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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.

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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Kiley Hughes-Wiles, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
kihughes [at] scripps [dot] edu

Kiley is a postdoctoral fellow under the NIH-NIAAA T32 training grant. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Behavioral Neuroscience at Western Washington University in 2017, and her PhD in Biological Sciences from Illinois State University in 2022 where she worked in the lab of Andrés Vidal-Gadea to understand the pathogenesis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in C. elegans. Her postdoctoral work focuses on understanding the cellular consequences of mutant prion protein aggregation in mammalian axons. When not in the lab, Kiley enjoys spending time with her friends and family, playing with her cats, listening to audiobooks, and exploring the outdoors.

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Tai Chaiamarit

Graduate Student
taich [at] scripps [dot] edu

Tai is a joint graduate student between Scripps Research and Oxford University in England under the Skaggs-Oxford program. Tai received a B.S. in Biology with Neurobiology from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017. Tai joined the Encalada Lab from 2018-2020 to work on elucidating the mechanism of how mutant prion protein aggregates are formed and how they disrupt neuronal function. Tai is currently working in Ilan Davis lab in the Biochemistry department at Oxford on the mechanism and function of RNA localization in membrane trafficking during new synapse formation. Tai's hobbies outside of the lab are hiking, traveling, and cooking.

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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.


Cheryl Powers
Administrative Assistant (the best!)
cpowers [at] scripps [dot] edu

I’m proud to assist this amazing lab! When I’m not working, you can find me on hiking trails, I love trying new recipes to cook -especially Persian and Mediterranean dishes! I write songs and poetry. I’m an insatiable curious person.  I love adventures and road trips but  somehow I’m also a homebody. I enjoy my life in Cardiff by the Sea!


Keishla Sanchez Ortiz

Graduate Student
ksanchez [at] scripps [dot] edu

Keishla is a second-year graduate student and a Dorris Neuroscience Scholar from Jayuya, Puerto Rico. She received her B.S. in Industrial Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry and Bioprocess Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez. During her undergraduate career, she was part of Dr. Juan López Garriga’s laboratory studying the interactions of endogenously produced hydrogen sulfide with hemoglobin and myoglobin. She also worked as a co-op technician at Abbvie Biotechnology, Ltd where she oversaw the manufacturing process of biological drugs Humira and Skyrizi. After obtaining her B.S. in 2020, she worked at CDI Laboratories in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico producing ultra-specific monoclonal antibodies and participating in the approval of Sentry-Ag, an antigen-based rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Her graduate work focuses on characterizing the links between viral-driven neuronal fusion and neurodegeneration. Outside of the lab, Keishla enjoys going to the beach and the theater, cooking, baking, sewing clothes and watching true crime documentaries.


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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Graduate Students:
George Campbell, PhD - Sr. Researcher at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Miguel Alves Ferreira - Ph.D. Student at University of Porto

Postdoctoral Fellows:
Adriaan Verhelle, 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

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

Ian Levitan

Graduate Rotation 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! 

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