The Neuroscience Graduate Forum is the community hub of the neuroscience graduate students at USC. The NGF helps new and prospective students transition into life at USC, current students make the most of their time in and outside the laboratory, helps coordinate the planning and execution of events and bridges the gap between past and current students.

Below, you will find more information on our officers and each of relative roles in the organization.


Brian Leung
Brian Leung is a fifth-year neuroscience PhD candidate and NSF GRFP recipient in Terrence Town’s lab at USC. He is interested in how the immune system plays a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alex Markowitz
Alex is a third-year student in Radha Kalluri's lab studying the physiology of the inner ear. His research focuses on understanding how the biophysical properties of auditory neurons underlie their function to encode sound. As Vice Czar, Alex serves behind-the-scenes aiding in executive duties, recording minutes of meetings, and organizing career workshops. Off the clock, Alex can be found stressing over things that don't really matter like this small bio, sneaker trends, and making sure to include a third thing when listing. 

Ted Hsu
Ted is a fifth-year neuroscience PhD candidate in Scott Kanoski's lab and an NRSA fellow. He is interested in how sugar affects memory impairments in adolescent rats. As Treasurer, Ted keeps track of NGF spending and budgeting. Around L.A., Ted is always interested in the newest restaurant trends and is a go-to source for foodie news.

Hilary Dorton
Hilary is a third-year PhD student in Katie Page's lab and is interested in how the brain responds to sugar cues. As historian, Hilary is responsible for documenting NGF activites and managing the Instagram account. In times long past, Hilary acted on the Disney Channel before ascending to the realms of science.

Brian Zingg
Health Science Campus Liaison
Brian is a fifth-year student and NIH F31 recipient in the joint labs of Huizhong Tao and Li Zhang. He is interested in developing and applying novel viral tracing techniques to the study of circuits underlying innate behaviors in the mouse. As HSC Liaison, Brian is responsible for representing students on the medical campus and coordinating with NGF members on UPC.

Alicia Quihuis
New Student Liaison
Alicia is a second year student in the Terrence Town lab. Her research involves understanding sex differences in Alzheimer's disease with a focus on the neuroendocrine immunology aspect. Alicia and Clarissa jointly mentor the first year students in the program as well as coordinate and implement events for NGP's recruitment weekends. When not in the lab, Alicia is an inconsistent runner and can often be found tweeting and/or talking about the sunsets and Saguaro cacti of her home state, Arizona.

Clarissa Liu
New Student Liaison
Clarissa is a second-year PhD student in Scott Kanoski's lab, and is interested in the feeding behavior of rats. Clarissa, alongside Alicia, jointly mentor the first year students in the program as well as coordinate and implement events for NGP's recruitment weekends. Clarissa is an avowed ultimate frisbee enthusiast.

Jonathan Cheung
Social Chair
Jon is a third-year PhD student in the laboratory of Andrew Hires; his primary research interests lie in the sense of touch. As co-social chair with A.J., Jon is responsible for planning and executing social events for members of the program. As a rule, Jon has his fingers on the pulse of the newest, hottest spots in L.A.

A.J. Cooper
Social Chair
A.J. is a third-year PhD student in Emily Liman's lab. He is interested in the structure and function of taste receptors. As co-social chair with Jon, A.J. is responsible for planning and executing social events for members of the program. When not in the lab, A.J. enjoys bouldering and whipping up a good meal from scratch.

Adam Lundquist
First-year Representative
Adam Lundquist is a first year student in Michael Jakowec’s lab, studying the neurorehabilitative effects of exercise on Parkinson’s. As the first year representative, Adam works to ease the transition of fellow first years into NGF and provide a voice for the unique concerns of first year students. Outside of neuroscience, Adam is an avid runner, photographer and peanut butter connoisseur.

Samson G. King
Samson is a second year student studying touch in the laboratory of Andrew Hires. As webmaster, Samson's duties include making this website as beautiful and functional as time and willpower allows. His hobbies include hiking, reading, board games, eating donuts, and avoiding any mixture of long lines, the man-bun, and open-carry states.

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