Lab Members


HB 2015


 Helen Bateup, Ph.D. - Lab Head

Dr. Bateup completed her postdocotoral training in Dr. Bernardo Sabatini's Laboratory at Harvard Medical School where she studied how the mTOR signaling pathway regulates synaptic funciton in the hippocampus. She completed her Ph.D. with Dr. Paul Greengard at Rockefeller University where she elucidated dopamine signaling dynamics in striatal neurons.


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Polina Kosillo, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral fellow

Dr. Kosillo completed her DPhil in the lab of Dr. Stephanie Cragg at Oxford University, where she studied the properties of dopamine neurotransmission in health and disease. She joined the Bateup lab in January of 2015 to study the impact of Tsc1 mutations on dopamine neuron physiology and neurotransmitter release.


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Jillian Iafrati, Ph.D. - Assistant Project Scientist

Dr. Iafrati received a PhD from the University of Marseille in France where he worked with Dr. Pascale Chavis on prefrontal cortical maturation in mice deficient for the reelin protein. He did postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Vikaas Sohal at UCSF where he studied dopamine modulation of glutamatergic transmission in the prefrontal cortex. In the Bateup lab, Dr. Iafrati is elucidating the role of the post-synaptic density protein Syngap1 in the striatum and how mutations in Syngap1 lead to autism-related behavioral changes.


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John Blair, M.Sc - MCB graduate student 

John completed a master's degree at the University of British Columbia studying DNA methylation in placental disorders. He previously completed a B.Sc in Biology at McGill University. John is establishing a human neuronal model for the neurodevelopmental disorder TSC to determine how TSC1/2 mutations impact early cortical development.


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Katie Benthall - MCB graduate student

Katie graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in biology and B.A. in psychology. As an undergraduate researcher she studied the recovery of locomotor function following spinal cord injury in lampreys. She is currently using slice physiology to investigate the consequences of autism-related genetic mutations on striatal function.




Dan Kramer - MCB graduate student

Dan completed his B.Sc in Neuroscience at McGill University, where he studied human color vision. He then worked at Mass. General Hospital's Cancer Center studying hematopoietic stem cell maintenance. The goal of his project is to elucidate the genetic diversity of cell types in the basal ganglia.


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Villy Karalis, MS - MCB graduate student

Villy is orignially from Greece. She graduated from the University of Ioannina with a BS/MS in Applied Biology. She previously studied how the olfactory system regulates appetite. Her current project is to elucidate the functions of mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling in neurons.


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Erin Aisenberg - Neuroscience graduate student

Erin graduated from Trinity College with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Mathematics, where she studied traumatic brain injury. She then worked as a research technician at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine developing biosensors to detect neuropeptide release. She is investigating the genetic diversity of dopaminergic and striatal neurons, during development and in adults.


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Katie Cording - Neuroscience graduate student

Katie graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Neuroscience. As a research technician at Columbia University she studied innate olfactory circuits and behaviors in Drosophila. She's investigating how autism-related genetic mutations alter striatal physiology, and the resultant effects on behavior.


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Corinna Wong - Lab manager and Staff Research Associate

Corinna is a recent UC Berkeley MCB-Neurobiology graduate. She is working on behavioral phenotyping of genetic mouse models of autism spectrum disorder.


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Kamran Ahmed - MCB-Neurobiology undergraduate honors thesis student

Kamran in a senior MCB-Neurobiology major working on an honors thesis to investigate how mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling affect the morphology and cell biology of dopamine neurons.