Assistant Professor

Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology

University of California, Riverside

Jim McBurney-Lin, Graduate student
Jim was born in Singapore and moved to California during elementary school. He became fascinated with the brain and the study of neuroscience during high school AP biology, leading to his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in physiology and neuroscience at UC San Diego. There, he divided his time between studying the neural development of fruit flies and devising the fastest way to get to the beach from campus. After graduating, Jim spent a couple years working as a research technician, developing clinical diagnostic assays, before moving on to join the Yang lab at UC Riverside. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, surfing, and rock climbing.
Lucas Tortorelli, Postdoc
Lucas grew up in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and performed undergraduate in Biological Sciences, PhD in Biochemistry (UFRGS) and a brief postdoc (UFCSPA).  During this period Lucas studied the involvement of inflammation in rodent behavior, neuropathology and astrocytic damage. Then Lucas moved to Dublin, Ireland, and worked as a postdoc researcher in a neuroimmunology lab (TCD) focused on animal models of delirium with translational approach. After that, Lucas moved to Riverside and joined Yang Lab. Lucas also enjoys psychology, social sciences, philosophy and arts.
Jennifer Shyong, Junior specialist
Jennifer was born and raised in the Bay Area and moved to Riverside in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in biology. During her time as an undergraduate at UCR, she participated in research involving gene drives as well as studying the development of immature larval sensory systems in the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti. After graduating, Jennifer continued working with mosquitoes for another year before joining the Yang lab. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing with her cat.
Marco Nigro, Postdoc
Marco was born in Brescia, Italy, and moved to Milan in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. During this period he became fascinated of neuroscience field, leading to his pursuit of  master degree in Neurobiology (University of Pavia) and Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Neurotechnologies (IIT). During these periods Marco has been involved in different research projects starting with the study of energy metabolism protein and cellular plasticity in learned helpless rats, moved to the analysis of different isoforms of the receptor after transient ischemic attack and extracellular recordings in freely moving animals during social behavior paradigms in mouse models for psychiatric disorders. Later, he briefly worked as a postdoc researcher in drug development lab focused on X-fragile syndrome.  After that, he joined Yang Lab at UC Riverside. Marco also enjoys basketball, playing guitar and other science fields such as physic and astronomy.
 Morale support team (a.k.a. Troublemakers)
Meow Meow
Simran Bhogal, undergrad assistant
Sandra Saborio, undergrad assistant
Yina Sun, postdoc
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