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Parastoo (Parry) Hashemi
Principle Investigator

Parry received her MSci degree in Chemistry from King's College, London. She performed her PhD with Martyn Boutelle in the Department of Bioengineering in Imperial College, London where she developed online biosensing technology to measure brain metabolites from human traumatic brain injury patients. After her PhD she skipped over the pond to Chapel Hill, NC in the States where she worked with Mark Wightman. Here she learned fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) at carbon-fiber microelectrodes (CFMs) and developed the first method to measure serotonin in vivo using FSCV. After almost 15 years in the States, Parry and her team are back at Imperial, tackling some of the world's most pertinent issues with analytical engineering and have a long list of accolades attesting to their success. Outside of her work and her family, Parry is a flautist and singer in the Gastric Band, a life-long yogi and passionate about increasing representation in STEM.

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Anna Marie Buchannan

Graduate Student

Anna Marie received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Auburn University. She is a member of the Integrated Biomedical Science program with a focus in neurochemistry, and joined the Hashemi Lab in the spring of 2017. She is interested in understanding copper’s role in the formation of the amyloid beta plaques commonly present in Alzheimer’s Disease, and thus merging both the metal analysis and neurochemical focuses of the Hashemi Lab. Anna Marie enjoys the finer things in life, including roaming the streets of Paris, surf and turf, and a crisp white wine. Outside of the lab, she likes to listen to music, Coldplay is her favorite, and watch lots of Netflix on the weekends!

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Colby Witt

Graduate Student

Colby attended Francis Marion University where he obtained a B.S. in chemistry and a B.S. in biology. He is currently a Ph.D. student in analytical chemistry. Colby is working on understanding the fine-tuning mechanism behind the release and reuptake of serotonin in the central nervous system. In his free time Colby enjoys learning how to cook in his crockpot, binging the latest Netflix hits, and traveling to new places.  


Brenna Parke

Graduate Student

Brenna attended the University of Iowa where she obtained  a BS in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She literally joined the lab like last week. Brenna is ecstatic to begin working on building a bridge to find a link between rodent models of depression to human models via cultured serotonin neurons from stem cells.In her free time she likes to attend cycle and barre classes via class pass(cough cough subtle plug endorsement), while also binging on Netflix and watching hawkeye football. She also likes eating really really good food with her friends. 

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Melissa Hexter

Graduate Student

Melissa received her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2017 and received her masters in biotechnology from the University of Maryland, global campus in 2019 while working for the Department of Defense as a method development chemist. Melissa joined the lab in fall 2019 for her PhD in bioengineering at Imperial College in London. Her research focus is the optimization of in vitro calibration for FSCV and the characterization of serotonin dynamics in hIPSCs via FSCV. Melissa spends most of her free time lifting heavy weights at the gym. 


Lauren Batey

Graduate Student

Lauren attended the University of South Carolina earning a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2019. She is currently a PhD student in Bioengineering in the Hashemi Lab at Imperial College in London  where she is developing new ways to study ambient histamine in the brain. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, painting, yoga, and above all else, cuddling with her beloved dog Wesley.


Sergio Mena

Graduate Student

Sergio received his bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Polytechnical University of Valencia, Spain. After that, he moved to the United Kingdom to gain his master's in bioengineering: medical physics from Imperial College London. He is currently a PhD student in bioengineering at the Hashemi lab, where he is working on developing new technology platforms for the study of serotonin’s role in mood disorders. In his spare time, Sergio enjoys hiking, travelling, coding random algorithms and play basketball. 


Ginger Hashemi

Hashemi Lab Consultant


Ginger (Gingy) Hashemi is a founding member of the lab, and provides boundless positive energy to lab members. Her primary role has been to elevate lab member's serotonin levels, which she does with resounding success, likely via an oxytocin mediated mechanism. Parry has had multiple offers/threats from others to buy/steal her. Nonetheless, Gingy's destiny is to serve the psychological health of the Hashemi lab and she can't imagine any higher calling. Ginger cannot catch a ball thrown slowly and deliberately to her, yet will catch a bread-crumb traveling at the speed of light. In her youth, Gingy loved to train for marathons with Parry, running for hours in the woods with her tail awaggin' and her tongue ahangin'; chasing smaller animals (much to her detriment when those animals happened to be skunks or porcupines). These days our old girl is content with just a short stroll, giving and getting lots of cuddles (Gingy is a great proponent of canine intervention therapy), followed by 16 hrs of sleep.