Ambassador Program

The CNLM Ambassador Program, led by Manuella Yassa, Director of Outreach and Education, aims to advance public understanding of brain science through outreach and educational activities. The engine of the program is the group of more than 50 UC Irvine undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who design, execute and evaluate meaningful activities on campus and in the community throughout the year. The program provides meaningful leadership opportunities for UC Irvine brain scientists as well as professional development training in scientific communication, educational program outcome design and evaluation.

If you are interested in becoming a CNLM Ambassador please reach out to Manuella Yassa here: memory@uci.edu

CNLM Ambassador Leadership

Manuella Yassa

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Program Director
Director of Outreach and Education
Center for the Neurobiology of Learning an Memory

Jessica Noche

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Program Co-Chair
Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Rachon Sweiss

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Program Co-Chair
Undergraduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Natalie DiProspero

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K-12 Program Chair
Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Elena Dominguez

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Adult Program Co-Chair
Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Myra Larson

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Adult Program Co-Chair
Research Staff
School of Biological Sciences

Maria Montchal

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Communications Chair
Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Angelina Quagletti

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Outcomes Chair
Undergraduate Student
School of Social Sciences

Eva Morozko

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Professional Development Co-Chair
Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Caitlin Suire

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Professional Development Co-Chair
Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Lena Nguyen

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Historian
Undergraduate Student
School of Biological Sciences

Who are the CNLM Ambassadors?

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Joren Adams

Research Specialist
School of Biological Sciences
I am interested in examining how our brains are affected by our mood, and how they might be changed by mood-related disorders such as depression.
Jessica Bolton
graduate student in Psychology and Neuroscience
recipient of 2015 Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Mentoring, and Inclusive Excellence from the Duke Graduate School

Jessica Bolton

Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Medicine
I am interested in how the early-life environment can shape brain development and later risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. I am currently investigating how microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, may play a role in this developmental programming.
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Brittney Cox

Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Medicine
I am interested in examining the brain circuitry that underlies learning and memory and understanding how these circuits go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders.
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Michelle Doan

Academic Counselor
School of Social Sciences
The brain is one of the most fascinating and complex things in existence. There is still infinitely more to learn!
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Angeline Eugene

Graduate Student
School of Social Sciences
I like to learn about the brain because it's really cool how it controls everything from breathing to our heartbeats without us having to think about it. Currently, I study nicotine and cannabis addiction behaviors using rodent models.
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Mitchell Farrell

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I am interested in understanding the neural circuitry underlying motivated behavior, and how these circuits go awry in psychiatric diseases.
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Navid Ghaffari

Undergraduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I find the brain extremely fascinating and really enjoy learning about its structure and function. I am particularly interested in the neural circuitry of memories.
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Jonathan Hasselmann

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
My graduate research is focused on clarifying both the positive and negative roles of human microglia in Alzheimer’s disease with the hope of identifying novel methods of modulating AD-related pathology.
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Andra Ionescu

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I study the development of Alzheimer's Disease so I can discover new ways to prevent or slow it.
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Valeria Lallai

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
My research objectives are focused on the definition of neurobiological mechanisms in the brain circuits involved in the emergence and maintenance of drug research behaviors that characterize addiction; and on downstream mechanisms that regulate drug reinforcement, maintenance of drug research behavior, and memory for drug-related stimuli.
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Amanda McQuade

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I am passionate about researching the molecular mechanisms that underlie brain degeneration. In Dr. Blurton-Jones' lab I am studying how the immune cells of the brain influence the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
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Susana Mesa

Research Associate
School of Biological Sciences
I am interested in the way we learn and remember information. In the past I have studied the strategies utilized by animals in episodic memory, particularly how information is temporally organized in time. I'm interested in examining the behavioral strategies utilized by rats to remember sequences of events and the mechanisms underlying the temporal organization of memory.
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Michelle Ren

Graduate Student
School of Medicine
My research group is working to identify mechanisms of drug addiction, particularly in adolescents and what contributes to their onset of drug use.
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Isabella Sanchez

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I am interested in how the fluid that bathes the central nervous system may be playing a role in neurodegeneration.
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Noora Siddiqui

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I think the brain is endlessly fascinating -- the more you know, the more there is to know!
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Rebecca Stevenson

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I use intracranial recordings in pre-surgical epilepsy patients to study how the brain creates and retrieves precise spatial memories.
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Hung Tran

Undergraduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
My research interest is to learn about the effects of sleep on learning and memory of young healthy adults. Specifically, I am conducting research on Mnemonic Discrimination Task (MDT) under Dr. Yassa.
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Jessie Yaros

Graduate Student
School of Biological Sciences
I find it fascinating that cultural experience shapes memory and perception. My research studies how exposure to people of different races effects how well we remember their faces.