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People - Current Lab Members



​Peter DeHoff
Staff Research Associate

I provide technical expertise and support to various projects within the department.  Projects encompass ExRNA NGS, ExDNA NGS, WGBS, NGS data processing/analysis, DNA construct design/cloning, and biochemical fractionation of protein/particles from human serum/plasmas/stem cell culture materials.


Nguyen Do
Undergraduate Volunteer
​University of California,
San Diego
BS Human Biology Candidate
​I am a premedical undergraduate student interested in the research of reproductive health. My project explores trophoblast stem cell reprogramming, and its relation to maternal medicine.

Victoria Doan
Clinical Research Assistant
University of California,
San Diego
BS Human Biology Candidate
​I am a Clinical Research Assistant at the Maternal Fetal Care and Genetics Center. I consent pregnant patients for various research studies and have clerical duties such as data entry. I have experience in doing community outreach to improve health/public policies and helping others in my local community as a medical volunteer. 

JoonHo Lee, MD, PhD
Visiting Scholar
Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Doctor of Medicine
I'm an Obstetrician-Gynecologist and a subspecialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. I'm interested in understanding the mechanisms of high-risk pregnancies including preterm birth. My project focuses on the extracellular RNA research in Obstetric fields, especially on the detection and quantification of microRNAs in biofluid samples using the magnetic nanosensor-based technology. 


​Xiru Liu, MD, PhD
Visiting Scholar
​The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, China
Doctor of Medicine
​I'm an Associate Professor in Reproductive Medicine Center. I'm interested in maternal-fetal interface research and molecular mechanisms of placenta formation. 

​Celestine Magallanes
Clinical Research Coordinator
University of California,
San Diego
BS Human Biology
​I am a clinical research coordinator for Reproductive Medicine. I am involved in the research of using bio-markers to predict various pregnancy outcomes, as well as finding ways to improve the accuracy of non-invasive genetic testing. 

Amber Morey
CIRM Intern
SUNY Oneonta 
BS Biology
​I am an SDSU CIRM Intern that is pursuing a Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology. I am interested in signal transduction pathways, protein interactions, and just looking to understand how humans work at the cellular level. My ultimate goal is to obtain my PhD in CMB and work as a professor encouraging other students to enter into the scientific research field. 

Rob Morey
Research Associate
San Diego State University
MBA with a concentration in finance
​In my projects, I apply a variety of genomic/ epigenomic methods to understand the relationships between human pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives. Our results help us understand the contribution of different reprogramming methods to the transcriptional and epigenetic signatures of stem cell lines, and to determine whether patient-specific stem cells can be used to accurately model their disease.

​Priya Pantham, PhD
Assistant Project Scientist
University of Auckland, New Zealand 
Doctor of Philosophy
​My research background is in applying high throughout multi-omics approaches to investigate placental function in obstetric disorders such as preeclampsia, preterm birth, and intrauterine growth restriction. In my current project I am investigating placental extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a link between placental and renal dysfunction in preeclampsia. I am using next generation sequencing to profile urinary EV exRNA in normal pregnancy and preeclampsia in order to identify RNA biomarkers and understand disease pathology.  

Donna Pham
Clinical Research Volunteer
University of California, San Diego
BS Public Health Candidate
​I am a second year undergraduate student interested in pursuing medicine as a career. I work with the clinical research coordinators to consent pregnant patients, process biospecimens, and input patient data for the placenta biomarker study. 

Chandana Tekkatte
Research Associate
University of Sheffield
Regenerative Medicine
My research here focuses on developing in vitro models for studying Placental physiology and function. We are designing a 3-D biomimetic 'Placenta-on-a-chip' microfluidics device to comprehensively model the materno-fetal interactions in vitro. In parallel, we are also optimizing human placental explant culture protocols (from healthy and diseased pregnancies) specifically for investigating Extra-cellular Vesicles (EV) release and function of exRNAs in placental disease pathology. Besides primary placental studies, genetic manipulation of human pluripotent stem cells is also used as a developmental model to help unravel the complex functional roles of key transcription factors in trophoblast formation.

Cuong To
Bioinformatic Specialist
​University of West Bohemia

My research focuses on applying and developing data mining methods and mathematical models for biological datasets such as transcriptomics, proteomics, next generation sequencing, gene regulatory networks, protein-protein interactions networks, etc. I currently use clustering methods, biclustering methods, visualization methods, classification methods, ​regression models, feature selections, etc. on next generation sequencing datasets.


Cassandra Wang
Undergraduate Volunteer
University of California, San Diego
BS Human Biology Candidate
I am a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Psychology. My project focuses on the reprogramming of human MSC's into induced trophoblast stem cells through the overexpression of certain transcription factors. After graduating from college, I plan on pursuing a career in medicine.