Lupe Rodriguez is a senior scientist and manager of the lab. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Biological Sciences and minor in Psychology from DePaul University.  After completing her B.S. she moved to the east coast for a post-bacc fellowship at Yale University doing research in brain ischemia and the fibronolytic system. Since then she moved back to Chicago where she has been working for several years with Dr. Dong in various projects. More recently, her study of interest is in PAI-1 and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and learning how targeting PAI-1 through pharmacological inhibition could potentially become a treatment for AD.

Saikat Chakraborty is a Post-Doc fellow that joined the lab in 2017. After the completion of his Master’s in Applied Microbiology from India, he moved to Japan for his PhD under Japan Govt Scholarships in 2004. He finished his PhD in Molecular biology and Biochemistry in 2008 and came to the United States to pursue a research career.​ His study interests include epigenetics, neuroprotection, Alzheimer ’s disease, and ion channels. He is currently researching epigenetics modifications and aging.

Daniel Fisher is an adjunct post-doctoral fellow who completed his Bachelor’s of Arts in Philosophy and Biology from The University of Texas and his PhD in Neuroscience from Northwestern University. He will complete his MD at Northwestern University in May 2019 and begin residency in psychiatry soon after. Though in the past he has worked on projects as varied as investigating the mechanisms of spinal cord injury to ion channel control of coping strategies, he is currently investigating the Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia using human post-mortem and pre-clinical AD models. His current clinical and research interests center on the psychiatric symptoms that develop in patients with neurological disorders, especially with neurodegeneration.​

Chris Gallerdo is a Post-doc who recently joined the lab late 2018. His initial interest in neuroscience research began during his undergraduate studies at DePaul University in Chicago. Upon graduation, he briefly worked in Dr. Dong’s lab at Northwestern University before pursuing a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. His graduate studies spanned human and mouse work on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Age-related Macular Degeneration. His broad interests on the intersection of aging, psychiatry, and neurology greatly influenced his return to Dr. Dong’s wonderful lab. Outside of research, he enjoys working out, playing with cats, traveling, and reading.


Bryan McClarty is currently a third year PhD student in NUIN (Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program). Before his graduate studies, he received his Bachelor’s of Science from DePaul University in Chicago. He is currently working on a project regarding antipsychotic drug efficacy. He is primarily interested in investigating how epigenetic changes in aging contribute to the reduced drug efficacy in elderly patients prescribed antipsychotic drugs. From his current project he has built many skills including: a variety of behavioral assays, western blotting, chromatin immunoprecipitation (chIP), qPCR, scientific and grant writing skills. His thesis project will integrate how epigenetics in aging can contribute to disease progression in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

Sky Dominguez is a MD/PhD candidate through Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine’s MSTP program. She joined the lab in August of 2018 after completing 2 years of Medical School and is now part of the NUIN graduate program until her completion of her PhD. Prior to matriculating at Northwestern, Sky majored in Neuroscience with minors in Spanish and Globalization Studies at The Ohio State University. Her research interests include neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and psychiatric disorders such as depression. She is currently working on a project looking at the interaction between sex, stress, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Rachel Keszycki is a first-year student in the Clinical psychology  PhD Program of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Before attending Northwestern, she administered neuropsychological assessments to adult patients and conducted research with both human and animal subjects in the areas of addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. Her primary research and clinical interests include neuropsychology, dementia (particularly Alzheimer’s disease), and behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with cognitive decline.

Fei Geng is an associate professor at Zunyi Medical University. He is a member of Chinese Neuroscience Society and works in the Department of Physiology of Zunyi Medical University. He has carried out a series of studies on the mechanisms, diagnostic markers and treatment targets of neurological diseases, making an innovative and systematic contribution to anxiety and glioma. He has published more than 10 papers in the last three years, including Neuroscience, Brain Research and Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci.  Currently his focus is on the roles of non-coding RNAs and receptors on the progression of glioma and Alzheimer’s disease. He is undertaking a research project funded by the National Government and three other funds supported by Guizhou province in China.

Hector Orellana is a research technologist that started in February 2019. He completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at the University of Chicago. His interest in research stems from working for four years as a research assistant in an electrophysiology lab. This allowed him to learn how to conduct behavioral assays using a mouse model and complete his senior thesis on examining the averse effects of nicotine. He hopes to continue developing his techniques, help out everyone in the lab with their projects, and start his own assignment before applying to medical or graduate school.