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

Lab Members


Isaac Cervantes-Sandoval

Isaac Cervantes-Sandoval

Staff Scientist, Sr.
Email: isandova@scripps.edu

Isaac graduated in 2009 with a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Science in The National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico. His dissertation work with Dr. Shibayama involved the study of immune natural response against the human parasitic amoeba Naegleria fowleri. Isaac is currently exploring reward learning memory traces.

Jacob Berry

Jacob Berry

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: jaberry@scripps.edu

Jacob graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor's degree in Computation Physics from the University of Texas at Austin. After working for two years in breast cancer research at Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center, he entered the Developmental Biology Program at BCM and started his PhD research on learning and memory in the Davis lab. Jacob recently obtained his PhD and is currently a postdoctoral fellow studying dopamine neurons and their role in learning and forgetting using a combination of in vivo functional imaging and behavioral assays.

deanna collia

Deanna Collia

Research Assistant III
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.

Miklos Kepiro

Miklos Kepiro

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: mkepiro@scripps.edu

Miklos graduated in 2015 with a Ph.D. in Structural Biology from Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary. In the lab of Dr. Andras Malnasi-Csizmadia he was involved in the chemical synthesis and functional characterization of myosin II inhibitors. Miklos joined the Davis in 2015 where he is focusing on a high content screening project aiming to find lead compounds altering mitochondrial dynamics thereby improving neuronal survival in neurodegenerative diseases using mouse primary cortical neurons.

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. 

Anna Phan

Anna Phan

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: aphan@scripps.edu

Anna graduated in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The University of Guelph in Canada, where she worked with Dr. Elena Choleris, studying the effects of estrogens on learning and memory, dendritic spines and glutamate neurotransmission in mice. Anna is currently investigating the role of structural plasticity in learning and memory in Drosophila Melanogaster.

Martin Sabandal

John Martin Gabriel Sabandal

Graduate Student
Email: jsabanda@scripps.edu

Martin recently graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso on May 2017. His previous work focused on the role of the adrenergic-like (octopamine) system in Drosophila learning, memory and reproduction. He is currently doing his first rotation with the Davis lab investigating dopamine's role in learning, memory and forgetting.

Boglarka Varkuti

Boglarka "Bogi" Varkuti

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: BVarkuti@scripps.edu

Bogi obtained her PhD in Structural Biology in 2014 at Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary. Her dissertation work in the lab of Dr. Andras Malnasi-Csizmadia involved the discovery and characterization of a specific actomyosin interaction responsible for force generation. Before joining the Davis lab in 2015, together with her collegues she developed photoactivatable inhibitors and an in vivo 2P-inducible drug effect confinement technique called molecular tattooing. She is currently focusing on the investigation of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases using HTS of primary neurons.

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, 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 Alzhimer’s disease phenotypes in Drosophila models for these neurodegenerative diseases and studying the molecular and cellular basis for learning and memory.

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 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 using these techniques to search for novel mutations in bipolar disorder patients whose shared genetic haplotypes link them to genes involved in memory and learning.

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 mitochondrial dynamics modulators screening project.

Erica Walkinshaw

Erica Walkinshaw

Research Assistant II
Email: ewalkins@scripps.edu

Erica received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Boston University in January 2011. Joining the Davis Lab as a Research Technician in February 2011, she was involved in a screen identifying genes that impact olfactory learning and memory in Drosophila. Erica was promoted to Research Assistant in January 2013, and is currently studying genetic mutants with enhanced learning and memory abilities.

David Walkinshaw

David Walkinshaw

Lab Assistant III
Email: dwalkins@scripps.edu

David joined the Davis Lab at Scripps in September 2013 as a fly food chef. Prior to joining the lab, David retired to Florida after a 30 year career in funeral service.

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 in Drosophila learning and memory at Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, he was enrolled in the graduate program of TSRI. Xiaofan joined the Davis lab in May 2016 and is now studying the mechanism of Drosophila learning and memory using functional imaging method.

Trina Kemp

Trina Kemp

Administrative Assistant Sr
Email: tkemp@scripps.edu

Trina joined the Davis Lab at Scripps in July 2009 as Administrative Assistant. She supports Dr. Ronald L. Davis, Professor, and Dr. Damon Page, Associate Professor in the Department. Trina’s background includes more than 25 years of administrative support experience.