Lab Members

Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, MS

Postdoctoral Researcher Email: aslam.akhtar@cshs.org

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Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, MS, earned his BS from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he studied the mechanism of antibody maturation in the laboratory of Paolo Casali, MD. Before joining Cedars-Sinai, he also completed a master's in biotechnology and stem cell research at UCI, where he investigated the use of stem cell therapies for spinal cord injury with Hans Keirstead, PhD. Currently, Aslam's research involves the generation of precise neuronal subtypes from stem, progenitor, and terminally differentiated cell populations for the replacement of populations lost to damage or disease of the central nervous system.

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Swasty Chandra

Research Associate I Email: swasty.chandra@cshs.org

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Swasty Chandra earned her bachelor's degree in neuroscience at UCLA. During her years as an undergraduate, she conducted research in the Geschwind Laboratory, studying the cellular and neuroanatomical mechanisms that give rise to the excitatory synaptic deficits in the Cntnap2 knockout mouse, a model of autism. She also worked in the Goldman Laboratory at the University of Rochester, New York, as a summer undergraduate researcher studying cell surface markers that selected for efficient therapeutic remyelination in a hypomyelinated mouse model.

Naomi Kobritz

Naomi Kobritz, BS

Visiting Graduate Student Email: naomi.korbritz@cshs.org

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Naomi Kobritz, BS, received her bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry and is currently in the master's degree program for biotechnology and business at California State University, Channel Islands. She studied inflammation in Alzheimer's disease at the Veterans Administration Los Angeles before joining the Breunig Laboratory as a visiting graduate student through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program.

Paul Linesch

Paul Linesch

Graduate Student Email: paul.linesch@cshs.org

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Paul Linesch received his bachelor's degree in neuroscience and behavior from University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program, he performed neuroimaging research in nuclear medicine at Cedars-Sinai S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center investigating dementia, Parkinson's disease, and Lyme disease using SPECT and PET scans. Paul's current interest at the Breunig Laboratory involves astrocytes and their role in development and maintaining homeostasis.

Shaunt Mehdikhani

Shaunt Mehdikhani

Research Intern Email: shaunt.mehdikhani@cshs.org

Hannah Park, BS

Graduate Student Email: hannah.park@cshs.org

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Hannah Park earned her bachelor's degree in biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. As an undergrad, she studied neuroendocrinology in the laboratory of Wylie Vale, PhD, at the Salk Institute. She also worked in metabolic engineering for clean energy in the laboratory of James Liao, PhD, at UCLA. In the Breunig Laboratory, Park's main focus is studying the molecular mechanisms of ETS factors on pediatric glioma, and identifying common cell-fate regulators in neurodevelopment and brain tumors.

David Rinc�n, PhD

David Rincón Fernandez Pacheco, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher Email: david.rinconfernandezpacheco@cshs.org

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David Rincón Fernandez Pacheco, PhD, is a biologist with a master's degree in immunology. In 2016, he completed his doctorate in biomedicine at the University of Córdoba, Spain, under the supervision of Justo P. Castaño, PhD. Rincón Fernandez Pacheco focused his research in the cellular and molecular implications of alternative splicing abnormalities in the context of breast cancer. Currently, he has started his postdoctoral in Breunig Lab where his studies involve the development of new cancer models and the investigation of the role of extracellular vesicles in brain tumor development and progression.

Sara Sabet, MS

Sara Sabet, MS

Graduate Student Email: sara.sabet@cshs.org

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Sara Sabet, MS, earned her bachelor's degree in neuroscience and psychology from the University of Southern California (USC). Before joining Cedars-Sinai, she completed her master's in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine from USC where she investigated the role of periosteal cells in chondrocyte-to-osteocyte transdifferentiation during bone regeneration in the lab of Francesca Mariani, PhD. Currently, Sabet's research involves probing the role of genetic signatures in cellular competition in glioma, as well as developing more efficient lineage tracing of single cells in brain tissue.

David Saxon, BA

David Saxon, BA

Research Associate I Email: david.saxon@cshs.org

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David Saxon earned his bachelor's degree in neuroscience from Claremont McKenna College where he studied the behavioral neuroscience of reward. His research in the Breunig Lab is on the mechanisms of Notch signaling in the developing brain with a focus on novel imaging techniques.

Amy Yang, BS

Amy Yang, BS

Research Associate II Email: amy.yang@cshs.org

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Amy Yang earned her bachelor's degree in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to joining the Breunig Lab, she worked on optimizing fluorescent protein voltage sensors for optically recording neuronal activity. Currently, Yang is investigating the mechanisms involved in cell fate specification during neurodevelopment.