The Team

Silvio Macias, Ph. D.

Principal Investigator

Silvio graduated from the University of Havana with a B. Sc. in Biology. He then earned his Ph. D. in Biology in the lab of Emanuel C. Mora at the same institution.  After a Humboldt Foundation Fellowship in the lab of Manfred Koessl at the Goethe University Frankfurt, he pursued postdoctoral training in the labs of Cindy Moss, at Johns Hopkins University, and Michael Smotherman, at Texas A&M University. He recently joined Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor in the School of Neuroscience.


Jules (Alex) Faunce, Ph. D.

Postdoctoral Fellow  

Alex is from the Atlanta area and has gradually moved north throughout their education, getting undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology at the University of Georgia, a Masters degree in psychology at Wake Forest University, and finishing their graduate education at Virginia Tech with a doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience and Biopsychology and a Masters in Data Analysis and Applied Statistics. Alex's current research interests are the effects of rhythmic stimuli and neuromodulation on cognition, and computational methods of electrophysiology.


Viviana Hernandez-Castañon, Ph. D.

Postdoctoral Fellow  

Viviana obtained her master degree in Computer Science at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Mexico, then got her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Lorraine in France. Her research interests focus on developing methods and algorithms for understanding the connections involved in cognitive brain functions from electrophysiology.


Aidan Fishenden 

Laboratory technician

Aidan is a Clinical Neuroscience and Psychology double major from Ashburn Virginia and just completed graduated in spring of 2024. In addition, he is a fourth-year member of the Marching Virginians, where he plays the clarinet. 

Janae Robinson

Undergraduate Researcher

Janae is a 3rd-year Clinical Neuroscience and Biological Sciences double major set to graduate in Fall 2025. Her research interests involve understanding the neural networks and functions behind animal behavior and neurological traits. Outside of the lab, Janae is the President of the Chinese American Society at VT and highly enjoys going for walks, drawing, and watching films.