We are a team of UCLA students from a wide variety of majors passionate about neuroscience and cutting-edge technology.
Dr. Marlius Castillo
Dr. Jacqueline Chen
Dr. Jeff Bronstein
Dr. Martin McKeown
Dr. Ana Luisa Trejos
Founder & President
Vice President of Operations
External Vice President
Internal Vice President
Vice President of Shadowing
Co-Director of Education
Co-Director of Education
Director of Shadowing
Co-Director of Outreach
Co-Director of Outreach
Director of Finance
Innovation Team Director (Engineering)
Innovation Team Director (Research)
Innovation Team Director (Design)
Tiffany is a third year HBS major and Biomedical Research minor. She founded High-tech and Neuro-Disorders (HAND) to bridge together healthcare and technology, in order to connect students with medical and industry professionals, and spark innovation and collaboration within the community. From promoting mental wellness to treating movement disorders, biotechnology combines hands-on patient care with cutting-edge research, which Tiffany hopes to expand upon at UCLA by bringing together students of all majors, ranging from microbiology to business economics. As co-inventor of iStopShaking, Tiffany is part of a startup to begin developing the three IoT devices to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease, with the devices using miniaturized gyroscopes to stabilize essential tremors. Outside of HAND, Tiffany enjoys golfing, advocating for public health, and performing research with a neuroscience lab.
Saumya is a 2nd year neuroscience major and the VP of Operations this year. Her interest in neuroscience first stemmed from the fact that it provides the perfect intersection between studying the physical components of the brain and body, such as neurons and circuits, and the more abstract components, namely thinking and consciousness. After hearing about the prevalence of movement disorders such as Parkinson's, Saumya was motivated to contribute to HAND and support patients while also reducing the stigma surrounding neurological disorders. Saumya is also very interested in scientific journalism and bridging the knowledge gap between academia and the general public. Throughout high school and college, she has enjoyed writing for science magazines and running her own science publication. Aside from academics, Saumya enjoys creative writing, reading, and hiking.
Ashley Kim is a second-year studying Psychobiology on a pre-med track. She is the External Vice President for HAND. Ashley developed an interest in neuroscience after volunteering at an organization for children on the autistic spectrum. She is interested in developmental and neurological disorders and hopes to pursue a career in pediatric neurology. Ashley is excited to contribute to HAND and to learn more about the challenging, mysterious aspects of neuroscience and its uncharted territories. Outside of school, Ashley enjoys doodling, writing articles about health awareness, and watching random YouTube videos.
Nitin is a first year Computational Biology major from Cupertino! Nitin is really passionate about the intersection of technology and healthcare and using computation to push the boundaries in various fields. He first got interested in the intersection of computation and medicine when he interned at the University of California, San Francisco where he analyzed vaccine response data to assess gaps in vaccine treatment. In his free time, Nitin is a competitive Rubik’s Cube solver and long distance runner! He has competed at over 40 Rubik’s Cube competitions across the country, and loves sharing his passion with the world. As for running, he spent four years on his high school varsity Cross Country team, and enjoys being outside in the fresh air!
A native of Venezuela, Marlius received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela in 2008. She then went on to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas to study and synthetize fluorescent dyes with Professor Sergei V. Dzyuba in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She received her Ph.D. in 2019 with a focus in organic chemistry and spectroscopy. As a graduate student, Marlius was first author on two published research papers and co-author on four published papers. She was the recipient of a 2018-19 Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) graduate research grant at TCU for her project titled “Ratiometric molecular rotors for determining phase-transitions of gels, waxes, and polymer films”. Marlius joined UCLA in August 2019 as a Cram Teacher-Scholar. She conducts postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Miguel Garcia-Garibay, studying synthesis and applications of fluorescent molecules, and she teaches Structures of Organic Molecules (14C).
Dr. Darlene A. Mayo (née Lobel) is a board certified neurosurgeon who is internationally known as an expert in the treatment of essential tremor and other movement disorders. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University and her Medical Doctorate from Medical College of Georgia. She completed clinical fellowships in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and Epilepsy at UCLA and Emory, finishing training in 2007. She also completed two research fellowships, first in Grenoble, France, where she worked for two years with Professor Alim-Louis Benabid at Clinatec on the clinical protocol and implementation of a brain computer interface system, designed to aid quadriplegic patients. She then completed a fellowship in the Neural Engineering Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she worked on the design and preclinical assessment of an intraspinal microstimulation system to restore neurologic function after spinal cord injury. Dr. Mayo worked for two years as a Neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor at University of Florida-Jacksonville and for nearly five years as a Neurosurgeon and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering at the Cleveland Clinic, where she had a busy practice treating patients with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. She also co-led an essential tremor support group for two years in the Cleveland area.
Dr. Jacqueline Chen is a podiatry specialist in Frederick, MD. Dr. Chen completed a residency at Aria Health and currently practices at Frederick Foot and Ankle and is affiliated with Frederick Health. Dr. Chen is board certified in Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine.
Lee Felsenstein has been designing electronic circuits, systems and products for over 40 + years. A graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, Lee’s active interest in electronics dates back to childhood. Involvement in establishing the first public-access computer social media system led to his immersion in the embryonic personal computer industry, where he designed several pioneering products, including the first commercially successful portable computer. He designed the meeting structure of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club and ran the meetings for the 11-year existence of the club. This extraordinarily productive club spawned at least 23 personal computer companies including Apple. Lee has operated two independent electronic design consulting companies, was the first researcher hired at Interval Research Corporation, where he ran the prototype development section, and has 23 patents issued in his name. He was a founding director of Osborne Computer Corporation and serves on the Intellectual Property Committee of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Lee is a Fellow of the Computer History Museum and was named a Pioneer of the Electronic Frontier in 1994 (Electronic Frontier Foundation).
Jeff Bronstein received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and M.D. and Ph.D. from UCLA as a recipient of the Medical Scientist Training Program Award. He completed a residency in Neurology and fellowship training in Movement Disorders at UCLA and at Queens Square in London. Dr. Bronstein also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology before being appointed an Assistant Professor of Neurology in 1994, Director of the Movement Disorders Program at UCLA in 1996 and Director of the Wilson’s Disease Center of Excellence in 2004. He was promoted to Professor of Neurology in 2006, Professor of Molecular Toxicology in 2007 and awarded the Fred Silton Family Chair in Movement Disorders in 2016. His clinical interests include the management of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders, surgical treatment of PD, and developing new therapies for patients. Dr. Bronstein’s research interests include the study of the causes of PD (environmental and genetic) using cell and zebrafish models as well as population-based studies.
Dr. McKeown is the PPRI/UBC Chair in Parkinson’s Research, Director at the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre (PPRC), Professor in the Department of Medicine, and associate member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Canada. The PPRC is deemed an International Centre of Excellence by the (US-based) National Parkinson’s Foundation. He did his Engineering Physics, Medicine and Neurology training at McMaster, University of Toronto, and University of Western Ontario, respectively. He did a 3yr research fellowship at the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego before being hired as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. He was recruited to UBC in 2003.His interests include examining novel treatments for Parkinson’s and exploring how Engineering methods can be used to enrich the lives of people with Parkinson’s.
Dr. Trejos's research has focused on the design, integration and evaluation of mechatronic devices that are aimed at providing medical care. This experience led her to establish the Wearable Biomechatronics Laboratory in 2013, dedicated to the design of wearable mechatronic devices for upper body rehabilitation and motion assistance, including wearable devices for tremor suppression and smart orthotic devices for elbow, wrist, hand and neck rehabilitation. Her research has focused on designing novel sensing and actuation components, creating models based on sensed biosignals, and developing intelligent and adaptive control systems, as well as their overall integration into unobtrusive wearable mechatronic devices.
I am a 4th year neuroscience major from Hercules, California in the Bay Area. I joined HAND last year because it gave me the opportunity a part of community that shared my passions for neuroscience and education. As Internal Vice President, I will further my mission to raise awareness about neurological diseases and connect individuals with professionals in neuroscience fields.
Sravya is a third year psychobiology major and will be serving as the Director of Shadowing of HAND. Her passion for neuroscience first stemmed from a non-profit organization in high-school in which she helped lead outreach projects to educate her community about neurological diseases and had the opportunity to volunteer with Alzheimer’s patients. She continued that passion at UCLA through research in the field of clinical neuroscience and clubs like HAND. Sravya thinks HAND is a great platform that allows undergrads to be able to network with professionals in the field of Neurology and build a community based on education and awareness on topics regarding neurological disorders and its intersection with technology. Outside of school, Sravya enjoys reading, going on food adventures, and hiking.
Pauline is a third year at ucla majoring in MCDB and minoring in biomedical research. She aspires to attend medical school and one day become a physician. Pauline is particularly interested in neuroscience and the intersection between healthcare and technology. She is excited to help further grow HAND into a friendly learning environment where talented individuals from a wide variety of career goals are able to come together and pursue a common interest of neuroscience.
Hello! My name is Archi Bhattacharyaa, I am a fourth year biophysics major, and I will be your Finance Director for this year! I am very excited to help secure funding for the club through VC pitches, meeting with NGO's, and a variety of other places. I can't wait to see the exciting things we build! I am super passionate about Neurotech and believe it to be the next frontier of scientific advancement. I am particularly fascinated with the application of Quantum Computing and the unique advancements that could bring to the table for this growing field. Besides my academic interests, I love to make music and play trombone for the UCLA Symphony. In my free time you can usually catch me playing Soccer or Basketball with my friends, or (unsuccessfully) trying to win in Fantasy.
Hi! My name is Daniel and I’ll be your Innovation Team Director for the upcoming year! I’ve been part of HAND since it’s conception last year and I’ve seen it grow to what it is today. I love the variability and the fluidity a newfound club provides and have enjoyed being in the driving seat for future directions. Hope we as a community can keep pushing forward and embody our mission statement!
Jane is fourth year premed student majoring in neuroscience and minoring in public affairs. Her favorite thing to do growing up was reading books, and she loved how the characters and stories transported her mind to different worlds. This piqued her interest in thinking, consciousness, and imagination. After interning at a Boston University research lab and joining a neurobiology lab at UCLA, she realized that she wanted to study neuroscience because it uses biology, physiology, and psychology to generate a more concrete understanding of neural circuits underlying our thought processes. She is super excited to work with HAND members as one of the innovation team directors. Outside of HAND, she enjoys playing volleyball, lifting weights, and trying to make edm.
Sasha is a second-year computational biology major and one of the education directors for HAND this year! She joined HAND to explore neurological disorders further and immerse herself in a community of like-minded individuals. Sasha’s interest in neuroscience began in high school, when she interned in a neurobiology lab at UCI and investigated the endocannabinoid system in facilitating wound healing. She is fascinated by the cognitive functions behind movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, hoping to contribute to advances within this field. Besides her academic pursuits, Sasha enjoys playing the piano, reading, and exploring new boba shops.
Clara is a third-year molecular, cell, and developmental biology major from Burlingame, CA. She is very excited to serve as Co-Education Director for the 2021-2022 year! Her interest in neuroscience and neurological diseases developed in her first psychology class at UCLA where she learned about the impacts of brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. Joining HAND in her second year at UCLA, she wanted to further her own knowledge of neurological diseases and help to share this knowledge with others. Clara is passionate about medicine and health education and intends to attend medical school. Outside of academics, Clara enjoys baking, crocheting, and coxing for the UCLA women’s rowing team.
Alex is a second year neuroscience and Design | Media Arts double major and HAND’s Innovation Team Director (Design) for 2021-2022. He works to bring HAND’s iStopShaking device to life by combining principles of engineering with aesthetics to bring about a functional and intuitive glove for patients with Parkinson’s disease. In a broader scope, Alex aims to converge ideas in art and neuroscience, harnessing tools in data analysis, visualization, and machine learning to reimagine the landscape of brain-computer interfacing and neural circuit research for more harmonious and equitable applications in medical science. In his free time, Alex enjoys struggling with the guitar, listening to audiobooks, and sinking (or more often airballing) three-pointers.
Drawing from past experiences in healthcare settings, I joined HAND to promote awareness for neurological behavioral and movement disorders while building a community of passionate, like-minded individuals to relate and learn from as we follow our pursuits. I first developed an interest in neuroscience after participating in virtual shadowing sessions last summer, where a case study of a young woman with a neurotransmission problem and her recovery process through physical practice opened my eyes to the non-invasive technological efforts relating to neurological disorders. I’m especially interested in further exploring my interests in pediatrics, through neurology or internal medicine, during my undergraduate years. In my free time I love to create singing recordings, go on walks, paint, and re-watch my favorite shows!
Robin is a third year Biology major and the Co-Director of Outreach for HAND this year. He plans to attend medical school and become a Head and Neck Surgeon (Otolaryngologist). He is particularly interested in how the brain functions and its connections to psychology. Through HAND, he is able to further explore his passions for neurological disorders and psychology and is excited to work with the HAND team in our many projects this year. Outside of school, Robin loves to hike, play tennis, workout, and explore the food scene in Los Angeles.