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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.
Michael Diffield
Michael Duffield
Research Assistant
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Michael.Duffield[at]rockefeller.edu
Michael is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He obtained a BS in Neuroscience and Psychology from Ursinus College (2012) and an MS in Drug Discovery and Development from Drexel University College of Medicine (2015). His thesis work focused on enhancement of the EAAT2 glutamate transporter for the purpose of preventing and treating neuronal excitotoxicity. He is now focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms of neurodegeneration using human iPSC-derived neurons harboring mutations.
Paul Frazel
Paul Frazel
Research Assistant
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Paul.Frazel[at]rockefeller.edu
Paul hails from Chicago. He was a double major in Biology and Philosophy at Dartmouth College. As an undergraduate, Paul spent all four years working in the laboratory of Dr. Bryan Luikart, studying the molecular mechanisms underlying Pten-macrocephaly syndrome, a syndromic form of autism. Paul's current project involves employing mouse ES cells to study commissural axon guidance in the developing spinal cord. Outside of the lab, Paul volunteers with the Crisis Text Line organization and sings in a choral group.
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.
JinJoo Kang
Jin Joo Kang
Research Assistant
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Jin.Kang[at]rockefeller.edu
Jin Joo is from South Korea. After graduating from Yonsei University of Korea, where she investigated spatio-temporal patterning of hoxc8 and its downstream targets during embryogenesis, with a master’s degree (2005) in developmental biology she moved to US. She worked at the University of Southern California and the University of Minnesota for several years. She is eager to study the mechanisms of neuronal axon degeneration as well as contribute to a functional lab environment.
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.
Eliza Adams
Eliza Adams
Graduate Fellow
Phone: 212-327-7105
E-mail: Eliza.Adams[at]rockefeller.edu
Eliza grew up in northern New Jersey. She graduated with Honors from Brown University (2012) where she earned a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Philosophy. Her undergraduate senior thesis research on odorant receptor expression was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Gilad Barnea, and after graduation she moved to New York to study circadian rhythms as a Research Assistant in the Rockefeller laboratory of Dr. Michael W. Young. Eliza entered the Rockefeller Ph.D. program with an interest in studying the molecular mechanisms of neural development and plasticity, and she was recently named a 2014-2015 Women and Science Fellow.
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.
 
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.
Marc Tessier-Lavigne PresidentProfessor Phone: 212-327-8080 E-mail: Marc.Tessier-Lavigne[at]rockefeller.eduMarc received undergraduate degrees from McGill University and from Oxford University,