Meet the Lab

Lab members:

Jonathan Flint is a British behavior geneticist and Professor in Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is also a senior scientist in the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Jonathan Flint fundamentally advanced understanding of the genetic basis of behaviour, thereby determining the direction of research in psychiatric genetics.

  1. He developed the first genome wide association strategy that identified genes and sequence variants underlying complex behavioural traits, particularly anxiety and depression, in mammals.
  2. He pioneered the analysis of structural variation at telomeres as a cause of intellectual disability.
  3. He identified the first robust genetic associations for major depression in humans, implying a novel origin for psychiatry’s commonest disorder.

I joined Dr. Flint's lab in 2019 to gain experience in more translationally focused research areas. Previously, I completed my PhD in Dr. Kelsey Martin's lab at UCLA and also a postdoc in Dr. Weizhe Hong's lab. I am interested in understanding 1) how chromatin architecture in the brain is regulated by genetic variation and how this relates to behavior, and 2) how genetic variation shapes neural circuit function and architecture in the brain to alter behavior. In my free time I like to write, watch TV/movies, read, and complain about the American healthcare system.

Rachel Chen

Lab Manager, SRA

Rachel is the lab manager and SRA in Flint Lab. She has a master’s degree in animal physiology and many years of working experiences in the field of neuroscience. She is currently working on developing a pathway from genetic locus to gene project. On her spare time, she enjoys the great outdoors, traveling and dancing.

Dr. Kai Fang

Research Scientist

Kai is a research scientist in Flint Lab. Kai received his B.S. degree in Molecular Biology from Jilin University and his Ph.D. degree in Genetics from China Medical University. He has many years’ experience in the field of inflammation. He is interested in the function of inflammation in depression. Outside of lab, he enjoys playing basketball and traveling.

Aarushi Solanki

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Aarushi is an undergraduate student researcher majoring in psychobiology and minoring in education and entrepreneurship. Her involvement with the Flint Lab stems from her interest in the epigenetic and genetic changes responsible for the onset of certain disorders. In her free time, she loves to try random coffee shops around LA and read nonfiction books.