Ralph Albert is a fourth year student majoring in Neuroscience who works on locomotion and IVSA projects geared towards investigating the mechanism of opioid acquisition. In addition to lab, he works with Mobile Clinic Project, Interaxon, and the Fellowship for International Service and Health. While his eventual goal is medical school, for now Ralph is enjoying his “unhealthy obsession” with soccer, especially Arsenal!
Waleed Atallah is a third year electrical engineering student who believes that the integration of software and hardware can make anything possible. Powered by the belief that renewable energy is the future of an eco-friendly world, he is a passionate member of UCLA Racing's Super Mileage Team in which he will help design a fully electric vehicle optimized for maximum mileage on one charge. You can catch him any given day wearing a crazy pair of socks or breaking a sweat on the basketball court, and yes he will accept any challenges for the latter!
Austin Beltrand graduated from UCLA in the Spring of 2017 with degrees in Neuroscience and Philosophy. Using numerous behavioral tests and tissue preparation techniques, he helped us better understand both the underlying circuitry and emotional effects of chronic, neuropathic pain. His writings on the philosophy of Psychology and Biology have been published in a number of journals including UCLA's Meditations. As an undergraduate, Austin received an award for emerging leadership from the UCLA LGBT Center for his social activism, especially in respect to the intersection of health care and the queer community.
Joshua Hakimian received his B.S. in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2015. He is currently managing and conducting the laboratory's research projects. He is also responsible for training undergraduate students. Passionate about science and technology, he hopes to incorporate cutting edge techniques with healthcare. He enjoys road cycling and spending time outdoors.
Camille Johnston is a third year who decided to pursue a Neuroscience major after her enthusiasm for music sparked a curiosity about its relationship to pleasure. After extensive work at the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program at Camp Pendleton U.S. Marine Base, she developed an interest in the neural processes underlying human relationships. As a member of the lab, she is exploring the effects of chronic pain and how it modifies neuronal circuitry. Camille is also interested in the chemical engineering of modern skincare products and is studying Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs to fluency.
Mariana Loureiro is a third year Neuroscience major who runs behavioral experiments and analyzes the data in the pursuit of better understanding opiate acquisition and extinction. In addition to research, she is the Finance Director for Interaxon, an organization that teaches neuroscience to children in underserved areas in LA. While her eventual goal is becoming an OBGYN and advocating the importance of women's health, for now she is a self-proclaimed foodie who loves all things related to the Beatle's.
Nicole Romaneschi graduated from UCLA with a Neuroscience degree in June of 2015 and now works as a laboratory technician. She is the point person for the undergraduate volunteers and is responsible for various projects. As an undergraduate, she was a member of UCLA's Mobile Clinic Project, One Heart Source, and AIDS Ambassadors where she explored her passion for both public and global health. In January 2016 she will be moving to South Africa where she will serve in the Peace Corps as a Health Extension Volunteer for two years. Besides health, Nicole loves all things related to music, film, and literature.
Ganeev Singh is a fourth-year Psychobiology major and Entrepreneurship minor, graduating in June 2017. In addition to being a research assistant, he also works as a Resident Assistant on the Hill, a job he considers incredibly rewarding. Ganeev is currently assisting in numerous behavioral tests with optogenetic probes. He loves literature and television, especially Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones. Having played the piano for twelve years and the alto saxophone for four years, Ganeev is also an avid lover of music.
Carlos Torres is a fourth year student majoring in Neuroscience. He is currently responsible for numerous daily behavioral tests aimed at understanding the nuances of opiate acquisition and its locomotor effects. Carlos is heavily involved with on-campus organizations including Mobile Clinic Project and a professional medical fraternity, for which he performs community service. While his eventual goal is attending medical school, he is currently planning a cross-country road trip where he will meet Americans and document their sentiments, attitudes, and overall feelings about health and healthcare in the U.S.
Nate Velarde is a third year History major who loves scientific progress as much as he loves ancient civilizations. Nate is responsible for running behavioral experiments, conducting surgeries, and designing 3D printed models. In addition to conducting research, he is the Financial Coordinator for Global Medical Brigades, a member of UCLA Club Track, and a coach for both Special Olympics and Coaching Corps. In his free time, Nate enjoys going to museums, running, and Netflixing.
After qualifying as a physical therapist from Cape Town University in South Africa and treating many pain related injuries, I decided I needed to know more about pain. So I obtained a PhD in physiology from Aberdeen University in Scotland. My first postdoctoral position was with Dr Edgerton at UCLA working on spinal cord recovery. I then moved to the Center for the Study of Opioid Reeceptors and Drugs of Abuse Center at UCLA and am now a PI and Associate Professor of the Center. We work on all aspects of the different opioid receptors from single cells to circuits to whole organisms. In addition to cutting edge research the Center has a strong teaching and collaborative committment so as to further our understanding of the use and abuse of opioids
Ani Minasyan is a staff research associate and the laboratory manager.
Jorge Barahona is a fourth year Neuroscience major who helps conduct and analyze behavioral tests of addiction experiments. Jorge is involved on campus in Cultural Affairs Comission and with Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA. Plans on continuing his education and pursuing a higher degree in Public Health.
Nicolas is a second year Electrical Engineering student who performs many of the behind-the-scenes tests and trials that allow for the gathering of quantitative data. In a nutshell, Nick loves to travel, take upon challenges, and gain new experiences. He has an intense passion for fitness and wearable technology and hopes to follow a career path that involves the two.
Jeremy is a third year MIMG major from Chicago, Illinois. In addition to volunteering in the Walwyn Lab, he is an Ambassador and volunteer for the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. He has assisted in the research of Anesthesiology at the University of Chicago. He aspires to pursue a medical specialty in pain management or anesthesia. His hobbies and activities include ping pong & watching soccer.
He received his BSc in Bioengineering from UCLA in 2016. He is currently in charge of manufacturing and maintaining an IR based optogenetic stimulating device. He is also working with a team of undergraduates to upgrade the device to Bluetooth and implement bilateral stimulation in mice models.