Melissa is a part of the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) here at UAB. She joined the King lab for the year while also pursuing the other requirements of the program. She recently received her BS in Biology from Stillman College, which is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (which is NOT to be confused with Shelton State.)  She wants to pursue a graduate degree in biomedical science, and is using her time at the King lab to gain new lab skills and refine old ones. Melissa finds the brain incredibly interesting, especially in regards of learning and memory. Hopefully one day she will have her life together enough to know exactly where her interests lie, and the path she wants to take to get there.

When not in the lab, Melissa enjoys spending time with her son Adrian. So she is never able to accomplish anything useful at home, except perhaps learning new theme songs to torture her. In her “mommie free time” (if that exists) she enjoys listening to music, playing video games, sleeping, and above all else reading….preferably not journals. Also to be noted, she has a weird sense of humor and if you make her laugh hard enough you will be rewarded with a snort... snort induction may be a new lab hobby....
Nick Ciancio is a sophomore in the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is from Johnson City, Tennessee.

Nick claims to have two passions: neuroscience and the environment. Nick is an intern with the Sustainability department with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Upon joining the Intern Program his Freshman year, Nick was assigned with educating his fellow peers regarding sustainable efforts that took place on campus. Nick has founded the UAB Green Labs Program, a subsection of UAB Sustainability committed to reducing waste and energy consumption.

Nick has been incredibly passionate about neuroscience since he started high school, commonly calling V.S. Ramachandran one of his idols (yeah I know… we told him to leave that out of his bio, it killed our collective “street cred” and then he reminded us we have no collective street cred anyway). He is particularly interested in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s and the implications these disorders have on the behavior of the diagnosed person. Nick hopes to become a neurologist to help those who suffer from these forms of compromising disorders. He believes that to properly treat these patients, he must understand and have an appreciation for the research that leads to important developments. Nick was provided the opportunity to perform research in Dr. King’s Lab by the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program.

When Nick isn’t working or studying, you can find him hiking, whitewater rafting, or enjoying a cup of coffee at any of Birmingham’s coffee shops.
Kristin is a sophomore and is currently in the undergraduate Neuroscience Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kristin grew up in a small town outside of Birmingham, Alabama.

She moved to Okinawa, Japan for a few years after high school where she took some of her undergraduate classes with the University of Maryland Asia Division. She joined The National Society of Collegiate Scholars while attending the University of Maryland Asia Division. When she returned from Japan, she attended Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Alabama where she continued her undergraduate degree.

Kristin has a passion for helping others who suffer from different types of brain disabilities and diseases. She wants to be proactive in science and to help be the change that she wishes to see in the world. She refuses to be apathetic to the suffering of others around her. The undergraduate Neuroscience Program provided the incredible opportunity for her to do undergratuate research and take action. Kristin started assisting in research for Dr. King's lab since August 2016.

Kristin enjoys spending time outdoors and playing sports. She also likes doing yoga, reading, and listening to music.
Kayla was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan. She received her BS in Biology at Howard University in May 2015, and joined the UAB Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) cohort in June. She is excited to be working in the King lab for the next year! Outside of the lab, Kayla enjoys trying out new recipes and watching movies.