Lab Members


Medha Pathak
Assistant Professor
medhap at
Medha is a biophysicist interested in how mechanical  forces shape neural processes. She enjoys developing  multi-disciplinary and novel approaches for studying  complex biological processes. She also enjoys reading,  hiking, yoga, cooking and exploring the local   beaches.
                                                        Mitradas Panicker
Research Specialist
mmpanick at
Das Panicker (A.K.A. Panic in a previous avatar) is interested in the role of Piezo1 in neural stem cell differentiation. He likes ‘out of this world’ ideas in neurosciences, serotonin, and stem cells, but is still looking for the time to pursue all of them.
                                                       Soumya Hunagund
Lab Manager
shunagun at
Soumya graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in neurobiology, physiology, and behavior and a minor in Human Development. She is interested in the medical field and studying neurological diseases.
 Jesse Holt
Graduate Researcher
Jesse graduated from UCSD in Cognitive Neuroscience. He then worked at UCSF before coming to UCI to get his PhD. Jesse is interested in using various imaging techniques to study the behavior of ion channel activity. In his free time, Jesse enjoys participating in ridiculously strenuous activities such as triathlons, rock climbing and hiking.
                                                        Esmeralda Izquierdo
Post-Bac Researcher                                                            
eizquier at
Esmeralda graduated as a psychology major at UCSD  with an emphasis on neuroscience. She hopes to  obtain a greater understanding of psychological  disorders and their effects. Her kryptonite is pastries. All pastries…. all the time.  Use this information wisely.
                                                        Hamid Abuwarda
Undergraduate Researcher                              
habuward at
Hamid is a 4th year general biology student. His friends  would describe him as a “pretentious hipster” but he  prefers  the term “coffee connoisseur”. Hamid excels in  complex lab  techniques, latte art, and arabic calligraphy.  If  he’s not  studying, you can often find Hamid daydreaming of Khaleesi ruling the world.
                                                        Juhi Gopal
Undergraduate Researcher                
gopalj at
Juhi is a 3rd year biomedical engineering major. She hopes to gain more knowledge of cell biology and microscopy in order to apply these concepts to engineering principles. Juhi is a self-proclaimed professional snacker whose favorite snacks include fruit and curly french fries. She aspires to own a French bulldog named Steve.
Klara Zakery
Undergraduate Researcher
zakeryk at
Klara is a 3rd year biological sciences major  interested  in pursuing a career in healthcare. She loves to  meet and  connect with new people. She loves to snack  on  cold  watermelon, dance, run, and try and count the  stars  in the  sky on rooftops at night.
 Ladelyn Boonlua
Undergraduate Researcher
lboonlua at
Ladelyn is a 3rd year public health sciences major, working on Piezo1 in neural development. In the long term she is interested in understanding the different conditions and practices of global medical care and therapies. She loves her dog Charley and food, especially tacos and all you can eat Korean bbq!
Zoe Du
Undergraduate Researcher
huixund at
Zoe (Huixun) is a 3rd year Pharmaceutical Science major aspiring to join the pharmaceutical industry. She is interested in all kinds of sports. She wants to master one martial art, but she has not decided between Wushu or Laido.
Brian Nguyen
Undergraduate Researcher
baodn1 at
Brian is a 3rd year biomedical engineer aspiring to become an expert in medical devices and technology. He used to be a national badminton player representing Viet Nam, but now he also loves to game, eat, and play music.
Nguyen Minh Truong
Undergraduate Researcher
nmtruon1 at
Nguyen is a 2nd year bio student who is quite proud that he has a last name for a first name. He loves anything relating to the human body, especially the brain. If he is not in lab doing dissections, he is at home sleeping, sleeping, or sleeping. Nguyen hopes to become a doctor and travel the world to provide healthcare for underdeveloped communities.

Former Members

Nhu Nguyen
Junior Specialist
nhun1 at
Nhu is currently in medical school, studying to be a pathologist.  Not only is Nhu a master at chemistry and math, she  is also  an excellent chess player. She likes reading books,  watching soccer games, and researching about traditional  herbals. After a long day, Nhu loves watching America’s Got Talent but wishes Emma Watson could be one of the judges!

                                                        Jami Nourse
Assistant Project Scientist        
jnourse at
Jami is interested in how cells interpret their environment to shape cell fate and function and understanding the signaling pathways result in cell specification. Outside of the lab, Jami enjoys CrossFit, spending time with family and reading.