Anne Milasincic Andrews, Ph.D.
Dr. Andrews is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a member of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, the Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, and the California NanoSystems Institute. Dr. Andrews received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry as a U.S. Department of Education Fellow working at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she was later a postdoctoral fellow and senior staff fellow. At the NIMH, Andrews and her mentor, Dr. Dennis Murphy, discovered and characterized a novel serotonin neurotoxin, 2’-NH2-MPTP. Dr. Andrews was also instrumental in early studies on serotonin transporter-deficient mice. Andrews is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Chemical Society, Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry, and American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. She has been the recipient of an NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, an Eli Lilly Outstanding Young Analytical Chemist Award, an American Parkinson’s Disease Association Research Award, and a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) Independent Investigator Award. She is a fellow of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum and a Serotonin Club elected councilor. Recently, Dr. Andrews became Associate Editor for ACS Chemical Neuroscience and the Richard Metzner Endowed Chair in Clinical Neuropharmacology at UCLA.
At UCLA, Andrews leads efforts in basic and translational research on anxiety and depression, and at the nexus of nanoscience and neuroscience. Andrews’ interdisciplinary research team of neuroscientists, biologists, chemists, and engineers focuses on understanding how the serotonin system and particularly, the serotonin transporter, modulate neurotransmission to influence complex behaviors including anxiety, mood, stress responsiveness, and learning and memory. Genetic and pharmacologic mouse models and human genetic variants are studied to understand the molecular basis of serotonin system function associated with the etiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Key proteins (e.g., brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and neuronal architectures regulated by serotonin are also investigated. Nanomaterials are designed for fundamental studies on neurotransmitter recognition by native and nonnative binding partners (aptamers) and for the development of in vivo nanobiosensors and functionally directed proteomics.
Back to Top
Senior Scientists/Postdoctoral Fellows
Dr. Wei-Ssu Liao
Dr. Liao graduated in 2000 with a B.S. in Chemistry from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. He carried out undergraduate research under Professor Jong-Liang Lin to study adsorption and reactions of ethylene glycol on powdered TiO2. Thereafter, he graduated in 2002 with a M.S. in Chemistry from National Taiwan University, Taiwan where he carried out research under Professor Ching-Erh Lin to study migration behavior and enantioseparation of phenothiazines using capillary zone electrophoresis. In 2009, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University. Under the supervision of Professor Paul S. Cremer, Dr. Liao focused on rapid bench-top prototyping techniques for nanomaterial fabrication, micro/nano patterning, and plasmonic devices, all with an emphasis on biosensing applications. Currently, he works jointly between the Andrews’ group and Professor Paul S. Weiss’s group at the California NanoSystems Institute. Dr. Liao has contributed to efforts on microcontact insertion printing, photolithography, and fluorescence spectroscopy for patterning small-molecule neurotransmitters and detecting biomolecule capture. He is designing and fabricating microfluidic systems, used in conjunction with neurotransmitter chips, for high-throughput G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) separation and agonist screening. Most recently, he invented a novel nanolithography strategy (Chemical Lift-off Lithography) for sub-100 nm feature fabrication and transfer having applications in biosensor design.
Dr. Hongyan Yang
Dr. Yang earned a B.S. in Biology & Applied Electronics (1997) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Neuroscience (2002) from East China Normal University in Shanghai. Her doctoral work, titled “Function of NMDA receptors in the development of the central auditory system”, was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Xinde Sun. In 2002, she joined Prof. Liangyou Rui’s group as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan. There, she studied the mechanisms of obesity and type II diabetes. In 2003, Dr. Yang joined the laboratory of Prof. Jill Becker in the Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan. Under Dr. Becker’s guidance, she focused on investigating gender differences in drug abuse, rapid effects of estradiol in the brain, and sex chromosome effects in Parkinson’s Disease. In 2011, she joined the laboratory of Prof. Andrews where she is currently investigating the influences of neonatal serotonin transporter disruption on adult serotonin system circuitry. Dr. Yang is also working on fast scan cyclic voltammetry to study serotonin system function in vivo.
Dr. Liane Slaughter
Liane Slaughter joins the Weiss and Andrews groups after finishing her Ph.D. in chemistry at Rice University under the guidance of Prof. Stephan Link. Her graduate work used correlated electron and optical microscopy to examine gold nanoparticles and their assemblies one at a time to reveal sensitive and otherwise unknown relationships between their geometries and their optical properties. Before her graduate studies, Liane earned her B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University. While she was there, she researched mesoporous metal materials with potential applications for fuel cells under the mentorship of Scott Warren, who was co-advised by Profs. Ulrich Wiesner and Francis Disalvo. Liane’s interests include self-assembly and patterning of molecules and nanoparticles on surfaces, single particle microscopy and spectroscopy, and understanding the consequences of molecular adsorption on the structural and electronic properties of their underlying surfaces.
Back to Top
Graduate Student Researchers
Stefanie C. Altieri
Stefanie Altieri graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA in 2004 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.S. in Psychology. There, she completed a senior research project titled “The effectiveness of dopaminergic fetal tissue grafting and the neuroprotective agent deprenyl in 6-OHDA animal models of Parkinson's disease”. Afterwards, Ms. Altieri worked as a research technician in the laboratory of Professor Teresa L. Wood at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where she studied glutamate toxicity in oligodendrocyte cells co-authoring two papers. In 2006, she entered the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Pennsylvania State University and joined the laboratory of Professor Anne M. Andrews. Her graduate research, beginning at Penn State and continuing at UCLA, primarily focuses on developmental models of serotonin transporter (SERT) disruption and ramifications for adolescent and adult emotion-related behavior and serotonin system circuitry. Ms. Altieri also investigates BDNF splice variant expression in mice genetically deficient in SERT and after chronic antidepressant administration. She recently co-authored “Serotonin Pathways in Depression”, a chapter appearing in Neurobiology of Depression and a paper in Translational Psychiatry on differential SERT function in peripheral blood cells associated with rh5-HTTLR.
Brendan S. Beikmann
Brendan Beikmann graduated from Colorado State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Biomedical Science. He is currently working as a Staff Research Assistant with Dr. Anne Andrews at UCLA while concurrently pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Beikmann's graduate research is focused on characterizing peripheral blood cells as biomarkers for predicting serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor antidepressant treatment efficacy in depressed individuals. This project is being carried out in collaboration with Professor Andrew Leuchter at UCLA. Using chronoamperometry, Brendan is also examining serotonin transporter function in peripheral blood cells from healthy individuals having immune system stimulation via a low dose of endotoxin. Professors Naomi Eisenberger and Michael Irwin, UCLA collaborators on this project, have found that brief immune stimulation induces transient depressed mood. Brendan also works on developing a flow cytometry-based assay for examining monoamine transporter function in platelets and peripheral blood mononuclear cells utilizing fluorescent substrates synthesized in the laboratory of Professor Sandra Rosenthal at Vanderbilt University.
Huan H. Cao
Huan Cao graduated summa cum laude in 2008 with a B.S. in Chemistry from Marshall University where he also minored in Mathematics and Physics. Mr. Cao carried out undergraduate research under Professor Michael Norton to develop strategies to attach DNA to Au nanostructures on Si substrates using dendrimer chemistries. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCLA. Mr. Cao works jointly between the Andrews’s group and Professor Paul S. Weiss’s group at the California NanoSystems Institute. His graduate research is focused on developing advanced nanoscale surface chemistries for small-molecule neurotransmitter functionalized substrates. Together, he and Dr. Wei-Ssu Liao are using microfluidics to create multiplexed surfaces having different neurotransmitters tethered and addressed on a single substrate. In addition, they developed chemical lift-off lithography, a novel high-resolution chemical patterning method. These and other multiplexed platforms fabricated using microcontact insertion printing enable capture and sorting of neurotransmitter biomolecule binding partners, such as G-protein-coupled receptors, for structural and functional studies. Mr. Cao is currently a training fellow in the UCLA NeuroImaging Training Program (NITP) sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and was the recipient of an Incoming Graduate Student Award for excellence in coursework and teaching at the Pennsylvania State University, prior to relocating with Andrews and Weiss to UCLA.
T. Lee Gilman
Lee Gilman is a University Graduate Fellow in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Pennsylvania State University and is working on her dissertation research in Professor Anne Andrews' laboratory at UCLA. Her research involves using mouse models to examine neuroanatomical and behavioral impacts of reduced serotonin synthesis during early postnatal development. She also investigates the interrelationship between serotonin transporters and kappa opioid receptors in mediating dysphoric effects on mood. These projects include collaborations with the laboratories of Professors Kent Vrana and Chris Evans, respectively, and utilize compounds synthesized by the laboratory of Professor Michael Jung. Since joining the Andrews’ group, Ms. Gilman co-authored a book chapter titled “Presynaptic adaptive responses to constitutive versus adult pharmacologic inhibition of serotonin uptake” in Experimental Models in Serotonin Transporter Research and a paper on the effects of a serotonin transporter gene variant on peripheral blood cell serotonin and 5-HIAA levels. In 2010, Lee gave her first conference talk as a Serotonin Club Young Investigator Travel Awardee in a symposium on “Serotonin and the Developing Brain” in Montreal, Québec.
Dentate gyrus: VGlut1 (red), VGAT (green), and Neurotrace (nuclear stain, blue)
Ms. Gilman graduated from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University summa cum laude in 2005 with a B.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences and a minor in Russian, and summa cum laude in 2006 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. During completion of her second Bachelor’s degree, she worked as a research assistant in the laboratory of Professor Jon Sprague at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. There she and other undergraduates investigated the effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) on neurochemistry and thermogenesis. She went on to work at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awardee under Dr. Philip J. Brooks. There, Ms. Gilman worked on identifying adeno-associated virus serotypes for cerebellar gene therapy using mouse models of DNA repair gene mutations, with the long-term goal of developing methods to help alleviate motor symptoms in patients afflicted with ataxia telangiectasia and xeroderma pigmentosum.
Andrew B. Thompson
Andrew Thompson graduated
from UC Santa Barbara in 2010 with a B.S. in Biopsychology and a minor in
Anthropology. While there, he studied the neuropharmacology of alcohol and
cocaine addiction under Dr. Karen K. Szumlinski, focusing on metabotropic
glutamate receptors and scaffold proteins. After working as a technician at
UCSB, Andrew joined the Neuroscience Interdepartmental Graduate Program at
UCLA, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. Anne M. Andrews.
He is investigating interactions between the kappa opioid receptor and the
serotonin system, using advanced analytical techniques including microdialysis
and chronoamperometry to measure behaviorally associated changes in serotonin
release and reuptake in the intact brain. Recently, Andrew co-authored a paper with other lab members on fast microdialysis techniques to measure dynamic changes in serotonin.
Back to Top
Back to Top
Undergraduate Student Researchers
Wonwoo R. Choi
Wonwoo is majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Accounting at UCLA. He plans to complete his undergraduate degree in 2014. Wonwoo is using fast scan cyclic voltammetry to study the fouling behavior of carbon-fiber microelectrodes and the detection of serotonin in vivo in the mouse brain.
Jeffrey A. Lee
Jeffrey is majoring in Biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCLA. His research in the Andrews' group with Lee Gilman involves developing and using western blot protocols for proteins including ERK and SERT. Jeffrey is also responsible for performing perfusions to prepare brain tissue for immunocytochemistry.
Shosuki is majoring in Neuroscience at UCLA and is planning to graduate in June, 2014. He is learning basic laboratory techniques by assisting Dr. Hongyan Yang with serotonin microdialysis.
Drumil is a sophomore at UCLA majoring in Neuroscience. He is currently investigating biofouling at carbon fiber microelectrodes using fast cyclic voltammetry. Drumil also works with Brendan Beikmann to study serotonin uptake using chronoamperometry and boron-doped diamond microelectrodes.
Diana is an undergraduate Psychobiology major at UCLA. Her interests include studying the biological and social bases of psychological disorders. She analyzes serotonin levels in the mouse brain using HPLC in studies on postnatal tryptophan hydroxylase inhibition with Lee Gilman.
Juliette is majoring in Psychobiology at UCLA and plans to graduate in June 2014. She is extremely interested in psychology, neuroscience and global health. Her work under Lee Gilman includes analyzing the social behavior of mice with manipulated levels of serotonin synthesis during postnatal development.
An is an undergraduate Biochemistry major with a Neuroscience minor at UCLA and is planning to graduate in June 2015. An is currently assisting Andrew Thompson with HPLC and microdialysis experiments as she develops her own independent project.
Bio coming soon!
Back to Top
Naomi I. Eisenberger (Director, Social and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Psychology, UCLA)
Christopher J. Evans (Director, Brain Research Institute, Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, UCLA)
Robert E. Ferrell (Department of Genetics, University of Pittsburgh)
Julie G. Hensler (Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, UT Health Science Center San Antonio)
Michael R. Irwin (Director, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, UCLA)
Michael E. Jung (Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UCLA)
Andrew F. Leuchter (Director, Laboratory of Brain, Behavior & Pharmacology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, UCLA)
Dennis L. Murphy (Chief, Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH)
Michael Murphy-Corb (Department of Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh)
Aydogan Ozcan (Department of Electrical Engineering, Engineering, UCLA)
Sandra J. Rosenthal (Director, Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and Department of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University)
Greg M. Swain (Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University)
Kent E. Vrana (Chair, Department of Pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine)
Paul S. Weiss (Director, California NanoSystems Institute, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Department of Material Science & Engineering, UCLA)
Back to Top
Sarawut Cheunkar, Ph.D. - Faculty at the School of Bioresources and Technology, King Mongkut's University of Technology
Amanda Bressler, Ph.D.
Mitchell Schuster, Ph.D. - Staff Scientist, Intel Corporation
Amit Vaish, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIH), Bethesda, MD
Yogesh Singh, Ph.D. - Process Engineer, Intel Corporation, Hillboro, OR
Walter Jackson, III, M.S. - Ph.D. student, Biomedical Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA
Stefan Pajtek, M.S. - Research Associate in fMRI imaging, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, PA
Beth Luellen, Ph.D.- Freelance Science Writer
Xiomara Perez, Ph.D.- Research Neuroscientist, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA
Matthew E. Szapacs, Ph.D. - Principal Scientist, Glaxo Smith Kline, King of Prussia, PA
Erica Unger, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Biology, Lebanon Valley College, Annville PA
Tiffany A. Mathews, Ph.D. - Tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Angela C. Chisnell, M.S. - Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Denise E. Fedele, M.S. - Ph.D. completed in Switzerland
Xingyu Liu - summer rotation student from University of Science and Technology China
Pasha Dabiri - graduated from UCLA with B.S. in Psychobiology, June 2012
Hannah J. O'Brien - graduated from UCLA with B.S. in Biology, June 2012
Jeffrey Xu - graduated from UCLA with B.S. in Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, June 2012
Brian D. Ezekian - currently a med student at University of Virginia School of Medicine
Roya Nezarati - currently a Ph.D. student in Chemistry at Texas A&M
Michelle Martinez-Rivera - currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Daniel J. Ramos - currently a med student at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Shoba A. Belegundu - currently a med student at University of Cincinnati
Jason B. Ochroch - currently a med student at Jefferson Medical College
Lauren E. Sawarynski - recently graduated from Yale's Physician Associate Program, currently working as P.A. in Hartford, CT
Chubi A. Ihunnah - currently a Ph.D. student in Pharmacology at University of Pittsburgh
Claudia A. Rodriguez
Brooke B. Osborne - recently graduated from Colorado State University with Master's in Environmental Science, enrolling in Brown University's Ph.D. Ecology program Fall 2013
Alexandra R. Lewis - studying Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University
Laura B. Taylor - received M.D. from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, currently a resident at St. Margaret in Pittsburgh, PA
John E. McManigle - pursuing an M.D. at Duke University and a Ph.D. at Oxford University
Tara N. Chrzanowski - currently a Research Scientist at MPI Research
Ashley L. Gibb - NSF graduate fellow in Chemistry at University of California, Berkeley
Lisa U. Dudek - currently a Ph.D. student in Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCLA
Kaycee M. Hulet - completed degree in International and Family Law at Brigham Young University
Lindsey M. Schneider
Jacqueline F. Morris - received Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from University of Pennsylvania
Christopher K. Materese - received Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of North Carolina, Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Ames Astrophysics & Astrochemistry Laboratory
Dawn E. Rupp
Christian M. Squillante
Kristen E. Seabright
Kenneth J. Sowinski
Adam L. Numis - received M.D. from Harvard University, residency at University of California, San Francisco
Eric D. Horowitz - received Ph.D. in Chemistry from Georgia Tech, Postdoctoral Fellow at University of North Carolina
Corey M. McCann - entered M.D./Ph.D. program at Harvard University
Katherine Sixt - received Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins Medicine, Postdoctoral Fellow at National Cancer Institute
Robert S. Bridges - graduate school in Pharmacology at Columbia University
Francesca A. Coppelli - received M.D. as Howard Hughes Fellow from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, currently practicing Internal Medicine at Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Marimar D. Aponte - received a Ph.D. in Immunology from University of Pittsburgh
George M. Jawahar
Erin J. Steck - Research Scientist at DuPont
Douglas L. Sheridan - received Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University
Back to Top