The Team

Co-Directors and Laboratory Members

Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory

Robert F. Heary, MD Professor and Co-Director, Reynolds Family Spine LaboratoryRobert F. Heary, M.D.

Co-Director, Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory, Director, Spine Center of New Jersey, Professor

Dr. Robert Heary is the Director of the Spine Center of New Jersey and one of the premier physicians in comprehensive spine care providing a full range of conservative and surgical interventions for a wide range of spinal disorders. Dr. Heary earned his medical degree from the University of…Read More

Stella Elkabes, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory, Associate Professor

Dr. Elkabes graduated from Bogazici (Bosphorous) University in Istanbul, Turkey with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Neuroendocrinology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel where she was awarded the Feinberg Graduate School…Read More

Li Ni, M.D.

Research Teaching Specialist

Dr. Li Ni is a Research Teaching Specialist in the Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory, Department of Neurological Surgery at New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Ni graduated from Beijing Medical University, Beijing, China; and has 5 years of teaching experience in human anatomy and neuroanatomy prior to…Read More

Cigdem Acioglu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Cigdem Acioglu, Ph.D. studied Medical Genetics and Molecular Biology at the Institute of Health Sciences, Kocaeli University, Turkey. She joined the Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory in 2013 as a visiting researcher. She performed her doctoral research with Dr. Stella Elkabes and Dr…Read More

Veronika Khariv, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Veronika Khariv, Ph.D. completed her doctoral degree in the Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers University, in the Cell Biology, Neuroscience, and Physiology track. Her dissertation research was performed with Drs. Stella Elkabes and Robert F.Heary on plasma membrane calcium pump 2 (PMCA2) …Read More

Alexandra Pallottie, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Graduate

Alexandra Pallottie defended her doctoral thesis in November of 2017 after completing her PhD studies in the Cell Biology, Neuroscience, & Physiology (CBNP) track of the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, with a concentration in Neuroscience. Alexandra graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lafayette College in May…Read More

Lun Li, M.D., M.S.

Predoctoral student

Lun Li, M.D., M.S. is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of NJ in the Cell Biology, Neuroscience, & Physiology track. He is performing his dissertation research with Drs. Stella Elkabes and Robert F. Heary. He investigates the inflammatory…Read More

Ersilia Mirabelli, M.S.

Pre-Doctoral Student

Ersilia Mirabelli, M.S. is a Ph.D. candidate in the in the Cell Biology, Neuroscience, and Physiology track of the Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Ersilia received her M.S. and Bachelor degrees, Summa Cum Laude, from University of Calabria…Read More

Lorelei Pratt, Ph.D.

Program Support Coordinator

As Program Support Coordinator for the Spine Center of New Jersey, Lorelei is responsible for the fiscal and administrative activities of the Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory. She oversees Dr. Heary’s clinical research trials, managing all enrollment, training and regulatory aspects of the studies…Read More

Yesenia Sanchez

Senior Clerk Office Assistant

Yesenia Sanchez is the Senior Clerk Office Assistant in the Reynolds Family Spine Laboratory. Her role is to provide general administrative and clerical support for the lab. She processes and follows up on all laboratory orders ensuring that supplies and services…Read More