Richard Daneman, PhD - Assistant Professor

Contact Rich

Phone: 858-822-2376

Eric Nudleman, PhD, MD 

Kaja Bajc - Lab Manager, Research Associate

I am from Slovenia and joined the Daneman lab in mid 2016 to do an internship and write my Master's thesis.  After finishing my Master's in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, I returned to San Diego and started working as a Research Associate in the lab. I work closely with Marie on her project about regional differences of the BBB and have some lab manager responsibilities. During the past few years I've spent a lot of time traveling solo in New Zealand, Southeast Asia and South America. Currently I really enjoy being in San Diego and spending all of my free time surfing. 

Roeben Munji, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow

Nicole Lummis, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow

I've always been fascinated by scientific research; by how we can elucidate unknown aspects of biology to better understand disease and ultimately improve human health.  During my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, I studied the activity of brain-derived molecular motors in response to anesthesia.  I continued pursuing my interest in neuroscience by completing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at University of California San Diego, where I researched the role of lipid signaling in the initiation of neonatal post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus under Dr. Jerold Chun.  In May 2019, I was thrilled to join Dr. Richard Daneman's lab as a postdoctoral scholar to investigate the effects of disease, such as stroke and EAE, on the function of the blood-brain barrier, with a particular focus on pericytes.

In addition to my passion for science, I love any kind of game, podcasts, and trying new foods.

Catie Profaci - Graduate Student

After graduating from Georgetown University in 2012 (Hoya Saxa!), I worked for two years studying the progression of Alzheimer's pathology with Dr. Karen Duff at Columbia University.  Now as a Ph.D. student in the UCSD Neurosciences program, I am excited to continue studying disease in the nervous system.  In the Daneman lab, I will be working on discovering the mechanisms behind the breakdown and repair of the blood-brain barrier in diseases such as multiple sclerosis.  Besides my love for the brain and all its mysteries, I enjoy (in no particular order) running, cooking, Bruce Springsteen, the beach, NPR, baseball games, cheese, outdoor activities, and writing for our program's neuroscience blog,!

My Pubmed

Contact Catie

Meghan Rossi - Graduate Student

I graduated from Berkeley (Go Bears!) in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Molecular & Cell Biology, and then earned a master’s in Brain Sciences at University College London in 2015. There, I worked with Dr. Kate Jeffery on how head direction cells might encode complex spatial information. After forgetting what the sun looked like, I moved back to California to work with Dr. Shane Crotty in characterizing immune responses to HIV vaccine candidates in order to better inform HIV vaccine design. Now, as a Neurosciences PhD student, I am super excited to start my project in the Daneman lab examining interactions between the periphery and the blood-brain barrier. Outside the lab, you can find me singing loudly at inappropriate moments, stopping to pet every dog that crosses my path, and pretending to be proficient at beach volleyball.

Kevin Tenerelli - MSTP Student

After attending Palomar College, I graduated from California State University San Marcos in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology concentrated in molecular and cellular biology. I then began UC San Diego’s MD/PhD program and joined the Neurosciences Graduate Program. Co-mentored by Eric Nudleman and Rich Daneman, my interests lie in blood-retinal barrier dysfunction in blinding eye diseases and elucidating mediators of fibrosis in the retina. In my free time I like to paddleboard on Mission Bay with my family, play racquetball and discover new music.

Sean Harvey, Graduate Student

I graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2017 with a B.S. in Microbiology. My enthusiasm for biomedical research began as an undergraduate research assistant in Craig Montell’s lab at UCSB, where we sought to identify ion channels and transmembrane receptors that regulate taste and feeding behaviors in Drosophila. After graduating, I joined Gary Steinberg’s lab at Stanford University, where my projects focused on post-stroke neural circuit dynamics and molecular mechanisms driving functional recovery in murine models of ischemic stroke. I began my PhD in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program in the Fall of 2019. Now in the Daneman lab, I aim to investigate the role of blood-brain barrier dysregulation in Alzheimer’s Disease pathogenesis. When I am not grappling with science-related problems in lab, you can find me training the “gentle art” of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, surfing, and enjoying San Diego's endless variety of burritos and beer.

Iris H. Garcia-Pak, MSTP Student

My pronouns are she/her/hers. Originally from Honolulu, I flew to the other end of the country to earn my Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering at Brown University in 2015. After college, I spent 3 years as a post-baccalaureate IRTA fellow at the NIH in Bethesda studying the maturation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Then in 2018, I came to UCSD as an MSTP student to pursue my dream of becoming a physician scientist. After completing the first half of medical school, I find myself leaning toward Pediatrics, Neurology, and Psychiatry specialities, but still too early to tell! I am currently in the Neurosciences Graduate Program and, as a member of the Daneman lab, am investigating the role the BBB might play in glutamate regulation. In my free time I dabble in snowboarding, dance, and smashing the patriarchy. I love plants, eating bread, and keebs, but I love none of these things as much as I love BTS.

Lucija Pintaric, Research Associate

Hi! I'm from Croatia and I have completed my bachelors in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in Krems an Der Donau, Austria. In 2017 I worked on a clinical study concerning the genetic analysis of an ocular disease called Retinitis pigmentosa at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong.  In 2018 I graduated and enrolled into a Master's program in Molecular Biotechnology at FH Campus Wien. I joined the Daneman lab and my research focuses on the role of fibrotic scar tissue formation in stroke and the mechanisms that lead to fibrotic scar formation following stroke. When I am not in the lab you can see me dancing and singing at inappropriate places, doing sports, hiking, or partying. 

UCSD Undergraduates
- Montserrat Rodriguez
- Navid Ghazi
- Alex Zhang
- Michelle Lin
- Amanda Argoncillo

Former Lab Members

Cayce Dorrier - PhD Student
Now, Postdoc at NIH

Rob Pulido, PhD Student
Now, Clinical Scientist at Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Wenshuai Jiang, Research Associate


Now, PhD Student at Cornell University

Tony Zhang - Undergraduate Student, Volunteer
Now, Medical Student at Drexel University

Joseph Miller - Master's Student, Research Associate
Now, Medical Student at California University of Science and Medicine

Marie Blanchette, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Now, Scientific Evaluator at Health Canada

Mario Malfavon, Postdoctoral Fellow
Now Scientist, Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC)

Tamara Chan - Master's Student, Research Associate
Now graduate student at Stanford University

Stephanie Liaw - Lab Manager
Now consultant at 1798

Geoffrey Weiner - MSTP Student
Now intern at Stanford

Ezekiel Haenelt- Undergraduate Student

Jessica Gutierrez- Undergraduate Student
Summer 2018

Austin Batugal- Undergraduate Student

Gabby Whiten- Undergraduate Student
Summer 2017
Now graduate student at NYU

Anne Cabangcola - Undergraduate Student

Yuqi Cheng - Visiting Professor

Conor Mcloughlin - Visiting Student
Summer 2016 Trinity College Dublin 

Alena Bartakova, MD - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dan Peng- Undergraduate Student

Sidar Aydın - Visiting Student

Soumya Kurnool - Undergraduate Student
Now medical student at UCSD

Fabien Sohet, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow

Allison Soung - Assistant Specialist
Now graduate student at Washington University

Christina Lin - Assistant Specialist


Now in Med School at UCSD

Nadine Ruderisch, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow


Now a Postdoc at Roche, Switzerland

My pubmed

Seo Yeon Lee - UC Berkeley Undergrad

Amanuel Kebede, MS - Staff Research Associate