Our Team

Norman Haughey

Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Joined: 2003

Professional Experience

2003 – 2009: Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2009 – 2014: Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2011 – present: Joint Appointment, Department of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2014-present: Professor, Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.  Joint Appointment, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

2015 – present: Vice Chair of Research, Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.


1992 B.A. (honors), Psychology, University of Winnipeg

1998 Ph.D, Pharmacology, University of Manitoba

1999-2000 Postdoctoral Fellow, Center on Aging, University of Kentucky

2000-2002 Visiting Fellow, Laboratory of Neurosciences, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, NIH

Research keywords

HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, HAND

Seung-Wan Yoo

Research Associate
Joined: August 2013


2016 – Research Associate, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore MD

2013 – 2016: Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore MD

2011 – 2013: Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Pharmacology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore MD Advisor: Ronald Shnaar

2008 – 2011    Postdoctoral fellow, Ajou Univerisity, Suwon, South Korea


Ph. D. in Medical Science, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea (2008)

M.S. in Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea (2004)

B.S. in Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea (2002)

Research keywords

HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, HAND

Pragney Deme

Postdoctoral Fellow
Joined: July 2018


March 2016- July 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow at Burnett  School of Biomedical   Sciences-University of Central Florida as bio- analytical mass spectrometrist (Cardiovascular disease)- metabolomics and lipidomics

Feb 2015 – Feb 2016 Analytical Scientist in a Pharmaceutical company- ClearSynth Labs Ltd, Hyderabad, India 


Ph.D. in Chemistry (Specialization in Mass Spectrometry)

M.S. in Chemistry

B.S. in Maths, Physics and Chemistry

Research keywords

Mass spectrometry, Metabolomics, Lipidomics, Cardiovascular diseases, 
Neurodegenerative diseases

Meina Wang

Research Specialist
Joined: June 2018


October 2015 – Feburary 2018

Research Specialist II at Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University 

April 2007-March 2011

Postdoctoral Fellow at Department of Neuroscience, University of Maryland


Ph.D.  Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (2006)

B.S. Wuhan University, Wuhan China (2000)

Research keywords

Patch-clamp, electrophysiology, behavioral task, learning and memory

Sujasha Gupta

Postdoctoral Fellow
Joined: August 2020


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University (2020)

M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida (2015)

B.S. Metallurgical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Rourkela (2013)

Research keywords

Data science, Deep learning, Neurodegeneration, Brain machine interfaces

Sehmus Tohumeken

Postdoctoral Fellow
Joined: October 2020


November 2019-October 2020

Postdoc fellow, Johns Hopkins University, Oncology


Ph.D. Biology-Leukemia, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany (2019)

M.S. Material science and Nanotechnology, Bilkent University, Turkey (2016)

B.S. Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bilkent University, Turkey (2014)

Research keywords

Extracellular vesicles, Flow cytometry, Immunology, Neurodegenerative diseases

Ali Sifat

Postdoctoral Fellow
Joined: July 2021


February 2020-June 2021

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Pharmaceutical Sciences


Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (2019)

M.S. Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (2013)

B.S. Pharmacology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (2012)

Research keywords

Addiction, HIV, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neurodegenerative diseases

Past members

Postdoctoral Fellows

2004-2006   Dr. Edward Knapp.  Sphingolipid Modulation of NMDA Receptor Trafficking.  Conducted a second postdoctoral fellowship with Peter Calabresi, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

2004-2006   Dr. Yangfang Chai.  Regulation of Adult Neurogenesis During Aging.

2005-2007   Dr. V. V. Ratnam Bandaru.  Lipids in CNS Dysfunction in Aging Promoted to Research Associate fall 2007 and Assistant Professor in 2011 in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins.

2006-2007   Dr. Krishna Jhaveri.  Lipid Modulation of Receptor Trafficking and Function.

2008-2009   Dr. Nino Tabatadze.  Roles for nSMase2 in receptor in neurogenesis and aging.  Now an Assistant Professor at North Western University. Chicago.

2008-2011   Dr. Hangshiu Xu.  Effects of HIV and alcohol on AMPA and NMDA receptor trafficking. Now a clinical fellow at the Wilmur Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

2009-2010   Dr. Ozge Gunutz.  Sphingolipid modulation of synaptic plasticity. Now a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, NIH. Bethesda.

2009-2013   Dr. Mihyun Bai.  Mechanisms for accelerated brain aging in HIV-infected people on stable antiretroviral therapy. Currently a Research Fellow. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

2010-2012   Dr. Neha Patel.  Sphingolipid regulation of amyloid processing in HIV infection. Now a Research Scientist in Mumbi, India.

2010-2013   Dr. Luis Tovar. Neurodegenerative disease associated changes in purinergic signaling. Now Investigador Asociado C (Assistant Professor), Departamento de Neuropatología Molecular, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

2011-2012   Dr. Maytal Sabat Simon.  Roles for lipids in regulating synaptic plasticity and synaptic dysfunction. Now on staff at the Weissman Institute, Israel.

2011-2013   Dr. Shuwen Cao, Identification of structural determinants that regulate ceramide-protein interactions.

2013-2015   Dr. Amanda Trout, Gene expression profiles of exosomes and cellular targets.

2014-2016   Dr. Alex Dickens, Exosome regulation of neuro-immune interactions. Now on faculty at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

2015-2016   Dr. Soo-Ah Kim, Lipidomics of plasma from Multiple Sclerosis patients.

2015-2017   Dr. Sheng Wang, Gliotransmission of exosomes regulates a neurotrophic response. Moved to a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland.

2015-2018   Dr. Amrita Datta-Chadhuri. Extracellular vesicle miRNA cargo modification by inflammation. Now a Medical writer in Washington DC.

2016-2018   Dr. Saja Khuder, Intranasal insulin and brain energy metabolism in models of HIV infection. Now a Clinical Trial Liaison for Johnson and Johnson.

2016-2018   Dr. Lakshmi Vattem Venkata Swarajya.  Mass spectrometry analysis of sphingosine, sphingosine 1-phosphate and ceramides in human CSF and plasma. Returned to industry position in India.

2016-2018   Dr. Suming Chen. Metabolomic profiling of brain, plasma and CSF in HIV, Multiple Sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. Now an Assistant Professor Huang University, China.

Pre-Doctoral Trainees

2004-2007   David Galey.  Ph.D. University of Kentucky.  Role of Astrocytes in HIV Pathogenesis. 

2004-2008   Dr. Kris Helke DVM.  Disruption of Mitochondrial function by the HIV-protein Tat;  Bad and Bax.  

2005-2007   Ostefame Ewaleifoh.  Masters Johns Hopkins University, School of  Medicine. 

2005-2012   Susan Follstat.  Ph.D. program Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine.  Department of Comparative Medicine.  Neuronal Death Signaling in SIV.

2007            Elizabeth Munter. M.D. program, Johns Hopkins. Disruption of the lipid content in white matter of (summer)  Schizophrenia patients.

2007-2012   Valorie Toodle. Ph.D program Comparative Medicine.  Mechanisms of  neuroprotection by selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. 

2008-2013   Kelly Meulendyke.  Ph.D. Program Comparative Medicine. Effects of minocycline on dopamine levels in the caudate of SIV-infected macaques.

2009-2013   Wendy Pacheco.  Ph.D. program, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ponce School of Medicine. 

2012-2014   Sarah Beck. Ph.D. Molecular and Comparative Medicine. Natural host genetic resistance to lentiviral CNS disease.