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Principal Investigator

Paul Tesar

The Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Therapeutics

Director, Institute for Glial Sciences

Case Western Reserve University
School of Medicine

Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences

PhD, University of Oxford
BS, Case Western Reserve University

Our team

Groundbreaking science thrives in inclusive environments where all teammates have access to equitable opportunities designed to help them grow and excel. The Tesar Lab is tirelessly committed to empowering tomorrow’s scientific leaders through individual mentoring and creating opportunities for career advancement.


Mayur Madhavan, PhD

Research Scientist.

PhD, Miami University.

BS in genetics, University of Georgia.

Yuka Maeno-Hikichi, PhD

Research Scientist.

PhD University of Tokyo, MS Osaka University.

BS in Biology and Chemistry, International Christian University in Tokyo

Elizabeth Shick

Lab manager.

BS in Biology and Chemistry, Cleveland State University.


Ben Clayton, PhD

PhD in Neurobiology, University of Chicago

BS in biology, University of Utah.

Marissa Scavuzzo, PhD

PhD in developmental biology, Baylor College of Medicine.

BS in neuroscience and biology, Baldwin Wallace University.

Jake Cawley, DVM

DVM Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, DACVIM (Oncology).

Colorado State University, MS Clinical Sciences.

Colorado State University, BS Biology

Graduate students

William J Wulftange

MSTP (MD/PhD) candidate.

BS in chemistry, University of Nevada.

MSc in organic chemistry, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Rania Ziar PhD

BA in Neuroscience and Minor in chemistry, Oberlin College.

Alsedeaq Hawamdeh

BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University

Jessica Muiños

CWRU PREP Scholar.

BS in biomedical science and neuroscience, Bradley University.

Jesse Zhan

MSTP (MD/PhD) candidate.

BS in Neuroscience and Applied Mathmatics and Statistics, Johns Hopkins University.

Ying Xiong

MSTP (MD/PhD) candidate.

BA in Biochemistry and Biology, University of Pennsylvania.

Kate Letai

MSTP (MD/PhD) candidate.

BA in neuroscience Princeton University.

Erin Cohn

MSTP (MD/PhD) candidate.

BA in chemistry and molecular biology and biochemistry, Wesleyan University.

Undergraduate Students

Naya Alsouss

Simons Foundation Shenoy Undergraduate Research Fellow in Neuroscience

Biology Major at John Carroll University

Avi Gupta


Double major in Economics and Biology

Catherine Yu

CWRU Biology Major

Nicholas Li

CWRU Cognitive Science Major

Jeyashri Rameshbabu

CWRU Neuroscience Major.

Arul Mehta

CWRU Neuroscience Major.

Anushka Nikhil

CWRU Neuroscience Major.

Varun Kompala

CWRU Biology Major.

Isha Shah

CWRU Cognitive Science Major.

Aritra Nag

CWRU Biomedical Engineering Major.

Alka Tomar

CWRU Biology Major.

Bruce Armstrong

CWRU Biochemistry Major.

Kristin Lee

CWRU Neuroscience and Psychology Major. Getting a masters in Bioethics and Medical Humanities.


Audrey Lawless

2023 high school student, Firestone Community Learning Center.

RiseUp NEO Summer Scholar.

Kemuel Cruz

2023 high school student, Lincoln-West High School.

RiseUp NEO Summer Scholar.

Soda Guisse

2023 University of Cincinnati undergraduate, medical sciences major.

NHLBI summer research intern.

Noah Geller

2012 high school student Hawken School.

Went on to -University of Pennsylvania

Sonia Godbole

2012 Duke Undergraduate Neuroscience major.

Went on to -MD student, University of Cincinnati

Internal Medicine Resident, Washington University in St. Louis

Austin Haynesworth

2010 high school student Beachwood High School.

Went on to -Yale University

Shreya Nayak

2010-2011 CWRU Undergraduate Psychology and Bioethics majors.

Went on to -MD student, The Ohio State University

Neurology resident, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Neurologist, Mayo Clinic.

Christian Castro Ruiz

2010-2011 CWRU PREP scholar.

Went on to -PhD student, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

Shannon Wu

2011 high school student Orange High School.

Went on to -Stanford University

Irene Tsung

2011-2012 CWRU MS Student Biomedical Engineering

2010-2011 CWRU Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Major

Went on to -MD student, Indiana University

Internal Medicine Resident, University of Michigan

Internal Medicine Physician and Instructor, University of Michigan.

Leslie Cooperman

2009-2013 research assistant.

Went on to -RN student, CWRU

Clinical Research Nurse, Cleveland Clinic.

Jonathon Wanta

2010-2014 CWRU Undergraduate Psychology and Spanish majors.

Went on to -MD student, CWRU

Psychiatry Resident, University of Washington.

Sue Roy

2012-2015 High School Student Hathaway Brown School.

Went on to -University of Pennsylvania.

Fadi Najm

2009-2015 Research Scientist

Went on to -PhD student, Harvard University.

Primary Investigator, Broad Institute.

Angela Lager

2011-2015 CWRU BSTP (PhD) student.

Went on to -ABMG Clinical Molecular and Cytogenetics Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Assistant Professor, University of Chicago.

William Qu

2012-2016 CWRU Undergraduate, Biochemistry major.

Went on to -MD student, Emory.

Carney Blake

2015 & 2016 High School student Orange High School.

Went on to -Wheaton College.

Tyler Miller

2012-2016 CWRU MSTP (MD/PhD) student.

Went on to -Pathology Resident, Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital.

Bobby Karl

2011-2016 CWRU MS student in genetics.

Went on to -JD student, CWRU.

Intellectual Property Attorney, Jones Day.

Kristen Navarro

2016-2017 CWRU PREP Scholar.

Went on to -PhD Student, Ohio State University.

Zach Nevin

2012-2017 CWRU MSTP (MD/PhD) Student.

Went on to -Board of Directors, ASHG

Postdoc, Gladstone Institutes.

Dan Factor

2011-2017 CWRU BSTP (PhD) Student.

Went on to -Senior Scientist, Convelo Therapeutics.

Lili Barbar

2014-2018 CWRU Undergraduate, Biology major.

Went on to -Associate Scientist, NYSCF

MD/PhD Student, Washington University in St. Louis.

Hannah Olsen

2012-2014 High School Student.

2018 Summer Undergraduate.

Went on to -MD student, Harvard.

Sam Qian

2017-2018 CWRU Undergraduate, Cognitive Science and Economics Majors.

Matt Elitt

2013-2018 CWRU MSTP (MD/PhD) Student.

Went on to - Ophthalmology Resident, Washington University in St. Louis.

Alaina Scavuzzo

2019 High School Student Highland High School.

Went on to -The Ohio State University.

Baraa Nawash

2015 & 2016 High school Student Brunswick High School.

2016-2020 CWRU Undergraduate, Biology Major.

Went on to -MD Student, University of Pittsburgh.

Lucille Hu

2017-2020 CWRU Undergraduate, Medical Anthropology and Biology Major.

Went on to -MD Student, CWRU.

Artur Gevorgyan

2018-2019 CWRU Undergraduate, Biochemistry Major, 2019-2021 Postbac Scholar.

Went on to -PhD Student, Brown/NIH.

Aakash Shah

2018-2021 CWRU Undergraduate, Economics Major.

Went on to -MD Student, CWRU.

Krisha Keeran

2020-2021 CWRU Undergraduate.

Went on to -University of Iowa.

Shay McDermott

2020-2022 High School student Shaker Heights High School.

Went on to -Case Western Reserve University.

Kevin Allan

2016-2021 CWRU MSTP (MD/PhD) Student.

Went on to - Medical School, CWRU.

James Kristell

2018-2021 CWRU Undergraduate, Biology Major, 2021-2022 Postbac Scholar.

Went on to -MD student, Vanderbilt.

Amisha Kumar

2019-2022 CWRU Undergraduate, Biochemistry Major.

Went on to - MD student, Kansas City University College of Medicine.

Tanishka Mhaskar

2021-2022 CWRU Undergraduate, Neuroscience Major.

Isak Barnett

2022 High School Student, Lincoln-West High School.

RiseUp NEO Summer Scholar.

Sara Yacoub

2019-2023 CWRU Undergraduate Biology Major.

Went on to -MD student, CWRU.

Annalise Sturno

2019-2022 CWRU Undergraduate Cognitive Science and Biology Major. 2022-2023 Postbac Scholar.

Went on to -PhD student, University of Colorado.

Alexis Kerr

2022-2023 Research Assistant.

Went on to - Nursing Student, Tri-C.