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Marie Bechler, PI

Dr. Marie Bechler joined the Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University as an Assistant Professor in Dec. 2019.


Marie received her B.S. in Biochemistry in 2003 from The University of Wisconsin - Madison. As a graduate student she worked with Dr. William J. Brown, focusing on fundamental questions of cellular organization by examining mechanisms of intracellular trafficking. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology from Cornell University in 2011. Her interest in cellular shape and organization continued in her postdoc with Dr. Charles ffrench-Constant at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh. 


During her postdoc, Marie made the surprising discovery that oligodendrocytes only require physical cues to create myelin sheaths with equivalent architecture to myelin sheaths in vivo, challenging the predominant view that myelin sheath formation is solely initiated by biochemical cues. This established a role for oligodendrocytes in self-control of myelin sheath formation. The goal of her lab is to define the mechanosensitive and developmentally programmed signals that allow oligodendrocytes generate myelin sheaths reflecting their in vivo origin. The overarching aim is to gain insight into nervous system function and inform strategies to treat neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Out of the lab, Marie loves hiking & enjoying the outdoors, cooking, traveling, seeking out new food & drinks, and spending time with her partner & two little girls.

Marie Profile Shot

Current Members

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PhD Candidate
Cell & Dev. Biology Graduate Program

Amanda Young


Prior to joining the graduate program here at Upstate, Amanda earned her BS from SUNY Geneseo in 2019.  As part of the team, her interests are in the mechanisms that locally control CNS myelin sheath growth.

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Avipsha Datta


Prior to joining our research team, she completed her BS in Microbiology (Hons) from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, India and her MS in Biophysics and Molecular Biology from University of Calcutta,

India. She is interested in studying neurodevelopmental mechanisms and disorders. Here, she is focusing the cues to form myelin sheaths and to promote their elongation in response to axon diameter. Outside lab, you can find her either traveling, painting or cooking!


Martha Cash


Martha joined our team June 2023 - stay tuned for more details ahead!

Martha joined Upstate after receiving her BS from Utica University in 2022.

Past Members


Ana Candia Flores


Now: PhD program at
Stony Brook University


Emily VanDeValk


Undergraduate SURF Trainee

Now: Histotogy technician in a dermatology clinic

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Ryan Lewis

Research Assistant
2021 - 2023

Now: Medical Science Liaison with Emblation

Lab Photos

'fierce' lab mini-golf competition

food truck tasting night

cider, pumpkin funnel cakes, and corn mazes!

October is here... time to hit the pumpkin patch!

Cheers to qual exam success, Amanda!

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