Michael Wilson is a Professor of Neurology in the Division of Neuroimmunology and Glial Biology and directs the UCSF Center for Encephalitis and Meningitis. After finishing med school at UCSF and neurology residency at Harvard, he did two years of postdoctoral training in neurovirology with WP Duprex at BU's National Emerging Infectious Diseases Labs before returning to UCSF to train in metagenomics and microbiology with Joe DeRisi in the Dept of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Camille Fouassier is the Lab Manager in the Wilson Lab since May 2021. She received her Master's in Immuonology and Molecular Biology from Polytech France in 2014 and worked for 4 years at the Institut Curie in Paris to develop and then manage the CRISPR-based genome-wide screening core facility. Her new hobbies are using single cell technologies to discover new biomarkers for multiple sclerosis and to annoy her colleagues to have a proper “entrée-plat-dessert-café” lunch together everyday (French style).

Ravi Dandekar earned his Master’s degree in Integrative Genetics and Genomics from the University of California, Davis in 2016. He utilizes his expertise in Neurobiology and Bioinformatics to explore functional methods to better understand complex diseases and developmental disorders. In 2017 he joined the Wilson lab as a Bioinformatics Programmer.

Kelsey Zorn coordinates the DeRisi and Wilson labs' pathogen detection and autoantibody projects, often interacting directly with patients and families. She has a BA in Sociology from Reed College and an MHS in Social Factors in Health from Johns Hopkins. Her favorite co-worker is a sample transportation cooler with dry ice and biohazard labels, nicknamed ‘The Boss’.

Krista McCutcheon is a neuroimmunology specialist in the Wilson lab. She holds an M.Sc. in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McMaster University. She worked in the Biotech Bay industry for over 20 years and is a co-inventor on drug patents and technology in diverse therapeutic areas, including immuno-oncology and infectious disease. She leverages her broad expertise with antibodies alongside emerging intersections of immunology, infectious agents and neurology, to investigate, collaborate and advance research on the pathology and mechanisms driving CNS inflammatory diseases.

Sasha Gupta is an Assistant Professor of Neurology. After completing a BA in neurobiology from UC Berkeley, an MD from Yale, and neurology residency from UCSF, Sasha completed a neuroimmunology fellowship under the mentorship of Drs. Michael Wilson and Scott Zamvil. She is studying CAR-T cell therapy in autoimmune and infectious conditions, starting with EAE mouse models with a hope to target meningeal ectopic B cell follicles as well as for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). 

Debanjana Chakravarty is a postdoctoral fellow in the Wilson and Pleasure labs working on humoral responses in SARS-CoV-2-induced neuroinflammation. She completed her Integrated Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, India, where she researched the nexus between adaptive and innate immune responses in murine coronavirus-induced neuroinflammation. 

Martineau Louiné is a clinical and postdoctoral fellow studying the host response to TB meningitis. He completed medical school in Haiti and worked for for 10 years with Partners In Health taking care of patients infected with TB and HIV. In 2013, Dr Louiné was appointed head of the outpatient clinics in a PIH teaching hospital. With the support of some US based neurologists, he established the first neurology fellowship program in Haiti. Later, he completed his residency in Neurology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Christine Boutros, a California native, graduated from Northeastern University in 2017 with a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience. While in Boston, Christine worked at Boston Children’s Hospital studying the neuroscience of motivation and later studied novel HIV therapeutics at Massachusetts General Hospital. Christine is now an MD-PhD candidate in UCSF’s Medical Scientist Training Program. She is combining her interests in neuroscience and infectious diseases by studying coccidioidomycosis (AKA Valley Fever) to better understand the factors that influence dissemination to the CNS as a means to improve patient outcomes and clinical care. 

John Pluvinage is a resident physician in Neurology and a postdoctoral fellow in the Wilson lab. He received a BS in Bioengineering from Stanford, where he worked in Irv Weissman’s lab. He then completed his MD and PhD at Stanford in the lab of Tony Wyss-Coray, investigating mechanisms of microglial impairment and rejuvenation in neurodegenerative diseases. 

Mary Karalius is a postdoctoral pediatric neuroimmunology fellow. She received her BS in Biophysics from Duke University, MD from Mayo Clinic, and pediatric neurology residency at UCSF. Mary’s research interests include using host transcriptomics to differentiate between pediatric autoimmune and infectious encephalitis.  She hopes to eventually expand this technology to improve the care of a wide variety of children with neuroinflammatory conditions. 

Melody Lun is a clinical fellow in Neonatology and a postdoctoral fellow in the Wilson and Pleasure labs. She is investigating the role of maternal autoimmunity on fetal brain development. She completed her MD/PhD training at Boston University and Boston Children’s Hospital, studying the regulation of choroid plexus-derived signaling factors in CSF.

Greer Waldrop is a postdoctoral clinical fellow. She is originally from Kentucky and completed a BA in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Louisville, a ScM in Epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, followed by MD at University of Maryland and Neurology Residency at Columbia University. She is completing neuroimmunology fellowship under the mentorship of Drs. Wilson and Pleasure focusing on the epidemiology of autoimmune diseases of the CNS.

Sumanth Reddy is a resident physician in Neurology. He received his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and MD from UT Southwestern Medical Center. As part of the Fogarty International Center's GloCal Fellowship, he will embark on research utilizing CSF metagenomics to improve the diagnosis of TB meningitis and our understanding of the host's immune response.

Megumi Sunahara received her BS in Biology with a concentration in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Cal Poly SLO. Coming from industry, she hopes to utilize her skills in research. She loves a well made puzzle and is always searching for a new and exciting escape room.

Vishal Lashkari grew up in the Bay Area and is now an undergraduate at Duke University studying biomedical engineering as well as computer science. He is working with Dr. Chakravarty on her research with PhIP-Seq and MS.

Mary Wang completed her BS in pharmacology at UCSB. She is a research associate who works on CSF mNGS. Before joining the lab, she worked on genetic factors in metabolic disease. 

ShiLu Vanasupa received a B.S. in Neuroscience, Biology, and a minor in Legal Studies from Brandeis University in 2022. She is a research associate utilizing NGS and cell sorting to examine antibodies and associated antigenic targets in neuroinflammatory autoimmune disorders. Through her work she hopes to expand access to healthcare and diagnostic options. Outside of work you can find her with a good book or on a long walk.

Akshay Sharathchandra is a staff research associate in the lab supporting the phage display workflow for antibody discovery. He earned a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester in 2021. He has worked in early-stage biotechs, developing bi-specific T-cell engagers and an engineered T-cell therapy, both for solid tumors. He hopes to explore the intersection between wet- and dry-lab work. Outside the lab, he enjoys biking, singing, and exploring SF.

Sukhman Sidhu is a clinical researcher coordinator working between the Wilson and DeRisi labs. She received her BS in Biology with a concentration in Physiology from SFSU, where she researched the relationship between multi-parasitic infections and the incidence of lyme disease within a single host. In her spare time you can find her rock climbing, playing video-games, or going to the farmers market!

Lab Alumni

Thomas Ituarte was a UCSF medical student who leveraged his background in compter engineering to characterize the relationships between HLA genotypes and antibody-peptide binding across the human proteome and virome. He is begins his Mass General Brigham Neurology residency in 2024.

Colin Zamecnik was a postdoctoral scientist working between the Wilson and DeRisi labs with a background in immunoengineering and T cell biology. He is now a senior scientist at Xaira Therapeutics.

Chloe received a BA in Immunology and Pathogenesis and a minor in Nutrition from UC Berkeley in 2020. As a Staff Research Associate, she performed flow cytometry, cell sorting and single cell sequencing to research B cells in autoimmune disorders such as MS. She is now a Master's student at Stanford in the Translational Research and Applied Medicine program. 

Tali Newman completed her BA in Psychology with an emphasis in cognition and neuroscience at UCSD. At the Wilson lab she worked as a Staff Research Associate using phage-immunoprecipitation to profile autoantibodies. 

Rebecca Bair was a Staff Research Associate working to develop novel molecular diagnostics for neurological autoimmune disorders such as MS as well as new techniques for identifying antigen-specific B cell receptors. She is an Analyst at DeciBio.

Maham Zia was a Staff Research Associate and worked on mNGS to improve diagnostics for patients with neuroinflammatory disorders, including TB meningitis. She is pursuing a Master's in Bioengineering at Cornell University.

Isobel Hawes got her PhD as part of the BMS graduate program in the Wilson lab using phage display and immune repertoire sequencing techniques to investigate CNS-specific antibody populations in HIV and AFM patients. She is now a Discovery Stage Project Manager at Stanford's Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine. 

Bonny Alvarenga was a research associate for the Wilson lab using phage display to help identify viruses and autoantibodies associated with downstream neuroinflammatory disorders. She is now a scientist at Arcus Biosciences. 

Jessa Alexander used flow cytometry and cell sorting to research B cells and immune responses in MS and patients with psychosis and also worked as Clinical Research Coordinator in the Wilson lab. She is pursuing a PhD in Psychology. 

Christopher Bartley is a psychiatrist and researcher who was a postdoctoral fellow in the Wilson and Pleasure labs working to understand the molecular links between autoimmunity and mental illness. He is now Chief of the Translational Immunopsychiatry Unit at the National Institute of Mental Health. 

Gavin Sowa was a UCSF medical student who did extensive work on viral and autoimmune antigen discovery in pediatric encephalitis and multiple sclerosis. He is now a resident in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University.

Myriam Briner was a postdoc and neurologist from Switzerland focusing on antigenic targets of clonally expanded CSF B cells in MS and is now a neurologist at the University Hospital of Bern.

Prashanth Ramachandran was a postdoc in the Wilson lab using CSF metagenomics and host transcriptomics to better understand TB meningitis and other infectious causes of meningitis and encephalitis. He is now on faculty at University of Melbourne. 

Akshaya Ramesh was a postdoctoral scholar in the Wilson lab studying metagenomic, host transcritpomic and immune repertoire datasets from patients with neuroinflammatory disorders including MS and TB meningitis. She is now a Senior Bioinformatics Scientist at Genentech. 

Rita Loudermilk worked for 4 years as a research associate and lab manager for the Wilson Lab. She used flow cytometry and cell sorting to research B cells and immune responses, focusing on autoimmune diseases such as MS. She's now a PhD student in the UCSF Biomedical Sciences Program in the Wells Lab. 

Annie Wapniarski was a research associate for 2 years working on preparing sequencing libraries for neuroinflammatory diseases. She received degrees in Molecular & Cell Biology and Classical Civilizations from UC Berkeley. She is pursuing a Master's in Public Health at NYU.

Carson Quinn was a UCSF medical student and did a yearlong research fellowship with the Wilson Lab in conjunction with the Boulware group in Kampala, Uganda. He is now a Neurology resident at the Harvard-Partners Neurology (MGH/BWH) program.

Hannah Sample was the inaugural research coordinator for the neuroinflammatory pathogen detection and autoantibody discovery program and the Program Manager for the UCSF Center for Next-Gen Precision Diagnostics and then managed the TrackCOVID Study, a collaboration between UCSF, Stanford and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. She is now a medical student at UCLA. 

Kanishka Koshal coordinated clinical studies for the Wilson Lab and for the MS group and is now a Program Manager with the Bove Lab

Ryan Schubert completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Stephen Hauser and Michael Wilson in 2020 after completing his neurology residency at UCSF and MD at Stanford and was supported by the AAN-NMSS Clinician-Scientist Development Award. He is now Senior Director and Head of Translational Medicine at Asceneuron, a neurodegeneration therapeutics company.


Michelle Grunberg was a visiting student in the Summer Research Training Program focused on optimizing metagenomic next generation sequencing for use with CSF samples. She is an undergraduate studying biology at UC Santa Barbara, after graduation she’s interested in pursuing translational research in infectious disease.


Hugo Pontes was a visiting student in the Summer Research Training Program focusing on CAR-T cell therapy for autoimmune diseases. He was an undergraduate studying chemical engineering at the University of Washington and is now getting his PhD in Immunology through the NIH Oxford-Cambridge PhD Program.

Ariele Greenfield was a Clinical Instructor in Neurology and the NMSS Kathleen C. Moore Postdoctoral Fellow. She studied B cells in the CNS, their targets, and how these relate to the development and maintenance of CNS autoimmune disease. She is now a neurologist and clinical researcher at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Lillian Khan was a research associate who works on making metagenomic sequencing libraries for the neuroinflammatory disease and pathogen discovery projects in the DeRisi and Wilson labs. She has a passion for infectious diseases and is fascinated by all nerdy things. She is now studying to become a nurse practitioner at Samuel Merritt University.

Edwina Tran coordinated clinical studies for the Wilson Lab and the MS group. She started medical school at UCSF in the fall of 2019 and then came back to the lab for a summer research rotation on TB meningitis in 2020!

Matthew Koelzer was a summer student assisting with bioinformatics and RNA sequencing data analysis in the Wilson Lab. He is currently an undergraduate at UCLA studying applied math.

Kristoffer Leon was a UCSF MSTP student and worked on Zika virus in the Ott lab. Infectious diseases, especially viruses, are both his clinical and research interest. He hopes to work with patients afflicted by neglected tropical diseases as a career after completing his Neurology residency at UCSF.

Will Harkin coordinated several clinical studies for the Wilson Lab and the MS Division after graduating from UC Berkeley with a major in Molecular and Cell Biology and a minor in Disability Studies. He then went to medical school at UC San Diego.


Hao Wu was a staff bioinformatician. He received his M.S. in Entomology from Auburn University in 2011. Prior to working in the Wilson and von Büdingen Labs, he worked as a Software Engineer at Intellisurvey. Hao is interested in both biology and computer systems and is now back working in industry.