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People

Angel Bottini

Angel Bottini, Ph.D., Assistant Project Scientist
angelbottini@health.ucsd.edu

I obtained my B.S degree in 2007 from UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. Then I did my Ph.D. training in Drug Discovery in the Pellecchia laboratory at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute from 2009 to 2014 (The Pellecchia laboratory has moved to UC Riverside). I re-joined the Bottini laboratory in 2018 after my postdoctoral work focusing on non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase 14 (PTPN14) and its role in rheumatoid arthritis. My current research focuses on a subgroup of PTPs called phosphatase of regenerating liver (PRLs) and receptor PTP sigma (PTPRS). 

Favorite Book/Movie: Pride and Prejudice

Eugenio Santelli

Eugenio Santelli, Ph.D., Assistant Project Scientist
esantelli@health.ucsd.edu

I obtained a M.S. degree in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Milan in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Structural Biology from the ETH Zurich in 2000. Subsequently, I moved to the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute as a postdoc and then as a Staff Scientist before joining the Bottini Lab in 2015. I am currently focusing on the biophysical and biochemical side of several multidisciplinary efforts aimed at understanding and modulating the function of protein tyrosine phosphatases in the immune system and in fibroblast-like synoviocytes. I also plan to develop my career towards the applied biological sciences.

See full list of Dr. Santelli's publications on PubMed.

Shen Yang

Shen Yang, Ph.D., Assistant Project Scientist
shy021@health.ucsd.edu

I obtained my Ph.D. degree from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in 2014, and worked as a research associate in the Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute. I joined the Bottini laboratory as a post-doctoral fellow in December 2016 and was promoted to Assistant Project Scientist in 2020. My projects are focused on the post-translational modifications of protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). My goal is to become an independent investigator and focus on fundamental research with the goal to improve understanding and treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Personal Motto: "Seek victory while keeping performance stable."

Myungia Ro

Myungja Ro, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
myro@health.ucsd.edu

I obtained my Ph.D. degree in biotechnology from Korea University in 2018. My Ph.D. thesis was focused on the role of the Leukotriene B4 receptor 2 in the development of asthma. I joined the Bottini laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher in August 2019. My research focuses on the role of protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) in rheumatoid arthritis. My goal is to become an independent researcher heading a laboratory focused on mechanisms of immune-mediated diseases and contribute to the discovery of new treatments for these diseases.

Jaeyeon Kim
Jaeyeon Kim, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
jak020@health.ucsd.edu

I earned my Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from CHA University, South Korea in February 2021. I joined Dr. Bottini's lab as a postdoctoral researcher that following June. During the course of my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, my research focused on the molecular mechanisms of protein tyrosine phosphatase type IVA 1 (PTP4A1; PRL-1) in mesenchymal stem cells in chronic liver and autoimmune diseases. Now, my research investigates the molecuar mechanisms of receptor PTP sigma (PTPRS) in rheumatoid synoviocytes. I hope to become a  university professor focused on mechanisms of disease and translational research in chronic diseases.
Akata Saha, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
a5saha@health.ucsd.edu

I obtained by Ph.D. in Cancer Immunology from Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, India working on the role of VEGF under hypoxia and its Th17 to Treg cell differentiating capacity within the tumor microenvironment. I joined Dr. Bottini's lab as a postdoctoral researcher in February 2022. I aim to expand my knowledge of Immunobiology of Autoimmunity and my current work focuses on the biology of synoviocytes and their role in rheumatoid arthritis. My goal is to establish myself as an independent researcher working towards the treatment of human immune disorders.

Yang Dai

Yang Dai, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar
ydai@bri-sc.org

I received my Ph.D. degree in 2002 from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada and completed my postdoctoral training in T cell biology and Immune Regulation at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in San Diego, California. I am currently appointed as an Associate Professor at the Biomedical Research Institute of Southern California, San Diego. My research focuses on T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease, particularly Type 1 diabetes (T1D). My lab has identified one special type of secreted microvesicles or exosomes that contain endogenous retrovirus (ERV) antigens as a novel autoimmune trigger.

Martina Zoccheddu

Martina Zoccheddu, M.S., Staff Research Associate
mzoccheddu@health.ucsd.edu

I obtained my M.S. degree cum laude in Medical Biotechnology in 2015 at the University of Sassari, Italy. I joined the Bottini laboratory in May 2017. My research is focused on the role of PTPRS in rheumatoid arthritis. My goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Immunology or Biochemistry focusing my studies on chronic systemic autoimmune diseases.

Anna Belongia
Anna Belongia, Staff Research Associate
abelongia@health.ucsd.edu

I graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Biochemistry in May 2020, where my work focused on investigating the alterations of the STK11 gene, which is associated with non-small cell lung carcinoma. I joined the Bottini laboratory that following September. I manage the laser capture core and perform laser-capture genomic studies on various autoimmune disease specimens under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie Stanford. My goal is to gain diverse experience as I prepare to pursue a Ph.D.

                                      Favorite Movie: O Brother, Where Art Thou
Colton Sanders
Colton Sanders, Staff Research Associate
cmsanders@health.ucsd.edu

I obtained my Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2020. I joined the Bottini/Stanford lab in August 2020 following my graduation. Under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Stanford, I am working to study the role of LMPTP in the development of cardiac fibrosis. My goal is to continue gaining practical research experience prior to pursuing a Ph.D.

                                      Favorite Movie: The Devil Wears Prada
Tiffany Nguyen

Tiffany Nguyen, Staff Research Associate
tpn047@health.ucsd.edu

I joined the Bottini lab in July 2019 to study the role of LMPTP in prostate cancer and cardiac fibrosis under Dr. Stanford’s guidance and supervision.  I received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD in June 2020 and my Master's degree in Biology in December 2021. Since graduating, I am continuing my research at the Bottini Lab as a staff research associate until matriculating into an MD/PhD program.
May Tun 

May Tun, Staff Research Associate
mttun@ucsd.edu

I joined the Bottini Lab in 2019 to study the structure and function of PTPN2 under the supervision of Dr. Eugenio Santelli. I received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology from UCSD in 2020 and my Master's degree in Biology in 2021. As a staff research associate, I am continuing to work on this research and expanding on the vivo studies of PTPN2.

Irene Choi
Irene Choi, UCSD BS/MS Student
ivchoi@ucsd.edu

I received my Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology. I joined the Bottini Lab in September 2019 and am studying the post-translational regulation of the PTPN22 protein under Dr. Yang. In the future, I plan to pursue a career in the biotech industry.

                                      Favorite Artwork: Canyon Mountains by Wayne Thiebaud
Jalin Silas Xu
Jalin Silas Xu, UCSD BS/MS Student
jix007@ucsd.edu

I received my Bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. I joined the Bottini Lab in July 2020, and I'm studying the allosteric regulation mechanism of RPTPα phosphatase activity and similar mechanisms in other RPTPs under Dr. Santelli's supervision. I hope to gain research experience, and after the BS/MS program, I plan to pursue a Ph.D.
Sophie Hao
Sophie Hao, Undergraduate Research Assistant
yfhao@ucsd.edu

I am an undergraduate student double majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology and Human Developmental Sciences. I joined the Bottini Lab in November 2020 studying the role of PRL1 and of its interaction with SRC in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis under Dr. Santelli's supervision. I hope to earn my Master's degree through the contiguous BS/MS program and continue doing research afterward.
 
                                      Favorite Artwork: Chopin's Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
Rowena Zhuang
Rowena Zhuang, Undergraduate Research Assistant 
czhuang@ucsd.edu

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I joined the Bottini Lab in January 2021 and am currently studying the post-translational modifications of protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22/LYP) under Dr. Santelli and Dr. Yang's supervision. In the future, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. degree.
Sharon Zhao
Sharon Zhao, Undergraduate Research Assistant
ziz013@ucsd.edu

I am an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. I joined the Bottini lab in March 2021 and am currently working under Dr. Stanford's supervision. My research is about studying the role of phosphorylation on the regulation of LMPTP and small-molecule inhibitors targeting LMPTP. I hope to continue as a BS/MS student in the future and then pursue a Ph.D. degree afterwards.

                                      Favorite movie: Toy Story series
Allison Vela
Allison Vela, Undergraduate Research Assistant
ajvela@ucsd.edu

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology. I joined the Bottini lab in March 2021 and work under the supervision of Dr. Bottini. My project is focused on the regulation of PTPRA and its role in rheumatoid synoviocytes. In the future, I hope to join the BS/MS program and then pursue a Ph.D. in cancer research.