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Students in Graduate School

PhD I Students 

Alis Balayan



  • Email: abalayan@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: UCLA
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
  • Research Interests: Stem Cell Research, Regenerative Medicine
  • Laboratory Rotation: Shaochen Chen (Summer [Su] 20), Sam Ward (Su 21), Karl Wahlin (Su 21)
  • Thesis Lab: Sam Ward & Shaochen Chen


Oye Bosompra



  • Email: n1bosomp@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: UCLA
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
  • Research Interests: Breast cancer, Cell signaling, Metabolism, Nutrient-sensing pathways
  • Laboratory Rotation: Nicholas Webster (Summer '20), JoAnn Trejo (Summer '22)
  • Thesis Lab: JoAnn Trejo

Trever Carter



  • Email: tcarter@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Notre Dame
  • Graduate Program: The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Chemistry
  • Research Interests: Pharmacology/Drug Discovery, Chem/Biochem
  • Laboratory Rotation: Michael Erb, Scripps (Su 20, 7/13); Ryan Shenvi (6/28-7/23), Ben Cravatt (8/9-9/3/21) (SU 21)
  • Thesis Lab: Michael Erb

Jianna Cressy



  • Email: jcressy@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Johns Hopkins
  • Graduate Program: Neursociences
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Genetics, Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Rotation: Kay and Ed Callaway
  • Thesis Lab: Kay Tye, Salk Institute

Genevieve Curtin



  • Email: gcurtin@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Tulane University
  • Graduate Program:Biomedical Sciences
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Immunology/Infection, Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • Laboratory Rotation: Nicole Coufal (Su 21) and Samara Reck-Peterson (Su 21), Jeff Kelly Scripps (Su 20)
  • Thesis Lab: Nicole Coufal

Matthew Donnelly



  • Email: mpdonnel@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
  • Research Interests: Mitochondrial Biology, Cell Biology, and Cardiovascular Disease
  • Laboratory Rotation: Bing Ren (Su 20); Uri Manor (6/23-7/23), Gerald Shadel (8/2-9/3) (Su 21)
  • Thesis Lab: Gerald Shadel, Salk Institute
Mary Kaye Duff



  • Email: mduff@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Columbia University
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Immunology/Infection, Endocrinology/Metabolism, Pharmacology/Drug Discovery
  • Laboratory Rotation: Lisa Eyler and Paula Desplats (Su 20); Axel Nimmerjahn, Salk (Su 19, July 22)
  • Thesis Lab: Axel Nimmerjahn

Liam Fitzgerald



  • Email: lfitzger@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst (2019), B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
  • Research Interests: Exercise Physiology, Skeletal Muscle Contractile Performance, Metabolism
  • Thesis Lab: Simon Schenk

Quetzal Flores-Ramirez



  • Email: qfloresramirez@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: UC Berkeley
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Neuroplasticity, Neurodevelopment, Brain Repair
  • Laboratory Rotation: Marga Behrens, Salk (Su 20); Robert Hevner (7/7-8/4), Ed Callaway (8/5-9/3) (Su 21)
  • Thesis Lab: Marga Behrens & Ed Callaway

Amin Mahmoodi



  • Email: amahmoodi@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: UC Irvine (2016); B.S. Bioengineering 
  • Graduate Program:Bioengineering
  • Research Interests: Bioengineering, Datascience
  • Laboratory Rotation: Albert Hsiao (Su 20); Shadi Dayeh (Su 21)
  • Thesis Lab: Albert Hsiao

Lauren Ostrowski



  • Email: lostrows@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Brown University
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Neurosciences and Bioengineering
  • Laboratory Rotation: Vikash Gilja (Su 21); Eric Halgren (Su 21); Eran Mukamel (Su 20)
  • Thesis Lab: Vikash Gilja & Timothy Gentner

Alta Steward



  • Email: amstewar@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington
  • Graduate Program: Bioengineering
  • Research Interests: Deep Learning, Bioengineering, Mathematics, Epidemiology/Public Health, Medical Imaging, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Genomics
  • Laboratory Rotation: Jill Mesirov (Su 2021), Albert Hsiao (Su 20); Albert Hsiao & Paula Desplats (Su 19; July 15)
  • Thesis Lab: Albert Hsiao

Brett Taylor



  • Email: b5taylor@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Fordham University
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
  • Research Interests: Cancer Biology, Bioinformatics, Neuroscience
  • Laboratory Rotation: Gene Yeo/Frank Furnari (Su 20); Bing Ren (6/21-7/16), Alysson Muotri (7/19-8/13) (Su 21)
  • Thesis Lab: Frank Furnari & Bing Ren

Akhilesh Yeluru



  • Email: ayeluru@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: UC San Diego (2019), BS Bioengineering: Biotechnology
  • Graduate Program: Bioengineering
  • Research Interests: Radiology, Cardiac Imaging, AI & Deep Learning, Bioengineering
  • Thesis Lab: Albert Hsiao


PhD II Students

Althea Hansel-Harris



  • Email: ahansel@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Harvey Mudd College
  • Graduate Program: Scripps Graduate Program
  • Research Interests: Pharmacology/Drug Discovery, Chemistry/Biochemistry, and Cancer Biology
  • Laboratory Rotation: Andrew Ward June 22-July 17; Stefano Forli July 27-August 21 (Su 20); Rommie Amaro (Su 19, July 1)
  • Thesis Lab: Stefano Forli, Scripps

Chase Morgan



  • Email: c1morgan@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Columbia University 
  • Graduate Program: Biological Sciences
  • Research Interests: Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Infectious Disease
  • Laboratory Rotation: Kevin Corbett (June-July), Joe Pogliano (August) (Su 20); Liz Villa (Su 19, July 15)
  • Thesis Lab: Joe Pogliano

Celina Nguyen



  • Email: ctn004@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Arizona
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Neurodevelopment, Neuroimmunology, Cell-Type Specific Gene Regulation
  • Laboratory Rotation: Nicole Coufal & Chris Glass (Su 20); Bing Ren (Su 19, July 8)
  • Thesis Lab: Nicole Coufal & Chris Glass

Jack Olmstead



  • Email: jolmstead@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Baylor University 
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Neurosciences and Bioengineering
  • Laboratory Rotation: Brenda Bloodgood (Su 20); Sung Han (Su 19, July 1)
  • Thesis Lab: Brenda Bloodgood

Diana Smith



  • Email: d9smith@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Harvard University
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience and Epidemiology/Public Health
  • Laboratory Rotation: Murray Stein and Terry Jernigan (Su 20); Susan Tapert (Su 19, July 22)
  • Thesis Lab: Terry Jernigan & Anders Dale

Alexandra Stream



  • Email: astream@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: UCLA
  • Graduate Program: Biological Sciences
  • Research Interests: Immunology/Infection
  • Laboratory Rotation: Victor Nizet and Cressida Madigan (Su 20); Bruce Torbett (Su 19, July 8)
  • Thesis Lab: Victor Nizet

Ilya Verzhbinsky



  • Email: iverzhbinsky@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: UCLA
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Cardiovascular Research and Neuroscience
  • Laboratory Rotation: Eran Mukamel and Eric Halgren (Su 20); Terrence Sejnowski (Su 19, July 8)
  • Thesis Lab: Eric Halgren

PhD III Students

Alec Calac (Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians)


  • Email: acalac@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Arizona (2016), B.S. Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Graduate Program: Joint Doctoral Program (UCSD/SDSU) - Public Health
  • Research Interests: Global Health, Infodemiology, Health Policy, Workforce Development
  • Laboratory Rotation: Timothy Mackey; Gretchen Bandoli; Eran Mukamel
  • Thesis Lab: Timothy Mackey

James Deng


  • Email: jdeng@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017), B.S. Chemistry   
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences 
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Neuropsychiatric and Developmental Disorders
  • Laboratory Rotation: Bing Ren, Su 18; Nicola Allen, Su 19; Li Ye, Su 19 
  • Thesis Lab: Nicola Allen, Salk

Iris Garcia-Pak


  • Email: igarciap@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Brown University (2015), B.S. Biomedical Engineering
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences 
  • Research Interests: Neuropsychiatric disease, brain excitation and signaling, cellular and molecular neurscience
  • Laboratory Rotation: Rich Daneman; Olivier George (Su 19); Kristin Baldwin (Su 18; 7/18)
  • Thesis Lab: Richard Daneman

Alon Gelber


  • Email: agelber@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Massachusetts (2016), B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mathematics
  • Graduate Program: Bio-Engineering 
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Bioinformatics
  • Laboratory Rotation: Tanya Sharpee (Su 19); Gert Cauwenberghs (Su 18; 6/27)
  • Thesis Lab: Eran Mukamel

Ryan Hsu


  • Email: rhhsu@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Berkeley (2017), B.S. Microbial Biology
  • Graduate ProgramBio-Engineering 
  • Research Interests: Immunology/Infection, Bioinformatics, Bioengineering
  • Laboratory Rotation: Rachel Dutton; Trey Ideker (Su 19); Rob Knight (Su 18, 7/23-8/24)
  • Thesis Lab: Sam Pfaff, Salk

Saumya Jani


  • Email: sjani@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Cal State Fullerton (2017), B.S. Biological Science  
  • Graduate Program: University of Washington - Lab Medicine and Pathology
  • Research Interests: Immunology/Infection, Pharma/Drug Discovery, Stem Cell Research
  • Laboratory Rotation: Bruce Torbett 7/22-8-23; Cressida Madigan 6/17-7/12 (Su 19); Matt Daugherty (Su 18; 7/23-8/24)
  • Thesis Lab: Paul Nghiem, UW 

Maria Klingler


  • Email: mklingler@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Michigan (2013), B.S. Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience     
  • Graduate Department: Anthropology
  • Research Interests: Biology, Anthropology, Public Health
  • Laboratory Rotation: Molly Fox, UCLA (Su 19); Amy Non (Su 18, July 23)
  • Thesis Lab: Amy Non

Joyce Tran 


  • Email: jot013@health.ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Los Angeles (2016), B.S. Biochemistry
  • Graduate Program Neurosciences 
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Epidemiology/Public Health 
  • Laboratory Rotation: Susan Ackerman and Jerold Chun (Su 19); Stuart Lipton, TSRI (Su 18; 7/2)
  • Thesis Lab: Susan Ackerman


PhD IV Students

Ellis James (E.J.) Curtis


  • Email: ejcurtis@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: St. Lawrence University (2017), B.S. Neuroscience
  • Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
  • Research Interests: Neuro-oncology, Cancer Biology, Neuroscience, Extrachromosomal DNA
  • Laboratory Rotation: Frank Furnari, (Su 18); Paul Mischel (Su 17)
  • Thesis Lab: Paul Mischel

Chris Garza

  • Email: c1garza@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Colorado at Denver (2017), B.S. Public Health,
  • Graduate Program: Scripps Graduate Program 
  • Research Interests: Chemistry/Biochemistry, Biophysics
  • Laboratory Rotation: Jeff Kelly, Albert Hsiao (Su 18); Bruce Torbett & Stefano Forli (Su 17)
  • Thesis Lab: Bruce Torbett & Stefano Forli, Scripps

Adrian Guerrero


  • Email: amg101@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley (2015), B.S. Pre-Med, Chemistry   
  • Graduate Program: Scripps Graduate Program
  • Research Interests: Chemistry/Biochemistry, Pharmacology/Drug Discovery.
  • Laboratory Rotation: Ben Cravatt, TSRI and Adam Halberstadt (Su 18); Jeff Kelly, TSRI (Su 17)
  • Thesis Lab: Jeff Kelly, Scripps

Imani Howard

            
  • Email: ihoward@ucsd.edu 
  • Undergraduate Institution: Stanford University (2015), B.A. Biology, Philosophy
  • Graduate Department: Philosophy/Science Studies
  • Research Interests: Philosophy of Science, The Philosophy of Medicine, and The Philosophy of Race
  • Laboratory Rotation: Michael Hardimon (Su 18); Amy Non (Su 17)
  • Thesis Lab: Michael Hardimon

Bojing (Blair) Jia


  • Email: b2jia@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: McGill University (2015), B.S. Quantitative Biology
  • Graduate Program: Bioinformatics & Systems Biology
  • Research Interests: Genomics
  • Laboratory Rotation: Eran Mukamel; Kun Zhang (Su 19); Albert Hsiao, Bing Ren (Su 18); Gene Yeo (Su 17)
  • Thesis Lab: Bing Ren

Caroline Jia


  • Email: cljia@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Los Angeles (2016), B.S. Neuroscience
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences 
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience
  • Laboratory Rotation: Richard Daneman and Sung Han, Salk (Su 18); Axel Nimmerjahn, Salk (Su 17)
  • Thesis Lab: Kay Tye, Salk

Kevin Tenerelli

             
  • Email: k1tenerelli@ucsd.edu 
  • Undergraduate Institution: Cal State San Marcos (2017), B.S. Biology  
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences 
  • Research Interests: Cancer Biology, Immunology 
  • Laboratory Rotation: Hollis Cline, TSRI (Su 18); Derek Welsbie, Karl Wahlin, Jonathan Lin; Richard Daneman/Eric Nudleman (Su 19)
  • Thesis Lab: Richard Daneman and Eric Nudleman

PhD V+ Students

Elizabeth Bird

Medical Scientist Training Program Colloquium
  • Email: embird@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of California, San Diego (2015), B.S. Bioengineering
  • Graduate Program: Bioengineering
  • Research Interests: Bioengineering
  • Laboratory Rotation: Adam Engler (Su 15), Kim Prisk (Su 16), Marc Garellek (Su 16)
  • Thesis Lab: Francisco Contijoch

Morgen Chalmiers

Medical Scientist Training Program Colloquium
  • Email: mchalmiers@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Pomona College (2013), B.S. Women's Global Health
  • Graduate Department: Anthropology
  • Research Interests: Anthropology
  • Thesis Advisor: Thomas Csordas 

Isabel Costantino


  • Email: icostantino@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Dartmouth University (2012), B.A. Biology, Neuroscience   
  • Graduate Program: Neuroscience
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience
  • Laboratory Rotation: Jerold Chun, Susan Ackerman (Su 17); Corinne Jolivalt (Su 16)
  • Thesis Lab: John Ravits

Katherine Lee


  • Email: k7lee@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Stanford University (2013) B.S. Human Biology   
  • Graduate Program: Biological Sciences
  • Research Interests: Stem Cell Research, Pharmacology/Drug Discovery
  • Laboratory Rotation: Mana Parast, Karen Christman (Su 17); Heidi Cook-Andersen (Su 16)
  • Thesis Lab: Heidi Cook-Andersen

Juliet Nicodemus


  • Email: jnicodem@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: Harvard University (2015) B.A. Neurobiology  
  • Graduate Program: Neurosciences
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Immunology/Infection
  • Laboratory Rotation: Amir Zarrinpar; Nicole Coufal (Su 17); Rich Daneman (Su 16)
  • Thesis Lab: Jerold Chun

Shannan McClain

Medical Scientist Training Program Colloquium
  • Email: spmcclain@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Berkeley (2013) B.A. Integrative Biology, Psychology
  • Graduate Program: Neuroscience
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience, Epidemiology/ Public Health
  • Laboratory Rotation: Tom Hnasko (Su 15), Abraham Palmer (Su 16), Byungkook Lim (Su 16)
  • Thesis Lab: Matthew Banghart

Elischa Sanders
Medical Scientist Training Program Colloquium
  • Email: ejsanders@ucsd.edu
  • Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington (2013) B.S. Neurobiology
  • Graduate Program: Neuroscience
  • Research Interests: Neuroscience
  • Laboratory Rotation: Brenda Bloodgood (Su 15), Eiman Azim, Salk (Su 16)
  • Thesis Lab: Eiman Azim, Salk