Post-Doctoral Fellows


Ang Doma Sherpa (


I am a postdoctoral associate. I received my doctoral training from State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. My current research examines the role of GABA in regulating vulnerability to anxiety in an animal model of anorexia nervosa called activity-based anorexia (ABA). Outside lab, I enjoy yoga and traveling.






Ph.D. Students


Adrienne Santiago (

ANSWhat is the circuitry that regulates a mouse’s decision to eat vs run? In the Aoki lab, I test whether driving or suppressing activity in specific brain regions will alter food-restriction evoked hyperactivity. When I’m not studying mouse brain and behavior, I’m studying the rapid neurodevelopment of my new daughter.







Yi-Wen Chen (

Yi-Wen received her B.S. in biology and M.S. in psychology from National Taiwan University. Throughout her education in Taiwan, she became increasingly interested in the sex-differences and the neural mechanisms of psychiatric disorders.  Yi-Wen is particularly interested in studying adolescence, the stage when the sex-differences in many psychiatric disorders emerge. She entered the CNS doctoral program in 2012, joined the Aoki lab in 2013, and received her Ph.D. in 2018. Her thesis project uses an animal model of anorexia nervosa, called activity-based anorexia (ABA), to gain entry into the neurobiological basis of anxiety and vulnerability to stress-induced anxiety during adolescence. As a Fulbright scholar, in her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, attending concerts, and visiting art museums. 







Undergraduate Students


Kayla Ying Yan Lim (


Currently a senior majoring in Neural Science and Psychology, I joined the team late 2015 and mostly assist with graduate student Adrienne’s project. If I’m not in the lab or in class, I will most likely be found rehearsing in the dance studio. Generally, my interests include developmental plasticity, stress, and movement therapy; I intend to pursue a graduate degree and a subsequent career in neuropsychological research.



Katherine Varela (

Currently major in Psychology with a Neuroscience concentration at The City University of New York Hunter college. Joined the Aoki lab in 2017 to participate in understanding the neural mechanisms behind psychiatric disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa. My areas of interest are, environmental enrichment, Homeostatic, and Neural plasticity, in relation to psychiatric disorders. Upon graduation, I intend in pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience.












Doctoral Trainees

Anita A Disney

Sho Fujisawa

Nicole Sabaliauskas

Tara Chowdhury

Gauri Wable


Master’s Trainees

Hermina Nedelescu

Aditi Naik


Lab Technicians

Kei Tateyama

Barkha Rana

Ada Akad

Hannah Actor-Engel


Undergraduate Trainees

Mariel RĂ­os

Thomas Chan

Jia-Yi Wang

Jung-Yun Min

Irene Yu

Shannon Rashid

Lauren Klingensmith

Vasilios Koulouris

Oliva Surgent

Jasmina Isakovic

Aja Evans

Leah Alexander

Ruka Aderogba

Danielle Mendonca

Vladlena Lee

Victoria Dreyer