Former Members

Below is a list of alumni who conducted laboratory research their senior year in the Parfitt lab:

(lab alums: if you have updated information, please contact Karen Parfitt)

Erin Bigus (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); June 2018-May 2019; Acylated rER, a Derivative of Secreted Amyloid Precursor Protein-Alpha, Prevents Long-Term Potentiation Deficits from Amyloid Beta (25-35) Peptide; currently a Neuroscience graduate student at the University of Utah

Caroline Casper (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); June 2018- May 2019; The ERK1/2 Cascade is not necessary for the acylated rER-mediated enhancement of hippocampal long-term potentiation; currently a research assistant in the lab of Julie Kauer, Stanford University Neuroscience

Kayla Lanker (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); June 2018- May 2019; Collapsin Response Mediator Protein-2 is Required in Ac-rER’s Enhancement of Long-Term Potentiation

Andy Pelos (Molecular Biology Experimental Sr thesis); September 2015- May 2019; Complement inhibitor simvastatin prevents hippocampal long-term potentiation deficits in the Abeta25-35 acute mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Jessica Phan (Molecular Biology Experimental Sr thesis); June 2018- May 2019; Hippocampal long-term potentiation is modulated by exercise-induced alterations in the dopaminergic system of the high-runner mouse model for ADHD; currently a Fulbright scholar in Portugal

Elizabeth Rose (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); June 2014- May 2019; Ca+2/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II is required for the induction of acylated-arginine-glutamate-arginine-facilitated long term potentiation; currently at graduate student in Neuroscience at the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Leyla Akay (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); June 2016-May 2018; The Role of Parvalbumin-positive Interneurons in Alzheimer’s Disease; currently a research assistant in  at MIT.

Julia Foote (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); June 2016-May 2018; Towards an understanding of the behavioral characteristics and dopaminergic function of selectively bred high-running (HR) mice: a novel model for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; currently a research assistant in Boston

Arun Iyer (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); June 2016-May 2018; Investigating the metaplastic relationship between acylated rER, cGMP/guanylate cyclase and protein trafficking in characterizing an ameliorative mechanism for Alzheimer’s disease treatment; currently a medical student at USC

Victoria Vanderpoel (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis, second reader); Sept 2017-May 2018; Use of a brain-penetrating analogue of erythropoietin (EPO), cTfRMAb-EPO, for Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in APP/PS1 Mice (primary advisor: Dr. Rachita Sumbria, KGI)

 Jiwon Yi (Neuroscience Major); Sept. 2016-May 2017; Anxiety and deficit in hippocampal long-term potentiation are rescued by wheel-running and D1 receptor activation in mice selectively bred for high voluntary wheel running; Downing Scholar at Cambridge University in Neuroscience; currently a graduate student in Neuroscience at Washington University in St Louis;

Sean Wake (Neuroscience major); June 2016-May 2017; Characterizing the mechanism of action of the diastereomeric form of acylated Arg-Glu-Arg and its role in enhanced synaptic plasticity; currently a research assistant at Boston University in Neuroscience

Isaac Solomon (Neuroscience Experimental Sr thesis); May 2014-May 2017; Long-term potentiation deficits in aged Alzheimer’s mice are rescued with a tripeptide derivative of secreted APPα; worked as a laboratory technician at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, in Neuroscience; currently in the dual MD/Masters PRIME-HEq program at UCSD.

Vinay Srinivisan (Neuroscience major); May 2014-May 2016; Elucidating the mechanisms of action for the acylated tripeptide Arg-Glu-Arg in synaptic plasticity; MPH at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Univ of Washington; currently a medical student at UCLA; or

Ailene Nguyen (Molecular Biology Major); June 2015-May 2016; Assessment of Dopamine Receptor Activity and Levels in Selected High Voluntary Wheel-Running Mice;; currently a medical student at USC

Kevin Knox (Neuroscience Major); June 2015-May 2016;  Examining the neuroprotective properties of a peptide derivative of the amyloid precursor protein through the peptide’s ability to recover of behavioral and electrophysiological deficits in the APPswe/PS1δe9 mouse mode;

Katherine Taylor Fortson (Neuroscience Major); June 2015-May 2016;  Mice Selectively Bred for High Voluntary Wheel Running: Validity as an Animal Model for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); worked as a lab technician at Columbia University Medical Center; currently a medical student at Weill Cornell School of Medicine;

Samuel Crawford (Neuroscience Major); May 2014-May 2016; The role of RER, an active region of secreted amyloid   precursor protein α, in protection against Aβ toxicity and potential for ameliorating social cognitive deficits seen in APPswe/PS1ΔE9 transgenic mice; worked as a laboratory technician at USC in Neuroscience;

Julie Necarsulmer (Neuroscience Major), May 2014-May 2015. The roles of secreted amyloid precursor protein alpha and active Arg-Glu-Arg (RER) in long-term potentiation, learning and memory: Implications for therapeutic potential in Alzheimer’s Disease; worked as a post-bac IRTA researcher at the National Institutes of Health; currently in MD/PhD program at UNC Chapel Hill;

Kay, Yuni (Neuroscience major), January 2015-May 2015.  Ginsenoside metabolite Compound K enhances    rat hippocampal LTP but does not prevent or rescue AB25-35-induced deficits in LTP;  worked as a post-bac IRTA researcher at the National Institutes of Health;

Kevin Guan (Neuroscience Major), Sept. 2014-May 2015. Voluntary exercise reverses the LTP threshold deficit in the CA1 region of the hippocampus in mice selected for high voluntary wheel-running behavior; currently a medical student, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii;

Asia Ayabe (Neuroscience Major), Sept. 2014-May 2015.   Exercise rescues long-term potentiation in the CA1 hippocampal area of a potential mouse model for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; currently a medical student, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii;

Oluwatobi Clement (Neuroscience major), Sept 2013-May 2014. Altered striatal, midbrain, and hypothalamic dopaminergic expression following acute cocaine treatment in mice defective in prohormone convertase; main research advisor was Dr. Kabirulla Lufty, Western University School of Medicine; currently a Clinical Research Supervisor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Emily Meyer (Neuroscience major), Sept 2013-May 2014. Food Anticipatory Activity and Striatal Dopamine; main research advisor was Dr. Andrew Steele, Cal Poly Pomona; currently in graduate school in applied mathematics, UC Davis;

Hayden Hatch (Chemistry and Biology, Harvey Mudd College), August 2011-May 2012. Cockroach habituation to cercal stimulation using a bio-robotic RoboRoach system; currently an MD/PhD student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine;

Amalia Roth (Neuroscience major), May 2010-May 2011. Defects in synaptic transmission and SNAP-25 localization in Ppt1-deficient cells; MD, University of Michigan; currently a medical resident in Neurology at UNC Chapel Hill;

Elizabeth Aby (Biology major), January 2010-May 2011. The role of Ppt1 and potential Ppt1 substrates in synaptic transmission and vesicle recycling; M.D., University of Minnesota; currently a medical resident in Internal Medicine, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center;

Kayleigh Kaneshiro (Neuroscience major), June 2009-May 2010.  The role of SNAP-25 and dynamin in vesicle recycling of palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 mutant Drosophila: implication for infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; MD, Univ of California at Irvine; currently a medical resident in anesthesiology, Hospital of the Univ of Pennsylvania.

Jani M. Kim (Neuroscience major), June 2009-May 2010.  The role of palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 in the recycling of vesicles: an investigation into its relationship with SNAP-25 and other proteins; currently a medical student at the University of Vermont School of Medicine;

Devika Bhatia (Biology major), June 2009-May 2010.  Ethanol sensitivity is modulated by pre-synaptic GABAB receptors in conjunction with inhibition of glutamatergic synapses; MD., Florida International University; currently a medical resident at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Joyce J. Kim (Neuroscience and Asian-American Studies double major), May 2007-May 2008. Electrophysiological characterization of palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 mutants in Drosophila: Implications for infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; currently in  medical school after doing research for several years;

Kelly Sinnott (Neuroscience major, Scripps College).  May 2007-May 2008.  Use of Drosophila in investigating the neurophysiological effects of ethanol; graduate school in neuroscience, UC Berkeley; currently a Support Specialist II at Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Las Vegas NV; reachable through LinkedIn.

Laura Johnson (Neuroscience/Linguistics and Cognitive Science double major) May 2007-May 2008.  The synaptic effects of acute ethanol intoxication: a Drosophila melanogaster model; PhD in psychology, UCLA; currently a visiting assistant professor in Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Pomona College;

Sarah Jenkins (Neuroscience major) May 2007- May 2008).  Synaptic characterization of palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 mutants in Drosophila: Implications for infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis; recipient of a 2008 Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Travel Award; MD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; currently an Internal Medicine Resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; married name: Sarah Jenkins Scarpato; phone (215) 662-2725.

Shirley Shih (Neuroscience major) September 2005-May 2007. The Role of L-type Calcium   Channels in Long-Term Potentiation, Learning, and Memory in Aging Rats.  MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis MO; currently a resident at Spaulding Rehab Hospital/Harvard Medical School Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Sarah Kuriakose (Neuroscience major) September 2006-May 2007; research conducted in the lab of Marjorie Charlop-Christie, Claremont McKenna College. The Social Brain in Autism: Long-term Outcomes and Predictors of Behavioral and Social Deficits;  PhD in Psychology at UC Santa Barbara; currently the clinical director of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical and Research Program at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center;

Kristen Henkins (Neuroscience major) August 2005-May 2006.  Forskolin-chem LTP is blocked by the Alzheimer’s amyloid-beta peptide, A-beta25-35; PhD in Neuroscience at UCLA; postdoc, Fox Chase Cancer Center; currently a Research Associate at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; current name Kristen Henkins Ambegaokar;

Blaine Bisel (Molecular Biology major) May 2004-May 2005; A cyclic AMP-mediated pathway of learning and memory in the rat hippocampus may be affected  by the drug Rolipram and an Alzheimer’s amyloid-beta peptide; lab technician, UT Southwestern; PhD in Biophysics, European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Florence Italy; currently an Italian to English translator specializing in clinical trials;

Sidney Kuo (Molecular Biology major) January 2003-May 2003; January 2004-May 2004— Role of the cAMP pathway in age-related deficits in hippocampal long term potentiation; research assistant in the Dept of Neuroscience, Univ. of Minnesota; PhD in Neuroscience, Univ. of Oregon Health Sciences Center; winner of the Bertsch prize in Molecular Biology; winner of a Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Travel Award to attend the 2004 Society for Neuroscience meeting; Junior Scientist, University of Minnesota Neuroscience;

Daniel Jones (Neuroscience major) August 2003-May 2004)—Role of cyclic AMP in long term potentiation in neonatal hippocampus; PhD in Neuroscience, UCSF;  postdoc, Duke University, Neuroscience; currently Medical Director and US Lead, Biogen;

Alison Ellsworth (Neuroscience major) May 2003-May 2004)– Effects of the insecticide chlorpyrifos on hippocampal synaptic transmission and spatial memory; PhD in education, Columbia University; winner of the Neuroscience senior prize; currently an educator in the San Francisco Unified School District

Jeffrey Raskin (Neuroscience major)– May ‘01-August ‘01, September ‘02-May-’03; Changes with aging in  cyclic AMP-mediated forms of long-term potentiation; MS, USC Program in Neuroscience; MD, Univ of Nevada, 2009;  fellow in pediatric neurosurgery, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Texas; (

Christopher Jordan (Neuroscience major)– September ‘02-May ’03; Late-phase long term potentiation in the rat hippocampus; MD, Dartmouth Medical College; service in the US Army; currently a pediatric cardiologist at Fort Bragg, NC; Phone: (301) 319-7765

Shennan Weiss (Molecular Biology major)– “An investigation of the functional neurprotective properties of the caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk in response to hypoxia and ischemia in fresh hippocampal slices”; September ‘99-May ‘01; MD/PhD, Albert Einstein School of Medicine;  Assistant Professor of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University;

Chang (Chris) Park (Neuroscience major)– “Differences in calcium-mediated long-term potentiation in hippocampal area CA1 of adult rats”; June ‘00- May ‘01; PhD in Neuroscience, UCLA; currently a postdoc in the X. William Yang lab.

Rachel Hopper (Molecular Biology major) “Significant differences in oxygen consumption of fetal and adult ovine brain cortex suggest nitric oxide-induced hypoxic hypometabolism as a regulatory mechanism in fetal brain tissue” (in collaboration with Dr. Gordon Power, Loma Linda School of Medicine); Sept. ‘00-May ‘01; MD, Univ. of Michigan School of Medicine; currently a pediatric cardiologist at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia; phone # (215) 590-5248

Paige Nilson (Neuroscience major)– “Changes in Isoproterenol- and forskolin-induced cAMP production with aging”; June ‘99-August ‘00; research associate in Neuroscience, UCLA; DVM, Cornell University; currently a veterinary neurologist, Austin, TX.

Daniel Darcy (Neuroscience major) – “Development of the fast transient potassium current IA is preceded by astroglial proliferation in intact hippocampus”; June ‘99-May ‘00; research associate in Neuroscience at City of Hope; PhD in Neuroscience, UCSD; postdoc, UCSF; currently a staff scientist at Dolby Laboratories, San Francisco CA.

Gabriel Murphy (Neuroscience major) –“Ethanol Modulates Synaptic Transmission Presynaptically in Area CA1 of the Hippocampus”; August ‘98-May ‘99; Neuroscience, UC San Diego; postdoc, Univ of Washington; former faculty member at Janelia Farm (Howard Hughes Medical Institute); currently the Associate Director of Electrophysiology at the Allen Brain Institute.

Alex Huang (Neuroscience and Molecular Biology double  major,)– winner of senior prizes in both Neuroscience and Molecular Biology;  thesis: “The Role of Semaphorins in Adult Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity”; January ’97- May ‘99; MD/PhD Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; currently a faculty member in Neuroscience at USC and ophthalmologist at the Dolheny Eye Institute of UCLA in Pasadena, CA.

Gerald Reis (Molecular Biology major) — recipient of a Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Travel Award, Fall 1997, for his thesis work, “Age-related changes in beta-adrenergic receptor activation and modulation of low frequency stimulation-induced LTP in hippocampal area CA1 of Fisher 344 rats”; June ’96 – May ’97; MD/PhD, UC San Diego; postdoctoral fellowship and residency in neuropathology, UCSF; currently in the Pathology Department at Memorial Regional Hospital,Hollywood, FL.

Michael Lee (Neuroscience major) — “Age-related changes in synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1 of young vs. aged Fischer 344 rats in response to forskolin and 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dimethylxanthine”; June ’96 – May ’97; M.D., Univ. of Washington School of Medicine; currently an orthopedic surgeon in Seattle

Zachary Edmonds (Neuroscience major) — thesis: “Pathological investigation of vascular beta amyloid, elastin, and endothelium in the middle temporal gyrus of histologically confirmed Alzheimer’s patients with varying levels of total serum homocysteine”; August ‘96-May ‘97. Also advised for Goldwater fellowship, Fall 1994, on “Upregulation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease”; recipient of Pomona College’s 1997 Stauffer Prize, and 1997 senior prize in Neuroscience; M.D./M.B.A., UCLA School of Medicine and Anderson School of Management; residency in Internal Medicine, Stanford University; a Lucile Packard Biodesign Innovation Fellow at Stanford; currently a hospitalist for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Palo Alto CA.