Lab Members

Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD

Lucille Groff Professor of Neurology 

Phone: 734.615.5632Email: henryp@umich.eduTwitter: @Henrypauslon5

Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD, is the Lucile Groff Professor of Neurology for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan and interim co-director of the Michigan Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Paulson joined the U-M faculty in 2007, where he directs the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center and formerly co-directed the Protein Folding Disease Initiative. He received his MD and PhD from Yale University in 1990, then completed a neurology residency and neurogenetics/movement disorders fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1997 to 2007, he was on the faculty at the University of Iowa. Dr. Paulson’s research interests concern the causes and treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, hereditary ataxia, and polyglutamine diseases. For his work on repeat expansion diseases and gene silencing as therapy for neurodegenerative disorders, he has been elected as a fellow in both the American Association for the  Advancement of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. He is most proud of having received, in 2020, NIH’s Landis Outstanding Mentor Award.


Lisa M. Sharkey, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor
Dr. Sharkey completed her Ph.D in Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has completed 2 postdoctoral fellowships studying the molecular mechanisms of neurological disease at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, Department of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and at the University of Michigan in the Department of Human Genetics. In her current position in Dr. Paulson's laboratory she is interested in studying the mechanisms of neurodegeneration underlying two common forms of dementia: Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Ubiquillin2 (Ub2) is a member of a family of proteins containing ubiquitin-like domains that has been implicated in the trafficking of proteins tagged for degradation to the proteasome. Mutations in Ub2 have been shown to cause FTD and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In order to investigate the function of this poorly understood protein, Dr. Sharkey has developed transgenic mouse lines expressing WT and mutant forms of Ub2. Her goal is to use these mice to understand the cellular role of Ub2 in protein quality control both in health and disease states. 

Harihar Milaganur Mohan, MS

Graduate Student
Hari is a PhD candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program. He obtained his undergraduate degree from SASTRA University (India) and his Master’s from the University of Michigan, where he worked on alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. At the Paulson lab, he seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of ubiquilin biology beyond proteasomal shuttling, in particular during cellular stress. Outside of lab, Hari enjoys sketching, running and playing soccer.

Rae Powers, BS

Graduate Student
Rae is a PhD pre-candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program. She received her BS from Gettysburg College where she majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and minored in Neuroscience. She conducted translational cancer research during two summer internships at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. After graduating, Rae worked as a Research Technologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for a few years and studied epigenetic alterations relevant to cancer development during aging. After joining the Paulson Lab in March of 2022, she has been using stem cells and CNS organoids derived from patients with Huntington’s disease (HD) and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) to uncover the molecular mechanisms of CAG repeat expansion diseases. Her hobbies include skiing, backpacking, climbing, and sailing.

Mary Skinner, MS

Research Lab Specialist Lead
Mary received her BS in Biochemistry and Toxicology from Eastern Michigan University and completed her MS thesis in Cellular and Molecular Biology at EMU studying plant cell wall components in yeast and Arabidopsis model systems. She spent 10 years in the University of Michigan Pathology and Biogerontology departments managing the Lombard Lab and researching the mechanisms of age-related pathologies using cancer cell and mouse models. In April 2022, she joined the Paulson Lab, focusing on lab management and research in neurodegenerative disease. In her free time, she enjoys burning family meals, reading Hemingway biographies, collecting magnets, and going on adventures.

Mariana Sierra, BS

PREP Scholar
Mariana is a U of M PREP Scholar hoping to pursue an MD/PhD in a Neuroscience/Neurobiology program. She received her BS in Neuroscience from Wayne State University where she was a BUILD scholar. Her previous research experience includes a year as a chemical engineering research assistant at the Harris Lab, where she studied the efficacy and safety of Tethered-Liquid Perfluorocarbon (TLP) coated shunts for the treatment of Hydrocephalus in in vivo rat models. Following her first research experience, Mariana spent nearly two years as a computational biophysics research assistant where she looked at the effects of point mutations on the structure of Ceruloplasmin following Molecular Dynamics simulations. Now, Mariana will be working with Rae to study Huntington’s disease (HD) and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) using patient derived stem cells and CNS organoids. In her spare time, Mariana works in Motts OR as a tech and takes care of her stinky ferrets, Chicken and Alfredo.  

Camellia Huang, BS

Research Lab Specialist
Camellia joined the Paulson Lab as a research lab specialist in Aug. 2022. She received her BS in Biological Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she performed undergraduate research on colorectal cancer, GI organoids, and endometriosis. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting and playing guitar. 

Sharan Srinivasan, M.D. Ph.D.

Clinical Instructor

Don Seyfried, MS

Research Technician Senior 
Don received his Master’s in Neuroscience from the University at Buffalo, working on how the Unfolded protein response (UPR) can cause neurodegeneration in the diabetic retina. Afterwards, he joined AxoSim Inc. a biotech company that focuses on developing in-vitro models of the human brain to be used for evaluating novel therapies for neurological disease. He is excited to add this perspective to the Paulson Lab’s already-established brain organoid model. In his free time, he looks after his very hungry group of treefrogs. 

Current Undergraduate Students

Alex Choi

Paige Davis

Allison Guo

Rita Lin

David Peppercorn

Jaimie Hojung Ryou

Azeem Saifee

Kelly Tang