CURRENT LAB MEMBERS
DAYNA LOYD AVERITT, MSCI, PH.D.
Dr. Averitt received her bachelors in Biological Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. She completed her doctorate in Neuroscience from Georgia State University in 2009 under the mentorship of Anne Z. Murphy, Ph.D. studying sex differences in opioid analgesia. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Ken Hargreaves, DDS, Ph.D. studying peripheral pain mechanisms underlying craniofacial pain. Dr. Averitt worked as a Principle Investigator for the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research studying burn pain before joining the faculty at Texas Woman's University in 2014. Dr. Averitt is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Texas Woman's University where she is leading a research team of undergraduate and graduate students in neuroscience research.
DAISY CANTU, M.S.
I graduated from Martin High School in Laredo, Texas, in 2014. Then, I attended Texas Woman's University (TWU) in 2014, where I obtained my B.S. in biology in 2018. I also received a master's degree in biology at TWU during the summer of 2020. I am now working on my doctorate degree, which I am expecting to complete by 2023. My current research focuses on identifying craniofacial and cortical brain pathways in males and females. I also aim to determine whether hormones and psychological stress alter these neural processes differently in males vs. female rats. This research is significant because most current studies in pain and stress are exclusively conducted on male rats. However, understanding female neural circuitry activity is vital for developing sex-specific therapeutic strategies to treat women's pain.
TAYLOR HICKMAN, M.S.
Hi! I’m Taylor Hickman, a native Texan, but spent some time in Oklahoma. I received a Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Exercise and Sport Science in 2013. After several years out of school I realized I wasn’t done with my education, and I enrolled at Texas Woman’s University where I earned a Master’s degree in Biology in 2020. I am currently a doctoral candidate in Dr. Averitt’s lab investigating how the interaction between the immune and nervous systems can cause a greater female prevalence in certain pain disorders.
TEMILOLUWA PEACE OLAOLUWA, M.S.
My name is Peace Olaoluwa. In 2017, I graduated with my BSc in Physical and Biological Sciences from Cottey College, in Nevada, MO. I worked in the food and medical industry as a part of the Quality Department for 3 years before joining Texas Woman’s University’s Molecular Biology PhD program. I am currently a graduate student in the Averitt lab working on developing the phytochemicals in the native Texas plant Euphorbia bicolor as a non-opioid therapeutic for burn pain.
Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology Bachelors Students
Daniela Leyva Zaldivar
Annette Gigi Scaria
SUKHBIR KAUR, PH.D.
Field Application Scientist
Advanced Cell Diagnostics
REBECCA HORNUNG, PH.D.
University of Utah School of Medicine
PARAMITA BASU, PH.D.
Research Assistant Professor
University of Pittsburgh Department of Anesthesiology
Recent Lab Alum
Emily Keene, Kyla Podge, Sonia Adhikari, Laura Lugo, Lauren Lockhart, Michael Paul Hunter, Angela Lopez-Ramirez, Anusha Adhikari, Natalia Santos, Erica Rodriguez, Emily Simmons, Estefany Montelongo, Hanna McDonald, Taylor Harris, Sushmitha Ananth, Sirima Tongkhuya, Cierra Lopez, Rowda Besher, Will Benton
Off to change the world
Alexis Barton, Hansa Boddu, Tia Tewari