Mubarak Hussain Syed

Born and raised in Kashmir. A father, and a scientist exploring the mysteries of a fruit fly brain. I did my PhD at the University of Muenster Germany, where I was working with Christian Klaembt as an International Max Planck fellow. Before starting my lab at the University of New Mexico, I worked as a postdoc with Chris Doe, who is an HHMI investigator at the University of Oregon. Neurotree

I get excited about science, science advocacy, diversity, open access, travels, running, hiking, and playing cricket. Currently I spend most of my free time outdoors with my kid exploring the amazing nature. Global Scientist tweeting @neuroseq

Research Scientist

Qussin Basharat Joo

I am interested in epigenetic modifications during in-utero development, particularly those induced by lifestyle and emotions. Currently, working in the Neural diversity lab to understand the cell-signaling mechanisms that enable the progression from stem cells to circuits. I enjoy reading, teaching and outdoors.


Graduate Students

Praveen Paudel

What makes human a unique species? The neocortex in the human brain, which has more neurons than any other mammalian species is thought to contribute to our most sophisticated cognitive abilities. Drosophila type II neural stem cells generate intermediate neural progenitors similar to the mammalian outer subventricular zone (oSVZ) neural progenitors to generate enormous neural diversity. Using Drosophila brain as a model system, my work will investigate how the neural stem cell progeny change over time (i.e., temporal patterning), how intrinsic and extrinsic cues coordinate to generate neural diversity, identity, and assembly of neural circuits.

Being raised in the Himalayas (Nepal), not surprisingly, I love mountains and enjoy being in nature.

Adil Rashid Wani

I received my masters in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Kashmir (India). Before joining the neural diversity lab as Graduate Student, I worked as the project assistant in Dr. Saibal Chatterjee’s Laboratory, at the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (India) where I worked on understanding the role of miRNasome (microRNA turnover complex) in miRNA turnover pathways in C. elegans.

The curiosity that initiated my interest in neuroscience and neurobiology is the diversity of the tasks the brain can perform which in turn is reflected in the diverseness of the neurons that it is composed of. These neurons procreate from progenitor stem cells, which divide and produce these different cell types one after the other. But how do these progenitors manage to generate specific and diverse types of neurons in the right place at the right time?

My work in the lab will involve exploring the cellular and molecular programs regulating the fate specification and identity of sleep neurons in Drosophila, and elucidating the targets of RNA binding proteins which may be playing a crucial role in generating the neural diversity.

The things which keep me motivated and energetic apart from the lab include Hiking, Reading, Playing Cricket and Poetry.

Undergraduate Students

Jacob Bonnafoux

Hello! My name is Jacob Bonnafoux. I am an undergraduate researcher in the Neural Diversity Lab majoring in Emergency Medicine. I got introduced to genetic research through Syed, I learned a lot and got excited about research! I am very interested in the genetic components of pathophysiology and hope to unravel some of the mysteries behind neurodevelopemental pathology. Currently I am modeling Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in fruit fly larvae. I get excited when our findings about neural diversity, behavior, and development from Drosophila are translated to understand human brain development and pathophysiology.

I'm a McNair/ROP Fellowship Scholar, I work as a paramedic apart from working in the lab and enjoy reading, hiking, swimming, running, and spending time with my family.

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