Hsin-Pin Lin, MD
Dr. Hsin-Pin Lin will be joined the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Neuroscience (LNN) in July 2020 to work on a project titled: “Genetic and Clinical Subtypes of Young-Onset Parkinson Disease (YOPD).” The project is part of a National Institutes of Health R25 grant award received by a team of University of Florida researchers within the College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology, Movement Disorders Division, and Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases. Dr. Michael Okun, the Chair of the Department of Neurology and Executive Director of the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, Dr. Nikolaus McFarland, an associate professor in the Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration, and Dr. Daniel Hoh, an associate professor of neurosurgery, will serve as the grant PIs for this project with scientific mentorship provided by Dr. Matt Farrer. Dr. Lin joined the University of Florida’s neurology residency program in 2018 after completing her M.D. at Northwestern University. Dr. Lin has a Bachelors degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, where she graduated with distinction in Biochemistry as well as in Chemistry and went on to complete a Medical Scientist Training Program at Northwestern University. For her Ph.D. work, she studied glial cells in peripheral nervous systems. Dr. Lin is interested in movement disorders and neuromuscular diseases with a long-term goal of helping decipher the pathophysiology of devastating neurological diseases and conditions.
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.
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.
Becky Lazensky, PhD, MPH
Dr. Becky Lazensky is an Epidemiologist with over 10 years’ experience investigating infectious disease outbreaks with County Health Departments throughout Florida. Becky received her MPH degree in Global Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and her PhD from the University of Florida. As part of her PhD research, she investigated two Florida manatee mortality episodes using proteomics and transcriptomics applications. In 2006, she began a two-year fellowship with the Florida Department of Health’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program where she provided epidemiologic assistance to Nassau, Baker, Clay, and St Johns counties in Northeast Florida. In 2008, she accepted a Regional Environmental Epidemiologist position where she coordinated food and waterborne disease outbreak investigations in a 16-county region in North Central Florida. Her research interests include: clinical genomics, neurology, epidemiology, public health practice, acute and chronic infectious disease, disaster preparedness, algal bloom toxins, and health equity.
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.
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.