Shamloo Lab Members

Mehrdad Shamloo, PhD

Professor (Research) of Neurosurgery and, by courtesy of Comparative Medicine and of Neurology

Director, Stanford Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Laboratory (BFNL)


Mehrdad received his doctoral degree in 1999 from the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center of Lund University in Sweden. He was recruited to the San Francisco Bay Area the same year where he held several positions at biopharmaceutical companies, including Affymax and AGY Therapeutics, until 2008. During this time he was responsible for the discovery and development of novel neuroprotective and regenerative small molecule and peptide therapeutics for multiple diseases. As the program leader for neuroprotection and regeneration programs at AGY Therapeutics, his work enabled several patent applications, scientific publications, and an IND application and subsequent clinical trials. These years of experience in industry built on his extensive background in CNS drug discovery and preclinical development. 

In 2008, Mehrdad joined Stanford University to establish a new behavioral neuropharmacology center for the neuroscience institute. He also formed his own research laboratory to focus on understanding normal and pathological brain functions for neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and autism. Efforts are currently directed towards a subset of genes and proteins involved in neuroprotective or neurodegenerative pathways, which are regulated in these disorders. Through these investigations, Mehrdad and his team hope to understand the processes leading to the functional and behavioral malfunction in these disorders and develop experimental therapeutics. The ultimate goal is to accelerate the translation of these experimental discoveries into novel therapeutic approaches, to improve the quality of life for patients with brain disorders.

Research Scientist

Andrew Evans, PhD

Andrew did his undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College, after which he worked as a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. James L. Goodson at UCSD, examining behavior and neural networks engaged following social encounters in wild-caught finches.  He went on to do a Ph.D with Dr. Christopher A. Lowry at the University of Bristol, UK, where he studied stress-related modulation of serotonergic systems and anxiety behavior, focusing on serotonin metabolism and functional specificity within subregions of the serotonergic midbrain raphe complex. He did his post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky at Stanford, where he developed projects in which he used functional neuroanatomy to begin to understand how a common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, manipulates host behavior, incorporating aspects of neuroimmunology into his neurobiological view. He is currently a Research Scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Mehrdad Shamloo, in the Stanford School of Medicine, leading projects to further explore interactions between the immune system and the central nervous system in the context of neurodegenerative disorders and cognition and behavior.  Andrew is interested in the role of microglia-neuron communication in neurodegenerative disease and the role of neurotransmitter systems, such as the locus coeruleus noradrenergic system, in regulation of neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and behavior in the context of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Bitna Yi PharmD, PhD

My long-standing interest is in translational research to discover and develop novel therapeutics for CNS diseases. Having hand-on experience working as a pharmacist and research training as a molecular pharmacologist, understanding mechanisms underlying the disease and translating the laboratory findings into new therapeutic strategies are attractive area to me. Currently in Shamloo lab, I am working on many projects that focus on Alzheimer’s disease. Using a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach, I am testing several drug candidates in models of Alzheimer’s disease regarding their effects on both symptoms and pathology. I find my projects very exciting and I am really happy to be part of our team. Outside of lab, I enjoy traveling, hiking, cooking, reading, watching movies, drinking a good glass of wine, and so many other things.



Sezen Kislal, PhD

During my undergraduate studies in Biology at Hacettepe University in Turkey, I participated in ecological projects such as protecting Longerhead Sea Turtles and prolonging their conservation. After graduating, my focus turned to experimental psychology with special emphasis on context aversion learning which I explored during my Ph.D program in the Department of Biobehavioral Health at Pennsylvania State University under the guidance of Dr. David Blizard. I also had the opportunity to work in the National Institute of Genetics in Mishima, Japan where I worked on the genetics of bitter taste in mice. Thus, my background started in biology and extended into behavioral studies. In the Shamloo lab, I am developing an interest in translational neuroscience focusing on novel therapeutic approaches in experimental models of stroke.

Lab Manager

Nay Lui Saw

I am the lab manager for Shamloo Lab. I graduated from San Francisco State University with B.S. in Biology. After working in U.C.S.F. Department of Anesthesia, I became a part of Stanford community in 2007. My primary responsibility includes running the day-to-day general operations of the lab, as well as, assisting Professor Shamloo and other colleagues in achieving their research goals. My scope of scientific work involves conducting behavioral pharmacology experiment, colony management, and training collaborators. My area of expertise is in phenotyping transgenic rodent model and CNS diseases models such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Beside managing the lab and conducting classical experiments, I’m keenly interested in developing new protocols and behavioral paradigms to tackle current challenges facing the neuroscience community.

Life Science Research Assistants

Rachel Lam


Jacqueline Ernest


Matthew Klope

My interest in therapeutic discovery began during my undergraduate study at Baylor University, where I completed a thesis in the design and chemical synthesis of proteolytic inhibitors for use as potential anticancer agents.  Since starting at BFNL in 2016 I have had the opportunity to continue investigating and evaluating novel therapies as applied to a myriad of human CNS disorders.  I work most closely with the BFNL behavioral testing core, where I collaborate with outside labs and institutions to design and conduct rodent testing paradigms for pre-clinical therapeutic evaluation.  My long-term goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry in preparation for a career spent in drug design and discovery.


Christine Xu


Maria Vashchenko

Undergraduate Researcher

Sarah Victoria Schurr

Undergraduate Students

Aisha Balogun


Courtney Gao


Inbar Kodesh


Julien Segre


Swetha Shutthanandan