Lab Members

Fall 2021 Group Photo: (left to right) Mohona Yesmin ’23, Stephen Vaughn 23′, Aidan Jones ’23, Prof. O’Neil, Dan Kulick MA ’22, Simon Von Deursen ’22, Emily Moon MA ’22, Eric Zanderigo grad student, Alice Musabe ’22, Adam Geibel 22′

Current PhD Students:

Eric Zanderigo

Manaal Fatima is from Lahore, Pakistan and prior to coming to Wesleyan, she received a medical degree from Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Lahore, and a master’s in molecular biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences. There, she worked on fly epigenetics in the Tariq Lab to identify key players in developmental gene regulation. She is passionate about bridging the gap in knowledge and treatment of incurable diseases through scientific discoveries. At O’Neil lab, her interests lie in understanding how the polymerization of Amyloid- beta and tau peptides initiate the onset of Alzheimer’s and identify checkpoints for potential therapy. In her free time, Manaal likes to be around her friends and travel.

Current Undergraduate Students:

Phyllis Schram, Class of ’25

Aaron Berson, Class of ’24, calls Leesburg, Virginia (~45 minutes from D.C.) home, having graduated as a homeschool student. At Wesleyan, he is majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior and the Science in Society Program, as well as minoring in Integrated Design, Engineering, Arts, & Society (I.D.E.A.S.). His interests include adventuring the outdoors, reading nonfiction and science fiction, and spending hours cooking new and weird recipes in his kitchen. He plans on pursuing a medical degree after Wesleyan and becoming a pediatric neurologist.


Lab Alumni:

Libby Beers, Class of ’23

Aidan Jones, BA ’23, double majored in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and the College of Integrated Sciences program with a minor in Chemistry. Aidan is now at Columbia University pursuing a PhD.



Daniel Kulick, BA ’21 MA ’22, from Austin, TX, graduated Wesleyan with a Neuroscience and Behavior major and a Chemistry minor. As an undergraduate, he worked in the O’Neil lab identifying environmental pollutants that could contribute to ALS. As an MA student, his research focuses on the toxicity mechanisms of pesticides that produce phenotypes akin to ALS.


Emily Moon, BA ’21 MA ’22, from San Francisco, CA, graduated Wesleyan with a Neuroscience and Behavior major. In the O’Neil lab she measured how environmental pollutants disrupted neuronal function via electro-physiology.



Simon Van Deursen BA ’22, from Marin, California, majored in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and the College of Integrative Sciences. In the O’Neil Lab his research focused on neuroinflammation, glial cells and neurodegeneration. Simon is now working towards his PhD at Columbia University in NYC.



Alice Ghislaine Musabe BA ’22, From Rwanda and came to the USA through the Bridge2Rwanda program, majored in Neuroscience & Behavior. In the O’Neil lab she worked on producing SOD1 mutants.




Camille Chossis BA ’21, from Southern France, majored in Neuroscience & Behavior. In the O’Neil Lab, he focused on the relationship between the C9ORF72 mutation, glial cells, and neurodegeneration. He  is now pursuing a PhD at the California Institute of Technology.



Matthew Huston BA ’20, from Pittsburgh, PA graduated from Wesleyan with a B.A. in Neuroscience and a Chemistry and History minor. At Wesleyan, Matt played on the NESCAC Championship-winning Hockey Team.  After  graduation, Matt is working as a research technician in Prof. Kathleen Collins’ lab at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.



Jacob Greene BA ’20, MA ’21, from Seattle, WA graduated from Wesleyan with a B.A. from the Neuroscience and Behavior and Science in Society Program. His research in the O’Neil lab investigated gene editing in stem cells, TDP43 mutation in neurodegeneration, and environmental toxicants in sporadic ALS. Jacob is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle.



Stevie O’Connor BA ’22, is from Marshfield, MA, and majored in Neuroscience and Behavior.  His research in the O’Neil Lab focused on the production of SOD1 protein, in particular the H46R mutated form.




Mikayla Mclaughlin received her BS and MS degrees in chemistry with a biochemistry concentration from Southern Connecticut State University. At Wesleyan, she studied post translational modifications and metal binding in mutated SOD1 protein and the development and progression of ALS.



Stephen Vaughn, Class of ’23, grew up in Encinitas, California and majored in Neuroscience and Behavior.