Principal Investigator



Office Phone: (213) 740-4205
Office Location: GER 306D
Fax: (213) 740-4787
Lab Location: GER 304

Christian Pike, PhD

Principal Investigator


BS, University of Southern California, 1985
PhD, University of California, Irvine, 1994

Christian Pike is a product of Southern California, being born and raised in Laguna Beach, then earning his BS from USC and his PhD from UC Irvine. He returned to USC in 1999 as a faculty member at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Outside of his duties as a professor and PI of the Pike Lab, Pike is an avid flyfisherman and ocean kayaker.


Research Staff


Amy Christensen, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Gerontology


B.S. University of California, Los Angeles, 2005
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 2012

Amy was born and raised in San Diego, CA. Her doctoral work at UCLA involved looking at the molecular mechanisms of membrane estrogen receptor signaling in the context of female sexual behavior. Her current work focuses on Alzheimer’s disease in females and the utility of hormone therapy. When she’s not working in the Pike lab, she likes to run half marathons and watch lots of football (Go Chargers!).

Postdoctoral Scientists


Tomomitsu Iida, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist


BS, Tohoku University, Japan 2012
MS, Tohoku University, Japan 2014
PhD, Tohoku University, Japan 2018

Tomomitsu was born and raised in Japan. His doctoral work evaluated the effects of histamine on microglial functions using primary cell culture methodology and a depression model. In the Pike Lab, he is investigating how sex differences and APOE genotype affect microglial functions. Outside of the lab, he enjoys working out and exploring new experiences since it is his first time living outside of Japan.

Graduate Students


Jiahui Liu

Graduate Student


BS, Peking University, Beijing, China, 2014

Jiahui was born and raised in Xi’an, China. She received her bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Peking University. Her current work in the Pike Lab is focused on studying the role of TLR4 in obesity-induced neural impairments. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and snowboarding.

Andrew & Cass Final-21

Cassie McGill

Graduate Student


B.S. University of California, Irvine, 2019

Cassie is from Gardena, California. She graduated from the University
of California, Irvine with a bachelor of science in Genetics. Her
current work in the Pike lab focuses on studying the effects of
longevity promoting drugs on APOE phenotypes. Her favorite things to
do outside of the lab are taking her dog (Kona) on hikes, exercising,
and watching Marvel shows/movies.

Research Staff

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Bayla Breningstall

Research Lab Technician


BA, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2019

Bayla was raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019 with a degree in Human Physiology and a minor in Neuroscience. Since starting at the Pike Lab in 2020, she has been working on diet and APOE effects on Alzheimer’s pathology. When she’s not in lab, she’s usually hiking, doing yoga, or trying to find the best food in LA.

Undergraduate Researchers


Aadi Ghildiyal

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Aadi is from San Jose, CA. She is a junior studying Chemistry and minoring in Psychology and Health Care Studies. In her free time, Aadi captains the school’s competitive archery team, works out, and tries to get enough sleep!


Rojan Javaheri

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rojan is from Irvine, CA. She is a Neuroscience student with a minor in Piano Performance. Currently, her work focuses on analysis of microglia and astrocyte activity near plaques and identifying risk factors based on sex differences and genotypes. In her free time, Rojan creates and displays her artwork at galleries, enjoys going to the beach, and volunteers as an educator for caregivers and patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.


Sharanya Suresh

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sharanya was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She is a junior studying Neuroscience and minoring in Ethics and Moral Philosophy. Her research currently involves characterizing the plaque environment and investigating the relationship between this environment and risk factors like sex and APOE genotype. In her free time, Sharanya likes to dabble in graphic design and explore LA.


Audrey Zhao

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Audrey is a Texas native from Houston. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish. Her work in the Pike lab involves studying the role of diet and obesity in Alzheimer’s Disease. Outside of the lab, she can usually be found working out, trying new recipes, or shooting her bow at the archery range.


Ali Zaidi

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ali is from Fresno, CA. He is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. His work in the Pike lab involves studying the role diet and obesity plays in Alzheimer’s Disease. Outside of the lab, Ali works as a Residential Assistant for USC Student Affairs, plays basketball, and experiments in the kitchen with new recipes!


Undergraduate Researchers

Meghan Brown (2008-11)

Reem Elteriefi (2009)

Antoine Ganivet (2016-17)

Gina Gwag (2008)

Michael Halyko (2008)

Tina Huynh (2006-07)

Kurt Ibaraki (2015-17)

Joanne Jiangg (2014-17)

Whitney Kang (1999-2001)

Mehul Khetrapal (2017-2018)

Sara Kreimer (2006-07)

Sydney Lance (2017-20)

Grace Lee (2012-13)

Daniella Lent (2012-15)

Connor Logan (2014)

Kelly McMullan (2006)

Niraj Mehta (2003)

Kathleen Moloney (2010-11)

Anita Nath (2013)

Thuzar Shin (1999-2002)

Christina Sisliyan (2016-17)

Shannon Sullivan (2010-11)

Taya Varteresian (2001-04)

Holly Villamagna (2007-10)

April Wong (2008)

Hilary Wright (2012)

Katherine Young (2014-16)

Shirley Yu (2007)

Amanda Zhou (2014-17)

Graduate Students

Radha Aras (2000-06)

Jenna Carroll (2004-09)

Myriam Cordey (2001-05)

Ausha Jayarman (2006-10)

Alexandra Moser (2013-18)

Vi Ngyuen (2001-05)

Emily Rosario (2002-07)

Postdoctoral Scientists

Aaron Barnett (2014-15)

Anna Barron (2009-10)

Ausha Jayarman (2012-14)

Joo-Won Lee (2011-13)

Elizabeth Nguyen (2019-20)

Martin Ramsden (2001-04)

Emily Rosario (2008-10)

Camille Sample (2017-2018)

Rebecca Vest (2011-12)

Mingzhong Yao (2002-09)