Our Team

We welcome a broad group of students from all backgrounds and a variety of disciplines.  Current lab members have roots from all over the world and join us at different levels of training ranging from Undergraduate to Master's, Ph.D and Pharm.D.  The projects of lab members includes biochemistry, structural biology, cell culture, drug discovery and science-community outreach.

Prior to joining USC, I was a Ruth Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA in the laboratory of Dr. David Eisenberg where my research focused on atomic-resolution structure determination of protein aggregates, and the development of structure-based inhibitors to block prion-like spread of protein fibrils. In my time at UCLA, I was recipient of awards from the Turken Foundation for studies on Alzheimer's disease, BrightFocus Foundation, a 2019 award from the UCLA Department of Energy (DOE) for scientific productivity, and a Young Investigator Scholarship from the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) in 2018 and 2019.  Prior to that, I earned my Ph.D. in Structural Biology from the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute where I studied chaperone proteins and structure-based inhibitor design.  When I am not in the lab I enjoy cycling and running (both for sport, and chasing after my very active 4 year old daughter).

Lab Members

Jinliang Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow

Jinliang is originally from Shandong, China. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Hainan University, then master’s degree at University of Science and Technology of China. He then moved to the United States for his PhD work. At the University of Texas El Paso, he immersed himself into the beauty of the inner workings of heat shock protein structure at atomic scale and spent many glorious hours on the microscope. Completely obsessed with figuring out atomic-sale mechanisms of how membrane proteins function under normal and diseased states, he turned his attention to understanding how this process works by using Cryo-EM and did his first postdoctoral work at University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Jinliang started his second postdoc journey at Seidler’s lab in 2021, still trying to figure out atomic-sale mechanisms of disease, especially the Alzheimer’s disease, and aiming to screen drugs to block spread of protein fibrils based on the structure. Besides microscope, Jinliang is a big fun of soccer and strongly supports Lionel Messi. If you also like soccer and are a Messi supporter, feel free to stop by, say hi, and chat!

Angela Albanese, PhD candidate

My passion for research and motivation to grow as a pharmaceutical scientist brought me to Monterey, California, from a small town in Southern Italy where I grew up. So, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology at California State University Monterey Bay. My fascination with neurodegenerative diseases became relevant while interning for biotech companies and learning more about the molecular mechanisms behind disease. Currently I’m pursuing my PhD in Medical Biophysics, studying molecules that could function as amyloid disaggregants and potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. In the future, I hope to contribute to science by building a career in pharmaceutical research.

Marina Fayzullina, PhD candidate

I am a second year PhD student at USC School of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences Track. In 2018, I got my B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology, with Neurobiology concentration, from University of California, Berkeley. As an undergraduate, I worked as a research assistant in Dr. Lance Kriegsfeld’s lab. My research project focused on the pathophysiological impacts of chronic stress on the female reproductive system in early pregnancy in mouse models. After graduation, I started working as a lab technician in Dr. Hong-Wei Dong’s lab at USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, where I contributed toward mapping all neuronal connections within the mouse brain through anatomical and computational methods. My passion for neuroscience research has led me to Dr. Paul Seidler's lab where I am currently working on determining the process and the end product of microglial degradation of tau protein. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my daughter and exploring the city.

Bliss Aguirre, PhD candidate

I am currently a second year PhD student. I received my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Forensic Science from California State University, Los Angeles. As an undergraduate, I conducted photochemical research in Dr. Matthias Selke’s lab focused on investigating the capability of Resveratrol and its derivatives as antioxidants against a reactive oxygen species, singlet oxygen. My main research interests revolve around drug design, development, and neurodegenerative diseases. In Dr. Seidler’s lab, I am focusing on synthesizing analogs of a promising chemical compound aimed at determining which are most effective at targeting and decreasing tau aggregation. If I’m not in the lab or class, you can usually find me reading a book, playing with my cats, or watching a random documentary. 

Nader Mostowfi, PhD candidate

I recently graduated from UC Riverside as a Biochemistry major as part of the class of 2021. It has been a very exciting experience taking my next step as a Master’s student studying Pharmacology and Toxicology. As an undergrad, I found the Biochemistry lectures that focused on aggregate mutations in the brain to be fascinating. This inspired me to research in Dr. Seidler’s lab, where I will be studying cyclic peptides and observing their potential in inhibiting the mutated proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s. I look forward to this challenging but fruitful experience as my first step in pursuing drug discovery 

Xinmin Chang,

MS in Pharmacology & Toxicology

Research Scientist

I got my B.A. in pharmaceutical science from Chongqing Medical University, in China and M.S. from USC in molecular pharmacology and toxicology. As an undergraduate student, I worked in Dr. Dong’s lab and finished my graduation thesis about. My project focused on the protective effect of β-caryophylene on oxygen and sugar deprivation/reoxygenation (ogd/r) cells. With interests in neurodegenerative diseases, I joined Dr. Seidler’s lab in 2021 and mainly focused on discovering small natural  molecule compounds which could decrease tau aggregation. I am going to apply for a PHD program and in the future I’d like to develop a career in pharmaceutical science and keep discovering new compounds.

Amanda Tse, Undergraduate student

I am currently a third-year undergraduate student at USC (class of 2024). With interests in pharmacology and public health, I am pursuing B.S. degrees in Pharmacology and Drug Development at USC School of Pharmacy and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies at Keck School of Medicine, as well as a minor in Forensics and Criminality. In the future, I hope to earn a PhD and have a career in pharmaceutical sciences, specifically drug discovery. Working in Dr. Seidler’s lab since Summer 2021 has been an invaluable part of my undergraduate experience. Most recently, I was a recipient of the 2022 USC School of Pharmacy Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, through which I studied the effects of brain permeable natural products on Alzheimer’s brain extracts. I am excited to continue this project with Dr. Seidler and, hopefully, make progress toward finding a clinically translatable drug candidate for Alzheimer’s therapy. 

Halina Santos, Undergraduate student

I am currently a third-year student at USC majoring with a B.S. in Pharmacology and Drug Development through the School of Pharmacy. After graduating, I hope to go on to pharmacy school and later have a career in the drug discovery industry. I began working in Dr. Seidler's lab in the Spring of 2022. I've been helping Nader Mostowfi with his research on cyclic peptides that could potentially be used as a treatment for Alzheimer's. So far, the experience has been extremely rewarding and a great step to bring me closer to my aspirations in drug development. 

Andrew Levy, Undergraduate student

Andrew is a sophomore majoring in Pharmacology and Drug Development, with minors in Biopharmaceutical Business and Artificial Intelligence Applications. He is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his passion for science and research led him to USC in the Fall of 2021. He joined Dr. Seidler’s lab in the Fall of 2022, where he mainly prepares and images samples using transmission electron microscopy and recently started a small project looking for fibrils within samples of the popular beverage kombucha. Post-graduation, Andrew hopes to complete a PharmD-PhD degree program and eventually work in medical affairs

Haley Jun, Undergraduate student

Haley Jun is currently a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Pharmacology and Drug Development at the USC School of Pharmacy. In the Fall of 2022, she joined Dr. Seidler's research lab and upon graduation, she intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with the goal of running her own research lab as a professor. As part of her research, she is keen to focus on amyloid fibrils, proteasomes, and neurons using techniques such as cell culture, SAXS, and chemical synthesis. Recently, Haley was accepted into the Gateway Scholars Program where she will conduct drug discovery research with Dr. Seidler. During this program, she will acquire research experience, faculty mentorships, symposiums, conferences, and publishing opportunities. When Haley is not in the lab or studying at school, she enjoys teaching as a Taekwondo instructor and traveling abroad with her family. Also, she loves Korean dramas! 

Monna Wei, Undergraduate student

I am a first-year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Pharmacology and Drug Development at the Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy as well as Neuroscience at Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. I joined the Seidler lab in the spring of 2023 with a curiosity about the intersections of pharmacy and neuroscience, specifically understanding the characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases through drug discovery. My particular research involves researching mechanisms of catalpol as a potential candidate for inhibiting Alzheimer's onset while developing benchwork techniques and skills. I hope to be using my time at this lab as valuable experience to pursue an MD/PhD program focusing on molecular pharmacology in the future. Aside from academics, I love to spend my time cafe-hopping! 

Lab Alumni

Yong Yu, PharmD candidate

Yong carried out her PharmD Scholarly Project in 2021 on proteasome inhibitors and their effects on inhibiting seeding by Alzheimer's tau and Parkinson’s and MSA alpha synuclein.

Madison Crutcher, PharmD candidate

Madison carried out her PharmD Scholarly Project in 2021.  She created COVID-19 infographics and ran a study on the effects of patient education at USC vaccine clinics.  Her work was published in the journal Vaccines.

Anna Zargaryan, PharmD candidate

Anna worked with Arineh Abram on her PharmD Scholarly Project in 2021 to run a COVID-19 information campaign aimed at educating students about COVID-19 and vaccines.   

Arineh Abram, PharmD candidate

Anna Zargaryan worked with Arineh Abram on her PharmD Scholarly Project in 2021 to run a COVID-19 information campaign aimed at educating students about COVID-19 and vaccines.   

Bryan Ceballos, PharmD candidate

Bryan obtained a bachelor's in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley and worked with Dr. Seidler on infographics to explain how limitations of Aduhelm open the door for more successful AD therapies.