Sammi Sison

Graduate Student (Ph.D.)
NSF GRFP Scholar, ARCS Scholar, NSP Fellow
slsison at


B.S. Neurobiology, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2016


Sammi is a Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at UCSD and received a B.S. in Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin Madison. At UW-Madison, she worked in the lab of Dr. Kate O’Connor-Giles where she studied the genetic regulators of synaptic function using CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering of the fruit fly. After graduating, Sammi worked as a lab technician in the lab of Dr. Allison Ebert at the Medical College of Wisconsin. At MCW, she studied a variety of neurological diseases including Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Huntington’s disease, and human cytomegalovirus using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived astrocyte, neuronal, and organoid models. As a Ph.D. student at UCSD, Sammi joined the lab of Dr. Gene Yeo to study RNA metabolism in Huntington’s disease using iPSC based neuronal models. As an undergrad, Sammi received the Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her research in Dr. O’Connor-Giles’ lab, and currently is an NSF GRFP fellow. In addition to her research, Sammi volunteers through the Neuroscience Outreach Program at UCSD where she teaches the community about neuroscience and what it is like to be a scientist.


Sison SL et al 2019. “Human Cytomegalovirus Disruption of Calcium Signaling in Neural Progenitor Cells and Organoids.” Journal of Virology.

Kaifer KA, Villalón E, O’Brien BS, Sison SL, et al 2019. “AAV9-Mediated Delivery of miR-23a Reduces Disease Severity in Smn2B-/SMA Model Mice.” Human Molecular Genetics.

Logan S, Arzua T, Canfield SG, Seminary ER, Sison SL, et al 2019. “Studying Human Neurological Disorders Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: From 2D Monolayer to 3D Organoid and Blood Brain Barrier Models.” Compr Physiol.

Sison SL et al 2018. “Using Patient-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Identify Parkinson’s Disease-Relevant Phenotypes.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports.

Santarriaga S, Haver HN, Kanack AJ, Fikejs AS, Sison SL, et al 2018. “SRCP1 Conveys Resistance to Polyglutamine Aggregation.” Molecular Cell.

Sison SL and Ebert AD. 2018. “Decreased NAD+ in dopaminergic neurons.” Aging.

Seminary ER, Sison SL, and Ebert AD. 2018. “Modeling Protein Aggregation and the Heat Shock Response in ALS iPSC-Derived Motor Neurons.” Frontiers in Neuroscience.

Schwab AJ, Sison SL, et al 2017. “Decreased Sirtuin Deacetylase Activity in LRRK2 G2019S IPSC-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons.” Stem Cell Reports.

Sison SL, et al 2017. “Astrocyte-Produced MiR-146a as a Mediator of Motor Neuron Loss in Spinal Muscular Atrophy.” Human Molecular Genetics.

Ukken FP, Bruckner JJ, Weir KL, Hope SJ, Sison SL, et al. 2016. “BAR-SH3 Sorting Nexins Are Conserved Interacting Proteins of Nervous Wreck That Organize Synapses and Promote Neurotransmission.” Journal of Cell Science.