case western reserve university

Brain Lab           



Joseph C. LaManna, Ph.D.

Dr. LaManna has been involved in cerebrovascular research for more than 30 years. He is a Professor in the Neurology, Physiology/Biophysics and Neuroscience departments.


E-mail Dr. LaManna:


Girriso Benderro

Born in Sidama, Ethiopia, Girriso graduated from Asmara University with a BS in Biology and from Addis Ababa University/Jimma with an MS in Anatomy, where he taught anatomy and physiology to medical/paramedical students for 9 years.  He is currently pursuing a PhD in Anatomy. His current research interests include hypoxic response in various organ tissues. In his free time, Girriso loves long journeys to historical places, alongside watching soccer and basketball.

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Sue Foss

Sue Foss has worked at CASE since 1988 and with Dr. LaManna since 1989, functioning as his personal secretary/assistant and also as Department Assistant for the Anatomy Department.  She is an enthusiastic employee who really enjoys her job. Sue was elected to the Staff Advisory Council in 1998 and served on the Staff Training and Development Committee for several years.  She is married, has three children, and one adorable granddaughter, Angelena, and a grandson on the way! In her spare time she enjoys babysitting, gardening, walking, and boating with her husband.

E-mail Sue: 

Obinna Ndubuizu

A native of the Washington, D.C. area and a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where he double majored (BS) in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology & Psychology.  He is currently a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) student with a thesis project involving the regulation of Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α (HIF-1α) and ischemic preconditioning in the aging rat brain.  Primary interests outside of the lab and school are football and basketball (playing and viewing).

E-mail Obinna:

Michelle Puchowicz

A native Clevelander, she graduated from CASE with three degrees: a BS in Biomedical Engineering, an MS in Nutrition, and a Ph.D. with Dr. Brunengraber in Nutrition. She has specialized in the field of whole body metabolism of ketone bodies and short chain fatty acids and her expertise includes the study of esters of synthetic nutrients and nutraceuticals. Click here to view her published articles and patents. She has joined Dr. LaManna's laboratory to investigate substrate metabolism in normal and diseased brain, focusing on seizure disorders and mathematical modeling of brain metabolism. Among her personal interests are equestrian sports, biking, enjoying nature, her family and her "Private Animal Farm".

Daisy Mae    Larry    Radon    Kitty

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Xiaoyan Sun

Xiayan was born in Dalian, China, living almost forty years in Qingdao, China. (Qingdao is famous for its beer) She graduated from Qingdao Medical University, afterwards she lived in Israel with her husband for five years, visited a few European countries and then embarked on her journey to the United States. She has been working as a Research Assistant ever since she settled in America. She loves to travel, cook eggplants, play tennis and volleyball, and debating with her 18-year daughter about her “unknown” future. All in all, she’s a lovely warm woman who loves her family very much, especially her one-year-old-daughter who grabs absolutely ANYTHING within her immediate reach without WARNING.

E-mail Xiaoyan:

Constantinos Tsipis

Constantinos is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with a BA in Chemistry who is currently a graduate student of the Department of Anatomy and a researcher in the lab. Constantinos' research focuses on aging and its cerebrovascular consequences. Specifically, the stress induced by hypoxia and/or cardiac arrest is  a major focal point of his research. Constantinos is an avid guitarist and has plans to pursue a career in health care.

E-mail Constantinos:

Kui Xu

Born in Beijing, China, she graduated from the West China University of Medical Sciences in 1993. She had been a general surgery resident for three years in the People's Hospital of the Beijing Medical University before coming to the USA in 1996. Looking to apply her surgical expertise in a research environment, she began work in the lab that same year studying the rat cardiac arrest model. She previously received a grant from The American Heart Association to investigate the effects of adenosine on the recovery of rat brain following cardiac arrest. Click here to view her publications. Her hobbies include traveling, soccer, tennis, and cooking the meanest fried rice this side of the Prime Meridian.

E-mail Kui: