John Paul Aboubechara – GS3
Alma Mater:
UC Davis
Thesis Advisor:
Kimberley McAllister, Ph.D.
PSTP Advisor: Michael Rogawski, M.D., Ph.D.
Graduate Group: Neuroscience

About John Paul Aboubechara:
John Paul’s research investigates the mechanisms by which the immune system regulates the normal development of the nervous system, and how immune disruption may underlie various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Specifically, he is exploring the effects of altered cytokine expression on the development of the brain. His ulterior motive for pursuing the Ph.D. is to address his philosophical needs to understand the nature of the mind, and our existence. Clinically, he will presumably practice as a neurosurgeon, neurologist, or psychiatrist, which depends on the trajectory of his research. Long term, he plans to practice in academia, wherein he will be a physician, scientist, and educator, while also doing his part to advance healthcare, science, and scientific literacy. Outside of school, he enjoys the typical things: sports, music, outdoor adventures, and traveling.

Selected Publications:
Sano, E., Maisnier-Pain, S., Aboubechara, J., Quinones-Soto, S., Roth, J. Plasmid copy number underlies adaptive mutability in bacteria Genetics. August 29, 2014.

Hosein, R. and Aboubechara, J. Prohibition of Electronic Cigarette Marketing and Advertising California Medical Association Policy. December 7, 2014.

Wettstein, Z., Aboubechara, J., et al. Support for Nutrition Label Revision and FDA Review of Added Sugars American Medical Association Policy. June 9, 2014.

Moghavem, N., Aboubechara, J. et al. Patient Confidentiality in National Security Investigations AMA Medical Student Section Policy. June 7, 2014.

Please refer to my LinkedIn Profile for more information:

Recent Awards/Honors: Graduate Scholars Fellowship; Neuroscience Graduate Program Fellowship; Medical Student Research Fellowship.

Eamon Balouch – MS4
Alma Mater:
University of California, Berkeley
Thesis Advisor: Jerry Powell (UC Davis),Shaun Coughlin (UCSF)
PSTP Advisor: Jerry Powell
Graduate Group: BMCDB

Brendan Cohn-Sheehy – GS2
Alma Mater:
University of California, Berkeley
Thesis Advisor: Charan Ranganath
PSTP Advisor: Michael Rogawski
Graduate Group: Neuroscience

About Brendan Cohn-Sheehy:
Brendan is a native Californian from Santa Monica who spent 7 pre-medical years in the East Bay Area, completing a B.A. in Psychology with Honors at UC Berkeley and human cognitive and neuroimaging research at UC Berkeley and UCSF. Brendan has been fascinated by the human brain, how it works, and how to treat its diseases, since first witnessing neurodegeneration in his grandparents at the age of 10. His eventual goal is to become an academic behavioral neurologist with clinical, research, and teaching responsibilities, along which path he has had the privilege of learning from engaged mentors, supportive peers and colleagues, and now the diverse, welcoming community of UC Davis. He was the 2015-2016 President of the Neurology Student Interest Group (SIG). Now, he is a full-time PhD student in the lab of Charan Ranganath ( and investigating how the brain processes human experience in terms of highly structured memories. Aside from following his academic bliss Brendan regularly practices and composes music on various instruments and writes fiction and poetry

Selected Publications:

Gardner RC, Possin KL, Hess CP, Huang EJ, Grinberg LT, Nolan AL, Cohn-Sheehy BI, Ghosh PM, Lanata S, Merrilees J, Kramer JH, Berger MS, Miller BL, Yaffe K, Rabinovici GD. (2015.) Evaluating and treating neurobehavioral symptoms in professional American football players: Lessons from a case series. Neurol Clin Pract.

Ossenkoppele, R., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., La Joie, R., Vogel, J.W., Moller, C., Lehmann, M., van Berckel, B.N.M., Seeley, W.W., Pijnenburg, Y.A., Gorno-Tempini, M.L., Kramer, J.H., Barkhof, F., Rosen, H.J., van der Flier, W.M., Jagust, W.J., Miller, B.L., Scheltens, P., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). Atrophy patterns in early clinical stages across distinct phenotypes of Alzheimer’s disease. Human Brain Mapping, doi:10.1002/hbm.22927.

Ossenkoppele, R., Pijnenburg, Y.A., Perry, D.C., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Scheltens, N.M., Vogel, J.W., Kramer, J.H., van der Vlies, A.E., La Joie, R., Rosen, H.J., van der Flier, W.M., Grinberg, L.T., Rozemuller, A.J., Huang, E.J., van Berckel, B.N., Miller, B.L., Barkhof, F., Jagust, W.J., Scheltens, P., Seeley, W.W., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). The behavioural/dysexecutive variant of Alzheimer's disease: clinical, neuroimaging and pathological features. Brain 138(9), 2732-49.

Villeneuve, S., Rabinovici, G.D., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Madison, C.M., Ayakta, N., Ghosh, P.M, La Joie, R., Arthur-Bentil, S.K., Vogel, J.W., Marks, S.M., Lehmann, M., Rosen, H.J., Reed, B., Olichney, J., Boxer, A.L., Miller, B.L., Borys, E., Jin, L.W., Huang, E.J., Grinberg, L.T., DeCarli, C., Seeley, W.W., Jagust, W.J. (2015). Existing Pittsburgh Compound B–positron emission tomography thresholds are too high: statistical and pathological evaluation. Brain 138(7), 2020-33.

Gardner, R.C., Hess, C.P., Brus-Ramer, M., Possin, K.L., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Kramer, J.H., Berger, M.S., Yaffe, K., Miller, B., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). Cavum septum pellucidum in retired American pro-football players. J Neurotrauma, doi:10.1089/neu.2014.3805.

Gardner, R.C., Possin, K.L., Hess, C.P., Huang, E.J., Grinberg, L.T., Nolan, A.L., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Ghosh, P.M., Lanata, S., Merrilees, J., Kramer, J.H., Berger, M.S., Miller, B.L., Yaffe, K., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). Evaluating and treating neurobehavioral symptoms in professional American football players: lessons from a case series. Neurology Clinical Practice 5(4), 285-295.

Elman, J.A., Rosner, Z.A., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Cerreta, A.G., Shimamura, A.P. (2013). Dynamic changes in parietal activation during encoding: implications for human learning and memory. NeuroImage 82C, 44-52.

Elman, J.A., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Shimamura, A.P. (2012). Dissociable parietal regions facilitate successful retrieval of recently learned and personally familiar information. Neuropsychologia 51, 573-583.

Shimamura, A.P., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Pogue, Brianna L., Shimamura, T.A. (2015). How attention is driven by film edits: a multimodal experience. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, doi:10.1037/aca0000025.

Shimamura, A.P., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Shimamura, T.A. (2014). Perceiving movement across film edits: A psychocinematic analysis. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 8(1), 77-80.

Schoen, G., Bateman, M., & Cohn-Sheehy, B. (2012, 2013, 2014). Upper Hands Piano: A Method for Adults 50+ to Spark the Mind, Heart and Soul (Volume 1, 2, 3).

Selected Talks:

Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Ghosh, P.M., Villeneuve, S., Tammewar, G., Madison, C.M., Lehmann, M., Miller, B.M., Grinberg, L.T., Seeley, W.W., Rosen, H.J., Jagust, W.J., Rabinovici, G.D. Liberal Thresholds for PIB-Positivity Optimally Capture High-Burden Postmortem Amyloid Pathology. Talk, Human Amyloid Imaging Conference: Miami, January 2014.

Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Ghosh, P.M., Wirth, M., Lehmann, M., Madison, C.M., Irwin, W.I., Miller, B.L., Jagust, W.J., Rosen, H.J., Rabinovici, G.D. Temporoparietal cortical thickness outperforms hippocampal volume as a biomarker for early-onset and atypical Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's Association International Conference: Boston, July 2013.

Undergraduate Honors Thesis: “Dissecting the Impact of Background Music on Concurrent Learning”

Catherine Le – GS2
Alma Mater:
Stanford University
Thesis Advisor:
William Murphy
PSTP Advisor: David Pleasure
Graduate Group: TBD

About Catherine:
Catherine Le is from San Jose, CA.  At UC Davis School of Medicine, she is exploring her interest in immunology and field of stem cells and hopes to combine the two fields to study stem cell transplant immunology.  She is doing her first rotation in Dr. Paul Knoepfler's Lab.  She is very much enjoying her pre-clinical years and is Co-Director of Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic's Women's Clinic, where she is working on improving outreach, health education, and impact for the clinic's target population. 

She graduated from Stanford University with a Biology, B.S., and minor in English literature. In between college and medical school, she worked as a scientific curation intern at NextBio and as a post-graduate researcher in the McDonald Lab at UCSF for two years.  She enjoys being a foodie, watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, following politics, and doing cardio classes at 24 hour fitness.  

Le CT,
Laidlaw G, Morehouse CA, Naiman B, Brohawn P, Mustelin T, Connor JR, and McDonald DM. Synergistic actions of blocking angiopoietin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in suppressing remodeling of blood vessels and lymphatics in airway inflammation. American Journal of Pathology. 2015, 185(11):2949-68.

Raymond WW, Xu X, Nimishakavi S, Le C, McDonald DM, and Caughey GH. Regulation of hepatocyte growth factor in mice with pneumonia by peptidases and trans-alveolar flux. PLoS One. 2015; 10(5).

Monica Lieng – GS3
Alma Mater: Juniata College
Thesis Advisors: Nicholas Anderson, Jason Adams
PSTP Advisor: TBD
Graduate Group: Epidemiology

About Monica:
Monica is interested in utilizing epidemiological principles to tame big data obtained from clinical settings. Specifically, she hopes to study the relationships between clinical outcomes and mechanical ventilator events in the critical care environment. She previously served as a Co-Director of Flu Crew and Knights Landing One Health Clinic. In her spare time, Monica likes to explore new places with her family, create art, and run (to support her eating habit).

Lieng M.K., Kuhn B.T., Delplanque J, Anderson, N.R., Adams J.Y., "Development of a pipeline for automated ventilator waveform analysis." WAFMR, Carmel, CA, Jan 29th, 2015.

Sing, K
., Apostolides, J.K., Hunt, D.J., Close, N.C. "The effect of short messaging service (SMS) use for subject compliance in clinical trials". Society for Clinical Trials Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC Canada, May 16th, 2011

Yan Nei Law ; Monica Keiko Lieng ; Jingmei Li and David Aik-Aun Khoo
Automated breast tissue density assessment using high order regional texture descriptors in mammography, Proc. SPIE 9035, Medical Imaging 2014: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 90351Q (March 24, 2014); doi:10.1117/12.2043332;

Anna Sadovnikova, M.P.H., M.A. – GS1
Alma Mater: M.P.H. 2015 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor School of Public Health (Human Nutrition)
M.A. 2015 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies
B.A. 2013 University of California, Berkeley - Comparative Literature, Molecular and Cell Biology

Thesis Advisor: TBD
PSTP Advisor: TBD
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology

About Anna:
Anna is interested in breastfeeding, human donor milk banking, and maternal and child health promotion and education. For her master's thesis, she wrote about a forgotten model of milk banking from the turn of the 20th century in Russia and compared it to various human donor milk (banking) models and policies in the United States today. 

She is the Co-Founder and CEO of LiquidGoldConcept, LLC, a breastfeeding education and technology company. She co-founded this company in March 2014 after winning the Innovation in Action competition at the UMichigan School of Public Health. The mission of LiquidGoldConcept is to standardize breastfeeding education across the United States and to empower mothers to take control of their breastfeeding experience. 

Anna loves eating and cooking, trail-running, exploring (eating in) new cities and countries with her fiancé, black coffee, singing, and meeting people. 

Abstracts, Publications, Posters & Presentations:

Sadovnikova, A. Koehler, S., Plott, J., Sanders, I. LiquidGoldConcept, LLC Lactation Simulation Model. South By Southwest Trade Show University of Michigan Booth. Austin, TX. March 2015. (Invited Exhibitor).

Sadovnikova, A. LiquidGoldConcept, LLC Lactation Simulation Model. DATA360 Healthcare Informatics Conference. Dearborn, MI. March 2015. (Invited Exhibitor).

Sadovnikova, A. How a month in Brazil changed how I think about health and health care in the United States. University of Michigan-Platform Symposium. November 2014 (Invited Speaker).

Sadovnikova, A. Human Donor Milk Banking in North America and Brazil. University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences Poster Presentation. November 2014 (Poster). *Honorable Mention

Goodrich J, Basu N, Franzblau A, Kochmanski J, Sadovnikova A, Chou Hwai-Nan, Dolinoy D. Mercury Exposure, DNA Methylation, and Cardiometabolic Risk. International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Meeting. August 2014 (Abstract).

Goodrich J, Basu N, Franzblau A, Kochmanski J, Sadovnikova A, Chou Hwai-Nan, Dolinoy D. The Influence of Mercury Exposure on the Epigenome and Cardiometabolic Risk. Association for Clinical and Translational Science Meeting. April 2014 (Abstract).

Ford B, Broughton A, Winje N, Sadovnikova A, Johnson D. An Enterprise Integration Application for Chemical Information and for Tools for Green Chemistry Initiatives. Society of Toxicology Meeting. March 2014 (Abstract).

Sadovnikova A. Lymphatic Vessel Growth in the Conjunctiva in Response to CornealInflammation. University of California, Berkeley Molecular and Cell Biology Honors PosterPresentation. April 2012 (Poster).

Ecoiffier T, Sadovnikova A, Yuen D, Chen L. Conjunctival lymphatic response to cornealinflammation. J. Ophthalmol. 2012; 2012:953187.

Yuen D, Leu R, Sadovnikova A, Chen L. Increased lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesisin infant cornea. Lym. Res. Biol. 2011; 9:109-11

Annica Stull-Lane – GS1
Alma Mater:
Oberlin College
Thesis Advisor: Renee Tsolis
PSTP Advisor: Jay V. Solnick
Graduate Group:  Integrative Pathobiology

About Annica:
Annica is fascinated by our microbial world, from the commensal microbiome to pathogens of infectious disease. Microbiological laboratory research became her passion over time through work and research during her liberal arts education at Oberlin College, via a postbaccalaureate APHL/CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Fellowship, and at a startup biotech position. Annica is excited to train at UC Davis, furthering this work that will guide her towards her career goal: to serve as a physician-scientist who heads an academic lab; teaches and mentors; and collaborates with scientists, physicians and patients. She is interested in studying infectious diseases of global and public health importance, elucidating molecular mechanisms of disease, and addressing complex health problems through the One Health approach. In the clinic, Annica values working with underserved populations, improving health outcomes through teamwork and dedication. Ultimately she looks forward to collaborating with creative thinkers to alleviate health disparities through discovery. Apart from her clinical and research interests, Annica enjoys hiking, cooking, and singing.


Delisle J, Mendell NL, Stull-Lane A, Bloch KC, Bouyer DH, Moncayo AC. Human Infections by Multiple Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Tennessee. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Jun 1;94(6):1212-7.

Baumblatt JAG, Dunn JR, Schaffner W, Moncayo AC, Stull-Lane A, Jones TF. An outbreak of bed bug infestation of an office building. Journal of Environmental Health. 2014;76(8):16-18.

Patterson JL, Stull-Lane A, Girerd PH, Jefferson KK. Analysis of adherence, biofilm formation and cytotoxicity suggests a greater virulence potential of Gardnerella vaginalis relative to other bacterial-vaginosis- associated anaerobes. Microbiology. 2010;156(Pt 2):392-399.

Doss C, Goddard L, Stull-Lane A, Chenault K, Erickson K, Moerman D, Allen T. Importance in the powerstroke of interaction between the relay helix and helix HQ of myosin. Biophysical Journal. 2009;96(3, Supplement 1):493a.

Lillian Zhang – GS3
Alma Mater: UCLA
Thesis Advisor: Andreas Baumler
PSTP Advisor: Richard Harper
Graduate Group: Immunology


Rivera-Chavez F, Lopez CA, Zhang LF, Garcia-Pastor L, Chavez-Arroyo A, Lokken KL, Tsolis RM, Winter SE, Baumler AJ. Energy Taxis toward Host-Derived Nitrate Supports a Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1-Independent Mechanism of Invasion. MBio. 2016 Jul 19:7(4): 443-54.

Rivera-Chavez F, Zhang LF, Faber F, Lopez CA, Byndloss MX, Olsan EE, Xu G, Velazquez EM, Lebrilla CB, Winter SE, Baumler AJ. Depletion of Butyrate-Producing Clostridia from the Gut Microbiota Drives an Aerobic Luminal Expansion of Salmonella. Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Apr 13;19(4):443-54.

Leung TH, Zhang LF, Wang J, Ning S, Knox SJ, Kim SK. Topical hypochlorite ameliorates NF-kB-mediated skin diseases in mice. J Clin Invest. 2013 Dec; 123(12):5361-70.

Leung TH , Zhang LF, Wang J, Ning S, Knox SJ, Kim SK.Topical hypochlorite ameliorates NF-κB-mediated skin diseases in mice. J Clin Invest. 2013.

Chan CK, Lindau P, Jiang W, Chen JY, Zhang LF, Chen CC, Seita J, Sahoo D, Kim JB, Lee A, Park S, Nag D, Gong Y, Kulkarni S, Luppen CA, Theologis AA, Wan DC, DeBoer A, Seo EY, Vincent-Tompkins JD, Loh K, Walmsley GG, Kraft DL, Wu JC, Longaker MT, Weissman IL. Clonal precursor of bone, cartilage, and hematopoietic niche stromal cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013.

Niraj Punjya, MS2
Alma Mater: B.S. 2015. Stanford University (Biology)
Thesis Advisor: TBD
PSTP Advisor: Brian Jonas
Graduate Group: Hermatology & Oncology

Research Interests: Niraj Punjya’s research interests include using gene therapeutics to treat genetic disorders. His previous research experiences involved developing gene­editing technologies to study myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) in the Porteus lab at Stanford University. He is fascinated with the field of genome engineering and its promise to bring these technologies into a clinical setting to treat genetic diseases. At UC Davis, he to do his first research rotations with Dr. Jan Nolta or Dr. David Segal.

Selected Publications:

Huang, N. F. et al. The modulation of endothelial cell morphology, function, and survival using anisotropic nanofibrillar collagen scaffolds. Biomaterials 34, 4038–4047 (2013).

Hendel, A. et al. Quantifying genome-editing outcomes at endogenous loci with SMRT sequencing. Cell Rep. 7, 293–305 (2014).

Hendel, A., Fine, E. J., Bao, G. & Porteus, M. H. Quantifying on- and off-target genome editing. Trends Biotechnol. 33, 132–140 (2015).

Gregory Disse, MS1
Alma Mater: UCLA, 2015

Research Interests: Traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders

About Greg:
Greg is from San Francisco and studied neuroscience and French at UCLA, where he also gained experience researching Major Depressive Disorder. Between college and medical school, he worked as a clinical research coordinator with a team at Stanford University that investigated mild traumatic brain injury, specifically with respect to potential associated visual attention deficits. He is an avid runner and enjoys anything outdoors. 

Ariel Jacobi, MS1
Alma Mater:
B.A. in Biochemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 2016
M.S. in Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 2016

About Ariel:
Originally from the East Bay, Ariel Jacobi studied the effects of D-serine on the NMDA receptor and associated proteins at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After graduating, she spent a year studying the reptilian brain in Gilles Laurent’s lab at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages and playing the piano.

Research Interests: Biochemistry of the brain, NMDA receptors, and psychiatric illnesses


Lin H, Jacobi AA, Anderson SA and Lynch DR. D-serine and serine racemase are associated with PSD-95 and glutamatergic synapse stability. Front Cell Neurosci, 10:34. 2016.