•   Mailing Address
    The Scripps Research Institute
    130 Scripps Way #3C1
    Jupiter, Florida 33458

  •   Phone and Fax Numbers
    Lab      (561) 228-2104
    Admin  (561) 228-3509
    Fax      (561) 228-2107

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Srini Subramaniam is an Associate Professor (Tenure Track), obtained PhD in 2004 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he worked on the molecular signaling that triggers neuronal death. At Johns Hopkins University for his postdoctoral research, he addressed the mechanisms for tissue-specific dysfunctions, focusing Huntington's and Parkinson's disease. His hobbies involves, running, boxing and sketching.

Research Associates


Dr. Neelam Shahani is a staff scientist in Dr. Srini Subramaniam lab, graduated in 2000 from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Science (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India. Her PhD thesis was to develop in vitro and in vivo model for ALS. Neelam obtained her postdoc training in the University of Heidelberg, and worked as a faculty member in the university of Osnabruck focusing on Alzheimer disease, before moving to the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, as a senior researcher, where she focused on integrative signaling in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease, the area she contininues to focus in Dr. Subramaniam lab. In college days, she enjoyed flying, and now enjoys reading.


Dr. Megan Varnum joined the lab of Dr. Srini Subramaniam as a postdoctoral research associate in March 2016.  She is currently studying the complex roles of Rheb and BACE1 in the development of beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease.  Megan graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/ Neuroscience from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  After that, she obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Boston University where she began her study of neurodegenerative diseases.  In her spare time, Megan enjoys reading, exploring the wildlife in Florida with her dog, and exercising her artistic side by painting and drawing see sample here.


Dr Vindhya Nawaratne is a research associate in Dr. Subramaniam's lab. She completed her Bachelor of Biomedical Science and PhD in Pharmacology at Monash University, Australia. She then worked as a research officer in the MIPS-Servier Drug Discovery Program at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and a visiting academic at Reproductive Biology & Assisted Conception Laboratory, University of Melbourne. Her research has focused on characterizing ligand-receptor interaction and investigating signal transduction and cell biology for the purpose of improving drug discovery for neurological disorders. She enjoys traveling, snorkeling/scuba diving and spending time at the beach.


Sophia Park joined the graduate program at Scripps in Fall 2015. After joining the Subramaniam lab, she is now elucidating the role of mTOR signaling in both normal brain function as well as in Huntington’s disease. Sophia is from Tucson, Arizona, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona. During her undergraduate research, she explored mechanisms of photoxidative stress in skin as well as autophagy inhibitors as novel anti-melanoma therapeutics, allowing her to develop a passion for cellular signaling. Outside of the lab, Sophia enjoys powerlifting, music, traveling, and cooking.

Rotating students/Undergraduates

Jensen Wong joined TSRI as a graduate student in the summer of 2016.  A native of Honolulu, HI, Jensen graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology. Prior to becoming a TSRI graduate student, he worked in process development for biopharmaceuticals at Boehringer Ingelheim, and also did research on early B cell development and oncogenic signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia at UC San Francisco.  Currently he is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, especially when caused by protein misfolding and aggregation.  Besides his scientific pursuits, he enjoys working out, cooking and eating, going to the beach, and electronic music.  


Jennifer Hernandez is a research intern in Dr. Subramaniam's lab. She will be receiving her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior in May 2016, interested in medical research and hopes to go onto medical school Fall 2017. She enjoys snorkeling, bike riding, yoga and spending time at the beach.


Oscar Rivera – A U.S. Marine who served as a infantryman for four years, became a private investigator soon after his honorable discharge from the service. He worked insurance fraud cases and domestic cases throughout the state of Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina. Oscar is currently now wrapping up his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at FAU and with the aid of Dr. Subramaniam, he has secured an NIH grant; which has aid to propel his endeavor of further understanding the underlying molecular factors that lead to Huntington Disease. When Oscar is not in the lab or studying for his classes, you can find him with his family at a park enjoying nature or at his kitchen where he like to cook for family, friends and for himself too.


Vincenzo Andrew Giovinazzo is a undergrad student of the FAU Honor’s College with a concentration in Neuroscience. He is currently conducting his thesis research at the Scripp’s Institute under the tutelage and direction of Dr. Srini Subramaniam. His thesis project titled, “Dissecting the Stability of Rhes; a striatal protein involved in Huntington’s disease”, intends to elucidate the degradation pathway of the Rhes protein. When he is not studying or conducting research in the laboratory, his hobbies and personal interests are diverse and includes; basketball, golf, chess, football, traveling, cooking, art, yoga and all types of adventure and activity. He enjoys conversations of philosophy and he has a curiosity about the world that can’t be satisfied. He would like to persue medicine as a career.



Melissa Benilous provides administrative support to Dr. Srini Subramaniam lab. Melissa graduated from Palm Beach State College with an Associate in Science/Paralegal degree. Before joining Scripps-Florida in November 2013, Melissa worked as a Paralegal for a local Personal Injury/Worker’s Compensation law firm, and then as a fundraiser for the Norton Museum of Art.  In her spare time, Melissa enjoys visiting museums, photography, travel, and spending quality time with her family. 



Dr. William (Bill) Pryor was a research associate in Dr. Srini Subramaniam lab graduated from the University of Georgia, Atlanta, USA, in 2012 where he received his PhD in physiology. He studied the effects of chronic motor activity on immune cell infiltration and molecular pathways that resist cell death in the central nervous system in animal models of multiple sclerosis. As a postdoc, Bill worked on unraveling the molecular events involved with Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as examining regulators of protein synthesis, which has implications in neurodegenerative diseases. Published several important papers, with an F1000 recognition. Bill is now a Scientist at Stiefel, a GSK Company.


Lindsay Gorgen was an honors graduate student in Florida Atlantic University, majoring in Biology. She was doing her undergraduate thesis in Dr. Srini Subramaniam lab, understanding the molecular mechanism and biological significance of Rheb-PERK signaling, in which she co-authored in the publication. Lindsay is working as a assistant in Moffitt Cancer Center.


Dr. Supriya Swarnkar was a research associate (2012-2015) in Dr. Srini Subramaniam lab, obtained her Ph. D in 2012 from CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute. She worked on investigating the mechanisms of striatal vulnerability in mouse models of Huntington’s disease focusing on small GTPase Rhes and published the work in the journal, Neurobiology of disease, F1000 selected. Currently she is doing second postdoctoral training in Dr. Puthanveettil lab at Neuroscience, The Scripps Florida.


Sofia Karabasevic, worked as a summer trainee in Dr. Srini Subramaniam lab, and later selected for the competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Program of the Scripps’s Kellogg School of Science and Technology. Sofia is currently majoring in neuroscience at the Dartmouth College.


Nikhil Patwardhan worked as a Research Assistant (February 2013 – August 2013) in Dr. Srini Subramaniam lab where he studied the role of the mTOR pathway in mediating the striatal damage from Huntington's Disease. Nikhil is currently a doctoral candidate in the Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida working as a member of Dr. Stephen J. King's laboratory. They have generated a mouse model harboring a human dynein heavy chain mutation associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a common peripheral neuropathy. To date this is the first model of its kind. Nikhil is working on elucidating the molecular basis of the observed phenotype in these animals utilizing a number of biochemical techniques and microscope.

Job Opportunities

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