Professional and meaningful training for UCI brain scientists

CNLM 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.

The committees include:

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

CNLM Ambassador Leadership

Manuella Yassa
Program Director

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

Contact Manuella
Jessica Noche
Program Co-Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Jessica
Rachon Sweiss
Program Co-Chair

Undergraduate Student

Contact Rachon
Natalie DiProspero
K-12 Program Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Natalie
Elena Dominguez
Adult Program Co-Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Elena
Myra Larson
Adult Program Co-Chair

Research Staff

Contact Myra
Angie Quagletti
Outcomes Chair

Undergraduate Student

Contact Angie
Eva Morozko
Professional Development Co-Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Eva
Caitlin Suire
Professional Development Co-Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Caitlin
Morgan Coburn
Brain Explorer Academy Co-Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Morgan
Jonathan Hasselmann
Brain Explorer Academy Co-Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Jonathan
Maria Montchal
Communications Chair

Graduate Student

Contact Maria

Who are the CNLM Ambassadors?

"I study the development of Alzheimer's Disease so I can discover new ways to prevent or slow it."

Andra Ionescu, Graduate Student

"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."

Jonathan Hasselman, Graduate Student

"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."

Joren Adams, Research Specialist

"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."

Jessica Bolton, Postdoctoral Fellow

"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."

Angeline Eugene, Graduate Student

"I am interested in how the fluid that bathes the central nervous system may be playing a role in neurodegeneration."

Isabella Sanchez, Graduate Student

"I think the brain is endlessly fascinating -- the more you know, the more there is to know!"

Noora Siddiqui, Graduate Student

"I use intracranial recordings in pre-surgical epilepsy patients to study how the brain creates and retrieves precise spatial memories."

Rebecca Stevenson, Graduate Student

"I find it fascinating that cultural experience shapes memory and perception. My research studies how exposure to people of different races affects how well we remember their faces."

Jessie Yaros, Graduate Student

"My research group is working to identify mechanisms of drug addiction, particularly in adolescents and what contributes to their onset of drug use."

Michelle Ren, Graduate Student

"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."

Amanda McQuade, Graduate Student

"I am interested in understanding the neural circuitry underlying motivated behavior, and how these circuits go awry in psychiatric diseases."

Mitch Farrell, Graduate Student

"The brain is one of the most fascinating and complex things in existence. There is still infinitely more to learn!"

Michelle Doan, Academic Counselor

"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."

Valeria Lallai, Graduate Student

"I am interested in examining the brain circuitry that underlies learning and memory and understanding how these circuits go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders."

Brittney Cox, Postdoctoral Fellow

"I focus on cognitive aging in individuals 90 and older by studying the human brain through structural MRI scans. With this, I hope to find biomarkers of preserved memory in advanced aging."

Elena Dominguez, Graduate Student

Joren Adams
Research Specialist
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Jude Banihani


Bernstein_Olivia copy
Olivia Bernstein
Graduate Student
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
Rianne Campbell
Graduate Student
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Aaron Chang
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Miranda Chappel-Farley
Graduate Student
Brittney Cox
Postdoctoral Fellow
Michelle Doan
Academic Counselor
Stephanie Doering
Gabriel Elias
Postdoctoral Fellow
Nihal Eltom
Graduate Student
Angeline Eugene
Graduate Student
Mitchell Farrell
Graduate Student
Granger_Steven Jay
Steve Granger
Graduate Student
Caden Henningfield
Graduate Student
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Rachael Hokenson
Graduate Student
Elizabeth Hubbard
Graduate Student
Andra Ionescu
Graduate Student
Shireen Khan
Valeria Lallai
Postdoctoral Fellow


Jason Lee
Graduate Student
Desiree Macchia
Graduate Student
Amanda McQuade
Graduate Student
Susana Mesa
Research Associate
Jorge Mendoza
Karishma Muthukumar
Saum Naderi
Taylor Nakayama
Graduate Student
Julian Quintanilla
Graduate Student
Hamsi Radhakrishnan
Graduate Student
Michelle Ren
Graduate Student
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Daniel Jun Rindner
Graduate Student
Isabel Rivera
Graduate Student
Samantha Rutledge
UCI Staff
Isabella Sanchez
Graduate Student
Jessica Sanchez
Graduate Student
Noora Siddiqui
Graduate Student
Anna Smith
UCI Staff
Rebecca Stevenson
Graduate Student
Lea Stith
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Alexandria Weaver
Graduate Student
Jessie Yaros
Graduate Student

Alumni Ambassadors

Amy Frithsen
Former Postdoctoral Fellow
Navid Ghaffari
Former Undergraduate Student
Hung Tran
Former Undergraduate Student