Kaufer Laboratory


Daniela Kaufer

Daniela was born and raised in Israel, and did her B.Sc and Ph.D in the Technion and the Hebrew university. She moved to the US for a post-doc at Stanford, and in 2005 took a faculty position at UC Berkeley. In her off time Daniela enjoys reading, yoga, meditation, and hiking and camping with her family.


Post Docs

Chris Morrissey

Chris Morrissey is a Bioinformatician and Epigenticist with extensive experience generating, processing, integrating, and analyzing high throughput sequencing data.

Soo Young Kim

Soo joined the Kaufer lab in August 2011. Before that, she got her Ph.D. from Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin and B.Sc and M. Sc from Seoul National University. She’s primarily interested in interactions between glia and neurons and those between cells and microenvironment in the brain.

Noopur Amin

Noopur's research interests in the Kaufer lab include investigating neural mechanisms of pro-sociality and compassion; and neural effects of early-life stress in later life. Her doctoral research investigated neural coding of natural sounds and critical period plasticity in auditory cortical development. When not in lab trying to make sense of the world, she's out appreciating the beauty inherent in this world.

Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal

Inbal's research focuses on the biological mechanisms underlying pro-social behavior. She has joined the lab in 2014 as a Miller fellow, and is co-hosted by Dacher Keltner at the Psychology department.



Graduate Students

Aaron Friedman

Aaron was the manager of the Kaufer lab, and contributes to several projects, generally seeking to understand molecular and structural mechanisms that are triggered by environmental inputs and contributes to dysfunction and disease in the brain.

Shawn Shirazi

Vlad Senatorov

Vlad was born in Russia, grew up in Canada, and most recently lived on the east coast. He came to Berkeley to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience. If not in lab, he is most likely rock-climbing.

Kim Long

Kim is a graduate student in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. She received a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in French from Indiana University. Her research interests include the neural basis of resilience and susceptibility to stress-induced mood and anxiety disorders and the effects of early life stress on glia. If not in lab, you're most likely to find her chasing frisbees and hanging out with hedgehogs.



Alumni / Former Lab Members

Jeremy Hamilton

Jeremy completed his undergraduate studies in Integrative Biology and Psychology at UC Berkeley in 2009 and came to be the manager of the Kaufer lab in 2011 via a 1-year stint as lab manager for Dr. Darlene Francis.  Outside the lab he enjoys traveling, bowling, and playing board games. 

Samuel Sakhai

Sam is a 4th year graduate student in the Behavorial Neuroscience area of the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley. His work, in conjunction with Dr. Darlene Francis and Dr. Kaufer, seeks to investigate the role of early life maternal care in programming reproductive and reward processing in Long Evans Rats. In his free time, Sam likes to read, bike, hike, and swim.

David Covarrubias

David is interested in the interactions between astrocytes and neural progenitor cells, and how they mediate the detrimental stress response in adult hippocampal neurogenesis. He is also interested in the functional formation of synapses in the new, adult-generated neurons. Finally, he also investigates novel ways to eat bacon.

Oscar Vazquez
Anna Geraghty

Anna’s insatiable curiosity has led her to research a diverse range of topics ranging from GnIH/RFRP expression in mammalian brains to studying the neurological basis of esoteric mammalian mating habits.  In those rare moments when she does have spare time she enjoys hunting, teaching Karate to underprivileged youths, knitting, building Rube-Goldberg devices, and of course, computational neuroscience.

Alana Wong

Alana studies the effects of early life stress as well as stress hormones on brain plasticity. She is particularly interested in the functional changes associated with gliogenesis and myelination in the hippocampus. Aside from neuroscience, Alana also enjoys molecular gastronomy, documentary photography, traveling long distances by foot, thai massage, and making lists.

Laurel Barchas

Laurel is a northern California native who started graduate school in 2009 through the Integrative Biology program. She is interested in researching neurogenesis in the context of mental illness, and currently studies the effects of glucocorticoids on the proliferation of hippocampal neural progenitor cells. Laurel founded the CIRM-sponsored Stem Cell Education Outreach Program and authored CIRM's Stem Cell Education Portal, including a high school curriculum. She is also the Associate Director of the Student Society for Stem Cell Research (www.ssscr.org).

Fanny Du

Fanny is a senior majoring in Integrative Biology. She has been working in the lab since summer 2011 and is studying the effects of glucocorticoids on neural progenitor cell lineage in the hippocampus.

Lydia Wood

Lydia's background is in neuroscience and physiology, with a particular interest in how synaptic circuits are disrupted in disease. Currently, she is researching altered synaptic connectivity in a cellular model of injury induced epilepsy. In particular, she is looking at the interaction between astrocytes and neurons in the regulation of synapse formation, and how this is can become pathological following CNS exposure to serum albumin.

Elizabeth Kirby

Liz graduated from the Helen Wills Neuroscience program in December 2011 and is now a post-doc in the lab. She works on the regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis by emotional information from the basolateral amygdala. Outside of lab, she enjoys baking, triathlon and salsa dancing. Liz's CV

Davin Packer

Davin joined the Kaufer lab in October of 2012. He is a senior undergraduate majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in neurobiology. He is studying the effects of blood brain barrier disruption on glial cells, the extracellular matrix, and epileptogenesis.

Andrea Nicholas

My research investigates how stress impacts the development and survival of hippocampal neurons and glia at each stage of cell development. My undergraduate students, Jin Hye Kwak, Jessica Lau, and I aim to reveal and target stem cell populations at vulnerable stages of development in order to better understand the effects of stress on learning and memory.

Daniella Coker

Daniella is a senior undergraduate student, majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology. She has been working in the lab since Fall of 2010, and is investigating the effects of glucocorticoids on the proliferation of neural progenitor cells in the adult rat hippocampus.

Larry Cai

Larry is a senior undergraduate in the Molecular Toxicology major. He has been working at the lab since Feb 2008 on the molecular controls behind neural progenitor proliferation and differentiation in response to glucocorticoid exposure in the mammalian hippocampus.

Jin Hye Kwak

Jinhye graduated from school in the spring of 2011 as a chemical biology and integrative biology major. Jinhye worked for Andrea in studying effects of stress on stem cell differentiation and survival in the hippocampus. During her lesure time, she likes to read books, excersize, study different languages, and sing karaoke to release stress.

Matthew Bauer

Matthew graduated in the department of Molecular and Cell Biology. He was formerly a member of "team albumin," which is focused on understanding the effects of albumin on epileptogenesis. Matthew finally had the opportunity to pursue ballet full-time after graduating.

Nathan Zuzow

Nathan joined the Kaufer lab in June of 2009, working with Dr. Christian Mirescu on the effects of glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone, on the proliferation of neural progenitor cells in the hippocampus. Nathan is double majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology (emphasis in Biochemistry) and Integrative Biology.

Luisa Cacheaux
Paul Cheng

Paul joined in 2009. He was a Biology Fellows Program (Summer 2009, Fall 2009) and Pre-Graduate Pathway of the Biology Scholars Program (Spring 2010) Fellow, allowing him to complete an honors thesis, "Albumin Uptake and Nuclear Localization in Epileptogenesis." He is currently working on effects of the drug Losartan in epileptogenesis, working as a lab assistant and applying to MD/PhD programs.

Amrita Krishnamurthy

Amrita joined the lab in May 2008. She is a senior undergraduate majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. She is studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of stress on neurogenesis as well as the effects of early-life stress on myelination in the hippocampus.

Annie Yang

Annie is an undergraduate student majoring in Integrative Biology. She joined the Kaufer Lab in 2012 as a sophomore. She is currently investigating the influence of maternal separation and the effects of glucocorticoids on the proliferation of neural progenitor cells in the adult rat hippocampus. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, baking, taking short walks, and trying new food.

Jennifer Su

Jennifer is an undergraduate majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with a neurobiology emphasis. She joined the Kaufer Lab in 2011 as a sophomore and is studying the interactions between astrocytes and neural progenitor cells in the adult hippocampus under stress conditions. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, scrapbooking, long-distance running, and just being outdoors to enjoy nature (on the very rare occasions that Berkeley has good weather).

Vivian Wung

Vivian is a third year Cognitive Science and Molecular and Cell Biology double major. Since joining the lab in 2013, Vivian has explored the interactions between astrocytes and neural progenitor cells of the adult hippocampus under stress conditions. Her academic interests include all things neuroscience, cognitive psychology (specifically color perception and aesthetics), and figuring out how things work.

Eba Kim

Eba is a senior double majoring in Integrative Biology and Public Health. She joined the Kaufer lab in January 2013, working with Dr. Noopur Amin on investigating the neural basis of prosociality in the rat model using optogenetics. Her plans after graduation mainly include applying to veterinary schools. When she has spare time, Eba enjoys film watching, making, and editing, baking/cooking, and learning about nature.

Ken Brownkenbrown@berkeley.edu

Ken is an undergraduate majoring in Math and MCB. He has been working with Alana Wong since Spring 2013 to elucidate the role of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in mediating stress-related changes in hippocampal neurogenesis. When he is not hunched over a textbook or computer, he likes to eat kale, go backpacking, and ride/fix/admire bicycles.

Kereshmeh Taravosh-Lahn

A Texas native, Kereshmeh joined the Kaufer lab in 2010. She's currently using her background in neuroendocrinology and behavioral neuroscience to explore the role of stress on the development of different cell types in the brain. Specifically, she's interested in the effects of early life stress on the differentiation and maturation of neurons and glia during development. In her free time, she enjoys reading, glassworking, and engaging in non-capricious mischief.