Honors & Awards

  • STAR Award, Center for Community Solutions (2016)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship (Perception & Psychophysics), National Science Foundation (2014)
  • Community Service Individual of the Year Award, University of California, San Diego (2013)
  • Global Citizen Award, University of California, San Diego (2012)
  • Letter of Support for Neurotherapy International from President Bill Clinton, Clinton Global Initiative – University (2012)

All Publications

  • Insights on cross-species transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from structural modeling bioRxiv Rodrigues, J. P., Barrera-Vilarmau, S., Teixeira, J. M., Seckel, E., Kastritis, P., Levitt, M. 2020
  • Insights on cross-species transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from structural modeling. PLoS computational biology Rodrigues, J. P., Barrera-Vilarmau, S. n., M C Teixeira, J. n., Sorokina, M. n., Seckel, E. n., Kastritis, P. L., Levitt, M. n. 2020; 16 (12): e1008449


    Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the ongoing global pandemic that has infected more than 31 million people in more than 180 countries worldwide. Like other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have been transmitted to humans from wild animals. Given the scale and widespread geographical distribution of the current pandemic and confirmed cases of cross-species transmission, the question of the extent to which this transmission is possible emerges, as well as what molecular features distinguish susceptible from non-susceptible animal species. Here, we investigated the structural properties of several ACE2 orthologs bound to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We found that species known not to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection have non-conservative mutations in several ACE2 amino acid residues that disrupt key polar and charged contacts with the viral spike protein. Our models also allow us to predict affinity-enhancing mutations that could be used to design ACE2 variants for therapeutic purposes. Finally, our study provides a blueprint for modeling viral-host protein interactions and highlights several important considerations when designing these computational studies and analyzing their results.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008449

    View details for PubMedID 33270653

  • https://doi.org/10.1002/jum.15586 Measurement of Marginal Placental Cord Insertion by Prenatal Ultrasound Was Found Not to Be Predictive of Adverse Perinatal Outcomes Lutz, A. B., Young-Lin, N., Leon-Martinez, D., Bianco, I. C., Seckel, E., Mrazek-Pugh, B., Bianco, K. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jum.15586

  • Synesthetic colors induced by graphemes that have not been consciously perceived NEUROCASE Ramachandran, V. S., Seckel, E. 2015; 21 (2): 216-219


    Grapheme-color synesthetes experience colors when they see printed letters of the alphabet. Currently, we tested four "projector" synesthetes, whose colors evoked by graphemes have sensory support or quale and appear to be restricted spatially to the letters like real colors. We use three different kinds of puzzle pictures that contained hidden letters, which require 30 s or more for nonsynesthetes to identify. Grapheme-color projector synesthetes recognize them three times faster and report that the colors were evoked before conscious letter recognition, clueing them as to what the letters were. Subjectively, the synesthetic subjects reported that they also saw mirror-reversed letters in the same colors as nonreversed letters which enabled them to read mirror-reversed text at thrice the normal speed. We conclude that in some synesthetes colors are evoked preconsciously early in sensory processing.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/13554794.2014.890728

    View details for Web of Science ID 000346850300013

    View details for PubMedID 24621005

  • Interpolation of illusory pain in the human somatosensory system PERCEPTION Seckel, E., Krause, B., Ramachandran, V. S. 2012; 41 (7): 878-880


    Three coins are lined up with the middle coin at room temperature and flanking coins cooled down to 4 degrees C. If digits 2 and 4 are placed on the outer coins and digit 3 on the middle coin, the latter also feels cold; a striking example of perceptual filling in of temperature. We show that if digits 2 and 4 are placed on a thermal grill with alternating hot and cold bars, while digit 3 is placed on cardboard, the sensation of pain will also spread to the middle finger.

    View details for DOI 10.1068/p7019

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310184600012

    View details for PubMedID 23155740

  • Neurology of visual aesthetics; Indian nymphs, modern art and sexy beaks. Aesthetics Science: Connecting Minds, Brains, and Experience. Ramachandran, V., Seckel, E. Oxford University Press. 2012: 375–389
  • Graphemes evoke synesthetic colors even before they are consciously recognized PERCEPTION Ramachandran, V. S., Seckel, E. 2011; 40 (4): 490-492


    We showed a grapheme-color synesthete three different examples of stimuli in which the graphemes were 'hidden'--as in puzzle pictures--and became visible as letters only after prolonged viewing. Intriguingly the subject saw the appropriate colors accurately long before the graphemes became consciously visible--a novel form of blindsight.

    View details for DOI 10.1068/p6861

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292721500009

    View details for PubMedID 21805923