Meet the Lab

Lab members:
Dr. Jonathan Flint


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.
Dr. Patrick Chen


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.

Helen Huang

Rotation graduated student

Helen is a first year PhD student in the Bioinformatics program with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She is interested in developing methods to interpret epigenetic structures that contribute to medical conditions with low penetrance, such as anxiety disorders. In her free time, she enjoys a wide range of hobbies including backpacking, SCUBA diving, down-hill skiing, wildlife photography, SUP, birding, embroidery, hand-crafts, furniture design, etc.

Nathanael Tjen

Work study student researcher

Nathanael is a senior undergraduate student working on his degree in Biochemistry at UCLA. His area of study focuses on DNA from its properties until the process of transcription and translation in an organism. He works under the supervision of a post doc researcher or lab manager to assist with mouse behavior experiments, tissue extraction, molecular techniques (PCR, genotyping), and other research duties as assigned.