Dr. Sara Wasserman
PhD Brandeis University, Sengupta Lab
Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCLA, Frye Lab
Assistant Professor, Wellesley College Department of Neuroscience
Personal Bio and CV
106 Central St. | Wellesley College | Wellesley, MA 02481-8203
Crystal Zhu is a junior studying neuroscience at Wellesley College. She always knew she was going to be a science major, but her passions for biology, chemistry, and psychology made her a great fit for the neuroscience major. Crystal is very excited to learn more about the neurological foundations of sensory integration and its influence on decision-making in the Wasserman Lab. Outside of class and lab, Crystal is a member of Wellesley’s Varsity swim team, loves to paint and draw, and likes to keep in shape by going for runs in the Ville or around Lake Waban.
Emma Thibault is a junior Neuroscience major at Wellesley College. She was initially exposed to the field of neuroscience while researching Alzheimer's disease, a part of her family history, and has been fascinated since. Now, Emma hopes to explore the neural mechanisms and integration of complex behaviors as a means of better understanding potential implications of neurological disease and intervention. Beyond the sciences, Emma is a member of the Wellesley College Choir and Chamber Singers and is an RA in Stone-Davis. After Wellesley she hopes to pursue a career in neurosurgery and clinical research.
Grace Turner is a sophomore and a hopeful neuroscience major and maybe premedical. She was home schooled her entire life until coming to Wellesley. She became interested in neuroscience through teaching swim lessons to people who have autism and would love to someday do research in autism.
Anni Ball is a sophomore planning on declaring on a neuroscience major. She first became interested in neuroscience when she participated in a summer program at a college near her home in Cape Elizabeth, ME. In the lab, Anni is excited to learn about the mechanisms that underlie decision making. Outside of classes, she enjoys playing classical piano, serving on the McAfee dorm's house council, and seeking out the best dumpling spots in the Boston area. She is looking to continue on to medical school after Wellesley and is considering a neurosurgical career.
June Hee Kim is a junior majoring in Neuroscience at Wellesley College. She joined the Wasserman Lab to study how internal state alters multimodal sensory integration of flying Drosophila and is excited to gain a better understanding of the neural circuit mechanism involving sensory processing and behavioral control. Since the second semester of her first year, June has been working as a research assistant at MIT’s Graybiel Lab studying the striatum and the cortex through behavioral tasks performed by rodents. Born in South Korea, she is also passionate about community service. In the past, she actively served in Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles and is currently volunteering at Wellesley-Newton Hospital. In her free time, she enjoys painting, watching Korean dramas, reading mystery novels, and swimming with her dog.
Isabel D’Alessandro is a senrio majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Computer Science at Wellesley. Isabel first became interested in systems neuroscience research after working on a project studying behavioral and neural tuning for acoustic communication signals in Drosophila through a summer research experience. She’s excited to be working with Drosophila again in the Wasserman Lab and to approach the question of how neural circuits integrate dynamic sensory stimuli and generate behavioral responses from a different perspective. Outside of class, Isabel is involved with the Wellesley Neuroscience Club,Science Club for Girls, and the APT program. She’s also an avid hiker, podcast-listener, and consumer of lots of Wellesley ice cream!
Puddles remains hard at work making sure the lab runs smoothly and that everyone is happy. She recently moved to the Boston area after being rescued from a shelter in Nashville. In her free time Puddles enjoys chewing on cords, chasing ice cubes, and attending Good Citizen Training to become a service dog so she can volunteer in hospitals and retirement communities.
Emily Park (Wellesley Class of 2017) was a Neuroscience major at Wellesley College. During her time exploring the vast world of neuroscience, she worked as a research assistant in the Perceptual Science Lab at MIT, and spent summers honing a fascination in drug addiction and neuromodulation at Keck Graduate Institute and the University of Texas at El Paso. Outside of labwork, she can be found reading a novel, writing letters, or making playlists. Emily is currently working in the Greengard Lab at Rockefeller University.
Rafa Tasneem (Wellesley Class of 2017) was a Neuroscience major and Korean minor at Wellesley College hailing from Brooklyn, New York. Her interest in neuroscience stems from a curiosity about the neural mechanisms behind everyday behaviors, particularly on the molecular level. Her previous research experiences include assisting the Wiest Lab at Wellesley College and the Chemical Neurobiology lab at the Korea Institute for Science and Technology. In the future, she hopes to practice pain medicine to aid immigrant communities. In her spare time, Rafa enjoys listening to Korean music, learning languages, and doing photography.
Rachel Mernoff is a third year undergraduate majoring in Biological Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Rachel was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island and possesses a passion for global health. In the past, she competed in national high school policy debate and volunteered as a debate coach in underserved areas of Providence. Rachel is a research and policy analyst at the UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America, a lab assistant in the Frye Lab at UCLA, and Co-President of the Peer Advancement Community for Teens at UCLA. In her free time, Rachel enjoys painting, reading, traveling, and playing board games. Rachel spent part of her 2016 summer back on the east coast helping set-up the Wasserman Lab and is an honorary member of the Wasserman Lab!
Alexandra (Allie) Salomon began working in the Frye Lab the summer before her senior year at Calabasas High School. While in the lab, Allie focused her efforts on understanding how an organism alters its sensorimotor transformations in a behaviorally state dependent manner. This work resulted in her first peer-reviewed publication. During her freshman year at Northwestern University, Allie realized that her passion lay in the creative problem solving process of development and design of biomedical products guiding her towards a major in mechanical engineering. Allie was the recipient of a Northwestern University Bioscientist fellowship (supported by the HHMI Undergraduate and Precollege Education Program and Northwestern University ventures in Biology Education) and spent the summer of 2013 working in the lab of Dr. Malcom MacIver. She was also recognized as a STEM Scholar by the Northwestern Alumnae Association. After graduating from Northwestern, Allie is now a mechanical engineer at Fresenius Kabi.
Elliott Layne started working in the Frye Lab at UCLA the summer before his junior year of high school. While in the lab, Elliott looked at how stressing flies, through starvation and dehydration, affects their ability to respond to an olfactory stimulus. During his free time, Elliott enjoys hiking, listening to music, playing baseball, playing the piano, and spending time with his friends and family. Elliott is now a student at Vassar College.
Jade Nguyen carried out an independent research project during her junior and senior years as an undergraduate integrative biology and physiology major at UCLA. Her work was recently published. Jade took a gap year working as a medical scribe at the center for orthopedic specialists and after completing a master's at Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science is now a member of the Chicago Medical School class of 2020!
Austin Wang joined the Frye lab as a junior integrative biology and physiology major at UCLA. His work on examining the mechanisms that underlie multisensory integration contributed to a recent publication. Apart from research, while at UCLA, he was heavily involved in many different student groups on campus, such as UCLA Wushu Club, M.E.M.O. (Medical, Educational Missions and Outreach), and Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity. During his free time, he enjoys watching T.V. shows, cooking, and spending time with friends. After graduation, Austin was a technician in the Brunger Lab at Stanford. He will be starting a PhD program in neuroscience at UCSF in the fall of 2017!
Patrick Lu began working in the Frye lab during his senior year as an undergraduate integrative biology and physiology major at UCLA. He initially focused his research on understanding how flies avoid aversive odorants in-flight. Upon graduation Patrick stayed on as a technician in the lab. He has become the resident expert at preparing and running 2-photon calcium imaging experiments and currently works on a variety of projects with different members of the lab. Simultaneously, Patrick has launched a software company called Playfull which is focused on making customer engagement fun. Check out their work here.