Hassan A Ali, PhD, MSM
Hassan is an Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Medicine at the University of Miami (Research Track), and Director of High Content Screening and Phenotypic Drug Discovery. He is a member of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the Katz Drug Discovery Center, and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer center. Hassan's primary research interest is understanding the role of kinases in proper functioning and repair of the central nervous system (CNS), and utilizing this knowledge to develop therapeutics that can heal the CNS after injury or neurodegenerative disease. In addition to this, Hassan is very active in the areas of kidney disease and cancer research. He also has pet interest in the subject of personalized cancer therapy, which he pursues with collaborators at the University of Miami and in Europe.
Research Associate II
Melissa Munoz, BSc
Melissa is highly proficient with carrying out primary cell preparations and conducting biochemical and cell-based screening assays. She also has experience with animal models of CNS injury, including pre- and post-op care, histological analysis, and data collection.
Macarena Vergara, PhD
Macarena has a PhD in Cellular and Molecular biology. She is a highly skilled neuroscientist with experience in laboratory management and expertise in a wide range of analytical techniques and methods. She has worked on diverse research topics: identification of therapeutics targets for eating disorders, obesity and metabolic diseases; the role of microbiota in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases and the role of dopamine in innate emotions. Currently, she is working in the Ali lab on a number of translational projects aimed at developing early-stage CNS therapeutic leads into clinical candidates.
Abdiel Josue Badillo-Martinez
Abdiel is an incoming Graduate Student in the University of Miami’s Program in Biomedical Science —Neuroscience program. As a previous member of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Abdiel is experienced in histology, surgery, and behavioral analyses in animal models of CNS Injury. He was previously a member of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics in the National Institute of Health studying the role of Genetics in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Addiction.
Undergraduate Research Student
Haley is an undergraduate student at the University of Miami. She is majoring in biology with plans to attend medical school. At UM, she participates in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Authentic Research Lab program. She is interested in medical research pertaining to nephrology and oncology, including the development of medications to treat chronic diseases, such as Diabetic Kidney Disease. Some of her other interests include genetics and the role of senescent cells in aging.
Undergraduate Research Student
Cole Michael Foster
Cole is an undergraduate student at the University of Miami (Neuroscience major). He participates in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Authentic Research Lab and PRISM programs at UM and plans to attend medical school to become a neurosurgeon. His main research interests lie in the central nervous system, such as developing therapeutics to treat injuries resulting from physical trauma, demyelinating diseases, and other degenerative disorders. He is also interested in the field of neuro-oncology, researching treatments for cancers that affect the nervous system.