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lisa gunaydin, phd

Principal Investigator

Lisa received her B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University, where she developed and applied a variety of novel optogenetic techniques to dissect neural circuitry underlying complex mammalian behaviors. She joined the UCSF faculty in 2016 as an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Lisa is a member of the UCSF Neuroscience Graduate Program, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience, and has been named a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. When she isn't in the lab or office, she is out swimming, biking, or running in training for her next triathlon.



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Adrienne loewke

Graduate Student

Adrienne received her B.S. from Stanford University in Biology with Honors in Neurobiology. She is currently a graduate student in the UCSF Neuroscience PhD Program. Her research interests include the circuits underlying psychiatric diseases as well as applications of computer science in behavioral neuroscience techniques. Outside of research she enjoys playing and coaching volleyball as well as playing with her rescue puppy, Harley.


argentina lario lago, phd

Associate Specialist

Argentina received her BSc in Biology from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and her PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center in Madrid, Spain. For her thesis, she learned how to record electrical currents from neurons to understand molecular mechanisms underlying memory formation and learning in the hippocampus. She fell in love with electrophysiology and moved 10,000 km away from home to work as a postdoc with Roger Nicoll at UCSF. In 2017 she joined the Gunaydin lab to explore new brain circuits underlying behavior using a combination of electrophysiology and imaging techniques. When not in the lab, she spends time with her books, goes to the SFMoMA, enjoys the amazing nature in beautiful California, eats paella and constantly tries to find good cortados.


Postdoctoral Fellow

Gwynne received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology from Indiana University-Bloomington and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University.  For her thesis she studied models of neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically focusing on the effects of an ADHD-associated genetic risk variant at the molecular and behavioral levels. She joined the Gunaydin lab in hopes of bridging the connection between molecules and behavior, by exploring circuitry changes underlying behavioral phenotypes associated with psychiatric conditions. When not in lab, Gwynne can be found chilling with her kitties and a good book, or dragging her husband to go hiking or in pursuit of queso dip.

bridget kajs

Graduate Student

Bridget received her B.S. in Neurobiology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she worked in a molecular neuroscience laboratory developing novel viral constructs to target inhibitory neuron subpopulations. She is currently a graduate student in the UCSF Neuroscience Program. While in the Gunaydin Lab, she is interested in exploring the biological underpinnings of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She also has an interest in mental health advocacy focused on preventative care and evidence-based practices in psychiatry. Outside of lab, Bridget enjoys singing, collecting insects, and visiting the various art and science museums throughout San Francisco.


Junior Specialist

Jen received her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience from Cornell University where she worked in the Lab of Brain and Cognition researching the impact of aging on the Default Mode Network and its correlation to age related changes to memory. Her long term neuroscience research interests are to study psychiatric disorders and emotional regulation. In her free time she likes to make Youtube videos on topics such as the neuroscience of meditation and positive psychology. She also enjoys exploring national parks and being in nature as much as possible.

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Open Positions

Research Assistant

We are looking for motivated recent graduates with a background in biology or neuroscience. The successful candidate will be responsible for laboratory management, including mouse colony maintenance, genotyping, and immunohistochemistry, and will also be responsible for performing in vivo optogenetic experiments, including stereotaxic surgery and behavioral assays. We would like to hire a highly motivated individual who is capable of independent problem solving but must also work well as part of a team. Please apply here through the UCSF website.


  • BA/BS in Neuroscience or related field
  • At least 1-2 years relevant lab experience
  • Rodent handling experience
  • Familiarity with common laboratory techniques (cloning, PCR) and principles of molecular biology
  • Proficiency in immunohistochemistry
  • One-year time commitment, with possibility of extension

Post-Doctoral Fellow

We are looking for post-docs with a strong background in systems neuroscience and behavior. 


  • Experience with in vivo neural recording in behaving animals, including electrophysiology or calcium imaging
  • Desire to work as part of a team using multiple levels of analysis from molecules to circuits to behavior


Name *
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Katherine ku

Junior Specialist, 2016-2017

Katherine is now a medical student at the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine DO/MPH graduate program.


Adelaide Minerva

Junior Specialist, 2017-2019

Addie is now a graduate student at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.