Haruki Higashimori, PhD, Instructor. Haruki obtained his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of California at Davis. For the past 15 years, he has studied various functional roles of glial cells, specifically astrocytes, in normal brain development and in disorder. Currently, he is working on the mechanism of interneuron circuit alteration and development in the epileptogenic brain. He enjoys Hayao Miyazaki movies and hiking in national parks.

Felix Chan, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate. Felix is originally from Indonesia. He did his graduate study at Newcastle University, in the UK, working on mitochondrial epilepsy with Prof. Mark Cunningham . Currently, Felix is working on characterizing the role of CLOCK in regulating neuronal and astrocytic metabolism and how it pertains to focal epilepsy. Felix enjoys cooking, trivia, and listening to a healthy dose of Taylor Swift music. 

Luis Goicouria, Graduate Student. Luis was born in Bitburg, Germany, but lived most of his life in Miami, FL. Before coming to work in the Liu lab, he attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he got BAs in Biochemistry and Cognitive Neuroscience. Currently, as a graduate student, he works on elucidating the extent to which the PAR bZip transcription factors mediate CLOCK protein function. In his off time, he enjoys brewing beer, reading, and yelling at the Miami Dolphins on his television. 

Brendan McCarthy-Sinclair, Graduate Student. Brendan grew up in Santa Rosa, California, an hour north of San Francisco. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at University California, Davis. During his undergraduate studies he worked in the lab of Scott Dawson studying molecular cues governing the infectivity of the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia. After graduation he worked in the lab of Maria Marco, also at UC Davis, researching Lactobacillus metabolism and microbiome profiling. Brendan joined the Liu Lab as a graduate student in late 2018 and is focusing on microtubule-associated proteins and epilepsy. In his free time he enjoys video games and watching Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal.

Kelvin DeLeon, Graduate Student. Kelvin was born and raised in New York City. He attended Hunter College and received his bachelors in Psychology and minored in Statistics. He is currently in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Brown University. In the Liu lab, he is investigating the impaired function of SLC13A5 which encodes for a plasma membrane citrate transporter. During his time outside of the lab, Kelvin likes to workout and be a part of the CrossFit community. 

Carin Papendorp, MD-PhD student. A native of Somerville, MA, Carin has been at Brown since 2013, completing a BS in Neuroscience and currently pursuing an MD-PhD. As an undergrad, Carin studied the retina in David Berson’s lab. In Judy Liu’s lab, she now works on a model of autism. In her free time, she enjoys biking around Rhode Island, trying out new recipes, and yoga!

Sawsan AlShaiba, Undergraduate Student. Sawsan is a rising sophomore from Bahrain! She’s concentrating in neuroscience and education policy at Brown. In lab, she works on characterizing a microcephaly model linked to mitochondrial function. Sawsan’s extracurriculars include volunteering as an ESL tutor at the Refugee Dream Center and being a teaching assistant for Arabic classes. In her free time, Sawsan likes to read poetry and watch movies (mostly animated movies).

Former Lab Members

  • Xiaoqin Fu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Wenzhou Medical University
  • Peijun Li, PhD, Assistant Professor, Wenzhou Medical University
  • Nathan A. Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor, George Washington University
  • Julie Marie Ziobro, MD-PhD, Pediatric Epileptologist, University of Michigan