Brain Board

Jeff Leake, Board President
John Harkness, Board Vice President

John Harkness is a cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer of Rewire Neuroscience LLC, a Portland-based startup dedicated to empowering the future of neuroscience through cloud-connected data acquisition and data sharing tools. Find out more at RewireNeuro.com.

John earned his bachelor degree from Western Washington University in 2009, where he studied Neuroscience with a minor focus in Chemistry. While at Western, John founded an undergraduate neuroscience club, called NeRDS (Neuroscience Research Driven Students), that continues to operate neuroscience outreach and journal club events in the Bellingham, WA area. In 2015, John was awarded his doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience with a focus in Neural Genetics from Oregon Health & Science University. There, he worked with Dr. Tamara Phillips and found that allelic variation in the trace amine-associated receptor 1 (Taar1) gene greatly predicts methamphetamine consumption and sensitivity to the aversive effect of methamphetamine in mice. In addition to his work at Rewire Neuroscience, John is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Dr. Barbara Sorg, at Washington State University, Vancouver. There he investigates the role of perineuronal nets, a form of extra cellular matrix, in rodent models of cocaine use. John’s research aims to diminish drug-associated memories, which likely contribute to relapse behavior, by disrupting specific populations of perineuronal nets using approaches that range from pharmacological to genetic.

John began working with NW Noggin in 2013 as a guest lecturer at Portland State University on current trends in neuroscience research. Since then, he has worked with NW Noggin’s summer outreach programs, and has presented at Velo Cult and for the Change Connect 4 Conference (a collaboration with Kindra Crick), Washington DC Congress and White House outreach events, and many other Noggin events.  He is honored to have served as Vice President of NW Noggin’s Brain Board since 2016.

LEARN MORE:  HARKNESS CV

Bill Griesar, Board Treasurer


Image by Peter Ellsworth

Bill Griesar is Senior Instructor in Psychology at Portland State University, Neuroscience Coordinator for NW Noggin, and Affiliate Graduate Faculty in Behavioral Neuroscience at OHSU.

Bill earned his bachelor of science from the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University, where he studied visual perception, and his doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University, where he explored the cognitive effects of nicotine in non-smokers. Along the way he’s worked in a public library in Dobbs Ferry, New York, a small grocery store in New Harbor, Maine, a college bar in Providence, Rhode Island, a publishing company in Manhattan, a research lab at Rockefeller University in New York City, as an English teacher in rural Japan, as the author of a guide for North American undergraduates seeking study opportunities in Ireland and the U.K., as a university study abroad advisor in Los Angeles and Portland, and as Coordinating Officer for the Waseda-Oregon Program, a consortium of collaborating universities in both Oregon and Japan.

Bill developed and has taught neuroscience courses at Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland Community College, Clark College, Washington State University in Vancouver and Lower Columbia College since 2001, and co-founded (with his PSU colleague Jeff Leake) the art + neuroscience outreach nonprofit nwnoggin.org. He’s been recognized as an innovator by the Obama White House, and has won numerous teaching awards.  Bill is a proud dad of two teenage sons.

LEARN MORE:  GRIESAR_CV_SUMMER_17

Kindra Crick, Board Secretary

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