Alumni

Brieana Fregeau


Clinical Research Coordinator (2012-2018) Brieana graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 with a degree in Molecular Cell Biology, Neurobiology emphasis. Her lifelong enthusiasm for neuroscience combined with her heightened interest in genetics and clinical pediatric research made the Sherr lab a perfect fit. As a Clinical Research Coordinator, Brieana’s primary responsibilities include performing administrative support and maintenance of the study protocol for the BDRP, as well as assisting in participant outreach, recruitment, and retention, data and specimen collection, and overall coordination of research activities and participant visits. Brieana is particularly interested in the underlying genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders and the associated cognitive and behavioral effects that manifest themselves as clinical features. In her spare time, Brieana loves to attend live music shows and is an avid reader of fiction, a yoga lover, and a foodie who loves hiking, exploring, and capturing the beauty that the Bay Area has to offer. Brieana currently works as a Clinical Research Associate for Sangamo Therapeutics.

Sophie Marinoff


Research Associate (2017-2018)

Jacqueline Tarsitano


Research Assistant (2015-2018) Jacqueline joined the Brain Development Research Program in April of 2015 as a research associate. She primarily assists the Autism Spectrum Disorder Biomarker study by recruiting and enrolling participants, collecting samples and data, and coordinating visits to UCSF. Jacqueline earned her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. When not at the Sherr Lab, Jacqueline is Vice President of Volunteering for her school’s Autism Speaks U Club and volunteers as a coach for special needs soccer teams. Jacqueline currently works as an Assistant Research Technician at NYU Langone Health.

Tiffany Nguyen-Vu


Research Assistant (2016-2017) Tiffany joined the lab in March 2016 as a research assistant in the Brain Development Research Program. She provides the lab with administrative support, including maintaining organization of participant databases, contacting participants' families, scoring neuropsychological data, and keeping track of medical records. She received an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and plans to continue her studies in graduate school. While she enjoys writing for the Berkeley Scientific Journal and volunteering at Alta Bates Hospital, she spends her free time long-distance running, baking cookies, and taking spontaneous road trips. Tiffany is current a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Kaltenbach Lab, Department of Gastroenterology at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Julia Owen


Post-doctoral Fellow Julia completed her PhD in Bioengineering from UCSF/UC Berkeley under the supervision of Dr. Srikantan Nagarajan. Her thesis explored source localization with magentoencephalography and applications to functional connectivity. As a postdoctoral fellow, under the supervision of Dr. Pratik Mukherjee and Dr. Sherr, she has focused on diffusion MRI and functional MRI. She has published papers on graph theoretic approaches to both imaging modalities and has applied these techniques to AgCC. She is involved with the Simons FCAP project using diffusion MRI to characterize 16p11.2 deletions and duplications. Overall, she is interested in using noninvasive brain imaging to better understand brain development and associated neurological disorders. Julia is currently a Research Scientist at the University of Washington.

Talia Berson


Clinical Research Coordinator (2016-2018) Talia graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 with Phi Beta Kappa and Latin honors. Her degrees in psychology with an emphasis in clinical psychology and behavioral neuroscience, combined with her experience in research labs at UCLA Medical Center and UCSF Medical Center have helped her develop a passion for pediatric clinical research specializing in neuropsychiatry and neurology. As a Clinical Research Coordinator, Talia’s primary responsibilities include performing cognitive testing and autism spectrum disorder assessments on participants, managing administrative support and maintenance of the study protocol for the BDRP, coordinating participant outreach, recruitment, and retention, data and specimen collection, and overall coordination of research activities and participant visits. Talia is particularly interested in the behavioral attributes of autism spectrum disorder that can be seen across different biological expressions and hopes to amass better understanding of the biological basis and features of neuropsychiatric disorders before pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a focus on prodromal development in pediatric populations. Talia is currently a doctoral candidate in Clinical-Community Psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Vishnu Nair


Staff Research Associate (2014-2017) Vishnu Nair graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016 with a B.A. Molecular and Cellular Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology. Vishnu joined the lab in May 2014 and works with genetic sequencing and analysis for various Aicardi, ACC, and Autism studies. Vishnu’s passion for neuroscience stems from the incredible mystery of how chemical equilibria and electric potentials are the physical basis for cognition and consciousness. After his undergraduate studies, Vishnu aspires to enter the field of Medicine. When he is not busy contemplating the fascinating complexities of the brain, Vishnu directs courses for students interested in global public health and international mobile medical clinic work. Vishnu is also a training emergency medical technician, an avid sports fanatic, and loves hiking in the great outdoors. Vishnu currently attends medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Nick Pojman


Clinical Research Associate (2011-2014) Mr. Pojman graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2008 with a B.S. in Cognitive Science. He joined the Sherr lab in July of 2011, and his primary responsibilities ranged from participant recruitment and enrollment, data collection, to coordinating study logistics for the Simon’s Variations in Individuals Project. Mr. Pojman is particularly interested in using neuroimaging techniques such as EEG, MEG, and MRI to understand the interaction of neurophysiology and behavior. He is also interested in applying neuroimaging technologies in clinical settings where they may serve a role in patient diagnoses and treatment. Mr. Pojman aims to obtain a Ph.D. in Psychology, and the experience he has gained thus far by working on the SVIP has provided excellent opportunity for personal growth. Outside of the laboratory, Mr. Pojman enjoys running, playing trombone, kicking around a soccer ball, and enjoying the vast culinary landscape of the Bay Area. Nick currently works as a research coordinator in the lab of Pratik Mukherjee at UCSF

Polina Bukshpun


Research Assistant (2012-2013)

Nick Pojman


Clinical Research Associate (2011-2014) Mr. Pojman graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2008 with a B.S. in Cognitive Science. He joined the Sherr lab in July of 2011, and his primary responsibilities ranged from participant recruitment and enrollment, data collection, to coordinating study logistics for the Simon’s Variations in Individuals Project. Mr. Pojman is particularly interested in using neuroimaging techniques such as EEG, MEG, and MRI to understand the interaction of neurophysiology and behavior. He is also interested in applying neuroimaging technologies in clinical settings where they may serve a role in patient diagnoses and treatment. Mr. Pojman aims to obtain a Ph.D. in Psychology, and the experience he has gained thus far by working on the SVIP has provided excellent opportunity for personal growth. Outside of the laboratory, Mr. Pojman enjoys running, playing trombone, kicking around a soccer ball, and enjoying the vast culinary landscape of the Bay Area. Nick currently works as a research coordinator in the lab of Pratik Mukherjee at UCSF

Liliana Fernandez-Betancourt


Post-Doctoral Fellow

Rita Jeremy


Developmental Psychologist. Dr. Jeremy is developmental psychologist who is primarily a research psychologist. She has been involved in all stages of research, including choosing test instruments, analyzing data, and publishing in peer-reviewed journals, and, of course, collecting data in face-to-face examinations. Dr. Jeremy has worked on a wide variety of medical research studies, examining mental, motor, and behavioral functioning of individuals ranging in age from birth to adulthood. Dr. Jeremy has also contributed to research concerning infants exposed in utero to opioids, infants infected in utero to HIV, children entering kindergarten who experienced neonatal jaundice, infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy since birth, children whose spina bifida was repaired in utero compared to those repaired post birth, and individuals with agenesis of corpus callosum, as part of the BDRP. Dr. Jeremy is currently engaged in research studies which include outcomes in infants whose normal brain maturation had been examined in utero by magnetic resonance and diffusion imaging, children with connatal Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease in Phase I safety study of treatment with neuronal stem cells, and ongoing studies of infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy since birth, children with repairs of spina bifida, and individuals with agenesis of corpus callosum.Dr. Jeremy graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in psychology, and she completed her doctoral degree at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.

Terren Niethamer


BMS Graduate Student (2013-2014) Terren is a Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program at UCSF. She joined the Sherr lab in June 2013. Before arriving in San Francisco, she studied chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, doing honors research in organometallic synthesis. She then spent a year studying rare genetic diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Terren is interested in the genetic and molecular basis of neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly autism spectrum disorders. When she's not in the lab, Terren can be found running or biking around the city, rock climbing, or even playing ultimate frisbee. She also loves to read, cook, and bake. She is currently in the lab in the Bush lab at UCSF

Beatrice Huang


Undergraduate Research Assistant (2012-2014) Beatrice graduate from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014 with a double major in Public Health, Infectious Diseases emphasis, and Integrative Biology, Human Biology and Health Sciences emphasis. She joined the lab in September 2012 as a research assistant and provided administrative support for the Brain Development Research Program. Though Beatrice plans to go to medical school, she is also interested in obtaining a Masters in Public Health. Her research interests lie within the realm of neurological disorders in pediatrics, specifically neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Beatrice is most interested in early diagnosis and prevention along with the role of genetic as well as environmental influences in these disorders. In her spare time, Beatrice volunteers at the Berkeley Free Clinic and provides EMT services with Rock Med. Her hobbies include dancing, singing (badly), and traveling.

Rebecca Jacobson


Undergraduate Research Assistant (2014) Rebecca is a second year undergraduate student at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal, Quebec. Although she has been pursuing violin performance since she was five years old, she holds a strong interest in neuroscience. Since her music curriculum at McGill does not allow much time for pursuit of other subjects, she joined the Sherr lab in the summer of 2014. She helped the lab extract relevant information from participant medical records and doing database entries for the Disorders of Callosal Development study.

Jane Ye


Undergraduate Research Assistant

Aico Nguyen


Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alireza Faridar


Research Scientist

Dorothy Jones-Davis


Post-doctoral Fellow

Mariam Lativashvili


Research Assistant (2012-2013) Mariam joined the Sherr Lab in May 2012 as a volunteer research assistant. She is currently a senior at Lowell High School in San Francisco. Her research interests include prion proteins and neurodegenerative diseases. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine with a focus in neuroscience. Outside of the lab, Mariam is a member of the Lowell Science Research Program and a captain of the Lowell Dance Company.

Helena Abbott


Research Assistant (Summer 2013) Helena Abbott is a freshman at Duke University, planning to major in Biology with a certificate in Genome Sciences and Policy. She has worked for one summer in the Sherr lab and is using the opportunity to figure out her exact interest within this field.

Michael Haney


Research Associate (2008-2010)
Michael Haney worked at the Sherr lab as a Research Associate from 2008-2010. He graduated from the Univeristy of California, Berkeley with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology. Mr. Haney’s general research interest is in human genetics and neuroscience. Specifically, he is interested in the genetics of psychiatric and developmental disorders. Michael is currently working as a research technician and lab manager at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He assists in the research of the genetics of psychiatric and neurodevelopmenal disorders using illumina based sequencing technology, array comparative genomic hybridzation, and induced pluripotent stem cells. In the near future, he plans on going to graduate school to pursue a career in genetics.

Nathan Osbun


Research Associate (2006-2008)
Nathan Osbun worked at the Sherr Lab as a Research Associate from May of 2006 until July of 2008. While at the lab, he worked with Dr. Sherr on analyzing mouse and human genetics to better understand the brain and the causes of abnormal brain development. Mr. Osbun is currently a third year medical student at Cornell University and plans to graduate in 2012. He has recently completed a research paper for a project, involving a candidate gene for ACC, which he has been working on for quite some time

Tanav Popli


Research Associate (2008-2010)
Tanav Popli worked at the Sherr Lab as Research Assistant for three summers during 2008-2010. He has just successfully obtained a dual degree with honors in Biology and Chemistry from Kalamazoo College. His research interests and specialties lie in yeast culture and western blotting. Mr. Popli is very interested in the development and degeneration of cognitively relavant structures of the human brain and thus wants to pursue a career in that direction.

Zoe Strominger


Clinical Research Coordinator (2007-2009)
Zoe worked at the Sherr Lab as a Clinical Research Coordinator from October of 2007 until December of 2009. Since then, she's received a master's degree from UCSF and is now a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She continues to apply the understanding of brain connectivity and development that she gained at the Sherr Lab to her work in clinical psychopharmacology and psychoeducation.

Michael Wahl


Research Associate (2007-2009)
Michael Wahl worked at the Sherr Lab as a Research Associate from the summer of 2007 until the summer of 2009. Currently, Mr. Wahl is a fourth year medical student here at UCSF and will be graduating shortly. One of his interests is physics and before he began to pursue a career in medicine, he obtained a Masters degree in the field. Mr. Wahl’s research interests include using novel techniques to assess functional and structural brain connectivity in both healthy subjects and in patients with abnormal brain development or brain injury. Upon graduating medical school, Mr. Wahl is interested in pursuing a career with both clinical and research components.

Zara Szeftel


Zara worked at the Sherr Lab as an Undergraduate Volunteer Research Assistant from 2007-2008. Zara is currently in her third year at the Medical School for International Health, an MD program at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, which collaborates with Columbia University Medical Center. She is interested in the fields of child psychiatry and neurology, with a specific focus on cross-cultural medicine and care to underserved communities.

Eric Rider


Lab Manager

Kathleen McGovern


Clinical Research Coordinator (2011-2012) Katie is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Medical Sciences at Boston University School of Medicine and expects to complete the degree requirements in May 2014. She previously served as a research coordinator for the Brain Development Research Program and administrative assistant for the Simons Variation in Individuals Project from October 2011 until August 2012. Prior to joining the Sherr Lab, Katie served as a research coordinator for the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project (EPGP) for which Dr. Sherr serves as one of the Principal Investigators.

Shivani Vora


Clinical Research Coordinator (2009-2011) Shivani Vora started working at the Sherr Lab as a Research Assistant in March 2009 while attending the University of California Berkeley as an undergrad student. Upon completion of her Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular Cell Biology with a minor Education Ms. Vora joined Sherr Lab as a full-time Clinical Research Coordinator for the Brain Development Research Program. Along with providing administrative support and recruiting and enrolling patients, she also worked on developing a comprehensive database to house all the neuropsychological testing scores and the MRI images received from participants. Ms. Vora is currently pursuing a medical career at St. George’s University in Grenada, and is now on her way to completing her second year as a medical student. Upon completion of her M.D. she is interested in continuing in the field of pediatric neurology and women’s health.

Victoria Woo


Clinical Research Coordinator