People who primarily investigate genes and inheritance patterns, counsel people about genetic testing and/or collect genetic specimens.

Daniel Sirkis, PhD

Staff Scientist
Maison Abu Raya

Maison Abu Raya


Maison Abu Raya received her medical degree from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 2014. Maison completed her neurology residency at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Israel and passed the Israeli Neurology board exams with honors in 2019. She continued as an attending neurologist at the neurology department. In 2021, Maison joined the Stroke and Cognition Clinic at Rambam Health Care Campus as an attending physician and clinical fellow.

Ariel Sauri, BA

Staff Research Associate

Ariel joined the Yokoyama Lab at the Memory and Aging Center in February 2024 as a Staff Research Associate. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English and in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Ariel has experience assisting with research into the effects of environmental air pollution on neurodegenerative disease, as well as working in a clinical pathology setting; she is interested in learning more about neurogenetics.

Taylor Young

Administrative Coordinator

Taylor is an Administrative Coordinator working under the MAC Genetics and Biospecimen manager. 

Valerie Escobar, PhD


Valerie joined the Yokoyama Lab in 2023 as a staff scientist with a career-long interest in evaluating genetic factors involved in neurological diseases. She earned a PhD degree in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, where she identified transcriptional regulation sequences for a gene involved in epilepsy and movement disorders. During her postdoctoral fellowship at NHGRI and UCSF, she studied the role of alpha-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease.

Andrea Gorham Vargas

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Andrea graduated from Cornell University in May 2022 with a major in Biology & Society and a minor in Latin American Studies. She joined the MAC in June 2022 as an assistant research coordinator in the Dementia Imaging Genetics Lab, coordinating a study that aims to identify how early-disease-specific neural circuit differences develop in children carrying mutations causing frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Jana Klein

Operations and Development Officer

Jana’s life is a continuous discovery of new passions and interests. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Jana’s passion for the outdoors, adventure and curiosity was determined at birth. In between camping and fishing with her family, she competed on a high level on the junior tennis circuit and eventually became a recruited athlete to Cornell University. This is where she found her passion for genetics and how this science impacts people and their lives. She went on to the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and completed a Master of Science in genetic counseling.

Oscar Robles-Archila

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Oscar is the Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator at the Yokoyama Lab. He supports the research focusing on the genetic, structural and cognitive characterization of Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia in Central and South American populations.

Alexis Oddi

Asst. Clinical Research Coord.

Alexis is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Data Science and a concentration in Urban Science. As an Undergraduate Research Assistant, Alexis studied the impact of the technology industry on housing in the Bay Area. Her specialities include data mapping and data visualization, and she is deeply interested in the intersections of neurology, data science, and social justice.