About Us

The Neuroscience Majors’ Union (NMU) aims to represent the needs and interests of both prospective and declared Neuroscience majors and minors. The NMU provides unique social and academic opportunities that encourage the growth of the neuro community at Duke, adding a richer layer of experience to the major.



Maya Samal, Trinity ’20
Email: maya.samal@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Maya is a senior from Lincoln, Nebraska, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry. She is a research assistant in Dr. Keefe’s lab studying auditory perception and emotion recognition in young adults at high risk for schizophrenia. For fun, she enjoys leading TedXDuke and playing with dogs.


Rachel Donaldson, Trinity ’20
Email: rachel.donaldson@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Rachel is a junior from Boston, Massachusetts, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry. She works in Dr. Greg Appelbaum’s lab, researching effects of rTMS, and has also interned at Boston Children’s Hospital, researching Niemann-Pick Disease Type C. For fun, she enjoys hiking and babysitting.


Sophia Li,  Trinity ’21
Email: sophia.li1@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Sophia Li is a junior from Acton, Massachusetts, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Political Science. She is interested in the intersection between neuroscience and law and works in the Woldorff Lab, studying the neural bases of attention and memory. For fun, she enjoys photography, hiking, and baking.


Ameen Ahmad, Trinity ’20
Email: ameen.ahmad@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Ameen is a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. He is currently a part of a Bass Connection Research Team under Dr. Christina L. Williams where he is studying the effects of exercise and how it may delay the onset and severity of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s; as well as how differences in sexual dimorphism may relate to this. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys hanging out with friends, buying endless amounts of Il Forno cookies with his not so endless amount of food points, and going for runs outside when he has the time between classes.


Jason Zhang, Trinity ’21
Email: jason.h.zhang@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience, Biology
Jason is a junior from Gainesville, Florida, currently majoring in neuroscience and biology on a pre-med track. He currently does research on the biological development of depression and is more broadly interested in the social neuroscience of mental health and personality. Outside of neuro, he is part of the Huang Fellows program which explores how science interacts with society and volunteers as chief ED Ambassador at Duke Regional Hospital. For fun, he likes to play tennis and basketball, participate in outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking. He also enjoys reading, particularly historical and science fiction, and trying new things.

Pub & Web Chair

Nathan Liang, Trinity ’21
Email: nathan.liang@duke.edu
Major(s): Psychology, Neuroscience
Nathan is a junior from Lynnfield, Massachusetts, studying cognition, cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind on a track into academic research in cognitive science. He is interested in studying social cognition, morality and altruism from a neuropsychological perspective. He is a research assistant in the Imagination and Modal Cognition Lab and the Mind at Large Lab, where he engages in research about everything from moral decision-making to imagination, creativity, mind-wandering, and even hypnagogic sleep states. Recreationally, he leads pick-up soccer at Duke, works out and pursues artistic endeavors.


Rhianne Hsu

Rhianne Hsu, Pratt ’20
Email: rhianne.hsu@duke.edu
Major(s): Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience
Rhianne is a senior from Wilmington, North Carolina, double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology. She is interested in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases, especially neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. She interned at a neurosurgical device company during the 2019 summer and is currently a research assistant in the Naumann Lab where she assists in the optimization of neural imaging technologies. Outside of academics, she enjoys singing, playing guitar, and photography.

Upperclassman Representative

Ashley Choi

Ashley Choi, Trinity ’20
Email: ashley.choi@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Ashley is a senior from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Global Health. She has conducted research with Dr. Meyer on post-transcriptional modifications and their implications in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative diseases here at Duke as well as research with Dr. Biasi at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on how the flavoring of e-cigarettes relates to reward and addiction. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts and music.

Underclassman Representative

Anshu Jonnalagadda

Anshu Jonnalagadda, Trinity ’21
Email: anshu.jonnalaggada@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Anshu is a junior at Duke University interested in various STEM fields ranging from earth science to biomedical research. I want to use the analytical skills I have gained while studying STEM to pursue a career in bioinformatics or medicine. In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis, running and dancing.