Current lab members

(several recently funded research positions are currently available) 


Daniel Lim, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

UCSF Profiles page here


Mentorship of lab members is a top priority.  

Every lab member has unique strengths and long term interests. Some people have pursued academic careers. Others have gone into biotech research or business.  

My goal as a mentor is to develop a plan that is tailored to the interests and needs of the individual.  




Sandra Chang

Lab Manager




Juggles the complexities of an academic lab with ease. Always efficient and effective. Probably the lab MVP.  


Sajad Hamid Ahanger, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow


Developed GO-CaRT and now working on nuclear compartment-associated genome organization in human disease. Always dreaming about 3D genome structure. 

Online talk by Sajad found here.  


Parna Saha, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow


Studying lncRNA Pnky structure-function. Even studying mouse behavior. Contributed to our understanding of how a lncRNA regulates radiation sensitivity. Outstanding mentor to Master's degree students and undergrads. 


Chujing Zhang, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow


Ph.D. from National University of Singapore. Interested in exploring epigenomics with diverse molecular tools developed based on the next-generation sequencing platform. Boldly developing new molecular tools. Enjoys reading, cooking, and spending quality time with family and friends.


David Wu, PhD

MD-PhD student


UVA undergrad. Computational biologist with outstanding wet-lab skills. NIH F30 awardee. Thesis project is on systematic, CRISPR-based screens of genome function. Secondary project is on the development of a new blood test for concussion (winner of the UCSF Grad Slam contest). Contributed importantly to numerous other lab publications. Hobbies include making cocktails.   


Mitchel Cole

MD-PhD student


Joined the lab during the height of the pandemic. Studying nuclear compartment-associated genome organization in neurodegenerative disease. Discovered that certain disease loci are enriched in nuclear speckles. NIH F30 awardee. Rowed crew for Harvard.  


Evan Semenza

BMS Graduate student


New grad student!  Probably interested in chromatin biology, genome organization and neuronal function. NSF fellowship awardee. Born and raised in Baltimore, studied in Chicago at Northwestern. Now enjoying the more temperate climate of San Francisco.  


Eugene Gil

Staff Research Associate


UC Berkeley graduate. Winner of the I.L. Chairkoff Memorial Award for her undergrad neurobiology thesis. Co-author of lab papers in Science, Neurology, and Nature Neuroscience. Speaks three languages. Practitioner of Kendo.   


Dae Sun Ahn

Undergraduate researcher


Current UC Berkeley undergrad. Neurobiology major. Working with David Wu on the development of a diagnostic blood test for concussion. 



Lab alumni

(a bit about what they are doing now)




Daniel He

BMS graduate student (PhD, 2021)


Discovered dual and genetically separable function of a large subclass of lncRNAs, published in PNAS. Co-authored many, many other papers. So accomplished that he did not need to do a postdoc to find a great job. An accomplished fisherman, too. 

Currently working as a scientist for Amgen. 



Sung Hong

DSCB graduate student (PhD, 2021)


Co-first author of our study of Pnky function in vivo. Contributed to numerous other publications. Always had an interest in the "business side" of neuroscience. 

Currently working as an analyst for the investment banking firm BTIG.  



Ben Mansky

Neuroscience graduate student (PhD, 2020)


Thesis work published in Science. Learned single cell RNA-seq with the Alvarez-Buylla lab, published in eLife. Ran a science podcast during grad school. 

Currently doing a postdoctoral fellowship with Steve Goldman, University of Rochester, NY.  



Martina Malatesta, PhD

former postdoctoral fellow

Worked on two translational projects, one in collaboration with Pfizer. Co-first author of a study that identified lncRNAs as therapeutic targets in glioma. Outstanding mentor to Master's degree and medical students doing lab research. Great team leader.

Currently a Principal Scientist a Bristol Myers Squibb, San Francisco.  



Rebecca "Becky" Andersen

DSCB graduate student (PhD, 2019)


Co-discovered (and named) the lncRNA Pnky. First author publications in Cell Stem Cell and Dev Cell. Received both NSF and NIH F31 fellowships. Her thesis work was always bold and incisive. Eats salami sandwiches almost every day. 

Currently doing a postdoctoral fellowship with Chris Walsh, Havard/HHMI.


S. John Liu

MD-PhD student (PhD, 2017)


Performed the most comprehensive lncRNA functional screen with CRISPRi. Thesis work published in Science, Genome Biology (x2), and Mol Sys Biol. NIH F30 fellowship awardee. Somehow, also had energy to run triathelons. 

Currently working as a resident in Radiation Oncology at UCSF.  



Ryan Delgado

MD-PhD student (PhD, 2015)


Always posed very ambitous scientific questions. Always persevered. The central question of his thesis was eventually published in Science, in collaboration with Ben Mansky. Ran a marathon in under 2 hours 30 minutes. This is crazy fast. 

Currently doing a postdoctoral fellowship with Connie Cepko, Harvard/HHMI.  



Alexander Ramos

MD-PhD student (PhD, 2015)


Co-discovered (and named) the lncRNA Pnky. NIH F31 and CIRM fellowship awardee. Thesis work published as two first-author Cell Stem Cell papers. My first PhD graduate student.

Finishing his neurosurgery training at Weill Cornell-NYP Hospital, NY.  


Dae Hwi Park, PhD

former postdoctoral fellow


Discovered the role of JMJD3 in adult mouse brain neurogenesis. Fantastic team leader. Helped mentor and train several graduate students.

Currently a Scientific Team Leader, GC Cell Corp., South Korea


Miao Cui, PhD

former postdoctoral fellow 

After her PhD at Cal Tech, Miao joined the lab but could only stay for part of her postdoc. For family reasons, she needed to move to Texas, where she completed fantastic work in the Eric Olsen lab. Despite her short time in my lab, Miao contributed important data to papers in PNAS and Dev Cell.  

After her move to the Olsen lab, I continued to support her career development. She is now an Assistant Professor at Harvard/Boston Children's Hospital.  




Matthew Potts, MD

former postdoctoral fellow


Studied MLL1-dependent transcriptional modules in neural stem cells. Tried his hand at direct astrocyte to neuron cell reprogramming. NIH F32 fellowship awardee (top 1 percentile). 

Currently an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Northwestern University. 


William Hwang, PhD

former postdoctoral fellow

Joined the lab after getting his PhD with Hiten Madhani at UCSF. Always wanted to go into biotech after his postdoc. Worked on EZH2 in neural stem cells, publishing in eLife. Then, quickly found an excellent job at Radiant Genomics. 

Currently a senior scientist at Zymergen, Inc., San Francisco.  



Ethan Winkler, MD, PhD

former postdoctoral fellow

Initially worked on lncRNA therapeutic targets in glioma under an NIH F32 fellowship. Helped develop lncRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers. Eventually, he merged his interest in cerebrovascular disease with single cell RNA-seq. This work was done with Tom Nowakowski and Adib Abla and resulted in a first author paper in Science.

Ethan has accepted a job as Assistant Professor at UCSF. He will be starting his new lab in 2023!   


Matthew Silvestrini

former lab biomedical engineer

Co-inventor of a new neurosurgical platform for interventional MRI guided cell transplantation. Patent issued for this invention. Went on to obtain a PhD in bioengineering at UC Davis.

Currently working as a Clinical Research Scientist at Verily Life Sciences, San Francisco. 


Dali Yin, MD, PhD

former Staff Scientist

Came to the lab as a fully trained neurosurgeon from China with years of research experience in gene therapy delivery. Helped test novel iMRI-guided cell delivery platforms. Went on to obtain US medical license and complete neurosurgery fellowhip in the USA.  

Currently working as a neurosurgeon at Insight Surgical Hospital, Flint, MI.  



Frank Attenello, MD

former visiting postdoctoral fellow


Spent a year in the lab during his neurosurgical training at USC. Worked on CRISPR-based knockdown of lncRNAs in glioma. Co-author of papers in Science and Genome Biol. Later, obtained NIH K08 for independent studies of lncRNAs in glioma.

Currently an Assistant Professor, lab head, at the Keck School of Medicine, USC.  




Ryan Salinas

HHMI medical student fellow, UCSF (2014)


Worked in my lab from his first year of medical school. Obtained fellowship from the American Brain Tumor Association, winning the Lucian Rubenstein Award for his project. Received HHMI medical student fellowship for 2012-2013. Second author of eLife paper, co-author of papers in J. Neurosci, Cell Rep, and Cell Stem Cell.  

Currently finishing neurosurgery training at U. Penn.  



Jason Siu

former Staff Research Associate / Lab Manager


Early lab manager and passionate bench scientist. Deep curiousity about biology and experimental design. Contributed to a paper in Cancer Cell. Loves cooking, sometimes with unusual methods. Went on to obtain MD-PhD at Ohio State University. 

Currently a resident in laboratory medicine and Pathology at University of Washington, Seattle.  


Shawn Sun

former Staff Research Associate / Lab Manager

Early lab manager during a period of rapid growth. Helped build lab from 4 people to 14 (a bit too big, perhaps), moving lab locations twice, to our current home. Solid foundation in molecular biology. Contributed to a paper in Cell Rep. Went on to Pharmacy school at UCSF.  

Currently a Senior Associate Director, Clinical Development Oncology at Gilead Sciences.  


James Price

former Staff Research Associate / Lab Manager

While helping run the lab, James managed to finish a project on cell reprogramming, publishing a first-author paper in J. Neurosci. Went on to grad school in the DSCB program at UCSF, completing his degree in 2021.

Currently a Scientist at Finless Foods, Inc., San Francisco.  



As we continue to emerge from the Covid19 pandemic, our lab is now looking to take on new students and postdocs.

Please contact us if you are interested in our work and training environment.