Principal Investigator

Anju Vasudevan, PhD

Anju Vasudevan, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Director of the Angiogenesis & Brain Development Laboratory, and Chair/Scientific Director of the Department of Basic/Translational Neurosciences at Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI). Dr. Vasudevan received her PhD degree in Neuroscience from the University of Cologne, Germany and performed postdoctoral work in the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. From 2007-2020, Dr. Vasudevan was a faculty member in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Vasudevan established the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory (ABDL) in 2011, at McLean Hospital. The ABDL moved to HMRI in 2020, and is also known as the Neurovascular Research Program here. Dr. Vasudevan served as the Director of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program from 2020-2022, and created a robust network of talented postdoctoral fellows at HMRI. Dr. Vasudevan’s work on early embryogenesis of the forebrain vascular system, and diversity of endothelial cell populations, has opened up an entirely new conceptual framework from which to view this important component of brain development. Her research focuses on defining new cellular and molecular mechanisms governing brain development and the way it shapes postnatal and adult behaviors. This work has implications for understanding, prevention, and treatment of a variety of nervous system disorders like schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, developmental delays, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Vasudevan is the recipient of the NARSAD Young Investigator Award, NARSAD Independent Investigator Award and awards from the National Institute of Health.

Apart from science, Anju loves nature and enjoys creative activities.


John Boyle, PhD

John M. Boyle, PhD is a Staff Scientist/Instructor in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI.  Dr. Boyle received his PhD degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.  His doctoral training was focused on the understanding of telomere length homeostasis in human embryonic stem cells.  His research focused on the role the shelterin protein TPP1 played in setting and maintaining telomere length set point in embryonic stem cells and the effect that had on their differentiated progeny. Dr. Boyle is currently investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying schizophrenia pathogenesis using stem cell technology with the long-term goal of developing new diagnostics and treatments.

When not in the lab, John loves to travel and spend time with friends and family.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kazi Helal Hossain, PhD

Kazi Helal Hossain, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory. Dr. Kazi Helal received his PhD degree in Biomedical Science from the Department of Medicine, Shimane University, Japan. His doctoral training focused on investigating the impact of P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide on alteration of gene expression patterns in endothelial cells and its contributions to the pathogenesis of vascular inflammatory diseases. He also studied the morphological and pathological changes of hypertensive brain vessels to understand how hypertension induces the early pathogenesis of cerebral small vessel diseases. During his doctoral studies, he received several scholarships (Honors, Shimane International Center, and Furukawa Scholarship) in Japan. His postdoctoral research focuses on studying the fundamental mechanisms of endothelial GABA and its receptor-mediated signaling during postnatal brain development with the use of genetic models and elucidating new paradigms of neurovascular interactions in the neocortex.

In addition to his research, Kazi Helal loves social work, cooking, gardening, and fishing.

Divya Mishra, PhD

Divya Mishra, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory. Dr. Mishra received her PhD degree in Life Science from the Jawahar Lal Nehru university of India. Her doctoral training focused on understanding the anti-hypertensive potential of natural compounds and exploration of mechanisms by which they produced vasorelaxation and rescue in cardiac tissue. Specifically, she explored the role of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in ex-vivo and in-vivo studies in rodent models, for which she received the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) Fellowship. Her current research focuses on uncovering novel aspects of endothelial-neuronal interactions and mechanisms of their crosstalk during embryonic forebrain development, that can contribute to the origin of psychiatric illness.

Divya loves painting and enjoys cooking during her free time.

Lab Staff

Said Elbakri

Said Elbakri is a Research Assistant in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI. He received his Diploma in General Science from FSSM – La Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Marrakech. Said is the heart of the lab, coordinating transgenic colony management and genotyping, with multiple lab operations.

Said enjoys boxing, reading, soccer, and traveling.


Emily Abad

Emily Abad is a junior undergraduate student at UCLA and is pursuing a B.S. degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. Emily is a devoted Undergraduate Research Fellow and Volunteer in the Angiogenesis & Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI. With an interest in genetics, Emily is planning to move forward with her education by pursuing a PhD in Genetics or a Masters in Genetic Counseling.

Outside of her professional and academic life, Emily likes to spend her time cooking, baking, and making new memories with friends and family.

Karina Kachler-Glynne

Karina Kachler-Glynne is a senior at Occidental College majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Neuroscience. After graduation, she will pursue a PhD in Neuroscience and plans to remain in biomedical research. Karina is an enthusiastic Undergraduate Research Fellow in the Angiogenesis & Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI, and is gaining new experience on GABA signaling mechanisms during brain development.

Most of Karina‘s time away from the lab bench is spent in the air as an amateur circus performer.

Timothy Chuong

Timothy Chuong is a first-year medical student at Western University of Health Sciences and is currently interested in the medical specialties of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, and Family Medicine. He obtained his B.S. in Human Biology from UC San Diego in June 2021. Timothy has been awarded a student research fellowship from Western University of Health Sciences to gain new insights into migraine pathophysiology in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI.

Timothy’s hobbies include basketball, climbing, and hiking. He also enjoys video games, cooking, baking, and spending time with his dog Bao!

Lorraine Tam

Lorraine Tam is a second-year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and is pursuing a B.A. in Molecular Cell Biology and Public Health. She intends to further her education post-undergraduate through pharmacy school with an interest in studying pharmacology and chemoproteomics. Lorraine has received an American Heart Association (AHA) Fellowship that supports Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI.

Aside from academics, Lorraine likes thrifting, cafe-hopping, spending time with friends, and photography.

Justin Lin

Justin Lin is a junior at San Marino High School. He is currently a student research volunteer in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI. In the future, Justin would like to pursue a career in the medical field practicing internal medicine.

Apart from science and medicine, Justin enjoys playing tennis, hanging out with friends, and going on campouts with his boy scout troop.

Diya V El Khal

Diya El Khal is a freshman at Crescenta Valley High School. She is a student research volunteer in the Angiogenesis and Brain Development Laboratory at HMRI. Diya enjoys math and science, and wishes to pursue a career in science or medicine. By being a student research volunteer, Diya challenges herself in new ways, and this helps her build skills needed to reach her goals.

Outside of research, Diya likes to hang out with friends, paint, and read books in her free time.

Student and Volunteer opportunities are available.

Chungkil Won, PhD
Research Associate, 2009-2011

Peeyush Kumar, PhD
Research Fellow, 2012-2013

Suyan Li, PhD
Research Assistant, 2011-2013
Research Fellow, 2013-2015

Sampada Joshee, MS
Research Assistant, 2014-2016

Sarah Kaye, BS
Research Assistant, 2018-2019

Yong Kee Choi, PhD
Instructor/Faculty, 2017-2020

Debkanya Datta, PhD
Research Fellow, 2016
Instructor/Faculty, 2017-2020

Jugajyoti Baruah, PhD
Research Fellow, 2018-2020

Anass Agrud, MS
Research Assistant, 2020
Research Associate, 2020-2022

Divya Desai, PhD
Research Fellow, 2021-2023

Marque Villareal, BS
Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2022-2023