Ashish Bhandari, Ph.D. Student


​M.S., University of Houston, Houston, TX

B.S., Purbanchal University, SANN International College, Katmandu, Nepal


Matt Van Hook, Ph.D.​, Assistant Professor 
I joined the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and the Truhlsen Eye Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as an Assistant Professor in July 2016. My interests are in the physiology of retinal neurons and retinal circuitry in healthy and diseased retina.  As a postdoc with Dr. Wally Thoreson, I studied the cycle of vesicles at the ribbon synapse of rod and cone photoreceptors, asking how vesicular membrane is retrieved through endocytosis, how vesicles are loaded onto the ribbon, and how the synapse shapes the early stages of visual processing. I approach these research questions primarily with paired patch clamp recordings and capacitance measurements in a retinal slice preparation, and a variety of live imaging techniques using confocal microscopy in slices and with isolated photoreceptors. My PhD work, completed in 2011, was in the lab of Dr. David Berson at Brown University, where I focused on the interactions of melanopsin-expressing ganglion cell photoreceptors with dopaminergic amacrine cells. I primarily approached those questions using whole cell recordings of isolated ganglion cells, but also made single and paired whole cell recordings in a flat-mounted rat and mouse retinas. I also made use of molecular biological techniques including single-cell RT-PCR and anatomical techniques such as immunohistochemistry, intracellular dye filling, and dendritic reconstruction. 

Postdoc, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. 
Ph.D., Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, RI.

A.B., Biology, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. 

Jennie Smith, Technician


M.A. University of Nebraska - Omaha

B.A. Baylor University, Waco, TX


Yang Zhang, Lab volunteer
Medical Student, Creighton University


University of California, San Diego; La Jolla, CA

B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

B.S. in Management Science

Andrew Stothert, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate. 


Ph.D., Neuroscience. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. 

M.S., Medical Sciences. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. 

B.S., Biology. Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE. 

Van Hook Lab

Ana Nelson, Lab Volunteer


University of Nebraska, Omaha

B.S. in Neuroscience