People

Principal Investigator

Bio Profile

Sreeganga Chandra

Principal Investigator

Biography

Research Interests: My interests revolve around synaptic biology, neuronal cell biology and neurodegenerative disorders. I like genetic and proteomic approaches to investigate questions of interest.

Hometown: Bangalore, India

Hobbies: In my free time (ha! ha!), I like to catch art shows and try interesting restaurants, especially in NYC. I also like to swim.

Educational Background: I did all of my early education in India, and came to the US for graduate school.  I did my postdoctoral work in the...

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Postdocs and Research Assistants

Bio Profile

Karina Vargas

Postdoc

Biography

Research Interests: I am interested in the physiological function of a-synuclein in neurons, especially its putative function in synaptic vesicle recycling (SVR). A-synuclein is implicated in Parkinson's disease, and malfunction of this protein in the modulation of SVR could be key in the search for possible new treatments.

Hometown: Dalcahue, Chiloé, Chile

Hobbies: I enjoy sports in general, but especially swim and squash when I have some free time. I regularly practice yoga and tango. For fun,...

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Bio Profile

Yongquan Zhang

Associate Research Scientist

Biography

Research Interests: My research emphasizes the molecular mechanism of CSPalpha in synaptic maintenance and the molecular pathogenesis of CSPalpha mutants causing neurodegenerative disease.

Hometown: Jinxiang, Shandong, China

Hobbies: Playing basketball outdoor and indoors, singing songs in Chinese and English, and watching TV-shows from China and the US.

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Graduate Students

Bio Profile

Yumiko Taguchi

Graduate Student

Biography

Research Interests: My thesis work is focused on the relationship between Gaucher disease, a lysosomal storage disease, and Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. The two diseases share known genetic risk factors, but the molecular links between Gaucher and Parkinson's disease are still not well understood.

Hometown: Tempe, Arizona, USA

Hobbies: Outside of science, I enjoy hiking up East Rock, playing flute, and sampling the impressive New Haven cuisine. 

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Post-Baccalaureate Students

Bio Profile

Wilhemina Koomson

Post-Baccalaureate Student

Biography

Research Interests: My research is focused on defining the role of protein palmitoylation in neurons and developing methods to study palmitoylation. 

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Hobbies: I love dancing, watching movies, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

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Bio Profile

Gregory Wirak

Post-Baccalaureate Student

Biography

Research Interests: CSP(alpha), a presynaptic co-chaperone, is the only protein in which mutations have been observed to dominantly lead to Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, a neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease. My research focuses on the possible mechanisms by which these mutations lead to the neurodegenerative phenotype.

Hometown: Woodbridge, Connecticut, USA

Hobbies: Outside of science, I enjoy skiing, hiking, and cycling.

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Undergraduates

Bio Profile

Justin Abbasi

Undergraduate

Biography

Research Interests: I'm currently working with Yumi to investigate the progression of Parkinson's disease in mice with alpha-synuclein and glucocerebrosidase mutations. This research will give light to the genetic link between Gaucher and Parkinson's disease. 

Hometown: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Hobbies: I'm a member of the Yale Mock Trial Association and play tennis when the New England weather permits! I also hike up Science Hill on a regular basis, but that's totally not because I have...

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Bio Profile

Xiuqi Cao

Undergraduate

Biography

Research Interests: My research is focused on understanding the function of alpha-synuclein through uncovering its interacting partners via biotinylation. We know that alpha-synuclein is a main component of Lewy bodies found in Parkinson's disease, but little is known about the role of alpha-synuclein in neurons.

Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Hobbies: I enjoy watching movies/documentaries, skateboarding, playing blackjack, and playing the piano.

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Bio Profile

Christina Chen

Undergraduate

Biography

Research Interests: As an indecisive freshman who does not know what she wants to do or study, I don't think I have figured out my research interests but I do know that I am extremely willing to explore all areas of study. Currently, I am helping the Chandra Lab genotype mice.

Hometown: Diamond Bar, California, USA

Hobbies: I step for the Yale Step Team, take pictures of everything from my food to faces, watch a lot of bad horror movies, and write for the QuestBridge blog.

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Bio Profile

Vicky Chou

Undergraduate

Biography

Research Interests: My research is focused on studying PPT-1 and determining the substrates it palmitoylates. There have been a number of mutations of PPT-1 that have been linked to neurodegenerative disorders like infantile and adult neuronal ceroid lipofucinosis.

Hometown: Dallas, Texas, USA

Hobbies: My passions outside of science include baking, photography, and archery.

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Graduate Students

Bio Profile

Mike Henderson

Postdoctoral Fellow

Biography

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Research Technicians

Bio Profile

Becket Greten-Harrison

Physician Associate Program

Biography

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  • Email


Undergraduates

  • Kasia Rojek (University of Illinois)
  • Taylor Davis (NIH)
  • Andrew Williams (Michigan State)
  • Amar Srivastava (Johns Hopkins)
  • Esther Nie (UCLA)
  • Spencer Alexander
  • Hui Wu (Yale)

Summer Students and Part-Time Researchers

  • David Walker
  • Yvonne Dorland
  • Jennifer Mena
  • Opey Alabi
  • Michele Rodriguez
  • Kyumin Shim
  • Megumi Tomita