Meet The Writers!

Our fabulous hedgehogs: Joseph Maa, Marissa Ha, and Gillian Chu (left to right)

Welcome to Sonic Hedgehogs!

We are three UC Berkeley undergraduates intrigued by the human brain. The title Sonic Hedgehogs is based on a protein molecule, abbreviated SHH, that induces organization of the neural tube in a concentration dependent manner. Initially, this blog started as a personal project, but has since grown into a tidy group of students who all enjoy learning about neuroscience in their free time. The goal of this blog is to highlight our personal adventures with neuroscience, and share these experiences with our readers.

Here’s an introduction from each of our authors:



Hi! I got finagled into writing for this blog, but it ended up being pretty fun, so here I am. I’m from San Jose, CA but I’m currently located in Berkeley. Outside of school, I enjoy going on short trips to see cool views, and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee. My posts for this blog are going to be based on things I find interesting, or questions that I’ve always had, so I hope you get to learn some fun new things from them as I search for the answers! You’ll find my content under the username “mars” on the blog.


DSCN0756Hi I’m Gillian! I’m studying Computer Science and Bioengineering at UC Berkeley. When I’m not reading neuroscience papers or reading about algorithms, you can find me studying blockchain, listening to West Coast jazz or running and hiking. I also enjoy working on software side projects that involve my interests in biology but I’m actively trying to learn more about hardware. My current side project is to build a wearable heart monitor. My posts for this blog are going to be chronicling interesting things I learn: new algorithms, new techniques, far-reaching implications. Hopefully you’ll learn something new like I did! You’ll find me under the username “mushroomgill”.



Hi everyone! You’ll find me under the nickname: “Chaconine” on the blog. Chaconine is a chemical glycoalkaloid found in potatoes that inspired my first personal blog. In my free time, I enjoy playing chess, Settlers of Catan, and I’m planning to learn Go to challenge Marissa! While I’m not particularly proficient at any of these games, I do enjoy the challenges of competition. When I’m not writing on my personal blog @ Chaconine, you can find me picking and naming mushrooms on the Berkeley campus! (My personal favorite isĀ Laetiporus gilbertsonii!)