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Committees

The students and faculty of the Neurosciences Graduate Program are actively involved in a variety of committees.

Admissions

The purpose of the Admissions Committee is to holistically review applications and identify promising prospective students who will make positive contributions to the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program, both as scientists and community members. 

The Admissions Committee consists of faculty and students who meet approximately three times during the winter quarter. Membership on this committee requires a substantial time commitment since members of the committee must review 150-200 applicant files during a 1-2 week period. After the files have been reviewed, the committee convenes to discuss the individual applicant files and select a group of prospective students. These students are invited to visit the program and interview with Admissions Committee members and other faculty members. Finally, following interviews, the committee meets to decide which prospective students will be offered admission into the program.

Faculty Members

Brenda Bloodgood, Ph.D. (Chair)
Jeffry Isaacson, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)
Shelley Halpain, Ph.D. (Diversity Committee Chair)
Nicola Allen, Ph.D.
Eiman Azim, Ph.D.
Kristin Baldwin, PhD.
Matt Banghart, Ph.D.
Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D.
Tim Gentner, Ph.D.
Christina Gremel, Ph.D.
Eric Halgren, Ph.D.
Matt Lovelett-Barron, Ph.D.
Eran Mukamel, Ph.D.
Gulcin Pekkurnaz, Ph.D.
Robert Rissman, Ph.D.
John Serences, Ph.D.
Roy Subhojit, Ph.D.
Jared Young, Ph.D.

Student Members

Haylie Romero
Andrea DeSouza
Christian Cazares
Emily Baltz
Timothy Sheehan
Jess Du
Seraphina Solders
Jillybeth Burgado
Joseph Herdy
Vivian Ko

Contact Info

For more information about the Admissions Committee, please contact Ege Yalcinbas.

Career Development

The purpose of the Career Development Committee is to support graduate students in finding gainful and meaningful employment by familiarizing them with traditional and non-traditional career options, and providing opportunities for skill development and networking. The committee maintains the NGP Alumni Network and LinkedIn Group, organizes alumni career panels, hosts skill-building workshops, and maintains a quarterly newsletter of career development opportunities on and off campus. The committee also runs "Job Talk," a blog of informational interviews with professionals in STEM-related fields.

Student Members

Nicole Mlynaryk (Chair)
Emily Baltz
Vivian Ko
Sammi Sison
Jess Du
Maggie Henderson
Sydney Smith
Alicia Van Enoo
Emma Spillman
Audrey Miglietta
Norah Al-Azzam
Kween Agba


Contact Info

For more information about the Career Development Committee, please contact Nicole Mlynaryk.

Computational Neuroscience

The purpose of the Computational Neuroscience Committee is to empower students to pursue the Computational Neurosciences Specialization and more generally, to increase computational proficiency for all members of the NGP community. Student members organize a lunch during bootcamp and host bi-weekly journal clubs.

Faculty Members

David Kleinfeld, Ph.D. (Chair/Physics Representative)
Tatyana Sharpee, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)
Gert Cauwenberghs, Ph.D. (Bioengineering Representative)
Tim Gentner, Ph.D.

Student Members

Jess Haley (Chair)
Ryan Golden
Brad Theilman
Andrew Bender
Leo Breston
Maggie Henderson
Burke Rosen
Zarek Siegel
Bri Marsh
Michael Preston
Xinyue Xia
Trevor McPherson
Ji-An Li
Blanca Martin
JC Gorman
Yuru Song

Contact Info

For more information about the Computational Neuroscience Committee, please contact Jess Haley. For more resources and information about the curriculum and faculty of the Specialization, please take a look at the Computational Neuroscience page.

Curriculum

The purpose of the Curriculum Committee is to maintain and improve the curriculum for the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program. The committee is composed of faculty and students who evaluate core courses on an ongoing basis and may recommend changes based on feedback from the program students and faculty. They also solicit and select topics and faculty for readings-based electives (NEU 221) to be offered each year.

Faculty Members

Binhai Zheng, Ph.D. (Chair)
Brenda Bloodgood, Ph.D.
Tim Gentner, Ph.D
Cory Miller, Ph.D.
John Reynolds, Ph.D.

Student Members

Jess Du (Chair)
Jacky Mosko
James Deng
Audrey Miglietta
Grace Padilla
Anoushen Bakhti- Suroosh
Sheila Steiner

Contact Info

For more information about the Curriculum Committee, please contact Alicia Van Enoo.

Diversity

The purpose of the Diversity Committee is to recruit, retain, and support students with identities and experiences previously underrepresented in the Neurosciences. We encourage diversity in the dimensions of race, ethnicity, nationality, socio-economic status, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, family educational history (first generation), and veteran status.

Recruitment

  • We aim to retain the diversity of students in our program by advocating for students that fall within our diversity criteria throughout the admissions process.
  • We aim to recruit admitted students through hosting an informal diversity social event during interviews.
  • We aim to increase applications of students with diverse identities and experiences by recruiting at undergraduate conferences including SACNAS, ABRCMS, SfN ENDURE, and the California Diversity Forum.
  • We aim to better recruit under-represented students by applying for grants that support undergrad and postbac research at UCSD. We aim to have this funding in place by 2021.

Retention and Support

  • We aim to better support students by developing and maintaining a document with funding opportunities, basic eligibility and application information, and contact information of previously funded students. This document will also have information on identity-specific institutional resources and organizations.
  • We aim to better support students by providing resources (materials and contacts) related to the institutional parental and health leave policies.
  • We aim to collaborate with the Peer Advising Committee to build a more supportive environment with a range of resources.

Faculty Members

Christina Gremel, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)
Lara Rangel, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)
Yishi Jin, Ph.D.
Stefan Leutgeb, Ph.D.    
Gentry Patrick, Ph.D.

Student Members

Maribel Patino (Student Chair)
Christian Cazares
Kevin White Jr. 
Elischa Sanders 
Jess Haley
Ryan Golden 
Xiaochun Cai 
Daniela Cassataro 
Zarek Siegel 
Meghan Rossi 
Emily Baltz
Chris Lee
Sammi Sison 
Jillybeth Burgado 
Vivian Ko 
Nicole Mlynaryk 
Emma Boyd
Mini Contreras 
Chiaki Santiago
Bri Marsh
Jennifer Jensen
Micheal Preston 
Oren Wilcox
Melonie Vaughn
Caroline Jia
Ricardo Lozoya
Kween Agba
Ray Miranda
JC Gorman
Blanca Martin
Grace Padilla
Iris Garcia-Pak
Joyce Tran
James Deng
Louise Stolz
Jeremy Cy Lin
Jacky Mosko
Yuru Song
Anja Payne
Norah Al-Azzam
Andrew Bender

Contact Info

For more information about the Diversity Committee, please contact Maribel Patino or Jillybeth Burgado.

Executive

The purpose of the Executive Committee is to set the policies and guidelines that govern the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program. This committee oversees a broad range of issues affecting the program including general administration, the distribution of financial and human resources, as well as activities and events involving NGP faculty and students. The Executive Committee is comprised of a group of faculty and 2 student members who participate in quarterly meetings. Student members of the Executive Committee are tasked with recording meeting minutes, speaking on behalf of NGP students on matters such as stipends, as well as introducing new committees and amending current ones.

Faculty Members

Tim Gentner, Ph.D. (Chair)
Gentry Patrick, Ph.D. (Vice-Chair)
Brenda Bloodgood, Ph.D.
Jim Brewer, Ph.D.
Ed Callaway, Ph.D.
Andrea Chiba, Ph.D.
Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D.
Holly Cline, Ph.D.
Fred Gage, Ph.D.
Shelley Halpain, Ph.D.
Jeff Isaacson, Ph.D.
Yishi Jin, Ph.D.
Harvey Karten, M.D. (Senior Advisor)
William Kristan, Ph.D.
Jill Leutgeb, Ph.D.
William C. Mobley, M.D., Ph.D.
Allen Ryan, Ph.D.
John Serences, Ph.D.
Brad Voytek, Ph.D.
Binhai Zheng, Ph.D

Student Members

Nicole Mlynaryk
Jess Haley

Contact Info

For more information about the Executive Committee, please contact Jess Haley.

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The purpose of the Graduate Student Association is to represent the interests of graduate and professional students on campus, locally, statewide, and on national levels. Through activities and programming, GSA aims to enrich the lives of students and advance their interests politically, academically, and socially to help create a better academic and non-academic life at UC San Diego. The Neurosciences Graduate Program has two council members that represent the program at GSA meetings.

Student Members

Bri Marsh (Council Member)
Chiaki Santiago (Council Member)
Joyce Tran

Contact Info

For more information about the Graduate Student Association please contact Bri Marsh or Chiaki Santiago or visit the GSA website.

Interview Week

The purpose of the Interview Week Committee is to support the Neurosciences Graduate Program Coordinators in planning the logistics and events that take place when prospective students visit UCSD during interview week. Housing, meals and transportation for the applicants are arranged, as well as tours, entertainment, and opportunities for applicants to meet current students and faculty in the program.

Faculty Members

Sreekanth Chalasani, Ph.D. (Chair)
Giordano Lippi, Ph.D.
Francesca Telese, Ph.D.

Student Members

Vivian Ko (Host CoordinatorSaturday Event Coordinator)
Chiaki Santiago (Host Coordinator; Faculty Dinner CoordinatorSaturday Event Coordinator)
Mini Contreras (Host CoordinatorSaturday Event Coordinator)
Kevin Tenerelli (Faculty Dinner Coordinator)
Jess Du (Faculty Dinner Coordinator; Evening Student Social Event Coordinator)
Desi Chu (Poster Session CoordinatorLab Tour Coordinator)
Tim Tadros (Poster Session CoordinatorSaturday Event CoordinatorHousing Tour Coordinator)
Sammi Sison (Lab Tour Coordinator)
Susan Lubjeko (Lab Tour Coordinator)
Chris Lee (Evening Student Social Event CoordinatorSaturday Event Coordinator)
Bri Marsh (Saturday Event Coordinator)
Andrew Bender (Saturday Event Coordinator)
Emma Boyd (Saturday Event Coordinator)
Oren Wilcox (Saturday Event Coordinator)
Caroline Jia (Saturday Event Coordinator)
Michael Preston (Saturday Event Coordinator)
Sydney Smith (Saturday Event Coordinator
Jillybeth Burgado (Housing Tour Coordinator)

Contact Info

For more information about the Interview Week Committee, please contact Vivian Ko.

Intramural Sports

The purpose of the Intramural Sports Committee is to promote student well-being and strengthen our community through team-building sports and recreational activities. We aim to facilitate recreational engagement for students with interests in a wide variety of physical activities and levels of competition by organizing program-only practices and games, as well as organizing intramural sports teams and cross-departmental events.

Student Members

Emma Boyd (Co-Chair; Aquatic Czar)
Andrew Bender (Co-Chair; Land Czar)
Louise Stolz
Ricardo Lozoya
Blanca Martin
JC Gorman
Christian Cazares
Kween Agba
Jillybeth Burgado

Contact Info

For more information about the Intramural Sports Committee, please contact Andrew Bender.

Minor Proposition

The purpose of the Minor Proposition Committee is to facilitate the Minor Proposition exam, a program requirement for second year students. Committee members participate in a mock NIH study section to score the F30/F31 proposals submitted by second year students. Committee members also then listen to an oral defense of the proposals for which they were primary, secondary, or tertiary reviewer. 

Faculty Members

Jared Young, Ph.D. (Chair)
Richard Daneman
Tina Gremel
Donna Gruol
William Mobley (Instructor and Member)
Nick Oesch
Robert Rissman
Cory Root
John Serences (Instructor only)
Eric Zorrilla

Student Teaching Assistant

Catie Profaci

Contact Info

For more information about the Minor Proposition Committee, please contact Jared Young.

 

Peer Advising

The purpose of the Peer Advising Committee is to support the Neurosciences Graduate Program student experience. The committee organizes events that provide perspective and guidance on milestones or common experiences that students encounter along their PhD path.

Student Members

Emily Baltz (Mental Health Team Lead)
Jess Du (Peer Lunches Team Lead)
Ryan Golden (Off-Campus Themed Sessions Team Lead)
Seraphina Solders (Success Through Failure Panel Team Lead)
Shannan McClain
Nicole Mlynaryk
Anja Payne
Emily Ho
Zarek Siegal
Peter Fenton
Marley Rossa
Andre DeSouza
Helen Wang
Bethanny Danskin
Catie Profaci 
Ege Yalcinbas
Haylie Romero
Jennifer Jensen
Sydney Smith
Chiaki Santiago

Contact Info

For more information about the Peer-Advising Committee, please contact Emily Baltz, Jess Du, Ryan Golden, or Seraphina Solders.

Retreat

The purpose of the Retreat Committee is to plan and coordinate an annual department wide event that celebrates the achievements and ongoing endeavors of students and faculty in the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program community. Retreat includes a robust scientific symposium, forums for discussion, and an opportunity for the entire department to bond over a weekend of socializing.

Faculty Members

Matt Banghart, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)
Marcus Benna (Co-Chair)

Student Members

Joseph Herdy
Meghan Rossi
Bethanny Danskin
Jacob Garrett
Brad Theilman
Jess Du
Jeremy CY Lin

Contact Info

For more information about the Retreat Committee please contact Joseph Herdy.

Seminar Dining

The purpose of the Seminar Dining Committee is to assign students to attend lunches and dinners with speakers of the Neurosciences Graduate Program Seminar Series. Prior to the start of the Seminar Series, student members survey NGP students for their preferences and are invited to attend approximately one lunch and one dinner per year. Student members of this committee attend a significant proportion (1/3 to 1/2) of lunches and are responsible for paying for these meals using tickets provided by the NGP Coordinators.

Student Members (aka Lunch Czars)

Sam Asinof
Ben Temple
Meghan Rossi

Seminar Series

The purpose of the Seminar Series Committee is to plan and execute the weekly Neurosciences Graduate Program Seminar Series. Duties include surveying the UCSD Neurosciences community for speaker nominations, choosing speakers with diverse research and demographics, inviting and scheduling speakers, and assigning student hosts to invited speakers.

Faculty Members

Joseph Gleeson, M.D. (Chair)
Matt Banghart, Ph.D.
Rich Daneman, Ph.D.
Tina Gremel, Ph.D.
Jill Leutgeb, Ph.D.  
Lara Rangel, Ph.D.

Student Members

Emily Baltz
Ben Temple
Ryan Golden

Contact Info

For more information about the Seminar Series Committee, please contact Tim Sheehan or take a look at the schedule for this year's Neurosciences Graduate Program Seminar Series.

Student Progress

The responsibility of this committee is to help with cases where a student may not be progressing according to the expectations of the program. A member of the committee is generally assigned to work with the student and advisor to identify and resolve any impediments, and make recommendations for corrective steps.

Social

The purpose of the Social Committee is to provide a schedule of inclusive and enjoyable social events to foster community pride and camaraderie. Throughout the year, we organize informal social functions for members of the NGP community as well as partner with other UCSD graduate programs in joint events. Events include a post-Bootcamp party, a Halloween party (typically co-hosted with BMS or Biology graduate students), and quarterly happy hours with faculty and program administrators.

Student Members

Charlie Dickey
Seraphina Solders
Chiaki Santiago
Sydney Smith
Michael Preston
Andrew Bender
Grace Padilla
Lauren Stanwicks
Louise Stolza
Joyce Tran

Contact Info

For more information about the Social Committee, please contact Vivian Ko.

Social Media

The purpose of the Social Media Committee is to connect members of the UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program with each other and with other academics across social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).

Student Members

Minerva Contreras (Chair)
Oren Wilcox (Vice Chair)
Jess Du
Lauren Stanwicks
Ben Tsuda
Sydney Smith
Emma Spillman
Kween Agba
Jacky Mosko
JC Gorman

Contact Info

For more information about the Social Media Committee, please contact Minerva Contreras or find us on Facebook and Twitter.