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

Lab Members


Rupkatha Banerjee

Rupkatha Banerjee

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: rbanerjee@scripps.edu

Rupkatha graduated in 2020 from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York with a Ph.D. in Biology. Her Ph.D. research with Dr. Shermali Gunawardena focused on investigating the regulation of molecular motors by Glycogen synthase kinase 3β and Presenilin during axonal transport. Rupkatha joined the Davis lab in 2020 and is currently working on developing mitochondria-based therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease.

Anderson Butler

Wesley Bollinger

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: wbollinger@scripps.edu

Wes graduated from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 2018 with a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology and Neuroscience. While at FAU, Wes worked in the lab of Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully, where he discovered classes of compounds that protect an essential cellular process from acute oxidative stress. Following his Ph.D., Wes pursued a clinical trials interest by working for Arog Pharmaceuticals Inc., which serves as the sponsor for several oncology trials. Wes joined the Davis lab in 2020 where he is performing a screen, with the goal of identifying novel compounds that alleviate the pathological effects observed in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s disease.

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.

Sarah Elder

Sarah Elder

Research Technician I
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

Asia 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.

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 Shahani

Neelam Shahani

Staff Scientist
Email: nshahani@scripps.edu

Neelam graduated from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Science (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India, in 2000 with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. She obtained her Postdoc training at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Later, she moved on to Johns Hopkins University as a Senior Researcher, where she focused on integrative signaling in psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, and continued this focus in the Subramaniam lab at Scripps, Florida. Neelam joined the Davis lab in 2021 and is currently involved in modeling ALS phenotypes in patient-specific iPSC-derived motor neurons to test compounds to treat mitochondrial dysfunction.

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. 

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.