities in aging, heart failure, and obesity. Dr. Kelley is now a Manager of Development & Strategic Partnerships at Endocrine Society.

Rachel Kelley


Mia Kelly, BS

Kelly’s research focuses on characterizing the intricacies of biological rhythms (circadian /sleep cycles) within the neural network that controls breathing. The specific aim of her work during the T32 appointment was to enhance the ability of acute intermittent hypoxia to restore breathing by timing administration when AIH is most effective and best tolerated. Her work across the light-dark cycle in rodent models supports the existence of temporal windows best suited for the induction, maintenance, and accumulation of respiratory plasticity.  

Mia Kelly

predoc alum

Ian Malone, PhD

Malone’s research focused on developing neuroprostheses to improve respiratory function following cervical spinal cord injury. He is currently a data scientist at Meta.

Ian Malone, PhD

Predoc Alum

Jeremy Prieto, MS

Prieto’s research focuses on utilizing different signal processing techniques to capture and analyze human physiological signals, with the intent of linking these signals to find subtle differences that could lead to larger findings.

Jeremy Prieto


Gerard Robinson, PhD

Robinson’s research explores the role of skeletal muscle in the innate response to infection, particularly in sepsis. He is currently working as a Life Science Consultant at Fenix Group International.

Gerard Robinson

Predoc Alum

Thomas Sutor, PhD, CSCS

Dr. Sutor’s chief interest is improving motor function after severe spinal cord injury. He is currently researching the use of acute intermittent hypoxia to increase breathing and sitting ability for people with chronic spinal cord injury. Dr. Sutor is a Postdoctoral Associate working with Dr. Emily Fox at the University of Florida.

Thomas Sutor


Lauren Tabor, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Tabor is the co-director of the NSU Health Neuroscience Institute ALS Center in Fort Lauderdale. The mission of her current research is to develop efficacious treatment regimens to improve cough function and airway protection in individuals with ALS, in effort to maintain oral intake and improve quality of life.

Laren Tabor

Predoc Alum

Alicia Vose, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Vose’s research focuses on physiologic mechanisms underlying normal and disordered airway protection. She has 7 years experience as a licensed speech-language pathologist. Dr. Vose is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida.

Alicia Vose

postdoc alum

Alison Barnard, PhD, DPT

Dr. Barnard’s research is focused on investigating the effects of muscle degeneration and neuromuscular scoliosis on respiratory function in individuals with neuromuscular disease using advanced magnetic resonance imaging methods. Dr. Barnard is now an assistant professor at the University of Florida.

Alison Barnard, DPT, PhD

postdoc alum

Andrew D’Lugos, PhD

Dr. D’Lugos’s research focuses on cancer cachexia, a metabolic condition characterized by progressive skeletal muscle loss and weakness. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department at California State University.

Andrew D'Lugos

postdoc alum

Claire DeLucia, PhD

Dr. DeLucia was a postdoc in Dr. David Fuller’s lab where her research focused on hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) as an adjunct therapy for Pompe disease. During her appointment, Dr. DeLucia gained proficiency in hyperbaric oxygen treatments, animal survival surgery and immunohistochemical techniques in brainstem/spinal cord tissues. She also contributed to and will continue writing a literature review on cellular mechanisms of HBO effects in a variety of neurogenerative or neuromuscular disorders. 

Claire DeLucia

postdoc alum

Cara Donohue, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Donohue is a practicing speech-language pathologist, an Assistant Professor, and the Director of Medical Speech-Language Pathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She completed her post-doctoral research fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Emily Plowman. Current research interests include instrumental methods of swallow screening and signal processing, respiratory interventions to improve cough and swallowing in patients with neurological/respiratory diseases, and principles of exercise training in dysphagia rehabilitation.


postdoc alum

Eleana Manousiouthakis, PhD

Dr. Manousiouthakis’ research develops neural tissue platforms for disease modeling and systems with regenerative capabilities for damaged neural tissue, including spinal cord, using natural biomaterials. Her work focuses on the impact of extracellular matrix mechanics and composition on cell function, dysfunction, and development. She is currently a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Christine E. Schmidt’s lab in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida.


postdoc alum

Wendy Olsen, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Olsen completed her postdoctoral fellowship and received dynamic cross training from Dr. Donald Bolser’s basic science lab, and Dr. Nicholas Napoli’s Human Informatics Predictive Performance and Optimization (HIPPO) Lab. As a result of the T32’s empowering opportunities, Dr. Olsen will continue researching her scientific interests at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio as a National Research Council (NRC) Research Associate. Dr. Olsen’s research focuses primarily on breathing dynamics, cognition, and its impact on human performance in extreme environments. She plans to continue to submit grants, disseminate manuscripts, and collaborate with faculty from the BREATHE Center.

Wendy Olsen

postdoc alum

Adrienn Varga, PhD

Dr. Varga’s research focuses on the role of opioid-sensitive respiratory neurons in the brain in both normal breathing and under the influence of opioids. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, her research focuses on determining the cellular, circuit, and network-level mechanisms whereby respiratory control neurons in the brainstem interact with central circuits to shape each breath. Current projects are focusing on a neural pathway that her lab recently discovered between the locus coeruleus and pontine respiratory group, that may be pivotal in understanding state-dependent influences on breathing.

Adrienn Varga

postdoc alum

Lila Wollman, PhD

Dr. Wollman’s research is focused on enhancing respiratory neuroplasticity and promoting respiratory motor recovery after spinal cord injury using pharmacological approaches. Dr. Wollman is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona.