Lab Members

Marc Tessier-Lavigne

Marc Tessier-Lavigne
President
Professor
Phone: 212-327-8080
E-mail: Marc.Tessier-Lavigne[at]rockefeller.edu
Marc received undergraduate degrees from McGill University and from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. from University College London (UCL). After postdoctoral work at UCL and at Columbia University, he established his laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He later moved to Stanford, where he was the Susan B. Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and then to Genentech Inc., where he served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research, as well as running his laboratory. He joined The Rockefeller University in 2011 as President and Carson Family Professor, and as Head of the Laboratory of Brain Development and Repair.

Ricardo Azevedo

Ricardo Azevedo
Research Assistant
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: ricardo.azevedo[at]rockefeller.edu
Ricardo was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. He received his bachelors in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Rutgers University while working all four years in the lab. He completed his honors thesis while working in the lab of Dr. Mladen-Roko Rasin and first joined our lab as a summer SURF student. Ricardo now works in the lab full time on whole embryo and organ staining as well as studying mouse spinal cord development. He volunteers as an EMT and plans on obtaining a joint M.D./Ph.D degree.

Deanna Belsky

Deanna Belsky
Graduate Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7106
E-mail: Deanna.Belsky[at]rockefeller.edu
Deanna comes to New York via Pennsylvania where she earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Asian Studies (2011) at Robert E. Cook Honors College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She worked as a Research Assistant in several labs during her undergraduate studies and is now examining the molecular mechanisms controlling the degeneration of axons in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. She is supported by a fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Antonia Chen

Antonia Chen
Research Assistant
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Antonia.Chen[at]rockefeller.edu
Antonia is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens. She attended Stony Brook University, receiving her B.S. in Biochemistry (2008) while also working as a Research Assistant. She went on to earn her M.S. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine (2012), performing her thesis work with Dr. Hans-Willem Snoeck. She enjoys volunteering her time to many important causes and is a member of our induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) team, which is focused on characterizing human neurons that carry genetic mutations causing dementia.

Andrew Gregg

Andrew Gregg
M.D./Ph.D. Student
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Andrew.Gregg[at]rockefeller.edu
Andy was born and raised in California. He attended Boston College and received his B.S. in Biology (2010) while working as a undergraduate researcher in Dr. Kenneth Williams' laboratory, and spent his summers interning at Genentech. Andy is currently a medical student at Weill-Cornell Medical College. In the spring of 2013 he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellowship to pursue his interest in using iPSC-derived neurons to understand how particular genetic defects contribute to neurodegeneration and dementia.

Nicholas Hertz

Nicholas Hertz
Postdoctoral Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Nicholas.Hertz[at]rockefeller.edu
Nicholas is originally from Santa Monica, California. He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Biochemistry in 2006, doing research in both a synthetic organic chemistry lab and a biochemistry lab. He then combined his research interests by performing a Ph.D in chemical biology with Drs. Kevan Shokat and Al Burlingame at UCSF, using chemical genetic techniques to elucidate kinase signaling pathways. In the Tessier-Lavigne lab Nicholas is interested in identifying and characterizing novel axon-specific caspase cleavage targets that regulate axon degeneration.

Dylan Kwart

Dylan Kwart
Graduate Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Dylan.Kwart[at]rockefeller.edu
Dylan, another member of the iPS team, is originally from Ontario, Canada. He completed his Bachelor's degree at the University of Ottawa in 2011. During his undergraduate studies, he participated in an exchange program with The National University of Singapore. Dylan deferred his admission to the Rockefeller graduate program so that he could complete his Master's degree in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford (2012). He is currently focused on using iPSC-derived human neurons harboring mutations that cause frontotemporal dementia to understand how these genetic mutations contribute to disease onset and progression.

Kate Macina

Kate Macina
Research Assistant
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Kate.Macina[at]rockefeller.edu
Kate was born and raised on Long Island. She earned her B.A. from New York University (2013) while working as a Research Associate in lab of Dr. Serge Przedborski at Columbia University. Kate has worked with several foundations and was a summer research student at The Jackson Laboratory. She is assisting with the behavioral assessment of ALS-disease model mice and is interested in pursing either graduate or medical school in the future.

Kimberly Moore Olsen

Kimberly Moore Olsen
Senior Research Associate
Phone: 212-327-7106
E-mail: KimberlyMoore.Olsen[at]rockefeller.edu
Kim was raised in a South Jersey suburb of Philadelphia. For her B.S. (1990), she studied toxicology at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science. She earned her Ph.D. (1999) with Dr. Daniel Weinreich at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she studied mechanisms of unmasking of NK-2 receptors in vagal sensory neurons. she then studied pathophysiological mechanisms underlying chonic pain with Dr. Clifford Woolf at Harvard University and then moved to USCF where she provided new insights into mechanisms regulating synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus with Dr. Roger Nicoll. Before joining the Tessier-Lavigne lab, Kim studied mechanisms of A-beta inhibition of LTP with Dr. Morgan Sheng at Genentech. She currently focuses on understanding the mechanisms that contribute to developmental axon pruning in the cerebellum.

Olav Olsen

Olav Olsen
Scientific Manager and Senior Research Associate
Phone: 212-327-7104
E-mail: Olav.Olsen[at]rockefeller.edu
Olav was born and raised in New Jersey. He earned his B.S. (1995) in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University and then shifted his focus to understanding the mechanisms of polarized cell trafficking while earning his Ph.D. (2001) in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Welling at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. During his postdoctoral research in Dr. David Bredt's lab at UCSF, Olav continued studying mechanism governing cell polarity but extended his work to neurons. From there, he moved to Genentech to join the Tessier-Lavigne lab where he oversees operation of the lab and investigates mechanisms of axon degeneration.

Dominik Paquet

Dominik Paquet
Postdoctoral Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Dominik.Paquet[at]rockefeller.edu
Dominik is a native of Germany. He studied Biology at the Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet in Tuebingen, Germany, where he earned his B.S. (2004) and went on to earn a M.S. (2005) with Dr. Henry Roehl at the MRC Centre for Developmental Genetics in Sheffield, UK. For his Ph.D. (2009), Dominik developed the first Tau-transgenic zebrafish model to study mechanisms of Tau-related neurodegeneration with Dr. Christian Haass at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. He also worked with Dr. Thomas Misgeld at the Technical University Munich for 2 years, where he used in vivo imaging of zebrafish larvae to study mitochondrial transport defects in neurodegenerative diseases. Dominik remains interested in understanding the underlying causes of neurodegenerative diseases and is using TALEN-/CRISPR-mediated genome editing in induced pluripotent stem cells to understand the underlying causes of neurodegenerative diseases in this new model system.

Jason Pitts

Jason Pitts
Graduate Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Jason.Pitts[at]rockefeller.edu
Jason hails from Long Island, New York. He received his B.A. in Biology (2008) from Cornell University and worked as a Research Intern at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals during his undergraduate studies. He continued working at Regeneron as a Research Associate, before joining the Ph.D. program at The Rockefeller University, where he was recently awarded the David Rockefeller Fellowship (2013). Jason's research is focused on understanding the mechanisms upstream of Bax activation in the Caspase cascade that lead to axon degeneration.

Nicolas Renier

Nicolas Renier
Postdoctoral Associate
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Nicolas.Renier[at]rockefeller.edu
Nico is from Paris, France. He received a B.S. is Cell Biology (2006) from the École Normale Superieure de la rue d'Ulm and a M.S. in Neuroscience (2007) from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. He performed his Ph.D. work on axon guidance with Dr. Alain Chédotal at the Vision Institute in Paris before joining our laboratory. His interest lies in understanding how commissural axons in the spinal cord navigate to and across one of their intermediate targets at the spinal cord midline.

David Simon

David Simon
Postdoctoral Associate
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: David.Simon[at]rockefeller.edu
Dave grew up near the southern coast of Long Island. He attended Brandeis University, earning a B.S. and M.S. in Neuroscience (2002) while working with Dr. Eve Marder. He decided to remain in Massachusetts for his Ph.D. thesis and worked on the regulation of synapse function by microRNAs with Dr. Josh Kaplan at Harvard University (2008). He then joined the Tessier-Lavigne lab at Genentech, before moving back east with us. Dave is interested in understanding the shared and divergent mechanisms by which axons degenerate under different physiological stresses.

Alice Stanton

Alice Stanton
Research Assistant
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: alice.stanton[at]rockefeller.edu
Alice is originally from Erie, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering (2013). While at Princeton she conducted research in the Tissue Morphodynamics lab of Dr. Celeste Nelson on mechanical stresses during embryonic lung development. Alice has also interned at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Technische Universitaet zu Braunschweig.

Sze Sing Shaun Teo

Sze Sing Shaun Teo
Graduate Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: SzeSingShaun.Teo[at]rockefeller.edu
Shaun is from Singapore. For his undergraduate work, he moved to the University of Chicago where he earned his B.A. in the Biological Sciences (2010) and completed a research project on the electrophysiological responses of brainstem neurons to itch and pain stimuli. Before entering graduate school at The Rockefeller University, he spent a year at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Singapore) studying epigenetic mechanisms of learning and memory. His current work on understanding the diversity of axon guidance mechanisms in midline crossing is supported by a scholarship from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore.

Zhuhao Wu

Zhuhao Wu
Postdoctoral Associate
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Zhuhao.Wu[at]rockefeller.edu
Zhuhao is originally from China and graduated from Tsinghua University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Biotechnology (2003) while working as a Research Assistant with Dr. Zihe Rao. He earned his Ph.D. (2011) under the mentorship of Dr. Alex Kolodkin at The Johns Hopkins University where he studied sensory circuit assembly in Drosophila. Zhuhao is focused on studying how axons navigate through intermediate targets to form functional connections over long distances, in particular, how axons change their properties interacting with the environment during development.

Yuya Yamagishi

Yuya Yamagishi
Postdoctoral Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Yuya.Yamagishi[at]rockefeller.edu
Yuya comes to the Tessier-Lavigne lab from Tokyo. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Tokyo (2006) and then joined Dr. Yoshinori Watanabe's lab for his dissertation research. After completing his Ph.D in 2011 he stayed on at the University of Tokyo as a Research Associate to complete his research on chromosomal segregation, and then joined our group in 2013. Yuya is currently focused on revealing novel mechanisms that are shared and unique to different triggers that induce axon degeneration.

Jing Yang

Jing Yang
Postdoctoral Associate
Phone: 212-327-7106
E-mail: Jing.Yang[at]rockefeller.edu
Jing is a native of China. He graduated from Peking University where he earned his B.S. (2003). He migrated to Dallas, Texas where he performed his Ph.D. thesis work on fatty-acid modification in the Department of Molecular Genetics (2009) at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center with Nobel laureates Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein. Since joining the Tessier-Lavigne lab at Genentech and now at The Rockefeller University, Jing has been focused on revealing novel mechanisms responsible for the destruction of axons following injury — so called Wallerian degeneration.