Research Tracks & Mentors


One of the greatest strengths of the UC San Diego site is the involvement of our highly successful research faculty who will serve as mentors for the LAUNCH program. UC San Diego is one of the nation's top research institutions, and our research faculty mentors have a variety of expertise in neuroscience research. 

Potential Research Mentors

A sample of potential research mentors, by research track, from a campus-wide pool for the UC San Diego LAUNCH program are found in the table and links below.​

If you have any questions, please email​
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​First Name, Last Name, Degree
​Research Interest
Susan Ackerman, PhD
Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Molecular pathways controlling neuron homeostasis
Wendy Marie Campana, PhD
Molecular and Cellular Response to Nerve Injury and Chronic Neuropathic Pain
Richard Daneman, PhD
​Pharmacology, Neuroscience
Cellular, molecular and genetic mechanisms of blood-brain barrier development / dysfunction in neurological diseases
​Paula Desplats, PhD§
​Neurosciences & Pathology 
Neuroepigenetic mechanisms in disease
Joseph Gleeson, MD
Neurosciences & Pediatrics
Genetic and cell biological basis of brain development
Shelley Halpain, PhD
Neural circuit development & degeneration​
Vivian Hook, PhD
​Neurosciences, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Mechanisms of Neurotransmitter Activity
​Alysson Muotri, PhD
​Pharmacology, Neurosciences
Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms in Autism and other Developmental Disorders
​Robert Rissman, PhD
​Molecular Neuropathology and Biomarker Discovery
Michael Taffe, PhD
Effects of recreational or abused drgus on the brain and the resulting changes in behavior
Chengbiao Wu, PhD
Mechanisms of Axonopathy and Neurodegeneration

​​ *Track Leader; §Executive Committee

Explore Faculty Research

For a comprehensive list of faculty and spec​ific res​earch, please visit the following programs and departments directly:​​​

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