Lab Members

Principal Investigator

  • Alan S. Lewis, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    (615) 875-4027
    Lab Phone
    (615) 875-4116
    Office Address
    Medical Research Building III
    465 21st Ave S.
    Room / Suite
    Lab Address
    Medical Research Building III
    Room / Suite

    I received a BA in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. From there I entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at Northwestern University. I completed my PhD in Neuroscience in the lab of Dr. Dane Chetkovich in 2010. My thesis work identified a mechanism for how hyperpolarization-activated channels in the hippocampus are trafficked to distal dendrites to influence neurophysiology, learning and memory, and emotional behavior. I completed my MD in 2012. I then entered residency training in psychiatry at Yale in the Neuroscience Research Training Program. Concurrent with clinical residency training I completed postdoctoral work in the lab of Dr. Marina Picciotto at Yale, examining how nicotinic receptors in the dentate gyrus and hippocampus influence aggression and social behavior, including in mice lacking the alpha-7 nicotinic receptor, which has been strongly implicated in schizophrenia and related conditions. I completed residency in 2016 and remained at Yale as a research fellow in Dr. Picciotto’s lab, funded by an Autism Speaks Postdoctoral fellowship, and then a K23 from NIMH. I moved to my current position at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In addition to basic research, I have conducted translational human laboratory studies, clinical trials, and analyses of clinical and genetic datasets. My overall career goal is to leverage basic science to guide interventions to improve neurocognition and social cognition in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism.

Postdoctoral associates

  • Alex Steiner, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral associate
    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Alex obtained a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 2021. He joined the Lewis Lab in July 2021. 

Research Assistants

  • James received a B.S. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2020. He joined the Lewis Lab as a research assistant in June 2020. 

  • Leann graduated from University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Animal Science in 2019. She joined the Lewis Lab as a research assistant in November 2020.


  • Sam is an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt (class of 2023) majoring in Neuroscience. 

Lab Alumni

  • Sarah was a research assistant from 2019-2020.