Undergraduate Students

Current Research Assistants

Will Cabanela
My name is Will, and I am a third year Neurobiology and Behavior major! Some hobbies of mine include longboarding (but I fall a lot), playing piano (my neighbors hate me), camping (I don’t get lost anymore), cooking (no one likes my food), and learning (I’m a nerd)! However, my interests involve science, medicine, and teaching. Currently, my goals include pursuing psychiatry, educating people about mental health, and being a spearhead in advancing our understanding of the profound world of neuroscience. I believe that being a student under UCI’s neurobiology department, tutoring and mentoring, and being a part of this lab will give me the foundation I need to reach these goals!

Liam Campbell
My name is Liam, I am a 4th year Psychology major Biology minor at UCI. My interests center around investigating various brain pathologies to develop effective diagnostic & rehabilitative methods for future clinical use. An integrative approach to Neuropsychology, sleep’s effects on the brain, and HSAM are a few topics of recent interest. My campus involvement include: COSIGN club, Philanthropy Committee of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, SIIOP club, Yassa Lab, Mednick Lab. My interests include skiing, exercise, music, traveling, camping, coffee & a good morning read, The Office, and swimming.

Stephanie Doering
My name is Stephanie and I’m a 3rd year double major in Cognitive Neuroscience and Health Informatics. I’m interested in a wide range of neuroscience topics including neurodegenerative diseases and the neural connections/biological processes involved in cognition. On campus, I am a RA for the Memory and Decision Making Lab (MADLAB), treasurer of Nu Rho Psi @ UCI, and student lead at the Anteatery. Off campus, I enjoy playing soccer/basketball, reading, and coding.

Navid Ghaffari
My name is Navid Ghaffari and I am a senior majoring in Neurobiology. Outside of classes, I conduct research on Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, am President of the Anteater Ambassadors Network, serve as a Bio Sci EASE Peer Coach to help guide freshman through their introductory courses, and was a mentor in the Antleader Mentorship Program for two years. These involvements have allowed me to give back my time to the campus and community. In my free time, I enjoy being with family and friends, playing the piano, and participating in a variety of sports. I aspire to attend Medical School and pursue a career as a physician. It has been an amazing experience at UCI thus far; I am looking forward to my last year as a proud anteater. Zot zot zot!

Nikki Hatamian
I am a 4th year Computational Cognitive Science major. I’m interested in brain disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as MRI data analysis. I like to read historical fiction and watch documentaries in my free time, I speak Farsi, and I’m double jointed in four of my fingers!

Vishali Kapoor
Hi! My name is Vishali Kapoor, and I am a fourth year student pursuing a major in Biological sciences to become a physician. The Yassa Lab has strengthened my passion for the field of neurobiology and has provided me with numerous opportunities including administering tasks to participants and assisting with MRI scans. It is a privilege to be part of such an amazing lab, filled with welcoming and successful individuals. In my leisure time, I enjoy drawing, playing sports, going to the gym, and spending time with my family and friends.

Blake Miranda
Hi I’m Blake! I’m a 4th Year Cognitive Neuroscience major — I’m interested in processes of the mind and treatments in relationship to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment. Outside of lab, I work as an ABA therapist, implementing behavior plans for children with autism spectrum disorder. In my free time, I’m a graphic novelist, musician and nifty actor-person. Shameless self-portrait insert!

Saum Naderi
I am a third year Psychology (Cognitive Sciences) major and Biological Sciences Minor. My research interests include using neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neural mechanisms at play in different neurological disorders. I am also interested in studying the multiple sensory systems that give rise to our sense of perception of the world around us. I enjoy spending my free time outside with friends, usually playing sports or spending the day at the beach. I love traveling to new places and trying new things. I’m also a big soccer fan and Real Madrid is my favorite team!

Ali Ozgur
My name is Ali, and I am a neurobiology major studying memory and Alzheimer’s disease. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my cat, gaming, and traveling.

Nazek Queder
I’m a first year transfer student at UCI majoring in psychology. I’m specifically interested in the brain anatomy, memory, and how the neurons activities are being translated to senses and daily behaviors. My goal is to get my PHD in neuroscience. Besides research, I love photography, and I enjoy drawing and painting. A fun fact about me: I believe that we’re not the only ones in the universe.

Rachon Sweiss
My name is Rachon, I am a third year majoring in Biology and Psychology. When I’m not in class or attempting to uncover conspiracy theories, you can find me reading up on the biological processes behind what makes humans so weird. I also run a literacy awareness and creative writing outreach program that brings together experienced writers and new writers from a variety of backgrounds and upbringings, in an attempt to tackle the persistent issue of illiteracy in a fun yet meaningful way.

Hung Tran
My name is Hung Tran and I am a 4th year Pharmaceutical Sciences major at UCI. Learning about the brain has always been an interest of mine. By being an undergraduate research assistant at Yassa Lab and a CNLM ambassador, I have gained a valuable opportunity to be involved in the practice of performing translational research, especially in the field of neurobiology. Currently, I am working on the Mnemonic Discrimination Task (MDT), where I hope to assess the effects of sleep on learning and memory of healthy young adults. My ultimate goal after graduating from UCI is to get accepted to medical school and eventually pursue an MD title. As for on campus involvements, I am one of the board members for both the Pharmaceutical Sciences Mentorship Program (PSMP) and the Peers Under Pharmaceutical Sciences (PUPS). As for off campus involvements, I am a medical scribe at a private clinic and a shadowing intern at the UCI Medical Center. In the weekends, I will spend some time helping my church such as singing in the choir or setting up the mass. Last but not least, I have a passion for food, boba, and hiking!


Undergraduate Alumni

Andi Seun
Amanda Chun
Pouyan Pouresfandiari
Huy Ho
Mariam Giurgius
Jennifer Ocin
Michelle Doan
Matt Tsai