March 17, 2022

Alumni Watch: Lisa McGinley, Ph.D. — St. Patrick's Day Edition Part 2

In 10 Questions Lisa McGinley, we catch up with the former Handleman Emerging Scholar, whose journey from Ireland continues as she moves further west to the Golden State.

photo of Lisa McGinley and Eva Feldman
Lisa McGinley, Ph.D., Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.

When did you work at the NeurNetwork for Emerging Therapies?

I started working with Dr. Feldman in November 2013 and left last November (2021).

Where are you originally from? 

Galway city - on the west coast of Ireland.

What was your position?

The Handleman Emerging Scholar and a Research Assistant Professor of Neurology.  I began in the lab as a postdoctoral fellow.

What was your research focus?

I studied neurodegenerative disorders including ALS and Alzheimer's. My main focus was to develop a stem cell therapy for Alzheimer's disease.

Any special accomplishments that stand out?

There are two main accomplishments that stand out in my mind. 1: obtaining NIH funding for our AD/stem cell project and 2: recently identifying an effective immunosuppression protocol to enable transplanted cell survival in the brain.

What was your favorite part about working at the NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies? What will you miss most?

Pulling multiple all-nighters to get a grant finished in time! Just kidding. I of course miss my lab mates and the camaraderie we shared while working together. Everything accomplished in the lab is a team effort and I had a really great team. Of course, I also miss Eva - she was - and still is - a wonderful mentor to me. 

Care to share an interesting memory?

It's so difficult to choose... always having to be camera ready for unanticipated lab tours and photoshoots, A. Alfred Taubman asking me if I could do an Irish jig, teaching life lessons and pipetting skills to students, Eva's themed parties -there are so many!

photo of Lisa McGinley on the beach in California

Where do you live today? 

In the Bay Area, California.

What are you doing these days?  

I currently work at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Our mission is accelerating world-class science to deliver transformative regenerative medicine treatments in an equitable manner to a diverse California and the world. I'm one of the Senior Science Officers in the Therapeutics & Development team where I help manage the portfolio and recruit promising applicants. 

Any message for us?

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Come visit sunny California!