Meet Our Team
Surya Reis, Ph.D.
Programs and Innovations Manager
Co-Chair LMDG, MGH
My main scientific interests center around understanding the biological and chemical underpinnings impacting mental health states and identifying what can be measured, quantified, and modified to ultimately improve human wellbeing. My work focuses on high-throughput assay development for CNS drug discovery with an emphasis on high-content imaging, automation, and data analysis pipeline development.
I have studied Biology and Mathematics at the University of Mainz, Germany, received a B.Sc. in Human Genetics at UCL, London, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Genetics from the Erasmus MC, Rotterdam before arriving at MGH.
sreis [at] mgh.harvard.edu
Catarina Silva, Ph.D.
Instructor in Neurology, HMS
My main research goal is to understand the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with CNS proteinopathies and neurodegenerative diseases caused by aberrant accumulation of proteins in the brain, as well as the translational potential into new patient therapies. My work focuses on the generation and characterization of patient-specific stem cell-derived neuronal models of disease, with a focus on tauopathies such as Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), to identify early disease-associated molecular and biochemical changes and therapeutic targets in these patient-derived cellular models. Patient-specific neurons also represent a remarkable platform for testing small-molecule modifiers of disease-relevant phenotypes in drug discovery pipelines. I work with several series of small-molecules that rescue tauopathy phenotypes, with the ultimate goal of identifying disease-modifying therapeutics.
Privileged to work in the outstanding MGH/Harvard community and in close proximity with patient-oriented organizations such as the AFTD and the Tau Consortium that support our work and are global leaders in the effort to “making a difference” toward treating diseases such as FTD and Alzheimer’s disease.
MLIMADASILVA [at] mgh.harvard.edu
Chialin Cheng, Ph.D.
I have Masters in Biochemistry and Masters in Medical Biotechnology. At MGH, I have been working on multiple drug-discovery projects with a focus on generating and characterizing patient-specific stem cell models. I have been using these stem cell-derived human neurons for therapeutic discovery and functional genomic studies in tauopathies such as Frontotemporal Dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Also, to understand disease etiology, I work towards identifying relevant molecular targets for the development of therapeutic approaches to diminish tau-related phenotypes.
ccheng3 [at] mgh.harvard.edu
Carl Alexander Sandhof, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
My research interests are the molecular and cellular mechanisms which underlie the accumulation and intercellular transmission of prion-like proteins that is observed in neurological disorders with CNS proteinopathy. I believe that understanding how these mechanisms are connected to the diseases’ pathogenesis and how we can modulate them are fundamental for the development of novel pharmacological interventions.
My current research focuses on the potential of using mTOR independent autophagy activating small molecules to clear accumulated misfolded proteins in patient derived iPSC tauopathy models. Being able to enhance the cell’s own degradative capacity which is frequently impaired in CNS proteinopathies might enable us to treat patients that suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and FTDs.
I studied at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, Germany, where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biosciences, a master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, followed by a Dr. rer. nat. in Biology. In my doctoral studies I investigated genetic modifiers of cell-to-cell transmission and endo-lysosomal escape of the prion-like proteins α-synuclein and tau.
CSANDHOF [at] mgh.harvard.edu
I am currently a G4 in the Haggarty Lab interested in the development of small-molecule therapeutics with a particular disease focus encompassing FTD, Alzheimer's Disease, and ALS. I am particularly interested in the intersections of neuroscience and immunology, and the discovery of small-molecules that can modulate this axis.
Harvard Chemistry & Chemical Biology Program
zrosenthal [at] g.harvard.edu
My interests lie at the nexus of chemical biology, organic synthesis and neuroscience. My training as an organic chemist helps me synergize my interests in biological pathways with understanding molecular mechanisms of classes of psychoactive molecules.
Harvard Chemistry & Chemical Biology Program
kwill [at] g.harvard.edu
I graduated in 2020 from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. As an undergrad, I worked in Martin Wuhr's lab on multiplexed proteomics of non-canonical yeast species. Currently, I am a graduate student in chemical biology at Harvard and my thesis work focuses on using patient-derived iPSC models of tauopathy to assess autophagic methods of tau clearance.
Harvard Chemical Biology Program
hfbaron [at] mgh.harvard.edu
I’m currently a graduate student with the Chemical Biology, and Leder Human Biology and Translational Medicine programs at Harvard Medical School. My research interests include using chemical probes to learn about the disease mechanisms of migraine and other headache disorders as well as understanding how drugs that treat these disorders affect the central nervous system. Additionally, I’m investigating possible novel headache treatments derived from natural products.
I’m originally from Stamford, Connecticut, but I’ve spent a large portion of my childhood growing up in North Falmouth, Massachusetts. My hobbies outside of the lab include creating and producing music with my band, watching F1 racing or any other motorsport, as well as cooking new recipes with my girlfriend.
Harvard Chemical Biology Program
ASCHICK [at] g.harvard.edu
Sergio Lázaro Martínez
I studied Biotechnology at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain, and conducted an internship in the GlowLab Laboratory for Regenerative Neuroscience at University of Zagreb School of Medicine. Once I finished my bachelor, I wanted to learn about how the mind-brain relationship establishes itself from a cellular and molecular standpoint, and how different molecules and experiences are capable of altering this relationship from the most fundamental level to eventually drive specific perception and behavioural changes. Therefore, I enrolled in the Research Master in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, with specialisation in Fundamental Neuroscience, at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
During my Master's I developed a strong interest in the neurobiological and cognitive effects that psychedelic drugs exert. I am at the Chemical Neuroscience Lab to complete my Master's thesis and, thanks to the atai Fellowship for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics, to deepen my knowledge in preclinical research methods in fundamental neuroscience, exploring the neurobiological effects of natural neuroplasticity modulators at the Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics at Mass General.
slazaromartinez [at] mgh.harvard.edu
I'm Hannah Lindmeier and I am a new research technician under Dr. Morini and Dr. Silva in the Slaughenhaupt and Haggarty labs respectively, working on their Tau associated FTD project. I graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA in June 2022, where I received a bachelor’s in biology and did Alzheimer’s research with C. elegans. I worked to develop a protocol to quantify APL-1 levels, with an end goal of using this protocol to apply flavonoids to test if they had an impact on these protein levels. I also spent summer 2021 in an REU program at Florida Atlantic University doing research on another Alzheimer’s project focusing on the relationship between cholesterol and APP.
HLINDMEIER [at] mgh.harvard.edu