About Institute Team


Diane Lipscombe was appointed director of the Carney Institute for Brain Science in May 2016, after serving as interim director since January 2015. She has been on the Brown faculty since 1990, and formerly served as the co-director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. Her laboratory, the Lipscombe Lab, studies the expression, regulation, and function of voltage-gated calcium ion channels in different regions of the nervous system. She is also interested in their role in chronic pain and psychiatric disorders. As director of the Carney Institute, she guides the scientific vision of the Institute and advocates for the Institute and its researchers. Diane works with members of the Brown senior administration as well as leaders of other initiatives on campus. She also represents the Carney Institute nationally and internationally and raises private philanthropy to support Carney Institute activities.

R. John
Managing Director

John Davenport came to Brown in 2005 as associate director of the Brain Science Program, seeing the program through its evolution into an institute in 2009. He was appointed managing director in January 2017. John is responsible for supervising day-to-day operations of the Institute, fostering collaborative research and overseeing strategic planning and communications. He is responsible for overall management of Carney Institute pilot funding, graduate awards and other programs.

Associate Director

Christopher Moore was appointed associate director of the Carney Institute for Brain Science in May 2017. He was recruited to Brown in 2011 through an Institute faculty line. Chris has contributed to the Institute's mission from the beginning of his time at Brown, including facilitating the launch of the Computation in Brain and Mind Initiative, representing the Institute at University events and leading a number of collaborative projects. His appointment as associate director of the Carney Institute formalizes his role in the Institute.

Program Manager of the NeuroNex Bioluminescent Technology Hub

Justine joined the Carney Institute for Brain Science in the summer of 2017. To prepare for this role, she earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and completed postdoctoral research in ecology and evolutionary biology, both at Brown University. She also served as the training grant manager in Brown's Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Justine leads efforts to execute the innovation, dissemination and education goals of the NeuroNex cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. She provides scientific direction and maintenance of the hub's website and database, coordinates the activities of program workshops, symposia and emissaries, and develops curricula for education outreach activities at the elementary, high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels.

Communications and Outreach Manager

Sara Feijo joined the Carney Institute for Brain Science in October 2018. She conceives and implements strategic communications to support the Institute's goals and priorities. Sara is responsible for print and multimedia communications, including stewardship reports, web design and content management, and Carney's social media presence. Prior to joining the Carney Institute, Sara was a marketing and communications specialist at Northeastern University's School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She began her career as an award-winning newspaper reporter. She received a master's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.

Institute Manager

Kathy Gerlach has served as the Institute manager since 2010, after working as a financial coordinator in the Department of Neuroscience. Kathy is responsible for financial management of the Institute, including grant, gift and endowment management. She also manages Carney Institute staff and handles all HR issues. Kathy also provides logistical support to faculty teams for submission of multidepartmental and multidisciplinary grant proposal submissions.

Administrative Assistant

Deb came to the Institute in 2012 from the Department of Psychiatry. Deb handles scheduling and calendars for the Carney Institute leadership team, as well as scheduling for Institute events. She processes purchases and travel reimbursements. She also provides administrative support for a variety of Institute events and activities.

Tomas Pereira
Research Development and Support Specialist

Ines came to the Carney Institute in 2017, after completing a Ph.D. and postdoctoral training in neuroscience and psychology. She helps to assemble collaborative teams to pursue funding opportunities and provides project management support for funded projects. Ines tracks foundation and federal funding opportunities of interest to the Carney Institute community. She also manages Carney's internal funding opportunities. In addition, Ines gathers impact metrics of Carney faculty members and organizes the Bench to Bedside seminar series.

Research Development and Support Specialist

Kristin Webster joined the Carney Institute for Brain Science in October 2018, after completing postdoctoral training at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Kristin organizes events and coordinates public engagement initiatives for the Institute in addition to working as a scientist in the Lipscombe Lab. She holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brown University.