Salk Home | Faculty | Laboratories
Slesinger Lab > Personnel

Slesinger Lab - Personnel

Principal Investigator

Paul A. Slesinger

Paul A. Slesinger, The PI
Paul started his lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies at the end of 1997.  Prior to that, he received his B.A. from Reed College in 1984. In 1991, he received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco.  In 1997, he completed postdoctoral studies in Dr. Lily Jan’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco, and then moved to the Salk Institute.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Bartosz Balana

Bartosz Balana, Postdoctoral Fellow 2006
Bartosz joined the lab in 2006. After obtaining MSc degree in Pharmacy from Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland, he did his PhD studies at the International Max-Planck Research School in Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering in Dresden, Germany. Working under the supervision of Prof. Ursula Ravens, he initially investigated the function of K(ATP) channels in atrial fibrillation. He then studied the ion channels expressed in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and in cardiac differentiated adult and embryonic stem cells. In the Slesinger lab, Bartosz is currently investigating the molecular details of SNX27-PDZ binding to GIRK channels and the rules for trafficking of GIRK channels in neurons.

Claire Padgett

Claire Padgett, Postdoctoral Fellow 2007
Claire joined the lab in 2007. After studying for her Master’s in Biochemistry at the University of Bath, UK in 2003, she completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK in 2006. For her PhD, Claire worked with Dr. Lummis and studied the structure-function relationship of the GABAA and 5-HT3 receptors focusing on the properties of ligand binding. In the Slesinger lab, she is studying the effects of repeated methamphetamine administration on GIRK channel trafficking and function in the brain.

Laia Bahima

Laia Bahima, Postdoctoral Fellow 2008
Laia joined the lab in 2008. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona, Spain in 2006, where she studied ATP release mechanisms in Xenopus oocytes. She joined David Williams’ lab at UC San Diego in November 2006 for postdoctoral training. She used lentiviral gene therapy to study Usher1B syndrome. In the Slesinger lab, she is examining the trafficking and regulation of GIRK channels by SNX27b in the hippocampus and further examining their role in drug addiction. When she is not working she loves traveling, photography, biking and spending time at the beach.

Stephanie Boyer

Stephanie Boyer, Postdoctoral Fellow 2008, UCSD Neuroscience PhD student 2002-2008
Stephanie joined the lab in 2005. She first worked on a project examining the interaction of RGS2 proteins with GIRK3 channels. Her thesis work focused on how the formation of G-protein coupled receptors, G-proteins and ion channels signaling complexes affects trafficking and signal transduction. Specifically, she focused on interactions between muscarinic and GABAB receptors, as well as G-protein mediated trafficking of GIRK channels. She is now a postdoctoral fellow in the lab continuing to research GABAB receptors and M2 muscarinic receptors.

PhD Students

Prafulla Aryal

Prafulla Aryal, UCSD Biology PhD student 2003
Praf joined the lab in 2004. He earned his B.A. in Biochemistry, and MCD-Biology from University of Colorado-Boulder in 2003. For his undergraduate thesis, he worked in the lab of Dr. Leslie Leinwand, studying mitochondrial abnormalities in mouse models of cardiac hypertrophy. He joined the graduate program in 2003, and started his thesis work at the Salk Institute in 2004. In the Slesinger lab, Praf first worked with Catherine on the project examining the association of GIRK channels with other proteins in a signaling complex using FRET. He is now examining the mechanism of alcohol modulation of GIRK channels, using structure-based mutagenesis, and is interested in understanding the gating mechanism of GIRK channels. He was awarded a NRSA for his graduate studies.

Michaelanne Munoz

Michaelanne Munoz, UCSD Biology PhD student 2008
Michaelanne joined the lab in Spring, 2008. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she worked on the neurobiology of memory in the lab of Paul Gold. She completed a Master’s degree at the University of Oxford, where she studied the role of CD8+ T cells in multiple sclerosis in the lab of Lars Fugger at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. In the Slesinger lab, Michaelanne is interested in the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, particularly drug addiction. She is utilizing approaches that range from molecular to behavior to study the effects of cocaine on GIRK channels and SNX27.

High School Student

Michaelanne Munoz

Jordan Sorokin, High School Enrichment Program Summer 2008
Jordan is a student from La Costa Canyon HS. He participated in the Salk High School Summer Enrichment Program and carried out research in the lab under the supervision of Bartosz Balana.