Chalasani Lab
People
shrek-chalasani-767

Sreekanth Chalasani

Associate Professor

I 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!!
Kirthi-Reddy

Kirthi Reddy

Research Scientist

Kirthi received her BS at Brown University, and her PhD in Developmental Biology at Stanford University. She did postdoctoral work at MIT in the lab of Dennis Kim, studying interactions between C. elegans and microbes, and then worked as a Project Scientist in the lab of Emily Troemel at UCSD investigating the regulation of a transcriptional response to intracellular infection. As a research scientist in the Chalasani lab she is studying C. elegans homologs of human autism-associated genes. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her kids, eating dessert, and doing complicated word puzzles.
Eric-Edsinger

Eric Edsinger

Research Scientist

I was an undergraduate at University of Washington, a graduate student at University of Utrecht (Netherlands), and have held postdoc and research scientist positions at the University of California Berkeley, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (Japan), University of Chicago Marine Biological Laboratory, and Salk Institute. I work with diverse organisms to discover and engineer ultrasound-sensitive ion channels and advance sonogenetic technology. Outside the lab, I am typically on 2-wheels – bicycle (Salkie) or motorcycle (Puffy)! Pictured here in childhood photo with pet duck, Cheap Cheap
Molly-Matty-767

Molly Matty

Postdoctoral Fellow

Molly received her BS in Chemistry at N.C. State University and her PhD in Genetics and Genomics from Duke University, where she worked in David Tobin’s lab, using zebrafish to model mycobacterial infection. Although she loved working with zebrafish, she has always been intrigued by the robust simplicity of the nematode, C. elegans. In the Chalasani lab, she is interested in how environmental microbes can elicit changes in behavior and neuronal signaling within these animals. She is also involved in informal science education and outreach (with groups like League of Extraordinary Scientists and Salk’s Education Outreach), seeking to increase scientific literacy and engagement with STEM in her community. In her free time, she enjoys running long distances, eating ice cream from every small-batch creamery, and saying ‘hello’ to every dog she sees.
kathleen-quach

Kathleen Quach

Postdoctoral Fellow

I received a B.S. in Neuroscience from UCLA. I completed my Ph.D. in Neurosciences at UCSD, with a specialization in computational neuroscience. I study the foraging strategies used in interactions between a predatory nematode (Pristionchus pacificus) and a prey nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans) that both compete for the same food (bacteria). I explore how P. pacificus chooses between aggression and predation, as well as how predator imminence influences how C. elegans interacts with bacteria. I like history, hard sci-fi, species diversity, permaculture, and manufacturing processes.
michael-rieger

Michael Rieger

Postdoctoral Fellow

Mike received his BS at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his PhD at Washington University in St. Louis in Molecular Cell Biology in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Dougherty. He is interested broadly in the molecular mechanisms underlying variability phenotypes at the cellular and organismal level: What makes two cells of the same class respond differently to a stimulus? What makes two animals of the same genetic background behave differently in response to their environment? He plans to explore these questions in C. elegans. Outside of science, he enjoys traveling, aerial acrobatics, variety theater, fun photoshoots, film festivals, record collecting, old pieces of technological equipment, baking bread, and comparative linguistics. Google Scholar Citations?.
Wen-Mai-Wong

Wen Mai Wong

Postdoctoral Fellow

Wen Mai received her B.S. in biology from St. Mary’s University and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center under Dr. Julian P. Meeks. She is currently working on developing sonogenetics, a tool which uses ultrasound for non-invasive manipulation of cells and neurons. In particular, she is working on understanding the mechanism of ultrasound stimulation and discovering novel ultrasound-sensitive channels. During her free time, Wen Mai can be found doing a variety of activities including rock climbing, drawing and playing video games.
Callum-Walsh

Callum Walsh

Postdoctoral Fellow

For my undergraduate degree I undertook an integrated Masters in Pharmacology at the University of Bristol, during which I spent a year in Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, investigating electrophysiological biomarkers of tau pathology in a novel mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease. I did my PhD in Neuroscience in the lab of Jon Brown at the University of Exeter, where we discovered a number of novel functional correlates of contextual memory in the mouse retrosplenial cortex. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Chalasani Lab, I will be working on developing sonogentics as a tool for non-invasive neuromodulation using ultrasound (US). Specifically I will be using electrophysiology to characterise neuronal responses to US stimulation and develop novel US-sensitive channels and US stimulation protocols both in vitro and in vivo, in awake behaving mice. In my free time I enjoy cooking and playing video games, as well as tinkering on different projects such as 3D printing and coding. I love to travel and I am looking forward to exploring the United States during my time at the Salk Institute.
Anupama-Singh

Anupama Singh

Research Associate

Anupama received her M.Sc. Degree from School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She obtained her PhD from National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi, India. In the Chalasani lab she is working on the different aspects of inter-tissue communications in regulating the animal behavior, health and aging in C. elegans. Outside of the lab Anupama enjoys hikes, beach walks, reading and gazing at the moon!! She is a big foodie who enjoys experimenting with cuisines.
jessica-haley

Jessica Haley

Graduate Student

Jess received a M.S./B.S. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University where she studied the interaction of speech comprehension and balance in older adults in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory. She then worked as a research technician in Dr. Eve Marder’s lab studying basic mechanisms of circuit robustness and variability in the nervous system of the crab, Cancer borealis. Jess is currently a Ph.D. student in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at UCSD. She is studying the computations underlying sensory-evoked behaviors in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. Jess spends her time outside of the lab advocating for science as the Co-President of Science Policy, Advocacy, and Communication (SciPAC) at UCSD. Her hobbies include cycling, rock climbing, baking, and tinkering.
Amy-Pribadi

Amy Pribadi

Graduate Student

I am a PhD candidate in the UCSD Biological Sciences department, with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. I study behavior in prey when confronted with a predator, using C. elegans as a model prey and nematodes such as Pristionchus pacificus and P. uniformis as model predators. I like to pick up new hobbies every year, with the newest being knitting and fencing.
uri-magaram

Uri Magaram

Graduate Student

Uri is a graduate student (’14) in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at UCSD. Before UCSD he was in the Integrated Science Program at Northwestern University, where he also worked in the labs of Indira Raman and David McLean. In the Chalasani lab, Uri is studying the effects of ultrasound on neurons. In his free time, Uri enjoys writing and playing music, slacklining, and beating his friends at Settlers of Catan.
Ahana-Chakraborty

Ahana Chakraborty

Research Assistant I

A San Diego native, I graduated from UC San Diego as an undergraduate, where I majored in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and minored in Marine Sciences. Shifting my field of interest, I currently study the genetic background of Autism Spectrum Disorders from a neurological perspective using the simple model organism, C. elegans. I also work with the sonogenetics team to help discover and develop tools for manipulating cells using ultrasound. In my free time, I love creating art (you can follow me on Instagram @justdiya1336), baking, cooking, and watching horror movies with Kaila (alumni) and Jan. San Diego also gives us beautiful weather year round, so I love going to the beach!
Janki-Patel

Janki Patel

Research Assistant I

Janki received her BS in Physiology and Neuroscience at UC San Diego where she worked with Dr. Matt Banghart to characterize how pain is modulated by the brain. In the Shrek lab, Janki is part of the Sono team and is using ultrasound to develop a neuromodulation tool to control neural activity and to study the therapeutic use of ultrasound for diabetes. Outside of the lab, Janki loves to bake, cook and rock climb. Pictured here with Jess’s wonderful cat, Hazelnut
Gillian Hughes

Gillian Hughes

Research Assistant I

Gillian received her B.A. in English from UC Los Angeles, and then made a career change by returning to school to pursue her passion in the sciences. She soon worked in the Nizet lab at UC San Diego studying host-pathogen interactions with T. vaginalis. Currently she works in the Chalasani lab with C. elegans and Pristionchus, studying predator-prey behavior. In her spare time, she likes cooking, yoga, gardening, and hiking.
Jan-Hsiao

Jan Hsiao

Undergraduate Student

Jan is an undergraduate Bioinformatics major at UC San Diego with an interest in applying bioinformatics methods to further neuroscience research at the bench. Since late 2020, she has been building a phylogenomic pipeline (GIGANTIC) to identify distant mechanosensitive ion channel homologs and to characterize gene and species evolution. Since summer of 2021, she has been working on identifying ultrasound-sensitive ion channels in single-cell bioluminescent dinoflagellate algae for sonogenetics candidates. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching horror movies, and finding new hobbies.
Nadia-Haghani

Nadia Haghani

Undergraduate Student

Nadia is finishing her B.S. in General Biology at UC San Diego. She is fascinated by host-microbe interactions and the microbial shaping of host physiology and behavior from an evolutionary perspective. She currently works on a project seeking to identify, characterize, and define a role for a skin microbiome on C. elegans. In Nadia’s free time, she enjoys playing soccer, listening to jazz, and going to the Safari Park with Molly!

Laboratory Alumni

Yusuf Tufail

Research Collaborator

Ilir Dubova

Research Collaborator

Corinne Lee-Kubli

Research Associate

Stuart Ibsen

Postdoctoral Trainee

Lauren E. Shipp

Research Associate

Chen-min Yeh

Research Associate

Kevin Curran

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sarah Leinwand

Graduate Student

Adam Calhoun

Graduate Student

Eunice Lau

Graduate Student

Javier How

Graduate Student

Zack Cecere

Graduate Student

Kaila Rosales

Research Assistant

Marc Duque

Research Assistant I

Jose Mendoza Lopez

Research Collaborator

Vivian Ko

Graduate Student

Rani Shiao

Graduate Student
Rockefeller University

Connor Weiss

Research Assistant I

Sandeep Kumar

Research Assistant II

Ada Tong

Research Assistant

Zheng Liu

Research Assistant

Chelsea Ruler

Research Assistant

Karina Kono

Research Assistant II

Lou Tames

Research Assistant

Alexus Grey

Summer Intern

Eitan Acks

Summer Intern

Nyah Brooks

Summer Intern

Carl Ash

Summer Intern

Laura Hale

Postdoctoral Trainee

Kirra Dickinson

Summer Student

Elizabeth DePasquale

Research Associate

Darrah Crosbie

Summer Intern

Marc Bielas

Summer Intern