Lab Members


Ephraim F. Trakhtenberg, M.S., Ph.D., is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Neuroscience. He received an M.S. in biological sciences from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and did a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital.

During his doctoral and post-doctoral work under the mentorship of Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D.,Ph.D., and Larry Benowitz, Ph.D., Dr. Trakhtenberg has discovered (1) how Set-β and PP2A proteins regulate axon growth and regeneration, (2) the role of Serotonin Receptor 2C in neurite growth and modulating retinal processing of visual information, and (3) that inhibition of the transcription factor Klf9 acts synergistically with zinc chelation in stimulating axon regeneration. In addition, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School Research Computing Team he developed a bioinformatic approach for studying global properties of the transcriptome. This work led to the discovery (4) how global parameters of the transcriptome, such as the proportion of highly expressed genes, differ between various cell types.

After establishing his lab at the UConn Health, Dr. Trakhtenberg has discovered (5) that the extent of non-atrophic extra-axonal tissue damage determines the success of experimental axon regeneration stimulated by targeting neuronal intrinsic mechanisms, and identified some of the associated molecular mechanisms. He also (6) classified retinal ganglion cells into subtypes using single cell transcriptomics, made several discoveries related to cellular subtypes biology, and provided scientific community with RGC Subtypes Gene Browser for studying gene networks and pathways in RGC subtypes.

Dr. Trakhtenberg's discoveries have been published in high quality peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Developmental Neurobiology, Scientific Reports, Experimental Neurology, and Nature Communications. He is a reviewer for a number of international journals such as Neuropharmacology, PlosOne, IOVS, JNR, Scientific Reports, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Nature Communications, and Nature Medicine, and also served on grant review study sections for the NIH Special Emphasis Panel, DoD Vision Research, and NASA Space Biology programs. Dr. Trakhtenberg's research accomplishments have been recognized through pre- and post-doctoral fellowship awards, junior investigators and travel awards, Lois Pope Best Research Award, and other research awards. In 2017 Dr. Trakhtenberg was selected by the New York Academy of Sciences and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development to participate at the Interstellar Initiative for “the world's most promising Early Career Investigators”, where along with a collaborator, Dr. Kumiko Hayashi, they won 1st Place Award for a research solution proposal in the field of neuroscience. He also was awarded research grants by the BrightFocus Foundation, the Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBaCS), the Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health (PITCH), the National Institutes of Health (NIH-NEI), and other agencies.

Link to the Neuroscience Graduate Program faculty profile


Dr. Ephraim Trakhtenberg
Neuroregeneration Lab
Department of Neuroscience
UConn Health, School of Medicine
263 Farmington Ave., Room L4005
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: 860-679-7819



Weekly lab meetings are on Fridays, starting at 3:00 pm, in the conference room L4009.


LAB, JUNE 2019

Right to left: Jian Xing, Bruce Rheaume, Alexela Hoyt, Dr. Ephraim Trakhtenberg (Principal Investigator), Kathleen Renna, Emmalyn Lecky, and Juhwan Kim from the Neuroregeneration Laboratory at UConn Health (photo by Tina Encarnacion).




Agnieszka Lukomska, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Bruce Rheaume, B.S.

M.D./Ph.D. Graduate student

Jian Xing, B.S.

Ph.D. Graduate student

Ashiti Damania

Undergraduate Student (SURF Award)

Mahit Gupta

Undergraduate Student (SURF & IBaCS Awards)


Matthew Frost, B.S.

Ph.D. Graduate student

Graduate Student


William Theune, B.S.

Ph.D. Graduate student


Sarmad M. Sajid, M.D./M.S. (M.S. Thesis) - 2017-2018
Juhwan Kim, Ph.D. (Postdoc) - 2017-2019
Amyeo Jereen, B.S. (research assistant) - 2017
Madeleine Youngstrom, B.S. (rotation) - 2017
Milda Stanislauskas, B.S. (rotation) - 2017
Marc Benoit, B.S. (rotation) - 2018
Omobola Cole, B.S. (rotation) - 2019
Rachel Cohn, B.S. (rotation) - 2019
Jacky Yue Yang, B.S. (Undergraduate research, SURF Award) - 2017-2019
Kathleen Renna, B.S. (Honors Thesis, University Scholar Award) - 2017-2020
Alexela Hoyt, B.S. (Honors Thesis) - 2018-2020
Emmalyn Lecky, B.S. (Honors Thesis, University Scholar Award) - 2018-2020
Tyler Steidl, M.S. (M.S. Thesis) - 2020-2021