Jon B. Toledo, MD, PhD
Jon Toledo’s research focuses on the characterization of pre-symptomatic biofluid and imaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases and the evaluation of multiple coincident neurodegenerative and vascular diseases in symptomatic patients. He completed his M.D. at the University of Navarra, where he also obtained his Ph.D. studying the clinical correlates of the subthalamic nucleus local field potentials. He then pursued post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, where he became a research associate. He then moved to complete his neurology residency at Houston Methodist Hospital and is currently completing his movement disorders fellowship at the University of Florida.
Kelly DeMars, PhD
Dr. DeMars is originally from South Florida, and completed her BS at UF in psychology, minoring in religion back in 2012. In 20202 she received a PhD in medical science with neuroscience concentration in 2020. Kelly enjoys art, reading, and weight-lifting. Her research interests surround neuroinflammation and the role of metabolic dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases.
Jordan Follett, PhD
Dr. Follett is a cell biologist whose research seeks to understand the molecular basis of familial Parkinson’s disease. He obtained a PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia, where his thesis studies focused on the role of endosomal protein sorting and lysosomal dysfunction in neurodegeneration. In 2016, Dr. Follett joined the Center for Applied Neurogenetics at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where he trained with Dr. Matthew Farrer and focused on how genes linked to Parkinson’s disease impact membrane trafficking and lead to dopaminergic cell vulnerability and pathology. He joins the UF Department of Neurology as a postdoctoral research associate where he will continue his work with Dr. Matthew Farrer on familial Parkinson’s disease. His long-term goal is to use biology across multiple model systems to elucidate molecular pathways that could contribute to developing successful therapies.
Athena Bu, BSc.
Anthea Bu is a graduate student with Dr. Matthew Farrer. Her thesis is focused on exploring PD-linked mutations affect striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission. Specifically, electrophysiology and microscopy to study dopamine transporter trafficking in physiological and pathological conditions. Anthea majored in neuroscience during her undergraduate study at McGill university. Her goal is to understand how malfunction in dopamine neurotransmission contribute to the selective vulnerability of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in PD.
Dylan Guenther, BSc.
Dylan Guenther is a neuroscience graduate student in the biomedical sciences program at the University of Florida. His research focus is on characterizing how the effects of cellular dysfunction caused by missense mutations alter local network connectivity and functionality. Dylan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida in 2017. During his undergraduate studies, Dylan first became interested in research after working as a research assistant where his job entailed designing both automated spatial behavioral paradigms and novel drug abuse models. Dylan’s goal is to better understand how local neurons work in concert with one another in the service of cognition, both in a behavioral and neurodegenerative context.
Jonathan Bravo, BS
Johnny Bravo is a molecular technician who joined the Clinical Genomics Lab in 2020. He completed his BS in biomedical science at Texas A&M University working with Dr. William Murphy to help identify the genes responsible for cataracts in cats. He worked for Myriad Genetics running the sequencing machinery to generate the data for cancer gene identification. He also developed a bioinformatic pipeline and studied aphid and adelgid genomes, as well as their endosymbionts in Carol von Dohlen’s lab at Utah State University. Johnny is looking forward to helping develop new bioinformatic pipelines to streamline the use of whole genome sequencing in disease detection and improving the quality of care for patients at UF Health.
Lee Kuglemann, MMSc, GC
Lee Kugelmann is a genetic counselor at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases. She joins the Clinical Genomics Program to promote whole-genome sequencing for brain health disorders and other conditions, and to provide genetic counseling to research subjects. Lee received her Master’s degree in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling from Emory University’s Genetic Counseling Training Program. Her capstone project involved developing educational materials for patients undergoing molecular tumor profiling at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital. Prior to her graduate training, Lee worked as a clinical research coordinator at UF’s Powell Center for Rare Disease Research. She coordinated a number of clinical trials for inherited neuromuscular diseases, including a first-in-human gene therapy trial for children with x-linked myotubular myopathy. Her clinical and research interests involve promoting genetic education and health literacy to enable therapeutic development, and characterizing the lived experiences of people affected by genetic disease.
Meghana Ram, MS
Meghana received her master’s degree in Individualized Genomics and Health from Johns Hopkins University. She plans to pursue a PhD. in the future with an intent to have a career in academia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking and dancing Kathak (Indian classical dance form).
Shannon Wall, AA
Shannon has been with UF for over a decade and is excited to be joining Dr. Farrer’s team as lab manager. Shannon is skilled in animal surgical procedures, health, and behavior. Her skill-set includes training and experience in cannulation implant surgery, viral vector, jugular catherization, suturing, blood collection, end point tissue collection and processing, and novel tissue processing protocols. She is proficient in multiple wet lab procedures such as lmmunohistochemistry, in-situ hybridization, PCR amplification, Western Blotting, ELISA assay, and Protein Quantification.