Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Ozdinler Lab

Lab Members

Meet the Lab team members. We welcome requests for information about our work and collaboration opportunities.

Principal Investigator

P. HandeOzdinler

P. Hande Ozdinler, PhD
ozdinler( at )
Associate Professor
PhD: LSU/Health Sciences Center
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

Dr. Ozdinler receieved training in the fields of molecular biology, genetics, biotechnology, cell biology, anatomy and neuroscience. She is the recipient of Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center and NUCATS Translational Innovation awards. She is a STEM faculty and her research enabled detailed studies of upper motor neurons within the context of both health and disease.

Research Professors


Javier Jara, PhD
j-jara( at )
Research Assistant Professor
PhD: University of North Dakota, Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics (2008)
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

Dr. Javier Jara is a neuroscientist trained in the field of neurodegenerative diseases with high emphasis in ALS. During his postdoctoral training he received the prestigious Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral fellowship for ALS research to investigate the role of immunity and neuroinflammation in ALS. He has published several papers that have shed light on the importance of upper motor neuron degeneration. Currently, Dr. Jara is working in the ALS field and has received funding from ALS Association to investigate the role of TBI in ALS.

Visiting Professor


Emel Ulupinar, MD/PhD

Professor Emel Ulupinar graduated from Gazi University Faculty of Medicine in 1992. She studied at Cell Biology and Anatomy Department of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and received her PhD in 1999. Since then she has been a faculty member at Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Faculty of Medicine, Anatomy Department. She received "Distinguished Young Scientist Award" from the Turkish Academy of Sciences in 2001. She was the Congress Secretary of "First National Neuroscience Meeting" in 2002. She has been working as the head of Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Department, in Health Sciences Institute of Eskisehir Osmangazi University, since 2012.

Postdoctoral Fellows


Mukesh Gautam, PhD
mukesh.gautam( at )
PhD: University of Delhi (2013)

Mukesh Gautam joined the Ozdinler lab in June 2013 and  he is working on health and vulnerability of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in prpTDP-43A315T and Alsin Knock Out mouse model of ALS. He received his PhD in reproductive endocrinology from University of Delhi, India in 2013. During his doctoral research he studied comparative gene expression by immature and mature testicular Sertoli cells in response to FSH and testosterone hormone.


Baris Genc, PhD
b-genc( at )
PhD: Louisiana State University Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy (2004)

Dr. Baris Genc has received his PhD at Louisiana State University Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy where he investigated the role of neurotrophic factors in sensory neuron development. During his Postdoctoral training he switched from neurodevelopment to neurodegeneration field. Currently his research is focused on understanding upper motor neuron biology in ALS, and cellular and molecular mechanisms of selective motor neuron vulnerability in ALS. He was the recipient of the NIH Mechanisms of Aging and Dementia T32 training grant investigating molecular mechanisms of selective vulnerability of motor neurons in ALS.


Jodi Klessner, PhD
jodi.klessner( at )
Phd: Loyola University (2002)

Jodi was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  She obtained a Bachelors of Science from Western Michigan University and PhD in Cell Biology and Anatomy from Loyola University. Jodi joined Dr. Ozdinler’s lab in January of 2014 after spending several years at home raising her son. Jodi is using a proteomics-based approach to identify and understand the cellular and molecular pathways that are responsible for corticospinal motor neuron degeneration observed in a number of motor neuron diseases, such as several primary lateral sclerosis, hereditary spastic paraplegia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  Outside the lab, Jodi enjoys karate, being active, reading, and spending time with her family and beagle.


Jonathan RobertBrent

Jonathan Robert Brent
jonathan.brent( at )

Jonathan earned his M.D., Ph.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For his doctoral studies he investigated the mechanisms of motor neuron development and disease. He is currently completing his Neurology Residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) and will pursue his research as a participant in the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) at NMH. He is interested in studying corticospinal motor neuron selective vulnerability in ALS.

Research Staff


Ina Dervishi
ina.dervishi( at )
Post-Bachelor Fellow
Marmara University, School of Medicine

She grew up in Albania, and finished medical school in Turkey. She is interested in pursuing her residency in neurology and fellowship in neurodegenerative disorders. Outside of work she is interested in foreign languages, traveling yoga,and dancing.


Santana Sanchez
BS: Northwestern (2017)

Santana graduated from Northwestern University, with a major in Biological Sciences and Psychology. He has been working in the Ozdinler Lab since the Spring Quarter of 2015. He plans on attending medical school after graduation. He loves long walks on the beach and curling up with a good book.

Undergraduate Students


Rohit Allada


Eric Kim

Eric Kim is a second-year student at Northwestern University. He is currently studying biology and history, hoping to one day go into medicine. He has worked at the Ozdinler lab since the spring quarter of his freshman year.


Jessica Park

Seong (Jessica) Park is a second-year student at Northwestern University. She is currently studying Neuroscience and Psychology, hoping to pursue a career in medicine in the future. She has been working in the Ozdinler lab since the summer of 2017.


Edward Xie

Eddie is an undergraduate pre-med at Northwestern University studying Economics and Biology. He's been with the Ozdinler Lab since Spring of 2017. Outside hobbies include playing the piano and meditation.



Nabil Khan, MD

Current Location: Weiss Memorial Hospital, Physician

Amiko Lagrimas
amiko.lagrimas( at )
BS: Northwestern University (2015)

Current Location: MS Bioinformatics at UIC


Macdonnell Stanford
BA: Northwestern University 2014

Current Location: MD student at Georgetown University

Marina Yasvoina, PhD
PhD:Northwestern University 2013

Current Location: University College London, Post-doctoral fellow

If you'd like to join our lab, click here for more information.