People
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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 PhDfrom the University of Pennsylvania and did post-docs at University of California San Franciscoand 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!!
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Zack Cecere

Graduate Student

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.
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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.
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Karina Kono

Research Assistant II

Karina Kono completed her BS and MS from UCSD through which she learned how tubulin gene interactions contribute to synapse formation in C. elegans. She loves travel and wants to see all the snowy, rainy, cold corners of the world. She bides her time between adventures with movie marathons, video games, and true crime books.
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Corinne Lee-Kubli

Research Associate

Corinne obtained a B.S. in Neuroscience from UCLA before obtaining her PhD from the Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. Her dissertation research under the mentorship of Dr. Nigel Calcutt evaluated the contribution of spinal disinhibition to painful diabetic neuropathy. She then completed a post-doc in the lab of Dr. Mark Tuszynski at UCSD, where she studied the mechanisms contributing to neuropathic pain in models of severe spinal cord injury. As a post-doc in Dr. Chalasani’s lab, she aims to translate the use of sonogenetics into vertebrate models with the goal of harnessing the advantages of mouse genetics and noninvasive neuronal activation with ultrasound to better interrogate neural circuitry that cannot be readily activated by more traditional means. When she isn’t hiding out in her behavior cave, Corinne spends her time chasing a rambunctious toddler, completing home improvement projects and enjoying beautiful outdoor adventures.
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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.
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Jose Mendoza Lopez

Research Assistant I

I was introduced to research in the Scanziani lab where I briefly helped a postdoc with her mouse behavior experiments before they left for UCSF.  Then I became interested in molecular/cell biology, so I joined the OD lab where I worked under Pablo who was studying the proteins that regulate mitotic entry.  For my undergrad senior thesis I went back to my mouse behavior roots and investigated the role of endogenous opioids in learning and motivation in Matt’s lab. I feel very lucky to be a part of the SONO team and I’m very eager to develop this potentially life-changing tool!
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Amy Pribadi

Graduate Student

Amy 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.?
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Kathleen Quach

Graduate Student

Kathleen 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.
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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?.
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Rani Shiao

Research Assistant I

Rani received her BS in Molecular Biology from the University of California, San Diego. As an undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Mark Tuszynski’s lab assessing neuropathic pain outcomes after spinal cord injury. Rani currently works as a research assistant on the sonogenetics project in Dr. Chalasani’s lab, where she hopes to ultrasonically activate cellular subtypes by relying on ultrasound’s ability to non-invasively penetrate bone and tissue, causing focused mechanical deflection without tissue damage. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, collecting succulents, and trying to play with her pet gecko.
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Anupama Singh

Research Associate

Anupama received her M.Sc. Degree from School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She continued her graduate studies from India at National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, in Molecular Aging. During her doctoral studies she explored the factors downstream of nutrient sensing pathways underlying health and aging in C. elegans. In the Chalasani lab she is working on the different aspects of inter-tissue signalling in regulating the animal behaviour, health and aging in C. elegans in collaboration with Dr. Malene Hansen at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. 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.
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Yusuf Tufail

Research Scientist

Yusuf received his PhD from ASU in 2011 where he studied the neuromodulatory effects of ultrasound on the central nervous system. From there, he moved for a postdoc at the Salk studying glial mediated mechanisms of neuroinflammation. This path opened an opportunity in industry where he was working on novel therapies for orphan diseases of the central nervous system. With another exciting opportunity to return to work on ultrasonic neuromodulation, Yusuf has joined the Sonogenetic team of the Chalasani lab in search for mechanistic explanations into the mechanobiology of ultrasound. When Yusuf is not in the lab, he thoroughly enjoys flying FPV planes, re-building classic cars and hanging out in the San Diego sun.
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Connor Weiss

Research Assistant I

Connor received his BS in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California San Diego in 2018. During his undergraduate education, he worked in Matthew Banghart’s lab on identifying circuit elements of the descending pain pathway in mice. In the Chalasani Lab, Connor is excited to contribute to the sonogentics project. In his spare time he enjoys writing dungeons and dragons campaigns for his friends, playing board games, cooking, and occasionally making and designing jewelry. ?
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Chen-min Yeh

Research Associate

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!!

Laboratory Alumni

Ilir Dubova

Research Collaborator

Vivian Ko

Graduate Student

Sandeep Kumar

Research Assistant II

Lauren E. Shipp

Research Associate

Kirra Dickinson

Summer Student

Elizabeth DePasquale

Research Associate

Kevin Curran

Postdoctoral Fellow

Darrah Crosbie

Summer Intern

Adam Calhoun

Graduate Student

Marc Bielas

Summer Intern