• Research Assistants
  • Yessenia Magaña
  • Sayyed Jilani
  • Lucia Hall
  • Undergraduate Students and Volunteers
  • Alina Kang
  • Sun Woo Hong
  • Chang Liu
  • Yamila Salazar
  • Carmelina Azar
  • Sachin Okuma
  • Yuxin Hu
  • Kaiqi Zhang
  • Sawyeh Maher

  • Special members
  • Mochi
  • Grill

    1. Takaki Komiyama (PI)
      Professor of Neurobiology and Neurosciences
      Takaki Komiyama Takaki grew up in Tokyo playing baseball. After graduating from the University of Tokyo, he joined a PhD program at Stanford, where he studied development of the fruit fly olfactory system in Liqun Luo's lab. He then moved on to Janelia Farm as a postdoc in Karel Svoboda's lab in December 2006 where he learned two-photon imaging and applied it in awake mice during learning. Takaki started at UCSD in September 2010.
      e-mail: tkomiyama(at)

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    2. EunJung Hwang (Assistant Project Scientist)
      EunJung HwangEunJung was born and raised in South Korea. After graduating from Seoul National University with B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering, she joined a Ph.D. program in the Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering Department, where she studied human motor control with Dr. Reza Shadmehr. She then moved to Dr. Richard Andersen's Lab at Caltech, as a postdoc, to study the primate motor control system and brain-machine interfaces.

    3. Nathan Hedrick (Postdoc)
      Nathan HerickA raconteur, wordsmith, and general linguaphile, Nathan hails from the foothills of North Carolina. He studied biology,chemistry, and some languages at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He went on to earn his PhD at Duke University in the lab of Ryohei Yasuda, where he studied biochemical computation in dendrites during synaptic plasticity. His interests include bridging the gap between molecular and systems-level neuroscience, reading every Wikipedia page ever written, and venturing into outer space. When not in lab, Nathan enjoys running, playing guitar, and conceptualizing type III civilizations.
      email: nghedric(at)

    4. Ryoma Hattori (Postdoc)
      Ryoma HattoriRyoma grew up in Osaka, Japan. After graduating from the University of Tokyo with B.S., he joined a Ph.D. program at Harvard University in Boston, where he studied multisensory interaction and plasticity in visual cortex. He escaped from cold weather and now enjoys sunny San Diego.

    5. An Wu (Postdoc)
      An WuAn is from Anhui, south China. She studied biology in Wuhan University and neuroscience in University of Miami before she traversed the country to San Diego. She is generally interested in neurophysiology and works mostly with the sensory system. Besides research, she likes literature, film and watching sports. When she has a hard time seeking the meaning of life, she travels.

    6. Assaf Ramot (Postdoc)
      assaf Assaf was born and raised in Israel. He received his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science, under the supervision of Prof. Alon Chen where he studied novel stress-related brain circuits and the ability of toddlers to understand sarcasm, humor and the fact that their father is an independent identity. When he is not talking about imaging and/or microscopy he is probably at the microscope doing imaging or practicing new ways of making his kids fall a sleep by telepathy.
      email: ramot.assaf(at)

    7. Enida Gjoni (Postdoc)
      Enida GjoniBorn in Albania, during her childhood Enida moved to Italy, where she pursued her studies in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Milan. For her doctoral studies, she joined Ralf Schneggenburger's laboratory at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland. Her PhD work focused on the functional and structural characterization of the input connectivity within a binaural circuit of the auditory brainstem, involved in sound localization.
      email: egjoni(at)

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    9. Chi Ren (Graduate Student)
      Chi RenChi grew up in Suzhou, China. She graduated from Peking University with a BS degree and joined the UCSD Biological Science PhD program in 2014. She is interested in solving the brain network puzzle of motor control. She loves San Diego because the beach is available 24/7, and her interest in photography can be well satisfied here.
      email: c3ren(at)

    10. Bethanny Danskin (Graduate Student)
      Bethanny DanskinBethanny grew up in the Seattle area, watching the rain and communing with squirrels. After earning her B.S. in Neurobiology at the University of Washington, she worked for two years at the Allen Institute for Brain Science on projects involving neural coding and behavior. She then left the Seattle grey for the San Diego sun, and joined the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program in 2015.

    11. Bin Yu (Graduate Student)
      Bin YuBin is from Tianjin, China, a city famous for cross-talk and stuffed bun. After five years of study in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, he joined the Ph.D. program at UCSD in 2017 and switched his primary research interest to neuroscience. He likes EDM a lot, so don't be scared when he nods his head without any particular reason if he has a headphone over his ears.

    12. Nicole Mlynaryk (Graduate Student)
      Nicole Mlynaryk Nicole grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University where she earned a B.A. in Cell Biology and Neuroscience with a minor in Cognitive Science. After two years working at the National Institute of Mental Health, she joined UCSD's Neurosciences Graduate Program. She misses real pizza and bagels, but San Diego burritos ease the pain. Outside of lab she enjoys hiking and camping, music and comedy, and watching history documentaries.

    13. Shuqi Chen (Graduate Student)
      Shuqi Chen Shuqi grew up in Changsha, China, a city famous for spicy food, while Shuqi is not good at dealing with spicy food at all. After earning her B.S. in Biomedical Sciences at Zhejiang University, she continued to pursue her interests in the brain and neural circuits, and joined UCSD's Biology Ph.D. Program in 2019. Shuqi is a big fan of KPOP and Japanese Seiyuu.
      email: shc033(at)
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    15. Shudi Xu (Visiting Scholar)
      Shudi Xu Shudi is from Zhejiang, a province famous for delicious sea food, and now she is an undergraduate student majored in Biomedical Sciences in Zhejiang University. When exploring her potential research interest, she finds neuroscience attractive. Previously, she has worked on a project about antidepressant drugs in ZJU. She now works remotely with us to further study the system neuroscience. Besides the heavy course load, she likes to playing the piano for fun, and reading books among multiple disciplines to learn more mental models to help future problem solving.
      email: shudi.17(at)

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    17. Yessenia Magaña (Research Assistant)
      Yessenia Magaña Yessenia was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona. On her free time she enjoys going to concerts, hiking, reading, eating, and daydreaming.
      email: yemagana(at)

    18. Sayyed Jilani (Research Assistant)
      Sayyed Jilani Sayyed was born in Karachi, Pakistan, but spent a lot of his early years moving from place to place in the Middle East. He earned his B.S in Human Biology from UCSD. In his free time, he enjoys writing stories, hiking and making art.
      email: ssjilani(at)

    19. Lucia Hall (Research Assistant)
      Lucia Hall Interested in science from an early age, Lucia graduated with a BA in biochemistry from UCSD in 1978. She has variously studied the effect of drugs on lipids from human patients and mice, cancer in rats, San Joaquin Valley Fever, and the changes in the ability of the innate immune system to combat various bacteria and parasites in genetically engineered mice. Forced to take a 20-year break to raise her daughters, one of whom has a learning disability, she returned to biochemistry in 2004, and has been happily "weaning and gene-ing" mice ever since. She works for three different PI's now, and three different batches of mice. Otherwise she raises bunnies, has a garden, and takes care of her family, with two adult daughters and an adult "adopted" son.
      email: luhall(at)

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    21. Undergraduate Students and Volunteers
    22. Julia Sun
    23. Alina Kang
    24. Sun Woo Hong*
    25. Chang Liu
    26. Yamila Salazar
    27. Carmelina Azar
    28. Sachin Okuma
    29. Yuxin Hu
    30. Kaiqi Zhang
    31. Sawyeh Maher
    32. *Undergraduate Research Scholarship Recipient

    33. Alumni
    34. Itaru Imayoshi (Visiting Scholar, now Assistant Professor at Kyoto Univ.)
      Jun Lee (Postdoc, now Analyst at UCSD Cancer Center)
      Simon Chen (Postdoc, now Assistant Professor at Ottawa Univ.)
      Andy Peters (Graduate Student, now Postdoc at UCL)
      Hiroshi Makino (Postdoc, now Assistant Professor at Nanyang Univ.)
      Madan Makundan (Masters Student, now Lab Manager at UCSF)
      Monica Chu (Graduate Student, now Lecturer at UCSD)
      Jeff Dahlen (Graduate Student, now Analyst at MKO Global Partners)
      Anna Kim (Research Assistant, now Research Assistant at Columbia University)
      Shan Lu (Undergraduate Student, now PhD candidate at Columbia University)
      Wankun Li (Graduate student, now at Ernst & Young)
      Tara Loveland (Research assistant, now Doctor of Physical Therapy Candidate at UC-Denver)
      Sara Emami (Masters Student, now MD Candidate at UCLA)
      Jungwon Seo (Associate Professor, Wonkwang Univ.)
      Akinori Mitani (Graduate Student, now at Google Brain)
      Trevor Link (Masters Student, now an EMT at PRN Ambulance)
      Haixin Liu (Postdoc, now Postdoc at NYU)
      Keelin O'Neil (Research Assistant, now PhD candidate at NYU)
      Xinlei Lin (Daisy) (Masters Student, now PhD candidate at NYU)
      Zhongmin Lu (Postdoc, now Postdoc at Salk Institute)
      Zeljana Babic (Masters student, now PhD candidate at UCSD)
      Oscar Arroyo (Research Assistant, now PhD candidate at UNC)
      Qiyu Chen (Research Assistant, now PhD candidate at UCSD)


    35. Mochi (aka "Dog")
      MochiTakaki and his wife Allison rescued her from a shelter in February 2010. Mochi can never have enough attention so please pet her.

    36. Grill
      GrillGrill is the quiet type. When he is not taking care of meaty goodness you can find him reading poetry or enjoying long walks at the beach. Grill is currently single.

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