Gulistan Agirman

Ph.D., Neuroscience (2020), University of Geneva and University of Liege

Research Interest:

Gut-brain interaction in neurodevelopmental disorder.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Elaine Hsiao
Jae Bahn (Assistant Project Scientist)

Ph.D., Comparative Experimental Medicine (2010) - University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Research Interest:

RNA editing, splicing, and modifications

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xinshu (Grace) Xiao
Ricardo Aparicio Crespo

Ph.D., Molecular Biology (2012) - Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

Research Interest:

Understanding the role of autophagy/mitophagy in neurodegenerative diseases and aging

Faculty Mentor: Professor David Walker
Graciel Diamante

Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology (2017) - University of California, Riverside

Research Interest:

The complex interplay of metabolic disease and environmental factors.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xia Yang
Ping Fang

Ph.D., Neuroimmunology (2018) - Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Research Interest:

Interaction of gut immune system and neurodegenerative diseases

Faculty Mentor: Professor Elaine Hsiao
Giovanni Frighetto

Ph.D., Psychological Sciences (Neuroscience) (2020), University of Padova (Italy)

Research Interest:

Visual feature detection and visuomotor integration

Faculty Mentor: Professor Mark Frye
Daniel (Sung Min) Ha

Ph.D., Bioinformatics & Bacterial Genomics (2019), Seoul National University

Research Interest:

Host-microbiome interaction using multi-omics systems biology approach.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xia Yang
Benjamin Hardcastle

Ph.D., Bioengineering (2016) - Imperial College London

Research Interest:

Neurobiology of fly vision

Faculty Mentor: Professor Mark Frye
Leonila Lagunes

Ph.D., Biological Sciences (2020), University of California Irvine

Research Interest:

Computational approaches to understand cell signaling

Faculty Mentor: Professor Eric Deeds
Zhiheng Liu

Ph.D., Bioinformatics (2020), Peking University

Research Interest:

Bioinformatics, RNA biology, Sequencing technology

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xinshu (Grace) Xiao
Jonathan Lynch (Assistant Project Scientist)

Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology (2014) - Stanford University

Research Interest:

Gut microbiota, animal-bacteria symbiosis

Faculty Mentor: Professor Elaine Hsiao
Jackie McCourt

Ph.D., Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics (2017) - University of Minnesota

Research Interest:

My research focuses on characterizing cardiac fibrosis in Duchenne muscular dystrophy-associated cardiomyopathy. Fibrosis, or the excess deposition of extracellular matrix, prevents efficient cardiac contraction, diminishes regenerative capacity, and is a major barrier to therapy. The central hypothesis I am testing is that the structural, mechanical, and proteomic profiles of the cardiac ECM in the context of muscular dystrophy represent a distinct pathological microenvironment that is resistant to remodeling and negatively impacts cardiac cell function.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Rachelle Crosbie
India Nichols

Ph.D., Biological Sciences (2016) - Clark Atlanta University

Research Interest:

Almost everyone can relate to sleep disturbances at some point in their life, however women disproportionately report insomnia related disturbances. My overall research goals are to determine the biological mechanism of how stress regulates sleep and cognitive behavior in females. My career mission statement is to increase minority representation in biomedical science by educating undergraduate students in biological sciences while motivating and preparing them to be leaders in research, medicine, and education.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Ketema Paul
Sam Norris

Ph.D., Bioengineering (2019) - UCLA

Research Interest:

Cultured Meat, Tissue Engineering, and Polymer Chemistry

Faculty Mentor: Professor Amy Rowat
Ezgi Özcan

Ph.D., Food Science (2019), University of Massachusetts Amherst

Research Interest:

Interaction of food components with microbes in the gut and this interaction's effect on the brain function and neurodegenerative disease.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Elaine Hsiao
Joe Reynolds

Ph.D., Biology of Aging (2020), University of Southern California

Research Interest:

Skeletal Muscle Biology

Faculty Mentor: Professor Rachelle Crosbie
Edward Schmid

Ph.D., Immunobiology (2016) - Yale University

Research Interest:

Mitophagy and actin dynamics in healthspan and lifespan determination

Faculty Mentor: Professor David Walker
Pavan Thapak

Ph.D., Pharmacology and Toxicology (2019), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), S.A.S. Nagar, India

Research Interest:

To understand the cellular and molecular dynamics underlying neurodegenerative disorders associated with drug discovery.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla