Director: Dr. Jonathan Peelle

Jonathan Peelle

Dr. Peelle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Washington University School of Medicine. His research is focused on how the brain understands spoken language. His many superpowers include listening to 80s rock bands when he thinks no one is listening. He has also been known to take liberties when describing people in his lab, so it is probably best to take their bios (and any parenthetical comments) with a grain of salt.

Personal website:

CV (PDF version): PeelleCV.pdf

Staff Scientists

Michael Jones, PhD

Mike switched to neuroscience after a brief career in structural engineering and the software industry. Before joining the Peelle lab, he studied the brain one neuron at a time, first as a grad student at the University of Colorado and then as a postdoc at Saint Louis University. Outside the lab, Mike can be found riding his Trek, nursing his obsolete MacBooks (cat-themed OS X > outdoor-themed OS X), and writing math and science articles for his obscure website.

Research assistants

Austin Luor

Austin is a research assistant at the Peelle lab. He is originally from Taiwan and graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in Neuroscience and Biology. When not in the lab, Austin loves discovering new coffee shops, playing tennis, and catching up on the latest episodes of whatever show he is addicted to at the moment.

Sarah McConkey

Sarah is a research assistant and the lab manager for the Peelle Lab. She loves horror movies, ferments, and cats. Formerly a pastry cook and confectioner, she enjoys creating things that make you go hmmm.

Maggie Zink

Maggie recently graduated from Saint Louis University with degrees in Neuroscience and Music: Operatic Vocal Performance. Her passions include pub trivia, thai takeout, concert photography, camping, and idolizing Food Network stars despite having no cooking abilities.

Graduate students

Aahana Bajracharya

Aahana is a PhD student in the Peelle Lab. She did her undergraduate work at Wesleyan College where she majored in neuroscience and applied mathematics. Aahana is from Kathmandu, Nepal, and fluent in 4.5 languages (you'll have to guess which ones). Aahana has promised to bake tasty treats for lab meetings, making her the most popular PhD student in the lab.

Latoya Jeanpierre

Latoya is a student at Wayne State University, where she just one year removed from earning her medical degree, and spending a year of protected research time at Wash U. She is originally from New Orleans. She enjoys the spice of life and spicy foods. In her spare time she likes to dance, read, listen to podcasts and people watch.

Emily Miller

Emily is a medical student at the University of Maryland taking a one year hiatus as a T32 Predoctoral trainee prior to completing her degree. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with majors in linguistics and environmental biology. Although originally from Baltimore, she is thrilled to be back in the Lou where there are even more brunch spots, hiking trails, and dog watching opportunities.

Undergraduate students

Abby Graegin

Abby is a junior from Valparaiso, Indiana. She is studying Cognitive Neuroscience and Computer Science and hopes to attend law school after graduating. She spends most of her free time playing for WashU Softball, volunteering at Saint Louis animal shelters, watching The Great British Bake Off, and working on various art projects—currently canvas painting and glassblowing.

Henry Greenstein

Henry is a junior hailing from Los Angeles, CA. He has a great enthusiasm for linguistics and is an avid learner of French and Japanese. You should avoid both his writing about sports and his radio show on Wash U’s KWUR 90.3 FM if you dislike extremely contrived puns. His proudest achievement is receiving a yellow card in an under-14 AYSO friendly match.

Ben Muller

Ben is a junior from Weston, CT studying Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psycholgy (PNP) on the premedical track. In his free time, you can find Ben singing or beatboxing in his a cappella group, playing trumpet with the WashU Symphonic Orchestra, or watching Game of Thrones (no spoilers, I’m really far behind!).

Olivia Murray

Olivia is a junior from Valparaiso, Indiana, studying cognitive neuroscience and medical humanities. At any given moment, you might find her laughing, wearing yellow, or thinking about cats. If not, she’s playing club water polo or listening to rap music...and still thinking about cats and funny things.

Andrew Weng

Andrew is a senior from San Jose, California. He is studying Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience), Computer Science, and Writing. In his spare time, you’ll likely find Andrew listening to Indie rock, planning his next outdoor adventure, or playing guitar. His latest media obsession is HBO’s Chernobyl, which he thinks does a fine job of filling the void that Game of Thrones left behind. Andrew hopes to one day pursue a Ph.D in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence.

Erica Williams

Erica is a junior from Concord, North Carolina double majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In her free time, she enjoys solving puzzles, playing volleyball, and watching The Office. Passionate about mental health, interpersonal relations, and identity, Erica spends her time outside of the lab creating mental health programming for the Washington University Student Health Services and conducting humanities research as a Merle Kling Undergraduate Fellow. She hopes to one day obtain a PhD.

Ari Zimmer

Ari is a junior from sunny Saint Petersburg, Florida, majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience and minoring in Linguistics. He enjoys playing guitar, running, and playing retro video games. Ari also has a radio show on KWUR Clayton 90.3 FM where he plays cool music from all corners of the globe (but mostly this one). One time, Ari had dinner with the voice of Swiper the fox from Dora the Explorer, and he didn’t even have to tell him "Swiper, no swiping!"



Gary is one of the more committed members of the lab, rarely leaving. Although he is not a particularly skilled typist, the lab appreciates Gary's presence and the fact that he never utters a disparaging word.