Current Lab Members

The Team Behind The Man 


Staff


    Kenneth W. Henry, Ph.D.
      Lab Manager
      E: kwhenry@ucsd.edu
      T: (858) 534-9703
Selected publications:                                            Henry, K. W. 2nd, Spencer, M.L., Theodosiou, M., Lou, D., and Noonan D.J.  A Neuronal-specific Differentation Protein that Directly Modulates Retinoid Receptor Transcriptional Activation.  Nuclear Receptor.  1:7-16, 2003.

Henry, K.W. 2nd, Carey, B., Howard, W. R., Hoefner, D., and Noonan, D.J.  Use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the Identification of Novel Transcription Factor DNA Binding Specifics.  Yeast.  18: 445-454, 2001.

Henry, K.W., Yuan, X., Koszewski, N.J., Onda, H., Kwaitkowski, D.J., and Noonan D.J. Tuberous Sclerosis Gene 2 Product Modulates Transcription Mediated by Steroid Hormone Receptor Family Members.  J. Biol. Chem. 273(32): 20535-20539, 1998.

Henry, K.W. 2nd, O'Brien, M.L., Clevenger, W., Jow, L., and Noonan, D.J., Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor Response Specificities as Defined in Yeast and Mammalian Cell Transcription Assays.  Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 132: 317-324, 1995.

Henry, K.W. 2nd, Brown, J.L., and McCracken, A.A.  Selective Enrichment for Temperature-sensitive Secretion Mutants of Mammalian Cells Using Plant Lectin, Concanavalin A.  Somat.Cell Mol. Genet. 16(4): 297-304, 1990.  


   Maria Huaracha 
    Administrative Manager
    T: (858) 534-9700

Maria joined the Goldstein Lab in July 2017, after a 17 year career with the San Diego Blood Bank's Stem Cell Donor Center and Cellular Therapy Program.  Her first introduction to stem cell therapy came in 1998 when she was selected as an allogeneic marrow donor for a patient in Germany. In 1999, she joined the donor center as a coordinator to educate, register and advocate for adult donors and increase umbilical cord blood donations registered onto the national marrow registry. Later as the donor center's Program Manager, Maria coordinated allogeneic stem cell transplants, and couriered cells to transplant centers worldwide. Her interest in stem cells led her back to school to earn a Bachelors of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, focusing on quality assurance and regulatory affairs. 

Her role as Administrative Manager in the Goldstein lab provides an outlet for her regulatory and science interests. 



   Liz Roberts  
    Research Associate IV
    E: lizroberts@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703


Selected Publications:
Clement AM, Nguyen MD, Roberts EA, Garcia ML, Boillee S, Rule M, McMahon AP, Doucette W, Siwek D, Ferrante RJ, Brown RH Jr, Julien JP, Goldstein LS, Cleveland DW. Wild-type nonneuronal cells extend survival of SOD1 mutant motor neurons in ALS mice (2003). Science 302(5642):113-7.

Kamal A, Almenar-Queralt A, LeBlanc JF, Roberts EA, Goldstein LS.            
Kinesin-mediated axonal transport of a membrane compartment containing beta-secretase and presenilin-1 requires APP (2001). Nature 414 (6864):643-8. 

Marszalek JR, Liu X, Roberts EA, Chui D, Marth JD, Williams DS, Goldstein LS (2000). Genetic evidence for selective transport of opsin and arrestin by kinesin-II in mammalian photoreceptors. Cell 102(2):175-87.
View all articles by Liz Roberts

Faculty


   Paulina Ordonez, M.D.
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    E: pordonez@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703


I am interested in using human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to create models of disease. I am involved in the study of Niemann Pick type C (NPC), a progressive and lethal pediatric dementia that shares multiple features with Alzheimer's disease. I have generated a set of hESC with decreased expression of NPC1, the gene that is mutated in patients with NPC. Neurons derived from NPC1 knockdown hESC exhibit abnormal cellular phenotypes and impaired survival when compared to wild type hESC derived neurons. We are currently exploring the contribution of these pathological phenotypes on the development of disease and the mechanisms underlying neuronal failure in NPC1 knockdown human neuron.

​Project Scientists

   Angels Almenar-Queralt, Ph.D.
    Associate Project Scientist
    E: aalemar@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703

                                                                                       Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 30 million people worldwide. To date, all attempted clinical trials have failed to slow down, stop, or revert cognitive deterioration in AD patients, perhaps because treatments are administrated when neuronal damage is already irreversible, or perhaps because lack of understanding on key underlying mechanisms leading to this disease. I am using brain samples, cerebrospinal fluid, and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons from AD patients to identify endophenotypes that may be associated with early stages of the disease, and to understand the underlying mechanisms leading to these phenotypes. Together, I hope my findings would contribute to early AD detection and new ways of treatment.

   Utpal Das, Ph.D. 
    Associate Project Scientist
    E: udas@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703
​ 
Neurons with its extended dendrites and a long axon are highly polarized cells inside our brain that require specialized intracellular machinery to perform various essential functions such as synaptic transmission. Besides anatomical uniqueness, development of specialized subcellular organelles, distinct protein composition, and division of labor within the cell body, axons, dendrites, and synapses, make a neuron further intricate compared to the other non-neuronal cells. To maintain a homeostatic balance in the protein content in different neuronal processes, neurons have evolved with some of the most advanced and distinct transport mechanisms in our organ systems, and any dysregulation in neuronal protein trafficking could lead to neuronal degeneration and neurodegenerative diseases. My goal is to understand the role of various key regulators of neuronal protein trafficking. Using live imaging, immunofluorescence, biochemical tools, proteomics and human induced pluripotent stem cells and murine primary neurons as a model system; currently, I am examining the altered trafficking of some of the key proteins in neurons that could trigger Alzheimer's disease. Identifying different regulators and pathways could lead to the discovery of newer targets for therapeutic intervention. 

Selected Publications:

Das U*, Wang L, Ganguly A, Saikia JL, Wagner SL, Koo EH, Roy S. (2016)Visualization of APP and BACE-1 approximation in neurons: new insights into the amyloidogenic pathway. Nature Neuroscience 19: 55-64. * Co-corresponding author

Wang L, Das U, Scott DA, Tang Y, McLean PJ, Roy S. (2014)α-synuclein multimers cluster synaptic   vesicles and attenuate recycling. Curr Biol. 24: 2319-2326. 

Das U, Scott DA, Ganguly A, Koo EH, Tang Y, Roy S. (2013) Activity induced convergence of APP and BACE-1 in acidic microdomains via and endocytosis-dependent pathway. Neuron, 79: 447-460.

Scott DA*, Das U*, Tang Y, Roy S. (2011) Mechanistic logic underlying the axonal transport of cytosolic   proteins. Neuron, 70 (3): 441-454. (* Equal contribution)

Das U, Kumar J, Mayer ML, Plested AJ. (2010)Domain organization and function in GluK2 subtype kainate receptors. PNAS. 107(18):8463-8. 

View all articles by Utpal Das: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=utpal+das

​Postdoctoral Fellows


   Rodrigo dos Santos Chaves, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    E: rchaves@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703

My research interests involve the development of a comprehensive understanding of cellular and molecular dysfunctions occurring early in Alzheimer's disease, before the manifestation of canonical pathways i.e. protein aggregation and neurodegeneration, aiming to comprehend the disease etiology.

Selected Publications:

Chaves, R. S., Kazi, A. I., et al. Presence of insoluble Tau following rotenone exposure ameliorates basic pathways associated with neurodegeneration. IBRO Reports, v1, p.32. 2016.

 Chaves, R. S., Melo, T. Q., et al. Dynein c1h1, dynactin and syntaphilin expression in brain areas related to neurodegenerative diseases following exposure to rotenone. Acta neurobiologiae experimentalis, v73, p.541. 2013.

 Chaves, R. S., Melo T. Q., et al. Protein aggregation containing beta-amyloid, alpha-synuclein and hyperphosphorylated tau in cultured cells of hippocampus, substantia nigra and locus coeruleus after rotenone exposure. BMC Neurosci, v.11, p.144. 2010.


   Chao-Shun Yang, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    E: chy095@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703

My interest is to investigate the potential causal roles of cholesterol metabolism and/or transport in Alzheimer's disease. Thus, I propose to study the roles of a panel of LOAD GWAS-identified genes involved in cholesterol trafficking, recycling, and biosynthesis in neurons and astrocytes.

 Selected publications:

Yang, C.S., Chang, K.Y., Dang, J., Rana, T.M., Polycomb group protein Pcgf6 acts as a master regulator to maintain embryonic stem cell identity. Scientific Reports. 2016June 1;6, 26899. PMCID: PMC4888081

Yang, C.S., Chang, K.Y., Rana, T.M., Genome-wide functional analysis reveals factors needed at the transition steps of induced reprogramming. Cell Reports. 2014 Jul 24;8(2):327-337. PMCID: PMC4152236

Yang, C.S., Li, Z., Rana, M., microRNAs modulate iPS cell generation. RNA. 2011 Aug;17(8):1451-60. PMCID: PMC3153970

Yang, C.S., Lopez, C.G., Rana, M., Discovery of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and anticancer drug enhancing reprogramming and induced pluripotent stem cell generation. Stem Cells. 2011 Oct;29(10):1528-36. PMCID: PMC3419601

McCarroll, J.*, Baigude, H.*, Yang, C.S.*, Rana, T.M., Nanotubes functionalized with lipids and natural amino acid dendrimers: a new strategy to create nanomaterials for delivering systemic RNAi. Bioconjug Chem. 2010 Jan;21(1):56-63. PMCID: PMC2814541

* Equal contribution as first authors

Baigude, H.*, McCarroll, J.*, Yang, C.S.*, Swain, P.M., Rana, T.M., Design and creation of new nanomaterials for therapeutic RNAi. ACS Chem Biol. 2007 Apr 24;2(4):237-41. PMID: 17432823

​PhD Graduate Students 


   Vanessa Langness
    Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student
    E: vlangness@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703

I am interested in using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC) as a model to study early changes in intracellular trafficking and lipid homeostasis that occur during the pathogenesis of familial Alzheimer’s Disease.
   Caroline Sferraza
    Neurosciences Graduate Student
    E: csferraz@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703

Caroline Sferrazza is a graduate student in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at University of California, San Diego. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience & Behavior at Vassar College. In the Goldstein lab, she is working on her thesis using human induced pluripotent stem cells to model and study changes in intracellular trafficking that occur in Alzheimer's Disease. Outside the lab, Caroline is the director of the UCSD Neuroscience Outreach Program and serves on the committees for local science festivals and workshops, including Taste of Science and ComSciCon. She is also a regular contributor to UCSD's NeuWrite blog as well as other online scientific resources. 

Master's Graduate Students 



   Louie Wang
    Graduate Student
    Elowang@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703

Louie joined the Goldstein Lab during his Junior year of his undergraduate studies in Fall, 2015. During his undergrad, Louie worked with Vanessa Langness to study the consequential influence of multiple cholesterol binding site mutation, generated by  CRISPR/Cas9 system, on APP processing by utilizing the human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) cultures. Now as a Master’s student, Louie’s thesis research involves exploring the expression of potential APP dimerization in cholesterol binding site mutants, and the interaction between APP and various interacting enzymes. 


   Emma Wu
    Graduate Student
    E: eywu@ucsd.edu
    T: (858) 534-9703



Emma joined the Goldstein Lab during her freshman year of her undergraduate studies in 2014. During her undergrad, Emma focused on investigating the genotype-phenotype relationship of rare neurodegenerative diseases by utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology. Now as a Master's student, Emma's ongoing thesis research aims to 1) Use isogenic hiPSC-derived knock-out NPC1 neuronal lines to confirm that the pathological autophagy phenotypes observed in patient derived Niemann Pick Type C1 lines are caused by loss of function of NPC1 and not by other factors related to each patient's genetic background and 2) Use the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate isogenic NPC1L1 knockout neuronal lines to elucidate the role of NPC1L1 in cholesterol turnover in the lysosomes of NPC1 deficient neurons.

Lab/Research Assistants


   Allison Cantimbuhan
     Lab Assistant
     E: acantimb@ucsd.edu
     T: (858) 534-9703 

    Athena Doshi
      Research Assistant
       T: (858) 534-9703

   
       Mariam Eick
          Research Assistant
          T: (858) 534-9703

​Mariam Eick joined the Goldstein Lab when she was accepted into the CIRM 2.0 2016-2017 Internship program. She is currently a undergraduate transfer at UCSD majoring in Bioengineering: Biotechnology. As she works under Chao-Shun Yang, her research focuses on investigating the causal factors of a risk allele in the ABCC9 gene and its relation to Hippocampal Sclerosis and Alzheimers Disease.


   Nadia Muhammadi
    Lab Assistant
    T: (858) 534-9703

CIRM Interns 

   Bana Alani 
    CIRM Intern 2018-2019
    T: (858) 534-9703

   
   Gema Olivarria 
    CIRM Intern 2018-2019
    T: (858) 534-9703


  
   Michael Pollante 
    CIRM Intern 2018-2019
    T: (858) 534-9703


   Kayla Nguyen 
    CIRM Intern 2017-2018
    T: (858) 534-9703
   My Tran
    CIRM Intern 2018-2019
    T: (858) 534-9703