Dr. Sofia B. Lizarraga is originally from Peru. She received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University studying the assembly of the mitotic spindle with Dr. Yixian Zheng. She became fascinated with the role of the cytoskeleton in neuronal development and did her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School with Dr. Christopher A. Walsh. She continued her work in neurodevelopmental disorders with a focus on autism at Brown University as an investigator with Dr. Eric M. Morrow. She started her independent research group at University of South Carolina where she developed their research program on chromatin regulatory mechanisms in human brain development. Early in 2023 she moved her laboratory to Brown University where she is faculty in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry and the Center for Translational Neuroscience. Besides science she enjoys art, the ocean & foreign films.
Dr. Megha Jhanji is a postdoctoral fellow from India. She graduated from Panjab University in 2013 and went on to pursue post-graduate studies in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 2015. Driven by her academic pursuits, she earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Science from University of South Carolina in 2022. Her current research in the lab centers around investigating the significance of DNA damage response and metabolic dysfunctions in ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders). Beyond her scientific endeavours, she finds joy in baking and cherishing nature's wonders.
Joseph Ward is originally from Florence, South Carolina. He graduated with a bachelors in Biology from the University of South Carolina in 2022 and plans to attend graduate school to achieve a PhD. He enjoys molecular and developmental biology as well as music and the beach. He manages lab upkeep as well as working on research projects.
Colleen Krall is originally from Minnesota. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University in 2013. After serving in the U.S. Army as a human intelligence collector and Korean linguist, she pursued and received two Masters of Science degrees, one in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and one in Biological and Forensic Anthropology from Mercyhurst University. Her main research interests are in developmental neuropsychology and epigenetic mechanisms impacting neurodevelopment and related diseases. Colleen manages the lab and assists on research projects. Outside the lab she enjoys biking, reading, and spending time with her husband, their two dogs, and their cat.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Brian Yoon is originally from Greenville, SC. He is currently a third year student at the University of South Carolina, Columbia and plans to apply to medical school in the future. His project centers around the role of maternal immune activation in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder. He enjoys powerlifting and playing soccer in his free time.