The Ron Davis Laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute Florida | Lab Members

Lab Members


Anderson Butler

Anderson Butler

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: abutler@scripps.edu

Anderson graduated in 2019 with a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he worked with Dr. Farah Lubin, studying the role of long noncoding RNAs on aging-related neuroepigenetic and behavioral changes. Anderson joined the Davis lab in 2019 and is currently investigating the impact of aging-related molecular changes on single neurons in Drosophila melanogaster.

deanna collia

Deanna Collia

Research Assistant IV
Email: dcollia@scripps.edu

Deanna received her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Microbiology from the University of Central Florida in 2007.  Prior to joining Scripps, she was employed with the CNS drug discovery unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals specializing in in-vitro assay development and screening small molecules targeting orphan GPCR’s.   She then went on to work with the high throughput screening group at Scripps Florida, developing and miniaturizing assays for ultra-high throughput and high content screening.  She joined the Davis lab in 2018 and is currently involved in assay development to characterize and screen novel targets thought to be involved in disorders of the CNS.

Sarah Elder

Sarah Elder

Research Technician
Email: selder@scripps.edu

Sarah graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Central Florida in 2017.  She is currently working on a large scale RNAi screen for memory suppressor genes.  Sarah investigates olfactory learning and memory in Drosophila from a behavioral perspective. 

Mayra Bueno Guerrero

Mayra Bueno Guerrero

Research Technician
Email: mguerrero@scripps.edu

Mayra graduated from Florida Institute of Technology in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology. She joined the Davis Lab later that year and is currently working on a large RNAi screen to identify memory suppressor genes that impact olfactory learning in Drosophila.

Karlis Justs

Karlis Justs

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: kjusts@scripps.edu

Karlis graduated in 2019 from Florida Atlantic University with a Ph.D. in Integrated Biology and Neuroscience. In the laboratory of Dr. Gregory Macleod, he investigated how presynaptic terminals coordinate their mitochondrial density in proportion to their energetic demands. Karlis joined Davis lab in 2019 and he is currently involved in a high-throughput screen to identify small molecules that enhance mitochondrial function for potential therapeutic treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Courtney MacMullen

Courtney "Cori" MacMullen

Research Assistant IV
Email: cmacmull@scripps.edu

Cori graduated from Cedar Crest College in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Genetic Engineering and a minor in Chemistry. She went on to work for 11 years at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she searched for novel, disease-causing mutations in children with Hyperinsulinism. Cori is currently involved in using neurons derived from hIPSCs to discover compounds to treat mitochondrial dysfunction in brain disorders.

Nathaniel Noyes

Nathaniel Noyes

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: nnoyes@scripps.edu

Nathaniel graduated in 2014 from the University of Maryland with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology.  In the laboratory of Dudley Strickland he investigated the role of LDL receptors in the molecular pathways of Alzheimer’s disease and normal neuronal physiology.  Nathaniel joined the Davis lab in 2015 and is examining the cellular and molecular mechanisms for memory maintenance using Drosophila as a model organism. 

Joanna Poprawski

Joanna "Asia" Poprawski

Research Assistant II
Email: jpopraws@scripps.edu

Joanna graduated in 2015 from Johns Hopkins University with a master’s degree in Biotechnology; a concentration in molecular targets and drug discovery technologies. Prior to joining Scripps, Joanna worked at University of Miami under Dr. Slingerland where she tested epigenetic drug molecules as possible therapeutic agents for triple negative breast cancer. Joanna joined the Davis lab in 2017 and currently she is involved in the mitochondrial dynamics modulators screening project.

Luis Romero

Luis Romero

Research Technician
Email: lromero@scripps.edu

Luis graduated in 2012 with a BSc in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he worked in Dr. Mostafa El-Sayed’s lab studying the use of nanoparticles and their photo-thermal properties as a potential targeted delivery system to destroy breast cancer cells. Prior to joining Scripps, Luis worked in Gregory Petsko’s lab at Weill Cornell Medical College; he focused on the discovery of novel molecular and genetic approaches to treat Alzheimer’s and ALS. He joined the Davis lab in 2019 and is currently working on screening mitochondrial dynamics modulators for their possible efficacy in treating or mitigating neurodegenerative diseases.

Martin Sabandal

John Martin Gabriel Sabandal

Graduate Student
Email: jsabanda@scripps.edu

Martin recently graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in May 2017. His previous work focused on the role of the adrenergic-like (octopamine) system in Drosophila learning, memory and reproduction. He is currently performing research into the neuroscience-based mechanisms underlying transient forgetting.

Neelam Sharma

Neelam Sharma

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: nsharma@scripps.edu

Neelam graduated in 2019 from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India with a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. For her Ph.D., she worked with Dr. Shasi Vardhan Kalivendi, investigating the disease modifying role of the DJ-1 protein in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease. Neelam joined the Davis lab in 2020 as a postdoctoral associate. Her current research focusses on developing mitochondrial based therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders. 

Xingjun Wang

Xingjun Wang

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: xwang@scripps.edu

Xingjun graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from School of Life Science and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai, China. In 2009, he joined the Lei Xue’s lab, Tongji University in China. His dissertation work with Dr. Lei Xue involved the investigation the normal function of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in a Drosophila Alzheimer’s disease model. In 2017, Xingjun joined the Davis lab and is testing the efficacy of promising drugs to correct Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease phenotypes in Drosophila models for these neurodegenerative diseases and studying the molecular and cellular basis for learning and memory.

Deepthi Yedlapudi

Deepthi Yedlapudi

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: dyedlapudi@scripps.edu

Deepthi graduated in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, India where she worked with Dr. Shasi Vardhan Kalivendi, investigating the role of alternatively spliced isoforms of a-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease. Prior to joining the Davis lab, Deepthi worked at Wayne State University with Dr. Dutta and Dr. Monks, where she worked on developing novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders and investigating the mechanisms through which Metformin-methylglyoxal derivative alleviates diabetic complications. Deepthi joined the Davis lab in 2019 and her work focusses on screening mitochondrial based therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders.

Xiaofan Zhang

Xiaofan Zhang

Graduate Student
Email: xzhang@scripps.edu

Xiaofan graduated in 2013 from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China with a Bachelor’s degree in Bioscience. After working for two years on Drosophila learning and memory at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, he enrolled in the graduate program of TSRI. Xiaofan joined the Davis lab in May 2016 and is studying the mechanisms of Drosophila learning and memory.

Niki Mabie

Niki Mabie

Laboratory Administrative Assistant
Email: dmabie@scripps.edu

Niki Mabie joined Scripps in 2019 as Administrative Assistant. She supports Dr. Ronald L. Davis and his lab members. Niki’s background includes more than 25 years of communications and public relations experience.