Neuro Group Members



Adrian Israelson

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel), 2006

B.S., Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel), 2001

After completing my Ph.D at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) in which I concentrated on the synthesis of chemical compounds to study Ca2+-binding proteins, I moved to the Cleveland lab to explore the links between mutant SOD1 association to the mitochondria and its toxicity in ALS. To address this issue, I combine biochemical, electrophysiological and genetic techniques. Finding a new mechanism for mutant SOD1 toxicity, might provide new targets for future development of drugs for this devastating disease.

Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D. University of Strasbourg, France. 2008

M.D.  Medical School of Strasbourg, France. 2004

My research focuses on exploring the role of TDP-43 in the pathogenesis of ALS. TDP-43 is a nucleic acid binding protein whose functions are not well understood but accumulating evidence supports a role in expression and splicing regulation. I use new methodologies linked to high-throughput sequencing to investigate the contribution of mRNA metabolism regulation in ALS pathogenesis.

Shuo-Chien Ling

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005

M.S., National Tsing-Hua University, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, 1995

B.A., National Tsing-Hua University, Hsin-chu, Taiwan, 1993

I am generally interested in everything in biology. I am currently working on how disease-causing mutations in TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) lead to neurodegeneration.

Philippe Parone

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., University of Cambridge, 2002

B.S., University of East Anglia, 1996

I am interested in understanding whether mitochondria play a primary role in the pathogenesis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Eveline (Sun) Arnold

Graduate Student

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, 2006-present

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2006

Mutations in TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) were recently identified as being causative in familial cases of ALS. I am currently investigating the molecular mechanisms through which mutations in TDP-43 contribute to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neurodegeneration.

Magdalini Polymenidou

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., University of Zurich, Switzerland, 2005

B.S., M.Sc., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 2001

I am investigating mechanisms by which mutations in the gene encoding for TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I am especially interested in the role of TDP-43 in RNA metabolism and I am exploring the possibility that pathogenic mutations on TDP-43 may deregulate the RNA homeostasis within the central nervous system.

Current Group Members

Sandrine Da Cruz

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., University of Geneva (Switzerland), 2005

M.S., University of Grenoble (France), 1998

B.S., University of Grenoble (France), 1997

My research focuses on understanding the involvement of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Dara Ditsworth

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2008

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2001

B.S., Wharton School of Management (University of Pennsylvania), 2001

My research is focused on stem cell strategies to study the mechanism of TDP-43 and FUS/TLS-mediated pathogenesis in neurodegeneration.

Desirée Salazar

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., University of California, Irvine 2010

B.S., University of California, Los Angeles 2002

My research focuses on non-cell autonomous disease mechanisms of ALS.  I am currently investigating therapeutic interventions for ALS in transgenic mice using a gene therapy approach that can target the CNS.  I am also involved in a team effort to transplant human embryonic stem cell derived astrocyte precursor cells in a rat ALS model as a potential therapeutic approach.  Both of these therapeutic approaches exploit the non-cell autonomous nature of ALS.

For more detailed information regarding ALS and what research is currently underway at UCSD, please visit the UCSD ALS and Motor Neuron Disorder Center website.

Shuying Sun

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., SUNY Stony Brook/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 2010

B.S., Shandong University, China 2003

The pathogenesis of ALS is non-cell autonomous. I am interested to elucidate the contributions of damage within three CNS cell types (motor neuron, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes) by identifying the global translational mRNA changes caused by SOD1, TDP-43, and FUS/TLS ALS-linked mutants within individual cell types.