C. Savio Chan, PhD


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Dr. Chan started his research group in 2012 at Northwestern University, Department of Physiology.

The overarching research objective of his laboratory is to study cellular communications in the brain and how disruption of these processes contributes to neurological dysfunctions. The primary focus has been on reconstructing the electrical properties, signal transduction mechanisms, and anatomical connectivity of identified neuron classes in the external globus pallidus (GPe). The yielded knowledge should inform the roles of the GPe in controlling motor function in both health and disease. The impact of Dr. Chan's work is demonstrated by the clinical trials driven by his research.


Alexandria Granados


Alexandria received her undergraduate degree in Biology from North Park University, Chicago, IL.  After working in an emergency veterinarian clinic, she joined the Chan laboratory in October 2016.  She enjoys volunteering and making a commitment to programs that assist inner city youth.  Alexandria is interested in the Master of Public Health Program at Northwestern.

Nicole Curtis


Nicole received her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, along with a minor in Chemistry in 2017. She joined the Chan Lab in August 2018 after moving back home to Chicago. She enjoys spending time with family and exploring what the city has to offer. She plans to continue on to graduate school once she has been able to explore more fields and job opportunities.

Brianna Berceau


Brianna earned her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology in 2015 from Emory University. She joined the Chan lab in January 2017 and is particularly interested in understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie neurodegenerative disease. Brianna is a sports enthusiast with a passion for the outdoors, working out and spending time with family. She plans to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a specialization in neurology.

Qiaoling Cui, PhD


Qiaoling received her PhD from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She exchanged in Chan lab during the last two years of her PhD study. After graduation in 2012, she joined Chan lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Utilizing mostly ex vivo approaches, she has been studying synaptic transmission in the basal ganglia and how it is altered in mouse models of Parkinson's disease. She is interested in continuing research with the basal ganglia and integrating more studies with intact animals. After work, she enjoys hiking, classical concert and appreciates the nature beauty of the US.

Harry Xenias, PhD


Harry received his PhD from Rutgers University. He is a post-doctoral fellow studying alterations of pallidostriatal input in both healthy rodents and rodent models of Parkinson’s Disease with the goal of understanding normal basal ganglia circuit function and how it goes awry in disease.  He uses both ex vivo and in vivo techniques that include whole-cell recording and optogenetics.  On his off-hours, he enjoys working out and running.

Suraj Cherian, PhD


Suraj received his PhD from the University of Vermont. He is currently trying to understand how intrinsic and synaptic properties of striatal projection neurons are altered in dysregulated neural circuits related to Parkinson's disease and dystonia. Apart from work, he enjoys spending time with his family.

Arin Pamukcu


Arin is a graduate student in the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. During her undergraduate studies, she worked with Dr. Cagla Eroglu on astrocytic regulation of synapse formation for her graduation with distinction project and received HHMI undergraduate fellowships for two years. For her graduate work, she is interested in understanding how alterations in the basal ganglia circuits lead to movement disorders. Outside of lab, Arin enjoys running, traveling, and being outdoors.

Zack Abecassis


Zack is a third year medical student at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He also received undergraduate degrees in Industrial Engineering and Economics from Northwestern University. He was recently awarded a Howard Hughes Research Fellowship and will be spending the year in the lab working to classify a distinct class of neuron within the external globus pallidus. Outside of the lab, Zack enjoys spending time with his family, watching Chicago sports (with the exception of the White Sox) and spending time outdoors.

Daniela Garcia, MD


Daniela received her medical doctor degree in 2014 from the Central University of Venezuela. She is passionate about neuroscience and came to United States pursuing an academic career within a residency in Neurosurgery. Outside the lab, Daniela enjoys eating in restaurants, traveling, and playing ukulele.

Xixun (Flora) Du, PhD


Xixun received her PhD from the Medical College of Qingdao University in China. Her scientific work has focused on the effects of ATP-sensitive potassium channel activations on iron transport in dopaminergic cells during the development of Parkinson’s disease. She joined the Chan Lab in July 2018 and is interested in the important role of external globus pallidus in the modulation of movement in Parkinson’s disease. Outside of the lab, she likes to listen to music and enjoys life with her family.

Isabel Fan


Isabel is a part of Northwestern University’s class of 2019 where she is studying Neuroscience and Global Health. She began working in Chan Lab her freshman year of college and is currently researching the role of lactate shuttle systems in supporting mouse motor behavior. Isabel has many random interests such as knitting and fishkeeping, but most often spends her free time exercising at the university gym, cooking food, or spending time with friends. Her future plans include attending medical school and becoming a physician. 

Jeff Win


Jeff is an undergraduate student at Northwestern University. He is currently majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in physiology and minoring in Economics. He joined the Chan Lab in January 2017 and is interested in studying the cellular makeup of the GPe and the neuronal pathways that could contribute to Parkinsonian symptoms. In his free time, he plays piano or goes to the gym.

Ahana Narayanan


Ahana is a sophomore at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. She joined the Chan Lab in June of 2018, and is interested in how disruption of cellular communications in the brain can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, and what we can do to develop novel treatments. Apart from working at the lab, Ahana enjoys singing, the arts, and spending time with her family and friends

Shubha Verma


Shubha is a junior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. She joined Chan Lab in September 2017, and she's interested in understanding the neural pathways and interactions behind Parkinson's disease. She hopes to study biology in the future, and in her free time she writes, plays volleyball, and plays music.

Alyssa Bebenek


Alyssa is a junior at St. Charles East High School. She joined Chan lab in June of 2018, with an interest in understanding the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological basis for Parkinsonian symptoms. Apart from the lab, Alyssa enjoys playing on her school's volleyball team, reading, and being outside with her dogs, family and friends. 

Together. Everyone. Achieves. More.


Alumni & current positions

Jason Pitt, PhD

Assistant professor, University of Evansville

Kelly Glajch, PhD

Scientist I, Neurology Research, Biogen

Vivian Hernandez, PhD

Scientific writer, Takeda

Alan Goldberg, MD

Cardiology fellow, Rush University Medical Center

Katherine Young, MD

Pulmonary critical care fellow, Loyola University Medical Center

Tina Huang, MSc

Research Tech II, Department of Neurological Surgery, Lurie Children's Hospital

Ellie Hong

M.D. student, Northwestern University

Mike Fiske

Ph.D. student, Northwestern University

Elizabeth Augustine

Medical student, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University