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.

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.

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.


Ellie Lin

Ellie is a Stanford undergraduate student who hopes to pursue a bio-engineering or physics major with a computer science minor. She received a Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Award to study drivers of tumor cell invasion in high-grade pediatric gliomas in the Prolo lab. Outside of the lab, Ellie loves playing soccer with her club team and violin with her orchestra.

Billy Nguyen, MD

Billy Nguyen is a fellow physician in pediatric hematology and oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He attended UC San Diego, where he received his B.S. in Neuroscience and Physiology. His thesis focused on the role of microRNA on modulating treatment resistance in glioblastoma. Moving along the coast, Billy completed his MD from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he was often found in Korean BBQ buffets and Japanese ramen shops. Occasionally in lab, he focused on clinical research ranging from radiotherapeutic outcomes for various brain tumors to neurosurgical approaches for structural neuro-otologic disorders to a Phase 2 clinical trial for NF2-associated vestibular schwannomas. Proving to a California lad, Billy completed his pediatric residency at UC San Francisco, where he investigated prognostic genetic markers for radiation resistance in diffuse midline gliomas. Personally, Billy is an escape room enthusiast (completing over 15 in 10 different cities), avid reader (favorite book of all time "Cutting for Stone") and fearless food explorer (Count memories, not calories).

Karthik Ravi

Karthik is a medical student at Stanford interested in neurosurgery. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in Cancer Research from the University of Cambridge. His research experience and interests revolve around understanding the genomics of pediatric high-grade glioma in order to develop more effective and less invasive molecular diagnostics. His work in the Prolo lab aims to investigate the genomic and epigenetic landscape of pediatric high-grade gliomas to improve classification and to identify molecular markers to predict outcomes. Outside of medicine, Karthik enjoys playing tennis, exploring the California coast, and playing ping pong.

Fudhail Sayed

Fudhail graduated from the University of North Florida in 2024 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. His undergraduate research included studying the effects of varying nutrient levels on different metabolic pathways in glioblastoma. Outside the lab, he enjoys writing, yo-yoing, spending time with his parents, and playing basketball. Fudhail aspires to attain an MD/PhD degree and pursue a career as a physician-scientist.

Ethan Schonfeld

Ethan is a Stanford medical student whose main research focus is applying computational techniques, including machine learning and transcriptomics, to characterize both pathophysiology and patient outcomes in neurosurgery. He obtained his Bachelors of Science in Biology (biochemistry/biophysics) from Stanford in 2022 and Masters of Science in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford in 2023. His masters work focused on applying generative AI to neurosurgery. Outside of the lab, Ethan enjoys running, hiking, going on day trips, and discovering new restaurants.

Christy Wilson

Christy is a senior scientist who graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2009 with a Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering. Her primary area of research has been the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-tumor barrier (BTB) in the presence of brain tumors and in the normal brain following radiation. She is an expert in in vivo imaging modalities and model development to characterize changes at the BBB and BTB at the vascular level. She also does in vivo model development and characterization for patient-derived primary brain tumors as well as PK/PD studies for therapeutic strategies being developed in the lab. Outside of the lab, Christy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and traveling.