Prolo Lab Team

Laura M. Prolo, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Stanford University School of Medicine

Laura Prolo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. After receiving her A.B. in Biology and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, she completed her MD and PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She remained at Stanford for Neurosurgery residency, then completed a fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery at University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Prolo’s research program focuses on advancing and applying evolving molecular technologies for the diagnosis, characterization and treatment of children with brain tumors.

Sophia Arana

Sophia graduated from Dartmouth College in 2022 with a B.A in Neuroscience and a minor in Philosophy. At Dartmouth, she spent 4 years studying how aberrant chromatin remodeling may drive tumorigenesis and neurodevelopmental disorders. Outside of lab, she enjoys horseback riding and swimming. Sophia hopes to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. 

Maria Isabel (Bel) Barros Guinle

Bel is a Stanford medical student who graduated from Swarthmore College in 2019 with a B.A. in Neuroscience and a minor in Dance. Some of her previous research focused on characterizing patterns of effective connectivity in brain networks during different behavioral tasks. In the Prolo lab, Bel is interested in exploring molecular markers of tumorigenesis in pediatric brain cancers. She is also passionate about integrating her Neuroscience research with her commitment to addressing health disparities globally. Outside of lab, Bel enjoys spending time with her family in Brazil, dancing ballet, and exploring the beaches in the Bay area.


Cesar Andres Garcia Jr.

Cesar is a Stanford medical student who is working on projects related to understanding drivers of tumor cell invasion in high-grade pediatric gliomas and in characterizing patient-derived tumor cell models. He graduated from Yale in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in cellular biology. Outside of lab, Cesar enjoys reading, breakdancing, and exploring hip hop related events in the Bay area.

Ella Nettnin

Ella is a Stanford medical student who graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2020 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience and Biology. At Loyola, she spent 3 years studying brain cells involved in circadian rhythms. In the Prolo Lab, she is interested in studying the biological mechanisms underlying tumor growth and invasion in pediatric gliomas. Outside of the lab, Ella enjoys reading, running, and baking.

Megan Phillips

Megan Phillips is a Life Science Technician with an AS in Biotechnology from Foothill college who has over 17 years of experience in academia and industry.  She brings expertise in murine models of immunology and brain tumors as well as a wide array of biotechnology techniques.  Outside the lab she enjoys hanging out with her daughter, travelling to exotic places, cooking, and playing video games.