Lab Members

Li Gan, PhD
Senior Investigator

B.S in Physiology from Peking University, China
Ph.D in Cellular & Molecular Physiology from Yale University School of Medicine
Xu Chen, PhD
Staff Research Scientist

B.S. in Biological Sciences from Peking University
Ph.D. in Genetics from University of Wisconsin-Madison
Born in Southeast China, Xu Chen moved to the states for her graduate studies where she studied neural development in the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. With her continued passion to study neuroscience and neural diseases, she joined the Gan Lab to study Alzheimer's disease as a post-doctoral fellow. Her current project is focused on the regulation of tau modification in mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Besides science, she is passionate about the arts, including music, painting, calligraphy and photography. She also enjoys traveling and doing outdoor activities.
Marcus Chin
Graduate Student

B.A. in Biological Sciences (neurobiology conc.) from Cornell University
M.Phil in Medical Sciences from University of Cambridge
UCSF Graduate Student, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics program
I am interested in studying the role of tau pathology on neurodegeneration and how to target tau therapeutically. I hope to employ high-throughput drug screening techniques to identify new compounds to treat Alzheimer's disease. My favorite pastimes include practicing Wushu (Chinese martial arts), exploring new cities, taking pictures, and saving sea turtles in my home state of Florida.
Claire Clelland, MD, PhD

Visiting Research Scientist
B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Portland
B.S. in Biology from the University of Portland
Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UC San Diego
M.Phil. in Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, UK
M.D. from UC Los Angeles
Internship and Residency in Neurology, UC San Francisco
Claire is interested in the role of the innate immune system in dementia and targeting microglia to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).
Cindy Huang, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis
Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from UW Madison
My project is to model tauopathy with human iPSCs. I like hiking and practicing yoga during my free time.
Lay Kodama
Graduate Student

BA in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University
MPhil from University of Cambridge
Lay is studying the role of microRNA in microglia function and AD. She is also interested in using live-cell calcium imaging to understand the interactions between microglia and neurons. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and loves playing the violin, building travel itineraries around food, and buying all things llama-related.
David Le
Research Associate III
Yaqiao Li
Research Associate II
Erica Delin
Administrative Assistant II

B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University
Faten Sayed
Graduate Student

Yale University, B.S. in Psychology (conc. in Neuroscience)
UCSF Graduate Student, Neuroscience program
Faten studies the TREM2 receptor's role in microglia function, and the effect of microglia deficits on Alzheimer's disease and Frontotemporal Dementia. She enjoys kickboxing, jogging around the city, exploring the Bay Area food scene, and teaching kids about science.
Peter Sohn, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

B.S. in Biology at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
UCSF Graduate Student (Neuroscience graduate program)
Peter’s project is focused on how post-translational modification (e.g. acetylation) of the tau protein affects the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. He likes to spend his non-research time playing tennis and soccer, and visiting art museums in the city.
Maria Telpoukhovskaia, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

B.S. in Chemistry from Yale University
Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia
Maria uses her medicinal chemistry background to investigate pathways related to neurodegeneration. She received her PhD in chemistry from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and a BS in chemistry from Yale University in New Haven, CT. She says, “Go Giants!”
Tara Tracy, PhD
Research Scientist

B.A. in Biology from Wesleyan University
Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UC Berkeley
Tara joined the Gan Lab in 2011 for her post-doctoral training. She is currently studying the role that hyperacetylated tau plays in the pathogenesis of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease. Her ultimate goal is to define conditions for reducing tau acetylation as a novel therapeutic approach, to improve cognitive function for patients with tauopathy. When she has time off, Tara likes to travel to different countries to see and learn about ancient ruins.
Chao Wang, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

B.S. in Biological Science from University of Science and Technology of China
Ph.D. in Molecular & Biological Nutrition from UC Berkeley
Chao’s post-doctoral research focuses on the regulation of tau acetylation, and how acetylation affects its degradation (such as through autophagy or proteasome pathways). He is also interested in Aβ degradation by lysosomal enzymes such as cathepsin B. He is a fan of outdoor activities including fishing and hiking. He also enjoys trying out new cuisines and playing card games with friends.
Lihong Zhang, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

B.S. in Biotechology from Wuhan University
Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from University of Wisconsin-Madison
Yungui Zhou, MD
Senior Research Associate

M.S. in Pathophysiology from Sun Yat-sen University
M.D. in Clinic Medicine from Kunming Medical University
Yungui’s research is focused on the mechanism by which tau affects neuronal function in the progression of neurological diseases. Her goal is to understand tau pathology at the molecular level and to find potential therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. She also provides support for all lab projects and manages the routine work in the lab by making sure things run smoothly. In her spare time, she enjoys walking near Ocean Beach, cooking, and listening to music.