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Ray Vaca

Contact Information

Ray Vaca

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Ray Vaca received his bachelors degree in neuroscience from UCLA in 2019. After graduation, he worked in the X. William Yang Laboratory at UCLA from 2019-2022, studying the pathogenesis of Huntington's and Alzheimer's Disease and also contributed to the lab's role in the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN). In 2022, he joined Yale University as a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (INP), where he was offered the Gruber Science Fellowship. He is completing his thesis work in the Shaul Yogev Laboratory in the Departments of Neuroscience and Cell Biology. His current research interests include the cellular mechanisms of psychedelic drugs, with a particular emphasis on how these drugs affect the neuronal cytoskeleton, using C. elegans as a model organism. Outside of the lab, Ray enjoys spending his time conducting outreach in the local New Haven community though INP Outreach, Brain Education Day, Yale STEM Mentors, and Yale Pathways to Science. Additionally, Ray is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at Yale. He is on the executive board of the Yale BBS Diversity and Inclusion Collective (YBDIC), where he is the Chair of Empowerment, and serves on the DEI Committee for the Department of Neuroscience.

Education & Training

  • BS
    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Neuroscience (2019)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
NSF GRFPNational Science Foundation2024
Gruber Science FellowshipGruber Foundation2022