Shizuka Yamada is a Ph.D. student in the Biology Department in the Cell, molecular and developmental biology tract at Stanford University. Her thesis focuses on the phenomenon of unconventional translation (the process of protein synthesis) in neurodegenerative diseases specifically amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Her work focuses on the identification of factors regulating this repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translation in order to better understand the mechanism behind this process and identify novel therapeutic targets for this devastating disease. She received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2013 and her M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2014 from the University of Arizona.