Organizing Committee

Elena Blanco-Suárez is a post-doctoral researcher in the molecular neurobiology lab of Nicola Allen at the Salk Institute. She studies astrocytes, a special cell type in the brain and their role in developing connections between neurons. She is involved in various science education and communication projects, focusing on underrepresented communities. Follow her on Twitter @westboundsigned and Instagram @neurocosas, or check her blog posts in NeuWriteSD.

Alie Caldwell is a fourth year in the Neurosciences graduate program at UCSD. She's studying the roles of astrocytes, a non-neuronal brain cell, in how neurons form and shape connections with one another. She is the co-creator, writer, and host of Neuro Transmissions, a YouTube channel dedicated to bringing neuroscience to a broad audience. She can be found at @alie_astrocyte on Twitter. 

Masha Evpak loves to communicate science and help scientists and science communicators alike find the confidence they need to pursue their passions and goals. She has been waging a battle against the mental health problems rampant in academia since she realized how stressed out most grad students and scientists are. She tackles these issues through one-on-one coaching, in-person workshops, and online as The Genetics Gal (@thegeneticsgal). Masha is the founder of (@BoldAdulting), where she helps amazing people courageously tackle what life throws at them, even when they're afraid they have no idea what they're doing.

Chris Gonzalez is a second year Neuroscience PhD student at UCSD. He is interested in using computational models and analysis to study neural oscillations and physiology underlying sleep architecture.

Rose Hendricks is a grad student in Cognitive Science at UCSD. She researches the ways that metaphor shapes our thoughts, perception, and emotions. She writes about language, cognition, and grad school on her blog and on Twitter (@RoHendricks).

Jarrett Lovelett is a second year grad student in the UCSD Psychology department, where he studies learning and memory. His work focuses on understanding how humans can optimally acquire, retain, and maintain access to information in educational and other real-world contexts. 

Catie Profaci is a third year UCSD Neurosciences graduate student studying the underlying mechanisms of blood-brain barrier breakdown during disease and injury.  Aside from the brain, her passions include running, wine, baseball, spicy food, traveling, cheese, NPR, and Bruce Springsteen.  She feels strongly about the importance of communicating science and loves writing for the UCSD student-run neuroscience blog, NeuWriteSD.  Check out some of her NeuWriteSD blog posts and follow her on Twitter (@cprofaci)!

Drew Schreiner is a second year graduate student in the Psychology department at UCSD studying the neural circuits that underlie actions and decision-making with Dr. Christina Gremel.  When not shining lasers into the brains of mice, he can be found backpacking, hiking, and playing guitar.

Caroline Sferrazza is a second year graduate student in Neurosciences at UCSD. She researches psychiatric illnesses and is currently rotating in the Gage lab at the Salk Institute. She believes that developments in science communication will be pivotal to the improvement of mental healthcare and is a contributor to NeuWrite San Diego.

Melissa Troyer is a graduate student in the cognitive science department at UCSD. Melissa uses human behavior and electrophysiology to study how people access (all sorts of) knowledge when using language. Check out some of her recent blog posts on language and more at NeuWriteSD.