Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
Hearst Foundation Developmental Chair
Laura Sancho Fernandez
Tarik Seref Onur
I received my undergraduate degree in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley and Master of Science at Georgetown University. During my undergrad I was a student researcher in Janelle Noble’s laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute. After college, I worked as a technician in the laboratory of Alexis Dang at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Wanting to gain a better understanding of genetics, I enrolled in Genetics & Genomics Graduate Program at Baylor College of Medicine. I completed my graduate work in the laboratory of Juan Botas. In the Botas lab I developed an interest in integrating bioinformatics with high-throughput and classical experimental approaches to gain insight into molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration across different cell-types. In my post-doc, I am looking to apply these skills to studying how astrocytes participate in the formation and function of synaptic circuits across the visual system.I also have an interest in continuing to understand how astrocytes contribute to neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. Outside of the lab I love spending time with my wife and our pets, hanging out at the beach, cooking, exercising, and reading books.
I received my BS from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where I majored in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Religion. As an undergraduate, I worked in the lab of Dr. Gretchen Neigh where I mainly focused on investigating metabolic and behavioral consequences of fructose exposure and adolescent stress. After graduating, I joined the CDC as an ORISE Fellow in the Poxvirus and Rabies Branch where I primarily worked on serological assay optimization and disease surveillance activities. I am currently a graduate student in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at UCSD. In the Allen lab, I am characterizing how changes to astrocyte-secreted factors contribute to synaptic dysfunction in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Outside of lab, I enjoy camping, climbing, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
I received my undergraduate degree in Chemistry at MIT and studied biochemistry at Ludwig Maximilian University (Germany) before moving to San Diego to pursue my MD/PhD. I joined the Allen lab as a UC San Diego graduate student in Neuroscience, and I began researching the role of astrocyte proteins in neurodevelopmental disorders. Outside the lab, I enjoy rock climbing, reading, playing violin, hiking, and skiing.
I went into science knowing I wanted to explore the brain. I completed my B.S. in Biotechnology Engineering at Universidad Autónoma de Quéretaro, México. I discovered my passion for glia biology when I joined the Bhat Lab for an internship at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center studying glioblastoma. I understood then the fundamental role of glia in regulating functions of the brain. I joined the Allen lab through UC San Diego Neurosciences Graduate Program. My work in the Allen lab focuses on activity-regulated genes in astrocytes and their modulatory role in synaptic plasticity. Outside of the lab, I help make science available for non-scientific audiences, with emphasis on the Hispanic community. I love traveling, camping, and spending time outdoors with my fiancée, my family and friends, and my dogs: Glia and Loki, I named the former.