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:

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

Maria Montchal

Communications Chair
Graduate Student
Contact Maria

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

Lena Nguyen

Undergraduate Student
Contact Lena

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

Jessica Bolton

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
Postdoctoral Fellow

Rianne Campbell

Graduate Student

Morgan Coburn

Graduate Student

Brittney Cox

Postdoctoral Fellow

Michelle Doan

Academic Counselor

Angeline Eugene

Graduate Student

Mitchell Farrell

Graduate Student

Jonathan Hasselmann

Graduate Student

Caden Henningfield

Graduate Student

Andra Ionescu

Graduate Student

Valeria Lallai

Graduate Student

Amanda McQuade

Graduate Student

Susana Mesa

Research Associate

Michelle Ren

Graduate Student

Isabella Sanchez

Graduate Student

Jessica Sanchez

Graduate Student

Noora Siddiqui

Graduate Student

Rebecca Stevenson

Graduate Student

Jessie Yaros

Graduate Student

Alumni Ambassadors

Amy Frithsen

Postdoctoral Fellow

Navid Ghaffari

Undergraduate Student

Hung Tran

Undergraduate Student