It takes a talent, dedication, and inspiration to bring people together

Meet Our Team

CNLM Director, Michael Yassa

Michael Yassa, Ph.D.

Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
B.A. and M.A., Johns Hopkins University

Ph: (949) 824-1687  |  Email:  |  Office: 320 QRL

Diana Lofflin Headshot

Diana Lofflin, B.A.
Chief Administrative Officer

B.A., Willamette University

Prior to joining the CNLM team, Diana served as the Director of Communications in the UCI Office of the Provost where she worked on many cross-disciplinary projects and community engagement initiatives. She specializes in leveraging technology and design to make complex concepts accessible to a general audience. Her diverse skillset -- including strategic planning, graphic design, website development, and social media strategy -- will be instrumental in bringing the important work happening at the CNLM to a larger audience.

Ph: (949) 824-4186  |  Email:  |  Office: 320 QRL

CNLM Team - Manuella Oliveira Yassa

Manuella Oliveira Yassa, M.A.
Director of Outreach and Education

M.A., University of California, Irvine
Johns Hopkins University

Ph.D. in progress, University of California, Irvine

Manuella was born in Brazil and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She completed her Bachelor's degree in neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University, and Master's Degree in Social Ecology with a focus on neuroscience education. Before joining UCI as the CNLM's Director of Outreach and Education, Manuella taught middle school science in Baltimore’s inner city public school system. Manuella is also working toward earning a doctoral degree at the UCI School of Social Ecology where her research focuses on the impact of university-community partnerships on the diversity of the STEM pipeline and workforce.

Ph: (949) 824-5193  |  Email:  |  Office: 309 QRL

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Raymond D. Villareal, Ed.S., NCSP
Outreach and Education Assistant

Ed.S. and M.Ed., College of William and Mary
University of California, Irvine

Prior to joining the CNLM team, Raymond served as a psychometrist and school psychologist for low-income students and incarcerated adults throughout Texas and Virginia. Raymond is currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Education at UCI focusing on the effects of trauma on executive functioning and learning. Through advocacy and research, Raymond aims to improve access and educational outcomes for underrepresented minorities and low-income students interested in neuroscience, psychology, and education.

Ph: (949) 824-5193  |  Email:  |  Office: 320 QRL


CNLM Executive Director of Development, Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith, M.S.
Executive Director of Development

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles
M.S., University of Nevada-Las Vegas 


CNLM Meet Our Time - London Perkins

London Perkins
Student Administrative Assistant

A SoCal local, London is an undergraduate Social Ecology major at UC Irvine. She plans on pursuing a masters degree in Urban Planning in hopes to tackle issues such as urban pollution, redlining, and the homelessness crisis from a corporate and/or government perspective. Previously delving in telecommunications, London now works as an administrative and financial assistant for the CNLM.



Joshna Jude Jose
Student Scientific Communications Assistant

Joshna is an undergraduate Neurobiology student at UC Irvine. Passionate about making STEM more accessible, she has worked on projects teaching science and math through interactive activities to elementary schools and underserved communities. She teaches math on the weekends and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the biotechnology field. Currently, she works on social media campaigns and newsletters for the CNLM.


Executive Committee

Sunil Gandhi
Vice Chair of the Executive Committee

Marcelo Wood
Chair, Neurobiology & Behavior

Christine Gall
Chair, Anatomy & Neurobiology


Gary Lynch
Distinguished Professor, Psychiatry

Bruce McNaughton
Distinguished Professor, Neurobiology & Behavior

Barbara Dosher
Distinguished Professor, Cognitive Science


Faculty Fellows

The 123 Faculty Fellows of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory make up the core of the Center. Our Fellows have appointments in a wide range of departments in including Neurobiology and Behavior, Engineering, Psychology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Cognitive Sciences, Anatomy and Neurobiology and Pharmacology because they tackle the study of the neurobiology of learning and memory from different angles, using different tools. To learn more about the Faculty Fellows of the CNLM, please click here.

CNLM Ambassadors

The CNLM Ambassadors are a group of over 70 undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research staff and community members who are passionate about brain awareness, education and outreach. The group engages in brain awareness activities both on the UC Irvine campus and in K-12 schools, community centers and senior centers in Orange County and Southern California. Click here to learn more about the CNLM Ambassadors Program.

The Chairs of the CNLM Ambassadors for 2022-2023 academic year are Caden Henningfield and Miranda Chappel-Farley.


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