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Yin Wu

Graduate Student
yinwu [at] scripps [dot] edu

Yin is a graduate student in the Scripps Doctoral Program in Chemical and Biological Sciences. She completed her B.S. in Life Sciences at University of Science and Technology of China in the Special Class for the Gifted Young. For her Ph.D. research, she works in the lab of Sandra Encalada to study the mechanisms of tau aggregation in axons of mammalian neurons. In her spare time, she likes doing exercise, reading suspense novels and doing sudoku (the failure of which often results in tears).

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Ian Levitan
Graduate Student
ilevitan [at] scripps [dot] edu
I am a graduate student in the Scripps Doctoral Program in Chemical and Biological Sciences. I received my B.S. in Biology from Duke University in 2020 under Dr. Marc Caron, where I investigated the signaling pathways of therapeutics at the dopamine D2 family of receptors in neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, I investigated the neuronal correlates of interval timing and its modulation by opioids in the lab of Dr. Warren Meck. Upon graduating, I worked as an Early Development scientist at a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, where I developed novel platforms for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and related proteinopathies. In graduate school, I broadly intend to pursue research related to learning and memory and am interested in the cellular mechanisms by which these systems begin to fail in aging and neurodegeneration. Outside of lab, I enjoy playing classical piano, walking on the beach, and exploring San Diego! 

Sandra E Encalada, PhD

Principal Investigator
Arlene and Arnold Goldstein Associate Professor
encalada [at] scripps [dot] edu

Sandra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine and an Investigator of the Dorris Neuroscience Center, and of the Neurodegeneration New Medicines Center at Scripps Research. She received her International Baccalaureate (I.B.) degree from the United World College - USA, and her B. A. from Earlham College in Physics with a minor in Biology. Sandra obtained her PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Oregon, where she studied under the mentorship of Bruce Bowerman. She was a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at UC San Diego in the laboratory or Larry S. B. Goldstein where she characterized the mechanisms of transport of the prion protein. She is the recipient of The Glenn Foundation Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging, The Baxter Foundation Young Faculty Award, and The Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award. Outside of the lab, she enjoys swimming in the ocean, playing the piano, and picking bugs with her daughter.


Fulya Turker, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
fturker [at] scripps [dot] edu

Fulya is a George E. Hewitt Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her B.S. in Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Bioengineering with a minor degree in Chemistry from Sabanci University in Turkey. She completed her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry in 2023 from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she worked in the lab of Dr. Seth Margolis to study the effects of neuronal membrane proteasome-derived signaling peptides on neuronal function. For her postdoctoral work, she is interested in understanding the link between human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and the spread of pathological aggregates in the mammalian nervous system. In her spare time, Fulya likes to travel, spend time with her family, read or watch anything about Harry Potter, and drink a large cup of coffee!

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Subhalakshmi Guha, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
sguha [at] scripps [dot] edu

Subhalakshmi is a post-doctoral fellow, under the CTW Foundation Fellowship grant. She received her B.S. in Microbiology and M.S. in Biochemistry. She completed her Ph.D. in 2022 from Indian Institute of Chemical Biology under the guidance of Prof. Subhas C. Biswas focusing primarily on how astrocytes protect neuron in the early phases of Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently she is interested in understanding how faulty neuroaxonal trafficking leads to pathological and phenotypic impairment in mouse brain models of prion disease and in tauopathy mouse models. When not in lab, Subhalakshmi enjoys traveling with her spouse, trying out new cuisines, listening to music, swimming and sky-gazing.

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Mariana Juliani do Amaral, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
[at] scripps [dot] edu


Mariana is a postdoctoral associate studying intracellular biomolecular condensates formed by the prion protein.

She received her B.S. in Pharmacy and M.S. in Chemical Biology (M.S. work PMID: 32142787). She completed her Ph.D. in the Biophysics and Biochemistry field in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Program at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ, Brazil) under supervision of Dr. Yraima Cordeiro. She did a Ph.D. research stay under supervision of Dr. Susanne Wegmann (DZNE, Germany) that complemented her in vitro studies showing that copper ions promote phase separation of the prion protein at the cell surface and modulates aggregation (Ph.D. work PMID: 37922348). Research interests include: (i) biochemical, and in cellulo characterization of biomolecular condensates drove by intrinsically disordered proteins and its modulators (RNAs, protein clients); (ii) understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying proteinopathies, and liquid-to-solid transition of aggregation-prone proteins related to neurodegenerative diseases. Outside of the lab, she loves travelling and being in contact with nature. She likes swimming and samba music. She makes a good caipirinha, and love family and friends gatherings.


Delany Rodriguez Lara, PhD

Staff Scientist/ Lab Manager
derodriguez [at] scripps [dot] edu

Delany F. Rodriguez, Ph.D., is a staff scientist and lab manager specializing in molecular and cellular biology, with a focus on prion disease, aging, vascular biology, and developmental biology.
Delany's academic journey began at the National Autonomous University of Morelos in Mexico, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with honors. He furthered his education at New Mexico State University, obtaining a Master's in Molecular Biology, with his research focusing on the role of ion channels in sperm physiology. He then pursued his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at New Mexico State University, with research centered on the spatial regulation of cytokinesis in sea urchin embryos. Throughout his career, Delany held key research positions, including a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara, supported by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Notably, his work in the De Tomaso lab significantly advanced the understanding of germ cell development, vasculature dynamics, and aging in the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri. He then studied epigenetic changes and their effect on biological age in both mice and humans at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute.
Currently, Delany is actively engaged in groundbreaking research, employing super-resolution microscopy to investigate the role of Prion proteins in disease. His work aims to unravel the intricate details of disease mechanisms at the molecular level, further enhancing our understanding of these complex processes. Outside of the lab, he loves surfing, snowboarding, hiking, and traveling around the world.


Graduate Students:
Tai Chaiamarit, PhD - Principal Investigator Mahidol University
George Campbell, PhD - Sr. Researcher at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Miguel Alves Ferreira - Ph.D. Student at University of Porto

Postdoctoral Fellows:
Kiley Hughes-Wiles, PhD
Adriaan Verh
elle, PhD, Business Development Manager at 

Andre Leitao, PhD, postdoctoral researcher UCSD
Nandini Shukla, PhD, postdoctoral researcher UCSD 
Adeola Adeyemo, PhD, Technical Support Scientist at Advanced Cell           

David Soriano Castell, PhD - Salk Institute postdoctoral researcher
Romain Chassefeyre, PhD - Project/Team Leader at Evotec, France
Sylvia Neumann, PhD - Project Scientist and Lab Manager, UCLA
Erin Greiner, PhD - Territory Account Manager, Illumina, San Diego

Nirvan Rouzbeh, Doctoral Graduate Student, University of Montana
Diana Gonzales, Research Assistant at DKFZ German Cancer Research Center
Jesse Holt
Andrew Huang
Cynthia Cho
Leena McCann, Senior Scientist at Cepheid

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Rotation Students:
Cristian Wulkop-Gil
Julia Jones
Chung Chih Liu 
Lara Ibrahim
Amanda Sul
Ana Verduzca
Hao Wang
Belle Noxon
Whitney Baldridge
Carlos Aguirre
Cong Ba Dinht  
Paulo Onuchic
Cecilia Monteiro 
Rigo Cintron-Colon
Alyson Smith
Eveline Lee
Jennifer Kefauver
Linxuan Yan 
Han-Hsuan Liu

Melody Campbell

Undergraduate Students: 
Desi Martin
Phil Frankino
Krystal Lawrence

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