Wiseman Lab Members

The Wiseman lab welcomes people of any race, religion, national origin, gender identity, caregiver and family commitments, political affiliation, sexual orientation, and eligible age or ability.
R. Luke Wiseman
R. Luke Wiseman
he/him/his
Principal Investigator
wiseman (at) scripps.edu
0000-0001-9287-6840
Scholar Citations
@LabWiseman

Education:
B.Sc. in Chemistry, University of Virginia
Ph.D., Scripps Research
Postdoc, NYU Med School

Academic Positions:
Professor, Scripps Research
Member, Skaggs Graduate School, Scripps Research

Luke Facts: (Written by our most recently published scientists)
*Favorite ‘Derry Girls’ character is Orla - JDR
*Loves Tillamook cheese and the color orange - LI
*Danced in multiple ballets - JMDG
*Has an impressive collection of polo shirts - ICN
*Strives to be a preeminent middle author structural biologist - MS


Karen Hughes
Karen Hughes
she/her/hers
Administrative Assistant
khughes (at) scripps.edu

Karen Hughes has been a Lab Admin Coordinator with Scripps Research for over eight years. Most of her responsibility is to support the lab by completing the administrative work on grant applications, order supplies and equipment when tasked and to provide any other necessary support to the lab. Her background has been working in government and commercial settings providing support in the creation of grant submissions for over thirty years. She also has a hazmat background providing support by maintaining a database used to classify hazardous products based on the specifications stated in the material safety data sheets (MSDS). Karen brings her beloved 10 year old miniature dachshund office mate, Cooper, to work with her everyday and he makes sure that no one interrupts her work flow. When Karen isn’t at work she is generally found out on a hiking trail or clogging with her fellow dance friends.

Make no mistake about it. Karen runs the show. Anything you need, she gets it done… provided you can get by Cooper.


Jie Sun, PhD
Jie Sun, PhD
she/her/hers
Postdoctoral fellow (with Enrique Saez)
jiesun (at) scripps.edu

Jie Sun is a postdoctoral associate in the Wiseman and Saez labs studying on how the pharmacological activation of IRE1/XBP1s affects the pathology of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in multiple tissues. She obtained her PhD degree in Model Animal Research Center of Nanjing University, China. During her PhD, she studied on the physiology of smooth muscle contraction and the pathology of smooth muscle-related diseases. Using genetic modified mice, she found that a myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCP) inhibitory protein, CPI-17, is required for GPCR-induced calcium-sensitizied vascular smooth muscle contraction and genesis of obesity-related hypertension. Outside of lab, Jie enjoys hiking and reading.


Prerona Bora, PhD
Prerona Bora, PhD
she/her/hers
Postdoctoral fellow
pbora (at) scripps.edu

Prerona is a postdoctoral associate in the Wiseman lab working towards elucidating the mechanism of action of IRE1/XBP1s activators. In early 2022, she graduated with a PhD from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. During her PhD she has worked on the synthesis and evaluation of organic compounds as tools to probe the role of reactive sulphur species in conditions of oxidative stress and inflammation. She hails from the beautiful Northeastern state of Assam in India, famous for its one-horned rhinos and tea. Apart from being an avid tea drinker, she loves doing yoga, enjoys outdoor hikes and run.

Prerona is supported by Hewitt Foundation postdoctoral fellowship


Caroline Stanton
Caroline Stanton
she/her/hers
Graduate Student (with Mike Bollong)
cstanton (at) scripps.edu

Caroline is a graduate student in the Wiseman and Bollong labs working to identify novel inhibitors of the NLPR3 Inflammasome, a protein complex implicated in a number of diseases, through high-throughput screening. She is also investigating the relationship between fructolysis and the oxidative stress response with implications in treating liver disease. Caroline graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a second major Vocal Performance. During her undergraduate she worked in the lab of Leslie Hicks where she studied the TOR pathway in C. reinhardtii using mass spectrometry-based proteomics. She also participated in REUs at the University of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University where she worked on a therapeutic monoclonal antibody trap in the Bruening Lab, and crystallized proteins from C. difficile in the Lacy Lab, respectively. Outside of lab, Caroline enjoys singing opera, reading, and going for walks on the beach.


Nicole Madrazo
Nicole Madrazo
she/her/hers
Graduate Student
nmadrazo (at) scripps.edu

Nicole is a graduate student in the Wiseman lab. Using genomics, bioinformatics, and biochemistry, she is interested in finding novel targets of the ATF6 pathway, and probing the mechanism of action of IRE1 activator molecules. After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, she became a lab technician in Elçin Ünal’s lab. She studied how redox state affects S. cerevisiae lifespan, and assisted in the development of a cDNA screen to identify meiosis-specific genes with rejuvenative potential. During her free time, Nicole enjoys cooking, hiking, and dancing.


Sergei Kutseikin
Sergei Kutseikin
he/him/his
Graduate Student (with Enrique Saez)
skutseikin (at) scripps.edu

Sergei, a graduate student of enigmatic countenance, immerses himself in the arcane arts of molecular alchemy. His pursuit? Unraveling the clandestine mechanisms that govern the delicate dance of insulin production within beta cells. Through the veiled mists of research, he seeks to illuminate the pathways of IRE1/XBP1s signaling, weaving a tapestry of understanding from the threads of mild pharmacological activation. A scion of knowledge hailing from the distant lands of Novosibirsk State University in Russia, Sergei’s journey began amidst the ancient tomes of chemistry. With a bachelor’s degree clasped firmly in his grasp, his scholarly endeavors led him down a path adorned with the gleaming jewels of organic radical contrast agents. Through his undergraduate odyssey, he honed his craft, synthesizing elixirs that promised improved delineation of tumors upon the canvas of MRI. Yet, Sergei’s insatiable thirst for enlightenment knew no bounds. Beyond the confines of academia, he ventured, a spectral presence in the realm of cancer research. As a research assistant, he delved into the abyssal depths of immunotherapy, seeking to unveil new vistas of healing amidst the shadows of affliction. But even amidst the alchemical crucibles and labyrinthine corridors of academia, Sergei finds solace in the simpler pleasures of life. In the twilight hours, when the whispers of the night intertwine with the rustle of parchment, he finds respite in the embrace of literature. Through the culinary arts, he weaves spells of flavor and aroma, crafting potions of sustenance to nourish both body and soul. And amidst the verdant embrace of nature’s bosom, he wanders, a solitary figure amidst the towering peaks and whispering pines, seeking communion with the elemental forces that bind us all. Thus, Sergei, a phantom of the laboratory, dances upon the stage of discovery, his enigmatic presence a testament to the eternal quest for understanding in the labyrinth of existence. – bio in the style of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, as per request.


Chavin Buasakdi
Chavin Buasakdi
he/him/his
Graduate Student
cbuasakdi (at) scripps.edu

Chavin is a graduate student in the Wiseman lab working to identify which pharmacologic activator of unfolded protein response protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as neuropathy and Alzheimer’s. Chavin graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology and a master’s degree in bacteriology. His research experience at Madison involved the metabolomic and lipidomic studies of bacterial biofilm during its formation and bacteriophage infection in the lab of Daniel Amador-Noguez. Outside of the lab, Chavin enjoys a variety of activities outdoors and indoors- photography, hiking, ice skating, skiing, cooking, playing games, and playing electric guitar.

Chavin is a part of the Skaggs-Oxford program and is supported by the Royal Thai Government fellowship.


Emanuel Irizarry
Emanuel Irizarry
he/him/his
Graduate Student (with Katja Lamia)
eirizarry (at) scripps.edu

Emanuel is a graduate student in the Wiseman and Lamia labs studying how circadian rhythms affect drug efficacy, emphasizing on metabolic drugs. Emanuel graduated from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM) and Antillean University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology, respectively. During his undergrad, he conducted research in various labs at UPRM and participated in summer undergraduate research programs at Rutgers University and Scripps Research, acquiring a broad research background. His research experience ranges from characterizing explosives using novel spectroscopy approaches to quantitatively analyzing pharmaceutical drug biodegradation using quantitative electrochemical techniques and analyzing how circadian rhythm disruption links to enhanced tumorigenesis. During his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping, swimming, cooking, and playing piano and flute music.


Sophia Krasny
Sophia Krasny
she/her/hers
Undergraduate Intern
skrasny (at) scripps.edu

Sophia is an undergraduate student at Northeastern University and will be graduating in 2024 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in Philosophy. As a research intern, she is studying HRI and its role in the ISR. Sophia is working with and learning from Nicole, while also taking directives from other lab members to assist the Wiseman lab in their effort to unveil critical mechanisms regulating the ISR. Sophia is interested in learning more about stress-induced molecular mechanisms, and their implications for neurodegenerative diseases. Outside of lab, Sophia can be found running, surfing, reading, or baking.


Sam Oviedo
Sam Oviedo
she/her/hers
Graduate Student
soviedo (at) scripps.edu

My name is Sam, so Sam I am, and I’m in the Grotjahn and Wiseman fam. I’m from the Alamo, so all you know, I came to Scripps to learn and grow. Mitochondria are key, for you and me, and I love to mess with them and see. Sometimes they’re long, sometimes they’re stout, and sometimes they’re angry and just kind of shout. It’s my hope, with my trusty ‘scope, to map these changes as mitochondria cope. The pictures are gorgeous, and sometimes glorious, and I’ll continue to take them until I’m victorious. Give me some time, and you will find, the continued development of my mind. I’m excited to be here, but I’ll never show it, but if you talk with me, you’ll most certainly know it. - bio in the style of Dr. Seuss, as per request.

Sam is supported by a predoctoral fellowship from NSF.


Keishla Sanchez Ortiz
Keishla Sanchez Ortiz
she/her/hers
Graduate Student (with Alejandra Mendoza)
ksanchez (at) scripps.edu

In the shadowy recesses of the Wiseman and Mendoza labs at Scripps, Keishla’s presence echos with an eerie resonance. In the oppressive silence of the lab, she toils tirelessly to define the pathologic and therapeutic implications of arm-selective UPR activation on T-cell differentiation and function. As Keishla wanders deeper into the labyrinthine corridors of knowledge, her footsteps reverberate like a dirge through the desolate halls. The sterile environment, once a sanctuary of science, now harbors secrets that defy the laws of nature that Keishla seeks to uncover. Keishla’s journey into the unknown began long before Scripps, for she emerged from the shadows of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, where she earned a bachelor degree in Industrial Biotechnology. The tendrils of her academic pursuit reached far and wide, weaving through the sinister tapestry of labs at the SSRL SLAC National Accelerator and Abbvie, each contributing a chapter to her quest. In the dead of night, when the laboratory lay dormant, whispers of her research ring through the empty halls, leaving behind a chilling legacy of experiments that defied the natural order, only known to her. - bio in the style of ‘horror’ as per request


Prakhyat Mathur
Prakhyat Mathur
he/him/his
Graduate Student (with Gabe Lander)
pmathur (at) scripps.edu

I tell ya, folks, I’m in the academic rat race, but I get no respect! I’m over here, trying to unravel the mysteries of proteins like they’re some kind of cosmic puzzle, and all I get is blank stares and mutterings of ‘good luck with that’ from my peers. Growing up, I was all about the X-Men, you know? Mutations, superpowers, the whole shebang! So, naturally, I figured genetics and biotech were my bag. Went through high school and undergrad in India, soaking up everything I could about DNA and biotechnology like a sponge in a lab coat. Then, I land myself in Pennsylvania State University, diving headfirst into a Professional Masters program in Biotechnology. And let me tell ya, that was my first real taste of the big leagues. Drug discovery, biotech industry… it was like swimming with sharks in a sea of pipettes. After I graduated, I hightailed it to San Francisco faster than you can say ‘PCR’. Worked at this startup, tinkering away with proteins like SARM1, trying to figure out how they’re making axons go haywire in neurological disorders. Hit-to-lead campaigns, driving drugs to the clinic… it was like playing biochemistry chess with a side of lab-coated swagger! But hey, I ain’t done yet! Now, I’m back in the academic trenches at Scripps Research, ready to bridge the gap between academia and industry. Structural biology, biochemistry, you name it – I’m on a mission to answer the big questions, the ones that could maybe, just maybe, change lives down the road. When I’m not sciencing it up in the lab, you’ll find me kickin’ back at the movies, catching waves by the beach, or chowing down on some of the meanest baja fish tacos this side of the border. Hey, even a protein sleuth needs to refuel, am I right? - bio in the style of ‘Rodney Dangerfield’, as per request


Rama Aldakhlallah
Rama Aldakhlallah
she/her/hers
Graduate Student (with Ilia Droujinine )
raldakhlallah (at) scripps.edu

Once upon a time, amidst the bustling streets of Jasmine City, Damascus, life unfurled like a tragic melody, particularly for a young lass such as myself. Yet, amidst the tumult, I unearthed my true vocation in foreign soil. Within the corridors of secondary education, a passion for the sciences took root, intertwining with my very essence. And when the arcane mysteries of biochemistry beckoned at Stonehill College, it felt as though fate itself conspired in my favor. Henceforth, I embarked upon a quest, toiling ceaselessly, weaving through a labyrinth of menial occupations, steadfast in my pursuit of knowledge. The coveted Ph.D. in biochemistry became my Holy Grail, an emblem of my indomitable will to carve a niche within the realm of science. Nothing could thwart this maiden’s ascent. Now, I find myself ensconced within the hallowed halls of the Wiseman and Droujinine labs, unraveling the enigma of how stress orchestrates metabolic symphonies within the gut that propagate to define biochemical intricacies across diverse tissues. Yet, amidst the rigors of academia, I steal moments of respite, wandering the verdant trails or concocting culinary delights, briefly casting off the mantle of scholarly pursuit before plunging once more into the fray. - bio in the style of ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’

Rama is supported by a predoctoral fellowship from NSF



Lab Alumni (gone but not forgotten)


Kelsey Baron, PhD - Graduate student
2020 - 2024
Subsequent Position: Completing MD/PhD @UCSD


Dan Fuentes - Graduate student
2021 - 2024
Subsequent Position: Woodworking


Jessica Rosarda, PhD (and Elsie) - Graduate student
2017 - 2023
Subsequent Position: Assistant Professor @ Uniformed Services University


Lara Ibrahim, PhD - Graduate student
2018 - 2023
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Belharra


Jaleh Mesgarzadeh, PhD - Graduate student
2018 - 2023
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Belharra


Valerie Perea, PhD - Graduate student
2018 - 2023
Subsequent Position: Postdoc


Bibiana Rius, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2018 - 2022
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Elsie


Albert Song, PhD - Graduate Student
2017 - 2022
Subsequent Position: Medical School @ UCSD


Belle Romine, PhD - Graduate Student
2017 - 2021
Subsequent Position: Consultant


Dorian Rosen, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2019 - 2021
Subsequent Position: Science Writer


Vivian Dolina, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2016 - 2021
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Takeda


Aparajita Madhavan, PhD - Graduate Student
2015 - 2021
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Vividion


Ethan Smith-Cohen - AYRIU intern
2020 - 2021
Subsequent Position: Senior @ Oberlin College


Mia Shin, PhD - Graduate Student
2017 - 2021
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Sanofi


Julia Grandjean, PhD - Graduate Student
2016 - 2020
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Protego


Justine Lebeau, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2015 - 2020
Subsequent Position: Research Scientist @ Bristol-Meyers-Squibb


Cristina Puchades, PhD - Graduate student (with Gabe Lander)
2015 - 2019
Subsequent Position: Postdoctoral Fellow - Cheng lab @ UCSF


Lauren Cech - Post-bac
2018 - 2019
Subsequent Position: Graduate student @ UCSF


Lars Plate, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2013 - 2017
Subsequent Position: Assistant Professor @ Vanderbilt


Kai-Chun Chen, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2015 - 2017
Subsequent Position: Scientist @ Encodia


Song Qu, PhD - Graduate student
2011 - 2016
Subsequent Position: IP Portfolio Management and Licensing Associate @ Cedars-Sinai


Jaclyn Saunders - Graduate student
2012 - 2017
Subsequent Position: Scientist @ Semba Biosciences


T. Kelly Rainbolt, PhD - Graduate student
2010 - 2016
Subsequent Position: Postdoctoral fellow - Frydman lab @ Stanford


John Chen, PhD - Graduate student
2013 - 2015
Subsequent Position: Postdoctoral Fellow - Kampmann lab @ UCSF


Christina Cooley, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2011 - 2015
Subsequent Position: Assistant professor @ Trinity


Joseph C. Genereux, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2010 - 2015
Subsequent Position: Assistant professor @ UC-Riverside


Estella Gustilo, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2009 - 2012
Subsequent Position: Adjunct assistant professor @ CUNY


Neli Atanassova, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
2009 - 2012
Subsequent Position: Project manager @ AstraZeneca


Matt Shoulders, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
2010 - 2012
Subsequent Position: Associate professor @ MIT


Undergrad Interns


Nadav Benhamou Goldfajn
Summer 2022
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ Johns Hopkins


Lillian Shallow
Summer 2018,2019
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ UC-Berkeley


Bryan Seguinot
Summer 2017
Subsequent Position: Grad Student @ Harvard


Bianca Nguyen
2016 - 2017
Subsequent Position: Grad Student @ Vanderbilt


Nicole Madrazo
Summer 2016
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ UC Berkeley


Jonah Rector
Summer 2016
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ Berea College


Bryan Lu
Summer 2015
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ UCLA


Sofia Gonzalez
Summer 2015
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ Truman State


Rigo Cintron-Colon
Summer 2013
Subsequent Position: Grad Student @ Scripps


Nicole DePolo
Summer 2012
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ Macalester


Kelly Montgomery
Summer 2012
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ Michigan State


Amanda Harvey
Summer 2011
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ USC


High School Interns


Emily Chen
Summer 2022
Subsequent Position: High School Senior


Grace Kim
Summer 2022
Subsequent Position: High School Senior


Reva Agashe
Fall 2017-Spring 2018
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ UC-Berkeley


Aadil Rehan
Fall 2017-Spring 2018
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ UCLA


Nicole Wang
Summer 2017
Subsequent Position: High School Senior


Mary Anthony
Summer 2017
Subsequent Position: High School Senior


Nicole Madrazo
Summers 2014, 2015
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ UC-Berkeley


Lesly Basave
2010 - 2014
Subsequent Position: Undergraduate @ Point Loma Nazarene