Stephanie E. Gaus, PhD, MMSc - Specialist

Stephanie joined the Seeley lab in October 2007 as an Associate Specialist. Her background is in sleep and circadian rhythms research, including neuroanatomy. She completed a doctorate in neurobiology (CB Saper, Harvard University), a master's in medical science (Harvard Medical School), and a postdoc focusing on narcolepsy (E Mignot, Stanford University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute). In the Seeley lab, Stephanie is helping to characterize von Economo neurons in health and disease. Using immunohistochemical and molecular biological techniques, Stephanie is exploring the normal and pathological neuroanatomy and pathology of these neurons.

Alissa Nana, PhD - Specialist 

Alissa joined the laboratory in 2011 as a post-doctoral fellow. Her background is in neurodegeneration research. Alissa completed a BSc degree with honors in biomedical science and a PhD degree in anatomy from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where she investigated the variable pattern of cortical neuronal loss in Huntington’s disease. In the Seeley lab, she is investigating the selective vulnerability of von Economo neurons (VENs) in frontotemporal dementia.

Sarat Vatsavayai, PhD - Specialist

Sarat Vatsavayai received an MSc degree in Human Genetics from Andhra University, India. He then did his doctoral work in the field of Huntington’s disease at the Open University, UK, where he was charactering a novel mouse model and was trying to find out if DNA repeat instability could modify disease progression. In July 2013, he joined Dr. Seeley’s lab and is studying the molecular basis of C9ORF72 mutation in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Salvatore Spina, MD - Assistant Professor 

Dr. Spina received his medical degree from the University of Catania, Italy. He completed a neurology residency at the University of Siena, Italy from which he also obtained his doctorate degree on mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He was trained in neuropathology of dementia syndromes at the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, Indianapolis in the laboratory of Dr. Bernardino Ghetti. Later, he completed an internship in internal medicine and a neurology residency at Indiana University. Dr. Spina’s research focuses on the clinicopathologic and genetic correlations in neurodegenerative dementia syndromes, with a special interest on frontotemporal lobar degeneration. He has been awarded the Best Young Investigator Award from the European Confederation of Neuropathological Societies (Euro-CNS) and the Hellenic Society of Neuropathology.

Norbert Lee - Staff Research Associate

Norbert Lee joined the lab as a Staff Research Associate in 2010. He assists with brain banking and other histology technician responsibilities.

Sarah Kaufman, MD, PhD - Memory and Aging Center Research Fellow

Sarah Kaufman received her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cell Biology, with a focus in Neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her MD/PhD through Washington University in St. Louis MSTP. Her graduate research focused on tau aggregation and tau strain biology in the laboratory of Marc Diamond. After completing her dual degree she began Neurology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. After graduation from residency, she will begin a research fellowship through the Memory and Aging Center, with joint mentorship in the Seeley and Kampmann laboratories. Her ongoing research interests include understanding the mechanisms that underlie selective vulnerability in frontotemporal dementia and related neurodegenerative diseases.



Ellisa Lang- Staff Research Associate

Ellisa joined the Seeley Lab in October 2021 as a research associate and assists with the brain bank, immunohistochemistry, and other technical work for various projects. She received her B.A. in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and East Asian studies from Oberlin College in May 2021. Prior to joining the Seeley team, she worked at the University of California, Davis MIND Institute as a research intern, focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders. There, she was a part of the TEDI Study and analyzed telehealth assessment of infants exhibiting Autism Spectrum Disorder characteristics. While at Oberlin College, she was a research assistant for multiple psychology labs and worked on studies relating to language, emotion, and telepsychology.

Lily Talley – Staff Research Associate

Lily joined the Seeley Lab in September 2023 as a research associate and assists with the brain bank, immunohistochemistry, and other technical work for various projects. Lily received a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2023. As an undergraduate, Lily was a research assistant for a lab studying the neural pathways of feeding behavior in Drosophila, along with working in public health, sexual health education, and sexual violence and harassment prevention.

Felipe Luiz Pereira, PhD – Bioinformatician

Felipe is a Bioinformatician with a Computer Science background. He received his Ph.D. degree at Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 2019. In his Ph.D. thesis, he studied host-pathogen interaction in important zoonotic fish-pathogenic bacteria. He had experience as a teacher assistant in Programming Languages and Software Engineering and he worked in the National Reference Laboratory of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture using different types of omics technologies, such as transcriptomics and proteomics. His main interest is to integrate data from different technologies and work with big data science. He has begun as a Bioinformatician in Profs. Grinberg and Willian Seeley’s labs on May 1st of 2021, and his efforts are linked to Single Nuclei/Bulk RNA sequencing data processing, data integration, and statistical analysis.


Oseas Medina - Medical Student

Oseas is a Medical student at UCSF who is doing a yearlong research fellowship in the Seeley lab through the UCSF school of Medicine. Oseas received his bachelor of science at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and studied Psychology and Biochemistry. Oseas’s interests lie in regulators of nucleocytoplasmic transport and nuclear protein quality control and how they relate to TDP-43 dysfunction.