Former Lab Members

Information about former members of the State Lab is preserved here. Please keep in mind, these profiles are not updated after their subjects leave the lab, which means that educational and biographical information may not be up-to-date.

Jeremy Willsey (Postdoctoral Scholar)


PhD, Genetics, Yale University (2014)
MPhil, Genetics, Yale University (2013)
BSc, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada (2010)

Jeremy's current research aims to utilize a systems biological approach in order to understand mechanistic convergence among genes strongly implicated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other complex neuropsychiatric disorders.

By leveraging several unique datasets including a spatiotemporal map of gene expression in the developing and adult human brain and maps of gene-gene regulatory relationships, Jeremy recently demonstrated that the diverse set of ASD genes identified by whole-exome sequencing appear to converge at specific points of development and in specific regions of the developing human brain. More specifically, cortical projection neurons in the prefrontal cortex during midfetal development appear to be a critical nexus of ASD risk (Willsey et al. 2013). In addition to outlining a novel paradigm for understanding the underlying mechanisms of a complex disorder, this research has provided a path forward to an actionable understanding of ASD biology. 

Jeremy is currently following up this research with targeted in vitro and in vivo analyses as well as expanding the systems biology analysis to include the newest set of implicated genes, single cell gene expression data, and regulatory network information. Furthermore, by extending this approach to other neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, he aims to better understand the differences and commonalities between ASD and these other disorders.

More Information
Jeremy's UCSF profile


Emily Pfannenstiel (Staff Research Associate)

Emily Pfannenstiel

BA, Psychology and Art, Connecticut College (2012)

Dates with the State Lab

Emily works on the State Lab’s clinical team. She is involved in scoring data and analyzing neuropsychological measures relevant to dimensions of behavior in ASD. She is also involved in preparing IRB applications, renewals, and amendments. Prior to coming to the State Lab, Emily conducted research in Clinical Psychology at Yale University and University of California, Berkeley, and she has worked as a behavioral therapist for children on the Autism Spectrum. Emily also gained a great deal of clinical experience through her work as a Teach For America Corps Member.


Wipa Panmontha (Graduate Student)

Wipa Panmontha (image)

Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2010)

Dates with State Lab
March 2014–January 2015

Wipa is a graduate student in the Medical Science program at Chulalongkorn University. She joined the State Lab in March 2014, and she is working on using next-generation sequencing to identify human disease genes.