Postdoctoral researchers

Amit Berson, PhD

Amit investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying ALS/FTD with a focus on the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms and their potential use in developing novel therapeutics.

email: amitbe at

Leeanne McGurk, PhD

Leeanne is interested in abnormal protein aggregation and how this impacts brain aging.

email: lmcgurk at

Graduate students

China Byrns, MD-PhD candidate in Neuroscience

China studies the role of glia in the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury, using a fly model to dissect the molecular mechanisms driving inflammation and decline post-injury.

email: china.byrns at

Chia-Yu Chung, PhD candidate in Genetics & Epigenetics

Chia-Yu investigates the role of transcription factors and complexes in the molecular pathophysiology of ALS/FTD.

email: chiach at

Lindsey Goodman, PhD candidate in Neuroscience

Lindsey has developed a number of novel gain of function models for C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD. Her continued work uses these fly models and human derived samples to define disease mechanisms.

email: goodmanl at

Alexandra Perlegos, PhD candidate in Neuroscience

Alexandra focuses on the RNA modification N6-methyladenosine (m6A) and understanding its critical role in cellular stress as well as chronic stress states in the brain, particularly aging and degenerative disease.

email: perlegos at

Janani Saikumar, PhD candidate in Biology

Janani developed and characterized a novel model of traumatic brain injury in flies and is using it to study perturbations of the cellular stress response and its role in TBI pathophysiology.

email: sjanani at

Ananth Srinivasan, PhD candidate in Biology

Ananth studies the impact of microRNA-34 on healthy brain aging and susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease.

email: ananths at


Olivia Rifai, Research specialist

Olivia originally joined the lab as an undergraduate in Penn’s Vagelos Scholars Program. In her current position, she investigates the role of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases in TDP-43 degradation and Ataxin-2 toxicity in a fly model.

email: orifai at

Undergraduate students

Johanna Inamagua, Research assistant 

Johanna is a sophomore at Penn. She works with Ananth to study the impact of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 on brain aging.

email: johannai at

Zhecheng Jin, Research assistant 

Jin is a visiting junior at Penn. He works with China characterizing novel molecular processes involved in the response to traumatic brain injury.

email: zhecheng at

Sofiya Patra, Research assistant 

Sofiya is a junior at Penn, majoring in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. She works with Alex studying the role of the m6A RNA modification in aging and cellular stress.

email: spatra at

Luis Martinez Ramirez, Research assistant 

Luis is a senior at Penn, majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He works with Lindsey and has helped define the PAF1 complex as a modifier of C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD.

email: martluis at


For a complete list of past members of the Bonini lab, see here.