Salk Institute

Asahina Lab
Asahina Lab

Asahina Lab - Personnel

From left: Margot Wohl, Andre DeSouza, Courtney Ambrosius, Kenta Asahina, Stella Kramer, Maria Villalon Landeros and Kenichi Ishii


Kenta Asahina Assistant Professorkasahina [ at ] salk [dot] edu Kenta received B.S. from the University of Tokyo, and Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. His Ph.D. thesis in Professor Leslie Vosshall’s lab elucidated a neuronal mechanism of intensity-invariant chemotaxis behavior. He received his postdoctoral training in Professor David Anderson’s lab at California Institute of Technology, where he uncovered neuronal and genetic elements controlling antagonistic behavior. From 2011 to 2013, he was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Research Overseas fellow. Since October 2014, Kenta is an Assistant Professor at The Salk Institute. He loves nature, arts and good coffee. In his scarce free time, he likes to hike trails in San Diego County, snorkel, visit art galleries and try out new cafes.

Click here for faculty website.


Kenichi IshiiPostdoctoral Fellowkishii [ at ] salk [dot] eduKenichi received a B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo, Japan. His Ph.D. thesis was focused on infectious diseases, and he studied the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions through biochemical and genetic approaches using the silkworm as a model animal. He expanded his pharmacological research with colleagues to identify a novel therapeutically effective antibiotic and the bacterial component it targets. As a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science postdoctoral fellow, he shifted his interest from micro- to macro-scaled interactions, featuring social insects such as honeybees and ants. To gain further understanding of animal behaviors at molecular and neuronal levels, he joined Kenta’s lab on April 2015 as a research associate.

Kenichi is generally interested in battles and jostling between organisms, any forms of fights for lives. Like an honest miner, he aims to excavate gems from untamed research fields. …And, he enjoys Sake, beer, and whisky!

Publication list:


Margot WohlUCSD Neuroscience Graduate Studentmwohl [ at ] salk [dot] eduMargot received her B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and stuck around Philly afterwards to work in neuroscience labs and eat the occasional cheese steak. A neuroscience graduate student, she hopes to elucidate the role of neuropeptides and neural circuit properties that give rise to aggressive behaviors. In her free time she can be found playing tennis, doting on her cat, taking pictures of insects she finds, and exploring the cave of the unknown. Also, Margot produces a podcast in which she weaves together character vignettes of Salk scientists.

Andre DeSouza

Andre DeSouzaUCSD Neuroscience Graduate Studentadesouza [ at ] salk [dot] eduAndre received a B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park. While at the University of Maryland he completed an Honors Thesis in the lab of Ricardo Araneda where he studied the cholinergic neuromodulation of mitral cells and granule cells in the olfactory bulb. As an HHMI EXROP awardee he spent two summers interning in the lab of Richard Axel studying appetitive olfactory learning behavior in Drosophila. Andre is currently a neuroscience graduate student at the University of California, San Diego. He is interested in understanding the genetic and circuit mechanisms that underlie aggression. In his free time he enjoys playing sports and hanging out at the beach.

Courtney Ambrosius

Courtney AmbrosiusResearch Assistant Icambrosius [ at ] salk [dot] eduCourtney earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from California Lutheran University. Upon graduation, she joined a molecular diagnostics team working to validate a genetic test for hereditary cancer. She enjoyed interpreting the significance of genetic variants and their associations with cancer risk, but is eager to explore new discoveries in the academic research field of neuroscience. Her ultimate goal is to positively impact global health.

Maria Villalon Landeros

Maria Villalon LanderosUndergraduate Internmladeros [ at ] salk [dot] eduMaria is a fourth year undergraduate student at UC San Diego majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Bioethics. She is interested in learning how current genetic tools and models can help guide our understanding of human behavior and brain structures. On her free time she enjoys reading science fiction books, watching a variety of TV series, cooking and discovering new dishes and exploring the outdoors!

Chun Yin (Caven) ChowUndergraduate Interncchow [ at ] salk [dot] edu


Stella Kramer, Postdoctoral Fellow
Teagen Gray Partin, Research Assistant II
Julia Liu, Undergraduate Intern
Pavan Nayak, Research Assistant I
Cheng-Lin (Vivian) Shaw, Undergraduate Intern

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