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Lab Members

Christina (Tina) Gremel, PhD, is the principal investigator and an associate professor in the Department of Psychology here at UC San Diego. She is also affiliated with The Neurosciences Graduate Program and Kavli Institute for Brain & Mind. Tina obtained her B.S. in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota, PhD at Oregon Health & Science University, and post-doc at NIH/NIAAA until starting her own lab here at UC San Diego Fall 2015.


Emily Baltz is a 5th year Neurosciences PhD student (matriculated 2018) working on cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic interactions controlling decision-making and actions.  Emily completed her B.S. at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she worked in the Stubbs Lab mapping the expression of various isoforms of AUTS2 in developing mouse brains. She occupies her time outside the lab reading, hiking, and volunteering. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Andrew Wright PhD is a new postdoc in the lab hailing from Carl Lupica’s lab. He’s the resident slice physiologist, and excited to be diving into the behavioral domain.

Natalie Paredes is a new graduate student in UCSD Psychology’s Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience program. She is interested in studying the neural substrates of decision making and the disruptions in decision making that characterizes psychiatric illnesses. Prior to joining the lab, Natalie did a one year post-bacc in the Wassum lab at UCLA where she studied how stress influences behavioral strategy in mice. She received her B.A. in Psychology at Cal State Northridge where she was funded by NIH BUILD PODER to conduct research in her first undergraduate lab experience up until the end of her post-bacc. Natalie is always happy to connect via Twitter and LinkedIn.

Jialin (Joyce) He received her B.S. in Psychological and Brain Science and expect to graduate from the M.S. program in Computational Social Science in June 2023. She is interested in exploring the underlying neural mechanism of decision-making from both experimental and computational perspective. She hopes to pursue a PhD in neuroscience to further investigate related questions.

Seamus McGarvey is a new assistant researcher in the lab and spearheading our marmoset work in collaboration with the Miller lab!

Current Absolutely Amazing Undergrads

Yuewen (Wendy) Wang is a 4th-year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego. She expects to receive her B.S in Clinical Psychology and Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience with honors in 2023. Wendy’s research interests are focused on exploring neuropsychological circuits associated with substance use and maladaptive relationships between behavior and cognition in psychiatric disorders. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology and conduct clinical research on related topics. In her spare time, Wendy enjoys baking, being active, creating art pieces, and discovering new restaurants.

Tianyu (Cassie) Wang is a 2nd-year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego. She expects to receive her B.S in Psychology: Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience with honors in 2025. Cassie is interested in studying the neurological mechanism underlying decision-making and alcohol addiction. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience to explore more on this topic.

Jennifer Alvarez is a 4th-year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego. In Spring 2023, Jennifer will receive her B.S. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology with honors. For Jennifer’s honors thesis, she explored how foraging-based decision-making in a naturalistic setting. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology to further investigate her research interests.


Chloe Shields PhD (2017-2022)- Data analyst at StubHub

Christian Cazares PhD (2017-2022)- NSF GRFP, DSPAN NIH K99/R00 awardee, postdoc with Kay Tye at Salk Institute

Ege Yalcinbas, PhD (2016-2022) – NIH NRSA F31, postdoc with Keri Martinowich and Kristen Maynard at Lieber Institute Institute

Drew Schreiner, PhD (2015-2021) – NIH NRSA F31, postdoc with Richard Mooney at Duke

Rafael Renteria- PhD (2015-2021) – NIH NRSA F32, Senior Scientist now in biotech based here in La Jolla!

Prior Undergrads

Amia Loveless- undergrad at Spelman College

Trista Pradhan

Tamara Shabi

Pixie Rose – PhD Student at UCSD Psychology

Eman Abdulkadir

Mariela Lopez-Valencia – PhD Student at University of Pennsylvania

Rama Kelkar

Joselyn Perez- Post Bac

Roxana Demehri

Esra Elhendy

Ni “Jenny ” Zhen

Dolly Mizner