Research Team

Principle Investigator

Justin P. Annes MD PhD

Thank you for visiting us and learning about our exciting work!   

Everyday in lab is an adventure- learning basic biologic mechanisms, discovering new therapeutic targets and synthesizing novel compounds that will one day (hopefully) become medicines. Important work that's fun to do.   


Dr. Annes is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University in the Division of Endocrinology. Justin was previously an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School where he completed clinical training in Internal Medicine and Clinical Genetics (Brigham and Women’s Hospital). He performed his post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Douglas Melton Ph.D. (Harvard University) where he studied β-cell regeneration. Justin obtained his M.D., Ph.D degrees from New York University Medical School where he was a graduate student in the laboratory of Daniel Rifkin, Ph.D. and studied the post-translational regulation of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β).

Dr. Annes’ runs the Endocrine Genetics Clinic at Stanford Hospital that focuses on the care of patients and families with Endocrine Tumor Syndromes such as Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia and Hereditary Paraganglioma. His nonprofessional interests include tennis (All-American at Haverford College), Sci-Fi novels and Family.  

Academic Scientists

Neali A. Armstrong PhD

Neali did her Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University with Eric Gouaux where she solved crystal structures of the AMPA receptor ligand-binding domain in complex with several ligands.  She received a Jane Coffin Childs post-doctoral fellowship to continue studying the structure-function relationships of the AMPA receptor using electrophysiological and biochemical techniques.  Currrently, Neali is working on a mouse model for pheochromocytoma to determine how the loss of a metabolic enzyme  leads to tumorigenesis.   


Yassan Abdolazimi PhD

Yassan completed her PhD in Genetic, Molecular and Cellular Biology at USC where she studied the role of Notch effectors in the maintenance and specification of cell fate in the mouse cochlea in the laboratory of Neil Segil. Yassan joined Annes lab in October 2015 to study the function of Adenosine kinase in the replication of beta-cells.

Paul Allegretti PhD

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Paul worked as a medicinal chemist developing small molecules that acted as dual angiotensin II antagonists/neprilysin inhibitors. He returned to school and completed his PhD in organic chemistry at Colorado State University under the guidance of Eric Ferreira. His doctoral research focused on the use of platinum salts to form carbene intermediates, enabling the formation of substituted heterocycles from easily accessible precursors. Paul joined the Annes lab in June 2016 as a ChEM-H postdoctoral fellow and is designing small molecule stimulators of beta-cells as a therapy for Type II diabetes. 

Sooyeon Jenny Lee PhD

Sooyeon received her Ph.D. in Physiology at Pennsylvania State University where she studied the role of the zinc transporter ZnT2 in mammary gland development and functions during lactation in the laboratory of Shannon L. Kelleher. Sooyeon joined Annes lab in July 2016 to study the molecular connections between cellular metabolism, growth and function in beta-cells. 

Graduate Students

Tim Horton

Tim came to the Annes lab in January 2016 as a graduate student in the Chemistry program and ChEM-H CBI pre-doctoral fellow. Tim graduated from Ouachita Baptist University (Arkansas) with a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics in 2014 where his research with Marty Perry utilized computational modeling to study chiral drug metabolism. He spent a summer at UC-Berkeley in the laboratory of John Kuriyan studying inhibition of spleen tyrosine kinase and ZAP-70. Tim is currently working toward designing and characterizing small molecules that stimulate beta-cell replication as a treatment for Type II Diabetes. Outside of lab, Tim enjoys hiking, watching basketball, and spending time with his wife.­­

Hannah Moeller

Hannah earned her BS in Neuroscience from UCLA were she worked in the labs of David Krantz and Nigel Maidment. Her research included a drug-repurposing project for Parkinson’s disease, which targeted the vesicular monoamine transporter, and an investigation into the effects of endogenous opioids on addictive behaviors. After UCLA, Hannah came to Stanford as a PhD student in the Chemical and Systems Biology department and joined the Annes lab in the summer of 2016.  She is currently working to identify genetic and chemical modulators of beta-cell function.­­

Undergraduate Students

Raquel Freeman

Raquel Freeman is a freshman at Stanford and plans to major in bioengineering. She joined the Annes Lab in January 2016, and is looking forward to the exciting projects to come this year. She is originally from Los Angeles, California, and enjoys spending time at the beach, volunteering, and building Lego sets.

Benjamin Yeh

Hi! I'm a sophomore at Stanford planning on studying bioengineering. I joined the Annes Lab in January 2016, and I'm currently working on structural determination of kinase-ligand complexes to help guide synthesis of small molecules that stimulate beta-cell replication as a treatment for Type II diabetes. Originally from southern California, I love playing sand volleyball and exploring the outdoors. I also enjoy classical music and play cello in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra.

Lab Alumni

Yassan Abdolazimi

Guadalupe Navarro PhD

Robert Nichols  PhD

Senior Scientist @ Revolution Medicines

Sharon Chen

Stanford Undergraduate

Hailey D. Blain

Bowdoin College Undergraduate