Past Members

Alan Taylor, MS, CGC
Licensed Genetic Counselor

Alan Taylor joined the Epilepsy Genetics Program in April 2016. He holds a joint position between Boston Children’s Hospital and Claritas Genomics. His role in the clinic is to provide genetic counseling to patients and families seen in the Epilepsy Genetics Clinical Consultation Program. In addition to his clinical work at Boston Children’s Hospital, he is also responsible for coordinating the Epilepsy Genomics Initiative at this site. In his position at Claritas Genomics, he is responsible for the interpretation and reporting of genomic test results. Alan received his BS in genetics from University College Cork, Ireland in 2007 and his MS in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2016.



Tsega Mekonnen Meshesha

Tsega Mekonnen Meshesha joined the Epilepsy Genetics Program in July 2015 as our first program coordinator. She managed the clinical program and was the primary point person, both for referrals and for communicating with families about scheduling and providing intake information.

Tsega graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2013 with a BA in Sociology and is a qualitative researcher by training. Prior to joining our team she worked with The Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College and the University of Gonder on a project in Gonder, Ethiopia that looked at the mental health needs of rural Ethiopian women affected by obstetric fistula. Tsega’s goal is to be a researcher that bridges the gap between access to health services and care while creating culturally sensitive interventions that addresses mental health needs among vulnerable populations.



Gabriel Dabscheck, MBBS (Hons), MClinEpi, FRACP 

Gabriel Dabscheck is an Australian trained neurologist who completed his Epilepsy training at Boston Children's Hospital. He developed an interested in the etiology of Rasmussen Encephalitis while working with Dr. Poduri. Together with Dr. Olson, Gabriel lead a project investigating potential genetic causes of Rasmussen Encephalitis. In addition to his collaborations through Boston Children's Hospital, Gabriel also completed a pediatric neuro-oncology fellow at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.



Madelen Diaz

Madelen Diaz is a former summer fellow. Prior to joining the Epilepsy Genetics Program in 2012, Madelen spent three years improving the localization of the epileptic region in patients undergoing surgery at Miami Children's Hospital. Madelen earned her BS in neuroscience with departmental honors from the University of Miami in 2013.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis University with hopes of continuing epilepsy research.

 

Alexander Jaksic

Alexander Jaksic joined the Epilepsy Genetics Program in July 2015 as a Research Assistant. He conducts genetic, biochemical and molecular biology experiments in an effort to investigate the genetic underpinnings of epilepsy. Alex graduated from Union College, Schenectady, NY in 2015 with a BS in Biochemistry. After spending a year pursuing this research, Alex now attends Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Hofstra University where he will purse his clinical interest in pediatrics.

 

McKenna Kelly

McKenna Kelly joined the Epilepsy Genetics Program as a Research Assistant in June of 2015.  She is responsible for recruiting and enrolling families to participate in research studies aiming to investigate and better understand genetic factors of epilepsy.  McKenna graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY in 2015 earning a BA in Biology and being elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  In the Fall, McKenna will start medical school at The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College where she will purse his clinical interest in pediatrics. 

 

Emilie Martin

Emilie Martin is a former student intern and trainee from France. She received her BS in biology in 2012. Emilie is currently in her first year of a master’s program in biology at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon, France.

 

Rebecca Pinsky

Rebecca Pinsky joined the Epilepsy Genetics Program in May of 2013. Her responsibilities include recruiting and enrolling families to participate in research studies.Rebecca earned her BS in Kinesiology and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2013 where she was a Peer Health Educator for exercise and nutrition for the school of Public Health and Health Sciences. She is a member of Psi Chi, the International Psychology Honors Society. Rebecca plans to become a neonatal or pediatric nurse practitioner and pursue neurology and research.

 

Sriram Ramgopal, MD

Sriram Ramgopal is a former research assistant in the Epilepsy Genetics Program. During his time in the program, he recruited and consent families for research studies and assisted in analysis of brain malformation data derived from the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project. His professional area of interest is in pediatric neurology. Sriram is a medical graduate from Sri Ramachandra Medical University and is currently completing his medical residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

 

Dimira Tambunan 

Dimira Tambunan is a former research assistant in the Epilepsy Genetics Program. From 2013 to 2015, Dimira was responsible for carrying out a variety of genetic, biochemistry, and molecular biology assays in the lab. Dimira graduated from Northeastern University in 2013 with a BS degree in Behavioral Neuroscience and is currently a medical student at Boston University. She hopes to focus on pediatric or neonatal neurology.

 

Gessica Truglio, PhD

Gessica Truglio joined the Epilepsy Genetics Program in January of 2014 as a research fellow. She worked to develop zebrafish models of PCDH19-related epilepsy. Gessica’s goals were to create a knockout of PCDH19 and also to introduce specific mutations in zebrafish to better understand the genotype-phenotype correlations in our PCDH19 patient population. She also conducted behavioral assays and drug screening in zebrafish.

Gessica received her BS in Biological Science in 2007 and her MS in Biology Applied to Biomedical Research from La Sapienza University of Rome in 2010. She received her PhD in Biotechnology in Clinical Medicine from La Sapienza University of Rome in 2013.