Salk Institute


Chalasani Lab

Sreekanth Chalasani Associate Professor schalasani[at]salk.eduI obtained my B.S. from Osmania University and an advanced diploma in Computer Science. I then did research at the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore before coming to the US in 1997. I obtained my PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and did post-docs at University of California San Francisco and The Rockefeller University. I started my lab in 2010 where I am lucky to have an amazing group of scientists working with me.

I love cereal, honey and soccer!!

Zack Cecere Graduate Student ztcecere[at] Zack Cecere received his BA in Computer Science from Colby College, where he researched properties of oscillatory networks. He hopes to bring this experience to C. elegans, focusing on the worm’s interneuron network and the predictive signals used to model its environment.

Sandeep Kumar Research Assistant II sankumar[at]salk.eduI majored in Physics from University of Hyderabad. To pursue an interdisciplinary research, I joined the M. Eng. program in the Meinig School of​ Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University, where, I worked in the lab of Prof. Joseph Fetcho. In Shrek's lab, I am studying the behavioral changes induced by different environments in zebrafish larvae.

Amy Pribadi Graduate Student apribadi[at]salk.eduAmy received a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. There, she worked in Dr. Daniela Zarnescu’s lab studying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using fruit flies as a model. She is now a PhD student in the UCSD Biological Sciences program and hopes to discover underlying mechanisms of C. elegans behavior while at the Chalasani lab". In her free time, she enjoys creating art, baking pies, and practicing Chinese martial arts.​

Kathleen Quach Graduate Student kquach[at]salk.eduKathleen is a graduate in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at UCSD. She received a B.S. in Neuroscience from UCLA where she studied emotional face processing in children with autism. Since then, she has left the realm of human translational research to conduct basic research in worms. She is currently exploring the genetic, circuit, and molecular mechanisms underlying biting behavior in the predatory nematode Pristionchus pacificus nematodes.

Kathleen's hobbies include drawing, video games, science fiction, war history, and playing with her dogs.

Lauren E. Shipp Research Associate[at]salk.eduLauren is broadly interested in how organisms sense and respond to a wide array of environmental challenges, from chemical pollution to food deprivation. She ultimately aims to study this from a cell biological, behavioral, and developmental perspective.

Lauren earned her B.A. in Integrative Biology from University of California, Berkeley, while competing as a scholarship gymnast. She joined the lab of Sheila Patek to study bioacoustics and behavior in California spiny lobsters, then upon graduating she remained at UC Berkeley to study steroid hormone-regulated transcription and physiology with Jen-Chywan (Wally) Wang. Her interest in embryo-environment interactions drew her to the lab of Amro Hamdoun at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There she completed her M.S. in Oceanography and Ph.D. in Marine Biology, studying the role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in embryonic protection and cell signaling. In the Chalasani Lab, Lauren’s work will draw from her integrative background as she studies the effects of environmental changes on the cellular basis of behavior.

Lourdes Tames Research Assistant I ltames[at]salk.eduLourdes received her B.S. in Biology from Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley. While completing her undergraduate degree, she focused primarily on cell development as well as transgene construction using plant models. After graduating, she continued to work with plants creating transgenic lines to map hormone-signaling pathways. She is excited to dive into the realm of neurobiology and apply molecular techniques to new model organisms.

Lourdes is a San Diego area native having grown up across the border in Tijuana, BC Mexico. She likes hiking, running, reading and going to the beach. She considers herself a foodie and loves a good dessert.

Chen-min Yeh Research Associate cyeh[at] Chen-Min obtained her Masters Degree from Dr. Shyh-Jye Lee's laboratory at National Taiwan University. She then went to Germany to receive her Ph.D. from Dr. Soojin Ryu's lab at Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg.

I have been working with zebrafish for a long time and am fascinated by the knowledge one could gain through studying zebrafish development. During my Ph.D., I explored how environmental challenges can affect the hypothalamus and stress-coping system in larval zebrafish and developed several tools for the field. Now, I am working with Dr. Chalasani to understand how zebrafish larvae modulate their behaviors in a changing environment. It is exciting to reveal key features in neural circuits facilitating animals to perform adaptive behaviors.

I enjoy sunshine, the beach and great science!!

Vivian Ko Research Assistant vko[at] Vivian will be graduating this Fall 2016 from UCSD with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology along with a minor in psychology. Her previous undergraduate research work was conducted in Dr. Xin Jin's lab at the Salk Institute, where she studied basal ganglia circuitry in dorsal striatum within mice models. She is very excited to work on the sonogenetics project in Shrek's lab!

As a Bay Area native, she is an ardent fan of the Giants and Warriors, and enjoys reading, playing piano, cooking, and exploring in her spare time. Most importantly, her passionate fandoms include The Office, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones.

Laboratory Alumni

Eunice Lau - Graduate Student
Laura Hale - Research Associate
Shw Lew - Workstudy Student
Kevin Curran - Postdoctoral Fellow
Jennifer Parker - Research Asst. II
Adam Calhoun - Graduate Student
Marc Bielas - Summer Intern
Darrah Crosbie - Summer Intern
Kirra Dickinson - Summer Student
Eudoria Lee - Volunteer
Ailish McLaughlin - Summer Intern
Chelsea Ruller - Research Asst. II
Elizabeth DePasquale - Research Associate
Stuart Ibsen - Staff Researcher
Sarah Leinwand - Graduate Student
Diana Levario - Research Administrative Assistant II
Ada Tong - Research Assistant II Mark Saddler - Intern
Claire Yang - Volunteer
Natalia Slepak - Rotation Student
Catie Profaci - Rotation Student
Lindsey Salay - Rotation Student