Meet the Lab

Minxian Qian, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar
Ph.D. Beijing Normal University

As a faculty member of Shenzhen University, Dr. Qian’s research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases. During his six months in the Sassone-Corsi Laboratory, Dr. Qian’s current project involves determining how Bmal1 regulates genomic integrity and aging. Contact: minxianq@uci.edu 

Shogo Sato, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D. Waseda University, Japan

Della Martin Foundation Fellowship

After postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Dr. Sato joined the Sassone-Corsi Lab in December 2015. His current and future research interest is the application of the circadian clock in health and diseases. Contact: satos1@uci.edu

Carolina Greco, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy-
Ph.D. Translational and Molecular Medicine
M.S. Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology

Dr. Greco joined the Sassone-Corsi lab about three years ago after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Milan. She is currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie (MSCA) Fellow and her main interest is to investigate how metabolic processes affect transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. Contact: grecoc@uci.edu

Kohei Shimaji, Ph.D. 
Assistant Specialist
Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan-
Ph.D. Division of Materials and Life Science
M.S. Department of Applied Biology
B.S. Department of Applied Biology

2019 – 2020: The American Heart Association Fellowship
2017 – 2018: The Uehara Memorial Foundation Fellowship

Dr. Shimaji’s research interest includes biophysical stress response, microbiome, and circadian rhythm. His research goal is to contribute life science development as an independent researcher. Most of his hobbies are indoor, but he has tried to learn fishing recently. Dr. Shimaji’s fishing goal is to catch a shark. Contact: kshimaji@uci.edu

Kevin Koronowski, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of Miami
B.S. Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh

NIH F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship

In high school, Dr. Koronowski adopted his brother’s interest in fitness and nutrition. Together, they both played ice hockey and wanted to maximize their potential for sports. The idea of a career in the national hockey league has long since faded, however, Dr. Koronowski’s interest in nutrition and metabolism has stuck with him. Dr. Koronowski is enthralled by the mechanisms through which environmental cues and dietary interventions regulate the epigenome and impact human health/disease. Currently, his work aims to identify the 24-hour cycles of metabolic coordination and communication among peripheral tissues using genetic mouse models that isolate clocks in peripheral tissues and allow us to dissect the circadian clock system in vivo. Contact: kkoronow@uci.edu

Tomoki Sato, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Shizuoka, Japan-
Ph.D. Integrated Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences
M.S. Integrated Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Sciences
B.S. Food and Nutritional Sciences

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Overseas Research Fellowship

Dr. Sato joined the Sassone-Corsi Lab as an exchange Ph.D. student in 2017. After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Shizuoka, he started his career as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Sato is also a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Overseas Research Fellow. Currently, Dr. Sato explores the effect of glucocorticoid signal to clock system and epigenetic mechanisms. Contact: tsato1@uci.edu

Marlene Cervantes, Ph.D. (ABD)
Graduate Student
B.S. Health Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

After spending a few years as a technician in the lab, Marlene became fascinated with research, so much so that she is now a Ph.D. student. Her main research focus has been to find new interactions with the circadian clock and define their functional role. Marlene is a current F31 NRSA Predoctoral Fellow and a former American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellow. Contact: marlenc@uci.edu

Shoko Sato 
Lab Technician
B.S. Human Sciences, Waseda University, Japan

As of March 2019, Shoko has been in the Sassone-Corsi Lab for two years serving as a lab technician. Her primary work in the lab is to take care of and genotype a variety of colonies of transgenic/mutant mice in order to support lab members’ research. She is very happy to help science since she used to want to be a researcher. During her off time, Shoko loves seeing beautiful nature from the passenger’s seat of the car driven by her husband. Contact: shokos1@uci.edu

Jacob Smith, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher
Ph.D. University College London (UK)
B.Sc. University of Manchester (UK) 

Zymo Fellowship

Dr. Smith’s current research is aimed at understanding how peripheral circadian clocks communicate with each other and signal systemically. In particular, he is interested in the role of the skeletal muscle clock and how this can be influenced by diet and exercise. In parallel, Dr. Smith is exploring how long-range signaling from the gut microbiome acts to influence host circadian physiology, focusing on brain metabolism. Contact: jgsmith3@uci.edu 

Paul Petrus, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher
M.S. Human Nutrition
Ph.D. Medicine

Wenner-Gren Fellowship

Dr. Petrus is fascinated by the ability of living organisms to adapt to changes in the environment, as he finds it very intriguing that this occurs over the day, every day. Dr. Petrus wishes to explore how the synchrony between the universe and life on Earth is influenced by urban environments. Hence, he aims to study the circadian communication between organs and how this changes in response to various environmental cues. Aside from his passion for science, Dr. Petrus loves cooking, eating (only at the right times of course), and martial arts. Contact: ppetrus@uci.edu

William Orquiz
Lab Manager and Assistant
B.S. Environmental Biology, Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona 

William has been in the Sassone-Corsi lab for the past year and a half and currently serves as the Lab Manager and Assistant. William has always wanted to work in a laboratory setting and he is now involved in all aspects of this lab. He is responsible for managing the daily operations of the lab and making sure the lab runs as smoothly as possible. Outside of lab, you will either find William on a soccer field or watching soccer. Contact: worquiz@uci.edu. Lab Phone: (949) 824-8056

Past Research Team Members

Haig Derderian, BIO 199 Student (Winter 2017 – Spring 2018)
Kenichiro Kinouchi, Assistant Specialist (September 2013 – December 2018)
Kristine Minh Tran, BIO 199 Student (January 2018 – December 2018)
Jasmine Sakr, Student Assistant (October 2015 – January 2018)
Jonathan Gaucher, Postdoctoral Scholar (November 2014 – October 2017)
Emilie Montellier, Junior Specialist (November 2014 – October 2017)
Kevin Trinh, Lab Assistant I (May 2017 – October 2017)
Selma Masri, Associate Specialist (December 2009 – September 2017)
Paolo Tognini, Junior Specialist (March 2013 – June 2017)
Alessandra Ferrari, Junior Specialist (January 2017 – May 2017)
Jean-Christophe Helbling, Visiting Researcher (February 2017 – April 2017)
Mari Murakami, Junior Specialist (February 2013 – January 2017)
Elizabeth Giering, Lab Assistant II (October 2015 – November 2016)
Luciana Ferreira, Junior Specialist (January 2016 – June 2016)
Leonardo Bee, Junior Specialist (August 2014 – April 2016)
Saba Nathif, Junior Specialist (March 2015 – September 2015)
David Durtschi, Lab Assistant II (May 2015 – August 2015)
Lorena Aguilar Arnal, Postdoctoral Scholar (May 2009 – June 2015)
David Ricardo Orozco Solis, Postdoctoral Scholar (January 2010 – June 2015)
Christopher Kwok, Lab Assistant II (October 2014 – April 2015)
Giuseppe Servillo, Project Scientist (October 2014 – March 2015)
Kristin Eckel-Mahan, Assistant Specialist (July 2008 – February 2015)
Sherry Dilag Penilla, Lab Assistant I (July 2007 – February 2009); Lab Assistant IV (February 2009 – December 2014)
Sara de Mateo Lopez, Postdoctoral Scholar (April 2011 – May 2014)
Saurabh Sahar, Associate Specialist (August 2006 – November 2013)
Jerry Houl, Postdoctoral Scholar (August 2011 – July 2013)
Luisa Galla, Junior Specialist (April 2012 – June 2013)
Sehyung Cho, Visiting Researcher (September 2012 – June 2013)
Andrea Brenna, Postdoctoral Scholar (October 2012 – April 2013)
Gabriele Sulli, Postdoctoral Scholar (October 2011 – June 2012)
Sayako Katada, Postdoctoral Scholar (October 2007 – December 2011)
Rita Peruquetti, Postdoctoral Scholar (May 2010 – November 2011)
Loredana Zocchi, Postdoctoral Scholar (November 2008 – November 2011)
Marina Maria ellet, Postdoctoral Scholar (July 2008 – November 2011)
Ippeoi Nagamori, Postdoctoral Scholar (September 2007 – August 2011)
Benedetto Grimaldi, Postdoctoral Scholar (June 2006 – November 2010)
Jun Hirayama, Postdoctoral Scholar (April 2006 – February 2008)
Durga Prasad Mishra, Postdoctoral Scholar (April 2006 – October 2007)
Teruya Tamaru, Visiting Scholar from Japan (September 2006 – December 2006)
Satoru Masubuchi, Assistant Specialist (October 2007 – December 2010)
Yasukasu Nakahata, Assistant Specialist (May 2006 – May 2009)
Eugenio Mora Junior Specialist  (April 2010 – October 2011)
Milota Kaluzova, Junior Specialist (January 2007 – June 2008)
Lucien Avery Jack, Staff Research Associate (October 2006 – May 2007)
Wayne Hagen, Staff Research Associate (March 2006 – December 2006)
Claudia Lavarreda-Pearce, Lab Assistant IV (April 2011 – August 2011)
Akiko Kawai, Animal Tech (August 2008 – April 2011)

Past Graduate Students

Luis De Jesus Martinez Lomeli, Rotating Graduate Student (January 2015 – March 2015)
Teresa Barth, Visiting Graduate Student (October 2012 – November 2012)
V. Adam Cruickshank, Master’s Student (June 2009- June 2010)
David Gauthier, Graduate Student (September 2004 – June 2008)
Nisha Patel, Graduate Student (Summer 2007 – Summer 2008)
Momoko Watanabe, Graduate Student (Rotated Spring 2008)

Past Undergraduate Students

Sushma Chaluvadi, BIO 199 Student (Spring 2012 – Graduated June 2013)
John Min, BIO 199 Student (Fall 2012 – Graduated June 2013)  
Vivian Metry, BIO 199 Student (Winter 2008 – Spring 2011)
Walid Aljayousi, BIO 199 Student (Spring 2009 – Graduated May 2010)
Ereny Metry, BIO 199 Student (Spring 2009 – Graduated May 2009)
Kevin Pham, BIO 199 Student (Spring 2007 – June 2008; Graduated and Accepted to UCLA School of Medicine)
Tiffany Ta, BIO 199 Student (Spring 2007 – Spring 2008; Accepted to Pharmacology School) 
Carolyn Wahby, BIO 199 Student (Rotated Winter 2007)
Hani Rayess, BIO 199 Student (Spring – Fall 2007)

Past Student Research Interns/Volunteers

Ritu Sidgal, Student Research Intern (Summer 2017)
Brooke Pigneri, Student Research Intern (Summer 2015)
Katherine McBride, Student Research Intern (Summer 2015)
Stacy Chou, Student Research Intern (Summer 2014)
Karla Necochea, Volunteer (Summer 2014)
Jennifer Mondok, Volunteer (January 2013 – December 2013)
Divya Patil, Student Research Intern (Summer 2013)
Jasmin Kung, Student Research Intern (July 2012 – May 2013)
Karishma Kodia, Student Research Intern (July 2012 – May 2013)
Sarah Sandholtz, Student Research Intern (Summer 2010)