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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Research Assistant I
Zion graduated from UCSD in 2022 and is currently a research assistant. He conducts resident-intruder experiments to explore the role of various circuits in the aggressive behaviors of mice. His hobbies include playing video games, exercising and cooking A LOT of food.
Megan earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech University in 2019. She worked as a NIH Post-baccalaureate IRTA at the National Institute on Drug Abuse under Dr. Yeka Aponte before moving to San Diego to join the Neuroscience Graduate Program at UCSD. As a PhD student, Megan is studying the role of the vagal neurocircuitry in mouse behavior. In her free time, Megan is probably cooking, crafting or gardening.
Irene is an undergraduate at UCSD doubling in Neurobiology and Math-CS. In the Shrek lab, Irene is studying the foraging strategy of C. elegans in a patched environment. Outside of the lab, Irene enjoys playing the cello, reading, cooking, and visiting zoos and museums.
I am currently a 3rd year at UCSD majoring in Human Biology. I am exploring the neuronal differences between healthy and diseased-state worms by analyzing CEP, ADE, and PDR neurons and assisting Mike with organization and sequencing of plasmids. I swim for UCSD’s collegiate team since freshman year. I love to read hike and to do puzzles in my free time.
I’m Josh, a second-year computer engineering major in Sixth College, UCSD. I am working with Megan using sonogenetics to study the role of vagal neurocircuity in behavior. Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing guitar and running around in Apex.