Kasie Mays

Kasie Mays

Graduate Student


Skirmantas Janusonis

Research Area

Neuroscience and Behavior


Kasie Mays received her B.S. in Psychology and Biology from the University of South Dakota. In 2017, she sharted her graduate studies in Neuroscience and Behavior here at UCSB under the supervision of Skirmantas Janusonis. Kasie now plays an active role on our campus serving on multiple committees including the department Graduate Executive Committee, Research Reopening Committee, Graduate Training Committee, and served as the Chair for 2020 MiniCon.


Our laboratory investigates axon systems that show strong stochastic (random walk-like) behavior in the three-dimensional brain space, with a special focus on the ascending reticular activating system. As part of this program, we study the fine structure of the brain serotonergic matrix and its interaction with other cellular elements, such as microglia and blood platelets. We are motivated by problems of fundamental neuroscience, but our research also has strong biomedical relevance: for example, nearly all mental disorders have been associated with dysfunction in serotonin signaling, and the platelet hyperserotonemia of autism remains an enigma after half a century of research. We use a wide range of approaches that include molecular neurobiology, comparative neuroanatomy (from sharks to rodents to humans), complex-systems methods, and computer simulations. Our group also collaborates with researchers in several engineering fields along with researchers in the mathematics of stochastic processes.

[Neuroanatomy, neural circuitry, and the serotonergic system]