Sall Lab


Welcome to the Sall Lab page!

Dr. Jeffrey Sall’s laboratory is focused on understanding the effect of anesthetics on brain development. Current pre-clinical investigations are centered around how gender and sex hormones influence anesthetic mediated changes in the developing brain and neurobehavioral outcomes. Dr. Sall also coordinates the UCSF human trial evaluating cognitive function in school aged children that were anesthetized early in life. Learn more about what we’re working on here! 


Sex-Differences in Brain Development after Anesthesia 

Our lab has previously shown that the lasting cognitive deficit observed after early anesthesia exposure is sex-dependent in rodents. Postnatal male rats exposed to volatile anesthesia had worse behavioral outcomes in recognition tasks than exposed female littermates, suggesting an underlying sex-specific mechanism of anesthetic neurotoxicity (Lee et al. 2012). Through a combination of behavioral, circuit, and cellular studies, our lab seeks to identify the sex-specific and temporal factors that define the period of anesthetic vulnerability during early brain development. 

Exercise and Cognition After Early Life Anesthesia

Exercise has the ability to improve learning in memory in animals and humans alike. We hypothesized that this attribute might rescue the memory deficit that our lab and others have repeatedly shown in animals exposed to early life anesthesia. We have developed a protocol for voluntary exercise wheel running in rats exposed to early life anesthesia and through a battery of behavior tests and use of molecular biology, we are studying the effect of exercise on learning and memory and the underlying mechanism.

Pediatric Anesthesia and Memory

The long-term consequences of early exposure to general anesthesia remain unclear. We have an ongoing multi-site study to look at how pediatric anesthetic exposure can affect later cognitive processes and the conditions that modulate this association. To do this, our study looks at children who have received either a long or short anesthetic exposure before age 2. We also look at children who had a long exposure a bit later, between ages 4-7. We are particularly interested in recognition memory and examine performance in children through a dual process memory model. 

Collaborators on this project: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, UC Davis Medical Center, and the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, Memory and Development Lab.

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions about it, please reach out to our coordinator, Nicole Yabut 415-476-1131 ([email protected])

In the meantime, check out our study criteria here!

Prevention and Treatment of Acute Mountain Sickness During Rapid Ascent

T89 is a modern version of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, currently being used for treatment of chronic stable angina pectoris. In recent years, several literature and clinical studies have demonstrated that T89 showed substantial benefits in alleviating symptoms associated with acute mountain sickness (AMS). We have developed a protocol to test the efficacy of this medication in prevention and treatment of AMS symptoms during rapid ascent. We are currently recruiting for healthy volunteers. If interested, contact us at [email protected] (415) 476-1131.



Jeffrey Sall MD PhD

Principal Investigator 
[email protected]

Dr. Sall received a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where he worked on biochemical mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation as an undergraduate and laboratory manager. He began his medical training in the MD/PhD program at the Ohio State University and followed his thesis advisor to the University of Iowa where he completed both degrees and an internship in internal medicine. Dr. Sall undertook his anesthesia residency at the University of California, San Francisco where his advisor was Dr. Edmond Eger. After residency he worked as a post-doctoral fellow on the department’s NIH T-32 training grant under the guidance of Drs. Phillip Bickler (Anesthesia) and Samuel Pleasure (Neurology). He joined the faculty at UCSF in 2007. As a clinician Dr. Sall splits his time working on the obstetric anesthesia service at the new Mission Bay Women’s and Children’s hospital, and at the Moffitt-Long hospital on the neurosurgical anesthesia service. He is an advisor to residents in the anesthesia training program and is the faculty advisor for the medical student’s Anesthesia Interest Group which was awarded Best Student Interest Group by the ASA in 2015. His laboratory has been funded by the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER), International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) and by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has trained a number of post-doctoral research fellows including winners of the Michenfelder Award from the Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesia and Critical Care (SNACC).

Education and Training
UC San Francisco, Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, Residency 
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Internal Medicine, Internship
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Medicine, Neuroscience MD, PhD
University of Nebraska, Biological Sciences BS

Jennifer Sasaki Russell PhD

Associate Specialist
[email protected]

Jenny is a PhD-trained neuroscientist who joined the Sall Lab in 2015. Her current research focuses on the sex-specific mechanisms of developmental anesthetic neurotoxicity. She previously completed her thesis research in Leon Reijmers Lab at Tufts University in Boston, where she studied the functional neural circuitry of contextual fear learning and memory. She splits her time between leading the lab while Dr. Sall is on sabbatical and wrangling her one year old at home! Her baby makes for a cute lab mascot. 
Education and Training
Tufts University, Neuroscience, PhD
UC Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology, BA

Gregory Chinn MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar
[email protected]

Greg is a senior resident (CA4) in the research scholars track of the UCSF anesthesia residency program. He is interested broadly in neuro development and the effects of anesthetics on learning and memory. Previously he was at UC Irvine where he worked with Edwin Monuki on the function of the transcription factor Lhx2 in cortical development during his MSTP training. Greg loves San Francisco and will be staying on the Anesthesia department T32 and to be a clinical instructor at ZSFGH next year. When he’s not pipetting, you can find him hanging out with his family, biking, cooking, or drinking wine.

Education and Training
UC San Francisco, Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, Residency
UC Irvine, School of Medicine, MD
UC Irvine, Developmental and Cellular Biology, PhD
UC Irvine, Neurobiology BS

Koa Gudelunas

Koa joined the lab in May 2016.  His research projects in the lab include the value of cerebral tissue oxygenation during Neurovascular surgery and its potential use as a way to predict surgical outcomes and if cerebral oximetry can better access cerebral perfusion during Neurosurgery.  He also has interests in heart rate variability as a predictor of cardiac arrest. His ultimate goal is to practice medicine and plans to apply to medical school in the next couple years.

Education and Training
UC Santa Cruz, Neuroscience BS


Shivany Condor Montes

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator
[email protected]

Shivany grew up in the Andean town of San Pedro de Cajas, Peru standing at 4,014 m (13,169 ft) above sea level. Due to her experience growing up in such a high altitude environment, she is highly interested in studying the effects that hypoxia may have on child development, with its possible interactive effect on anemia. She will be attending the UC Berkeley School of Public Health this fall, on track to obtain an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics. She loves potatoes.

Education and Training
UC Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology, BA
UC Berkeley, Public Health, BA

Aileen Macaraeg

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator
[email protected]
Aileen is currently an assistant clinical research coordinator. She previously worked as an EMT-B in Alameda County, and a MA for CityHealth Urgent Care. She attended CSU East Bay for Health Science and became a research intern with Stanford. Her future goal is becoming a physician assistant by working towards direct patient clinical hours and shadowing. At the moment she is assisting the evaluation of T89, through prevention and treatment of acute mountain sickness. As a Bay Area native she participates in aerial yoga, waack dancing,  attending local comedy shows,  and exploring other parts of the bay. 

Shan Caressi

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator
[email protected]

Prior to working at the Sall Lab, Shan had previously worked as an EMT-B in Alameda County, a research assistant at Stanford University, and as a medical scribe. In the future, he plans to become a physician assistant and continue participating in research. Shan frequently travels to high altitude and is interested in looking in different treatments for acute mountain sickness. When not in the lab, you can find him skiing double blacks, completing long hikes, or playing basketball.

Education and Training
UC Irvine, Biological Sciences BS



John Chan MD
Obhijit Hazarika MD
Bradley Lee MD
Nan Lin MD
Deenu Maharjan, MD
Laura May MD
Jennifer Shih PhD
Nicole Yabut, Assistant Specialist





Jeffrey Sall
[email protected]| 415-476-0322

University of California, San Francisco
Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care
513 Parnassus Ave
Box 0542
San Francisco, Ca 94143


If you are interested in participating in our study or have any questions about it, please reach out to our coordinator, Nicole Yabut 415-476-1131 ([email protected])

In the meantime, check out our study criteria here! Children who have never received general anesthesia before are also eligible to participate.