Dion Dickman

Principal Investagator

BA Washington University 1995-1999

PhD Harvard University 2000-2005

Postdoc UCSF 2006-2011

Dion was born in Hawaii (in the same hospital as Barack Obama) on Valentine’s Day (a true romantic), and has lived in Hawaii, Santa Barbara, Washington State, Nebraska, St. Louis, Boston, and San Francisco, before finally planting roots in Southern California. Besides research and teaching, he enjoys pursuing his other passions which include reading spy thrillers and following politics as well as his beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers and Boston Red Sox (and USC Trojans of course!).

Pragya Goel

Graduate student

B.Eng in Computer Science, University of Delhi, India, 2011

M.Eng in Computer Science, Cornell University, USA, 2012

As a CS undergrad, she was passionate in how Computer Science could be used as a support discipline for Biology - “nature’s information technology” as she thinks of it. She worked on a wide range of projects in Bioinformatics (protein structure prediction and microarrays) during undergrad and then in Neuro-informatics during masters which triggered her interest in Neuroscience. As a joint student in the Dickman lab and the Rohs lab (, she aims to study the role of specific transcription factors in synaptic homeostasis and plasticity using experimental and computational methods.

It is not all work for Pragya at all times, as she pursues many interests. She has learnt ballet for 7 years, and loves all forms of dance. Other hobbies include music(singing and listening), swimming, reading (psychology, thrillers, and sci-fi) and cooking (specially Indian food).