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The Lab


Jared W. Young

Principal Investigator

Dr. Young received his BSc. (Hons) in Psychology with Biology and his Ph.D. in Psychopharmacology in the Department of Neuroscience, at the University of Edinburgh, sponsored by the Fujisawa Institute for Neuroscience in Edinburgh. He worked for a year at Organon Laboratories in Scotland prior to his arrival at UCSD to conduct his Post-Doctoral training in 2006. This training was primarily with Profs. Mark Geyer and Dilip Jeste at the Consortium for Translational Research in Neuropsychopharmacology (, MIRECC San Diego VA (, and the Stein Institute for Research on Aging ( respectively. Dr. Young became a Faculty member in 2009.


Michael Noback

Postdoctoral Researcher

Michael is studying changes in attention and motivation in rodents in a variety of contexts, including pharmacological models, environmental stress models, and mouse models of HIV. He joined the Young lab in 2021 after receiving his PhD in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins.

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Samantha Ayoub

Postdoctoral Researcher

Samantha is a behavioral neuroscientist with expertise in the neurobiology of cognitive and motivated behaviors, particularly in the context of addiction and psychiatric diseases. Her primary interests lie in the interaction of these behaviors and the role of the cannabinoid system. In the Young lab, she investigates the relationship between cannabinoids and the cognitive and motivational changes observed in rat models of HIV. In her off time, you can catch her hiking with her sidekick Millie!

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Tyler Dexter

Postdoctoral Researcher

Tyler received his BSc (Hons) Majors in Biology and Psychology from University of Prince Edward Island and his PhD in Neuroscience from Western University. His 
research interests have focused on how the prefrontal cortex facilitates cognition in non-pathological states and models of neuropsychiatric disease. Using techniques like fiber photometry and optogenetics, his previous work investigated how inhibitory neurons in the prefrontal cortex are recruited during tests of attention and working memory, the consequences of manipulating their activity for cognition, and their potential as therapeutic targets for alleviating cognitive impairments. His current project will focus on the intersections between valence processing, social cognition, and decision-making in efforts to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying these systems and how they become dysfunction in neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and depression.

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Benjamin Roberts

Graduate Student

Ben’s background is in translational neuropsychopharmacology, having worked with both animal models and clinical populations to investigate novel therapeutics for psychopathology-related cognitive impairment. His work combines high-resolution neuroscience techniques, pharmacological manipulations, and cross-species cognitive assays to study neural mechanisms underlying behaviors disrupted in bipolar disorder.

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Neal Jha

Undergraduate Research Volunteer

Neal is a third-year undergraduate biochemistry student at UCSD. As an aspiring physician, his ultimate goal is to use his holistic academic, patient, and research expertise to serve those in need. Under the mentorship of Dr. Ayoub, Neal has gained valuable exposure to translational research and running an independent project. Outside of the lab, Neal is passionate about alleviating health disparities on both sides of the border with the International Health Collective at UCSD.

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Melissa Flesher

Research Technician

Melissa is a behavioral lab technician whose skills span all aspects of the lab.

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Elizabeth Hoang

Lab Technician

Elizabeth is a lab technician with a background in cognitive science. She is interested in utilizing different paradigms in rodents and replicating them in humans to further treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders. 


Outside of the lab, you can find her researching new restaurants on Yelp to try out! 

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Research Assistant/Lab Tech/ Undergraduate/Graduate/Postdoc

If you're interested in joining the Young Lab, visit the Contact page for more information.

Lab Alumni

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Post Docs


Nurith Amitai-Crawford, Ph.D.

Sam Barnes, Ph.D.

Andrew Bismark, Ph.D.

Zackary Cope, Ph.D.

David MacQueen, Ph.D.

Johnny A. Kenton, Ph.D.


Senior Medical Writer (Kinnate Biopharma)

Associate Professor (UCSD)

Assistant Clinical Professor (UCSD)

Scientist Consultant (Sage Therapeutics)

Assistant Professor (UNCW)

Medical Writing Fellow (Impact Pharmaceutical Services)

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Graduate Students

Molly Conner, MD/Ph.D.

(née Kwiatkowski)


Kerin Higa, Ph.D.

Morgane Milienne-Petiot,



Jordy van Enkhuizen, Ph.D.



Psychiatry Resident

Science Writer/Editor (City of Hope Medical Center)

QA Operations Supervisor (Thermo Fisher Scientific)

Market Access Clincal Lead (UCB)

Undergraduate Students

We also host UCSD 199 students for research projects, who are always welcome in the laboratory to join in various research projects


Previous 199 students:

Isadore S. Tarantino

Sahar Borujerdpur


Katie Morton

Jon Ahern

01/2010 - 06/2010

08/2021 - 2023

01/2022 - 2023


Collaboration with Utrecht University

We often host graduate pharmacy students for a 5-month research project, working full time on a series of experiments for which we train them, including analyses and write up! They finish their time with us giving a presentation both here and a Utrecht University in the Netherlands, all in English. This has been an excellent collaboration with Dr. Lucianne Groenink that has resulted in many publications and excellent colleagues!

Previous UU students:

Andrew K.L. Goey

Klaas Koistra

Jordy van Enkhuizen

Morgane Petiot

Brian Grootendorst

Thu Nguyen

Aniek Joosen

Debbie Deben

Chuck van den Capelle

Joris Herrings

Phuong Pham

08/2006 - 03/2007

08/2007 - 02/2008

08/2008 - 02/2009

01/2010 - 07/2010

06/2021 - 01/2013

09/2013 - 03/2014

08/2015 - 01/2016

09/2015 - 02/2016

04/2017 - 10/2018

09/2021 - 02/2021

02/2022 - 07/2022

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