Graduate Division

Full List of ARCS Scholars

All ARCS Scholars

2018-2019

Maryam Asghari

Maryam Asghari

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine, 2017
  • B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, 2015

Research

Science and engineering of energy conversion, Renewable energy

Advisor

Dr. Jack Brouwer

Biography

Maryam is a graduate student and National Science Foundation GRFP Fellow in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UCI.  While an undergraduate at the University of Tehran, she developed her interest in renewable energy.  Her research aims at a more sustainable, efficient power generation and clean environment.  Maryam’s recent work focuses on integration of highly efficient, zero emission Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technologies with cooling and dehumidification systems.  She is DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) STEM co-chair and Legislative Director for the Association of Graduate Students, where she follows her passion to make changes in minorities’ lives and advocate for graduate students’ rights.

Brianna Craver

Brianna Craver

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Biotechnology, UC Irvine, 2016
  • B.S., Cellular & Developmental Biology, CSU Fullerton, 2011

 

Research

The role of inflammation in promoting the onset of rare blood cancers

Advisor

Dr. Angela Fleischman

Biography

Brianna received her B.S. in Cellular and Developmental Biology from California State University, Fullerton in 2011.  She was selected for CSU Fullerton’s first cohort of CIRM-funded Bridges to Stem Cell Researchers, which gave her the opportunity to continue in the stem cell field as a research associate at UCI for the next three years.  She received her M.S. in Biotechnology from UCI in 2016.  Brianna’s Ph.D. research is focused on the role of inflammation in promoting the onset of rare blood cancers.  This year, she was awarded the Stanley Behrens Outstanding Student Fellowship of 2018.  In her free time, Brianna enjoys traveling, cooking, hiking, and running.

Gianna Fote

Gianna Fote

Degrees

  • M.D., Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, UC Irvine, 2023 expected
  • B.S., Intensive Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Yale University, 2014

Research

Neurodegenerative disease

Advisor

Dr. Joan Steffan, Dr. Leslie Thompson

Biography

Gianna graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Intensive Biology in 2014, and matriculated to UC Irvine to pursue her M.D./Ph.D.  Gianna hopes to become a neurologist and basic science researcher, working towards cures for neurodegenerative diseases.  She currently researches how these devastating diseases might be caused by impaired degradation of cellular waste.  Gianna maintains her clinical skills by volunteering at free clinics, and enjoys sharing her passion for her work with scientists, patients, and the public.  When she is not in the lab or clinic, Gianna enjoys surfing and competing with the UCI club water polo team.

Rachel Gurlin

Daniel Gardner

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Informatics, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.A., Social Science-Medicine, Science & Technology Studies, UC Irvine, 2015
  • B.A., Anthropology, Humboldt State University, 2013

Research

How cultural values and assumptions materialize in the design of digital media and games

Advisor

Dr. Josh Tanenbaum, Dr. Bonnie Nardi

Biography

Dan has a background in Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies, with a B.A. and M.A. respectively.  Broadly, he is concerned with examining the ways that cultural values and systems of authority materialize in the design of digital media and games, and how we can improve the inclusivity of games and media.  He is committed to teaching in support of long term goals of becoming a professor, and was an i3 Teaching Fellow in 2017 and research advisor in 2018, and is a UCI Pedagogical Fellow for 2018.  Dan has also served as the Informatics Diversity Ambassador for the 2017-2018 academic year, and served as a board member for the Informatics Grad Student Association (IGSA) from 2015-2018; the last year as its president.

Paul Kirth

Paul Kirth

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Computer Science, CSU Northridge, 2016
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, UCLA, 2005

Research

System security and compilers

Advisor

Dr. Michael Franz

Biography

Paul's main research interests are in system security and compilers, with a focus on compiler based security.  His current work focuses on securing the boundaries between safe and unsafe programming languages.  At CSU Northridge, Paul's master's research was focused on improving the efficiency of network communications and on detecting network neutrality violations.  He studied Civil Engineering at UCLA and was a practicing engineer before pursing his academic interest in computing.  Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, cooking, hiking, and Jiu-Jitsu.

 

Jesse Kreger

Jesse Kreger

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Mathematics, UC Irvine, 2021 expected
  • M.S., Mathematics, UC Irvine, 2017
  • B.A., Mathematics, Occidental College, 2015

Research

 Mathematical models in evolutionary biology

Advisor

Dr. Natalia Komarova, Dr. Dominik Wodarz

Biography

Jesse is a Math Ph.D. student developing advanced mathematical models to study topics in evolutionary biology.  He has made significant progress on projects related to the evolutionary progression and drug resistant properties of viruses and cancer. Jesse has worked at positions promoting math in the community, including as a student researcher at UCLA and as a tutor at the Huntington Learning Center. At UCI, Jesse has been awarded department fellowships and earned a M.S. in math in 2017. He is active in the department and serves as the co-coordinator of the graduate student mentor program as well as the captain of many Mathlete intramural sports teams.  He also volunteers for multiple outreach programs such as UCI Math Circle, UCI Math CEO, and MathCounts.  In the spring he received the Outstanding Contributions to the Department award as just a second-year graduate student.

Annika Nelson

Annika Nelson

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Biological Sciences, UC Irvine, 2018
  • B.A., Biology, Oberlin College, 2015

Research

How climate change affects species interactions

Advisor

Dr. Kailen Mooney

Biography

Annika graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio) in 2015. During college she studied ant ecology in the Entomology Department at Texas A&M University (NSF-REU program; mentor: Micky Eubanks) and at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL; mentor: Kailen Mooney).  For her dissertation work at UC Irvine, she uses field experiments and demographic models to study how climate change and biodiversity loss affect species interactions.  Annika has also worked to represent diverse graduate student perspectives as a member of a faculty search committee at UCI and the RMBL Diversity Committee.  With the goal of promoting a public appreciation for biodiversity and the natural world, Annika has worked as a teaching assistant at UCI, contributed to K-12 education programs in Irvine, and shared her research with public citizens touring RMBL.  After completing her Ph.D., Annika hopes to work as a university researcher and educator to conduct innovative research and to encourage others, especially minority students and women, to become engaged in scientific inquiry and discovery.
Alexandra Perebikovsky

Alexandra Perebikovsky

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Physics, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • B.S., Physics, UC Irvine, 2016

Research

Microfluidics, stem cells

Advisor

Dr. Marc Madou

Biography

Alexandra heads the CD microfluidics and stem cell research teams in UCI’s BioMEMS laboratory.  Alexandra’s doctoral research focuses on using MEMS techniques for diagnostics and to develop smart stem cell scaffolds for regenerative medicine.  While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, Alexandra received several UROP and SURP grants, and a multi-disciplinary design fellowship to develop point-of-care systems that would replace traditional biomedical labs in remote, resource poor environments.  She is a member of Women in Physics, an Artiman Beta fellow, has been a mentor for the Gifted Student Association, and has volunteered as a judge at several science fairs, hoping to inspire participation of younger students in STEM fields.

Melissa Thone

Melissa Thone

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, 2016
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Communications, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2014

Research

Personalized medicine/therapeutics

Advisor

Dr. Young Jik Kwon

Biography

Melissa graduate summa cum laude from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.  She joined the Bio-Therapeutics Engineering Laboratory at UC Irvine to pursue her Ph.D. in designing personalized therapeutics for cancer and was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in her first year.  She also contributes to the UCI community as a Competitive Edge and DECADE Plus mentor, and in leadership roles including DECADE Education Chair and President of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Graduate Student Association.  In her free time, Melissa enjoys playing intramural sports, volunteering, and studying Spanish.

Rachel Waymack

Rachel Waymack

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Developmental & Cellular Biology, UC Irvine, 2021 expected
  • B.S., Neuroscience, minor in Biochemistry, College of William and Mary, 2016

Research

Gene expression during early development, immune responses

Advisor

Dr. Zeba Wunderlich

Biography

Rachel completed her undergraduate study at the College of William and Mary, where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Biochemistry.  At William and Mary, she excelled academically, qualifying for the Dean’s list every semester, receiving three merit-based scholarships, and being elected into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  During this time, Rachel also fostered a passion for community service and tutoring, commitments she has continued in graduate school.  Her research interests focus on proper control of gene expression during early development and immune responses.  Rachel’s current project focuses on regulating gene expression during embryonic development in fruit flies.

2017-2018

Joseph Bell

Joseph Bell

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine, 2016
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, UC Irvine, 2014

Research

Automotive controls

Advisor

Dr. Gregory Washington

Biography

Joseph has already received both bachelors’ and master’s degrees at UCI, which is where he developed his interest in automotive controls.  He shares a passion for racing and restoring cars with his father, but it was not until graduate school that he combined his personal hobbies with his research.  Joseph is focused in automotive controls and is currently researching alternative energy vehicles and venturing into the autonomous driving field.  In this arena, he has interned with the Ford Motor Company for the third time this year at Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto.



Jennifer Bryson

Jennifer Bryson

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Mathematics, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • M.S., Mathematics, UC Irvine, 2016
  • B.S., Mathematics, Texas A&M University, 2013

Research

High dimensional probability, applications to data science

Advisor

Dr. Hongkai Zhao, Dr. Roman Vershynin

Biography

Jennifer’s research is in high dimensional probability with applications to data science. She has always had a passion for mathematics and loves sharing it with others through being a teaching assistant, mentor, and volunteer for a variety of math outreach activities. While at UCI, she is honored to have received the Outstanding Contributions to the Department award two years in a row, and also the Outstanding Mathematics Teaching Assistant Honorable Mention. Outside of her studies, Jennifer is a co-organizer for the Physical Sciences DECADE group, promoting diversity and an inclusive environment for all graduate students.  

Alexander Eldredge

Alexander Eldredge

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • B.S., Chemistry and Biology, University of Minnesota, 2016

Research

Chemical biology, material science, organic chemistry

Advisor

Dr. Zhibin Guan

Biography

While an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Alex worked in the research lab of Romas Kazlauskas developing enzymes to catalyze C-C bond forming reactions.  At UCI, Alex is a graduate student in Professor Zhibin Guan's lab developing novel polymers for nucleic acid delivery and gene therapy. Alex has earned many awards while at UCI, including the Allergan Fellowship, Outstanding TA in the Chemistry department, as well as the ARCS Scholar Award. Alex has accepted a job as a Senior Research Biologist at 3M Company in Minnesota, which he will begin following graduate school.

Rachel Gurlin

Rachel Gurlin

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, UC Davis, 2014

Research

Diabetes research/treatment

Advisor

Dr. Elliot Botvinick

Biography

Rachel Gurlin is a doctoral candidate in Dr. Elliot Botvinick's laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at UCI. Rachel was awarded the T32 CARE (Cardiovascular Applied Research and Entrepreneurship) Fellowship, a Public Impact Fellowship, the Mazda Foundation Scholarship, and the 2015 Business Plan School of Medicine Award to support her research. Utilizing tissue engineering and microfabrication techniques, Rachel is developing a bioartificial pancreas device for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Rachel has also interned at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and served as the president of the Graduate Association of Biomedical Engineering Students (GABES), connecting local industry to BME graduate students. She is dedicated to using her BME background in engineering a T1D treatment. 

Amber Habowski

Amber Habowski

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences-Molecular Biology, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • B.S. Cellular & Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry, Seattle Pacific University, 2014

Research

RNA processing in the initiation and progression of colon cancer

Advisor

Dr. Marian Waterman

Biography

Amber graduated Summa Cum Laude from Seattle Pacific University with a double major in Cellular & Molecular Biology and Biochemistry before relocating to Southern California.  She has been awarded UCI’s Ayala Fellowship, an appointment on the Cancer Biology T32 training grant, an NSF GRFP, the SOM Stanley Behrens Fellowship, and an ELISS fellowship through AAAS.  Her thesis work is focused on understanding the role of RNA processing in the initiation and progression of colon cancer.  In her free time, Amber enjoys playing soccer for UCI’s club soccer team and going to the beach, hiking, and camping.  She volunteers with FIRST Robotics and IUSD/OC Science Fairs and is also the coordinator of the CRI Youth Science Fellowship program, and enjoys working with and teaching high school students and undergraduates.

Stephanie Hachey

Stephanie Hachey

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • M.S., Biomedical & Translational Science, UC Irvine, 2014
  • B.S., Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2009


Research

Cancer biology and precision medicine

Advisor

Dr. Chris Hughes

Biography

Stephanie’s main research interests are in cancer biology and precision medicine, with a focus on facilitating the translation of basic science findings to the clinic.  Currently, she aims to develop microphysiological systems for drug screening, disease modeling, and personalized medicine applications.  She is an active member of the GPS-Biomed program on campus and has extensive experience with hands-on, cross-disciplinary training in molecular biology from her research positions.  Stephanie spearheaded collaboration with UCI physicians to launch her thesis project during her first-year rotation and the resulting translational infrastructure will support efforts to improve patient outcomes.

Leah Horgan

Leah Horgan

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Informatics, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • B.F.A., New England School of Art & Design, Suffolk University, 2007


Research

Social justice, innovation culture, new media and theory, predictive analytics, organizational and practice theory.

Advisor

Dr. Paul Dourish

Biography

Before transferring to UCI, Leah studied for two years in the Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design, conducting fieldwork around ICTs in partnership with UNICEF’s Innovation Lab in Kampala, Uganda.  Prior to graduate studies, she held a position for 3 ½ years at MIT’s Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) working on design, communication, and executive administration efforts.  Currently, Leah works for the LA City Data Team to conduct an ethnographic study of data-driven governance in the era of big data.

Naomi Lomeli

Naomi Lomeli

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Experimental Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • B.S., Biological Sciences, UC Irvine, 2013


Research

Treatment of neurological disorders

Advisor

Dr. Daniela Bota

Biography

Naomi’s scientific life-long goal is to conduct translational research that has the potential to improve the lives of people living with currently untreatable neurological disorders.  Her current research project has given her the opportunity to conduct groundwork for novel treatments that address the downstream side effects of chemotherapy including the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine.  While an undergraduate at UCI, she conducted Alzheimer’s disease research in the lab of Dr. Andrea Tenner.  Naomi is passionate about mentoring students and encouraging the pursuit of biomedical research through outreach activities.  In the lab, she has mentored and trained seven lab members in various stages of their education ranging from high school students to clinical fellows.  Naomi has served as a graduate counselor for CampMed, a UCI-based organization that mentors local high school students.  Annually, she serves as a judge for the UCI Minority Science Program summer research symposium and graduate school seminar panelist.  In 2016, she served as a graduate student representative for the UCI School of Medicine at a national diversity in STEM conference, SACNAS.  Naomi is currently representing the Department of Experimental Pathology on the School of Medicine Student Council.

Eva Morozko

Eva Morozko

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Neurobiology & Behavior, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • B.S., Biochemistry, Seton Hall University,2012


Research

Molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders


Advisor

Dr. Leslie Thompson

Biography

After conducting undergraduate research and earning her B.S. in Biochemistry, Eva worked in Genetics and Cellular Biology as a post-baccalaureate at the NIH for two years.  Her current project focuses on the molecular contributions towards Huntington’s disease pathogenesis by investigating how the delicate balance of proteins in our brains is affected by neurodegeneration.  She is currently an NSF GRFP scholar, and co-chair of the professional development committee for the Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) Ambassadors' outreach program. Eva has received numerous awards including the CNLM Renee Harwick Advanced Graduate Student Award and Outstanding Predoctoral Scholar Award from UCI MIND. When she's not in the lab, she enjoys spending time in National Parks or participating in club sports, most notably as a nationally ranked competitive archer for UCI's collegiate team.

Michelle Nuno

Michelle Nuno

Degrees

  • Ph.D. Statistics, UC Irvine, 2020 expected
  • M.S., Statistics, UC Irvine, 2017
  • B.S., Applied Mathematics-Statistics, UC Riverside, 2015


Research

Statistical methodology with applications to biomarker discovery, Alzheimer’s disease

Advisor

Dr. Daniel Gillen

Biography

Michelle’s research focuses on the development of novel statistical methodology with applications to biomarker discovery in multiple disease areas, with specific interest in applications to Alzheimer’s disease. Since coming to UCI, Michelle has been named a National Science Foundation Fellow and a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow, and also received the Robert L. Newcomb Memorial Endowed Graduate Student Award. She has a strong commitment to helping underrepresented students succeed academically, particularly in STEM disciplines.


Alyssa BraciszeAlyssa Braciszewskiwski

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • B.S., Marine Biology, American University, 2012

Research

The evolution and physiology of disease resistance

Advisor: Dr. Donovan German

Biography

Alyssa graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Marine Biology from American University (Washington, D.C.) in 2012. While there, she worked with Dr. Kiho Kim and collaborators Drs. David Baker (HKU) and Marilyn Fogel (UC Riverside). She studied nitrogen isotopes in mangrove forests as a method for tracking pollution over time in Guam. Upon graduating, Alyssa received a Fulbright Fellowship and researched the impact of nitrogen on anemone symbiosis in New Zealand. For her Ph.D. thesis, she is investigating the evolution of disease resistance and the impact of climate change on abalone physiology. Alyssa is extremely passionate about outreach and advocacy, engaging local underrepresented students in hands-on science with her lab's ongoing project TIGERS. She interned with NOAA's fisheries service working on Endangered Species policy, and partners with local non-profits on their abalone-related conservation and education work. As a Climate Action Training fellow, she lobbied Congress for effective climate change policy and continues to engage with elected officials on issues related to climate change and student support. To create better pathways for communicating climate science, Alyssa created and co-hosts a podcast, Turn of the Tide, featuring early-career women researching climate change where she brings exciting new climate-related research into the public sphere. She was a department grad student representative, and is currently an elected representative on AGS Council, where she focuses on improving student life on the issues of harassment, housing and disability services. Alyssa is dedicated to bridging the science, policy, and advocacy of her research and communicating this to a wide audience.

Nabila Haque

Nabila Haque

Degrees:

  • M.D./Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, UC Irvine, 2018 expected
  • B.S.E., Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 2011

Research

Medical Microbiology

Advisor: Dr. Yongsheng Shi

Biography

Nabila graduated with distinction from Duke University in 2011 with a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering, where her research in tissue engineering small-diameter vascular grafts fueled her passion for understanding how cells decide their fate.  She joined UCI's Medical Scientist Training Program in 2012 and her current Ph.D. research focuses on probing the role of mRNA 3’ processing factors in controlling gene expression in cancer and stem cells.  She wants to pursue a career as a physician-scientist and translate discoveries in the lab to serve cancer patients.  Outside the lab, she enjoys hosting great scientists for the MSTP Distinguished Lecture Series and volunteers at Crescent Clinic, a student-run free medical clinic where she had also served as President.  She also enjoys reading, furniture building and design, hiking, and exploring the world with her husband and baby son.

Kathryn Ringland

Kathryn Ringland

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Informatics, UC Irvine, 2018 expected
  • B.S., Psychology, Washington State University-Vancouver, 2013

Research

Human-computer interaction, assistive technology

Advisor: Dr. Gillian Hayes

Biography

Kathryn E. Ringland is an Informatics Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Information and Computer Sciences, under the advisement of Dr. Gillian Hayes.  She received her B.S. in Psychology from Washington State University Vancouver.  Her research interests include studying and designing assistive technology for youth with disabilities.  Her dissertation work is exploring how an online community for children with autism uses various social media, including the popular Minecraft game, to support socialization.  She is interested in how online social media expands our definitions of sociality and the assistive role technology has to play in our online and offline interactions.

Patrick Salveson

Patrick Salveson

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, UC Irvine, 2018 expected
  • B.S., Chemical Biology, UC Berkeley, 2013

Research

Chemical Biology, Structural Biology, Organic Chemistry

Advisor: Dr. James Nowick

Biography

I began my college career at Riverside Community College.  Before transferring to UC Berkeley, I participated in an NSF REU working for Cynthia Larive at UC Riverside.  While completing my undergraduate education at UC Berkeley, I was nominated as a Rose Hill Foundation Science and Engineering Scholar in addition to the Melvin J. Heger-Horst Undergraduate Fellow.  I earned a B.S. in chemical biology and graduated with honors.  Since starting my Ph.D. at UC Irvine, where I study the supramolecular assembly of beta-sheets, I have been named a Chancellor’s Fellow in addition to a Chemistry and Structural Biology Training Fellow.

Christine Schneider

Christine Schneider

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • B.S., Biochemistry & Biophysics, Oregon State University, 2011

Research

Immunology, infectious diseases

Advisor: Dr. Melissa Lodoen

Biography

Over the last 13 years I’ve gained a broad training in molecular biology, including a degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University.  I also discovered my passion for infectious disease research and currently study the interface between the brain-resident parasite Toxoplasma gondii and the host immune system.  An essential component of my research success is mentoring undergraduate students to pay forward the research opportunities and mentorship I was provided.  I plan to continue working with important human pathogens and mentoring trainees in the future, either as a research professor or as a scientist at a national lab.

Anastasia Shuba

Anastasia Shuba

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Computer Engineering, UC Irvine, 2018 expected
  • M.S., Computer Engineering, UC Irvine, 2016
  • B.S., Computer Engineering, UC Irvine, 2014

Research

Mobile networks, privacy

Advisor: Dr. Athina Markopoulou

Biography

Anastasia Shuba is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Computer Engineering. Her research is on mobile networks and privacy for mobile devices. She received a B.S. in 2014 and a M.S. in 2016, both from UCI in Computer Engineering. She completed the UCI undergraduate Honors Program, and she received the Edison Scholarship, the EECS Graduate Fellowship, and the Best Demo award in MobiCom S3. Outside her studies she has been working at Metronome Software and training and teaching the martial art of Aikido.

Christopher Wood

Christopher Wood

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Earth System Science, UC Irvine, 2019 expected
  • B.A., Geology, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, 2004

Research

Geochemistry, cave sampling

Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Johnson

Biography

Christopher T. Wood is a current Ph.D. candidate in Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.  His research focuses on geochemistry and cave sampling for the purpose of past climate reconstruction in the Asian Monsoon region, which includes ongoing field work in Northern Laos.  Chris was a geology major at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he graduated with University Honors and Honors in Geology in 2004.  Afterwards, he spent almost a decade working in an environmental chemistry laboratory as a chemist, instrument operator, and analyst.  His academic interests and work experience led him to return to school to seek a more impactful career.

Lisa Soyeon Baik

Lisa Soyeon Baik

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Physiology & Biophysics, University of California, Irvine, 2018 expected
  • B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2011
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Davis, 2011

Research

Electrophysiology, Molecular & Cellular Biology/Protein Chemistry

Advisor: Dr. Todd Holmes

Biography

Lisa (Soyeon) Baik graduated with two bachelor’s degrees –B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, and B.A. in Psychology- from UC Davis in 2011. She is currently a doctorate student and a National Science Foundation (NSF) GRFP fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Todd Holmes at UC Irvine. Lisa’s research focuses on a novel phototransduction mechanism and light-induced neuronal changes that underlies changes in physiology and behavior. Her recent work, published in PNAS, highlights how CRY mediates many of the behavioral responses to ultraviolet (UV) light, including decision-making. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, cooking, drumming, and spending time with her dog.

Timothy Carleton

Timothy Carleton

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Irvine, 2018 expected
  • M.S., Physics, University of California, Irvine, 2014
  • B.S., Physics & Astronomy, University of Arizona, 2012

Research

Galaxy evolution, Star formation in z≈1 galaxies, Gas content in galaxies, Environmental dependence of star formation

Advisor: Dr. Michael Cooper

Biography

Timothy is a fifth year Ph.D. student in Physics at UCI.  He graduated with a B.S. in Astronomy & Physics from the University of Arizona, where he used simulations to study convection in stars.  Currently, he is investigating how star formation evolves from the early universe to the present-day by comparing ultraviolet and infrared observations of star formation in high redshift galaxies with corresponding radio observations of cold gas to examine discrepancies between them.  A strong advocate for outreach and teaching, Tim brings astronomy to local schools and organizations as the Graduate Coordinator for the UCI Observatory and as an instructor for the summer astrophysics program for high school students, COSMOS.  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and biking by the beach. 

Dominique Ingato

Dominique Ingato

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • M.S., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2014
  • B.S., Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 2012

Research

Biotherapeutics

Advisor: Dr. Young Jik Kwon

Biography

Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering and second major in Chemistry, Dominique followed her passions for nanotechnology and cancer research to the BioTherapeutics Engineering Laboratory (BioTEL) at UC Irvine. During her first year in the M.S./Ph.D. program at UCI, she was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and presented research at the Chao Family Cancer Center Retreat. Generous ARCS support has enabled Dominique to present her work at prestigious conferences and meetings, including the March 2016 Korea University/UC Irvine Symposium on Bioengineering held in Seoul. At the symposium, Dominique won first prize for her oral presentation on Doxorubicin-loaded extracellular nano-vesicles for cancer therapy. In addition to her commitment to research, Dominique is highly committed to outreach. In Summer 2016, she was the Pedagogical Coach for the UC Irvine ROCCT program, which aimed to help community college teachers get their students more interested and involved in STEM-related research. She also serves as the UC Irvine DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) Education Chair and works towards promoting inclusive learning strategies for improving STEM courses.

Allison Najafi

Allison Najafi

Degrees:

  • Ph.D. Neurobiology & Behavior, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Cell & Molecular Biology, CSU Dominguez Hills, 2012

Research

Neuroinflammation

Advisor: Dr. Kim Green

Biography

Allison is equally impassioned by the well-being of our society as her scientific pursuits.  She previously studied English Literature at SFSU, but graduated from CSU Dominguez Hills with a B.S. in Cellular & Molecular Biology.  For many years she worked with inner-city children, working to imprint the importance of science and education on them.  She researches neuroinflammation in her lab, and is a representative for incoming classes.  Allison remains passionate about literature and the arts – she continues seeking to develop her creative writing skills, and is teaching herself to paint. 

Christine Wolf

Christine Wolf

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Information & Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • M.S., Information, University of Michigan, 2013
  • J.D., Southern Methodist University, 2011
  • B.F.A., Painting, Texas Women’s University, 2007

Research

HCI, CSCW, technologies in practice, social computing

Advisor: Dr. Paul Dourish

Biography

Christine T. Wolf is an Informatics Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information & Computer Sciences.  She holds an M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University.  Her research interests broadly focus on exploring the social and organization impacts of Big Data.  She has worked closely with industrial designers and researchers on cloud and mobile data analytics for the enterprise, topics she explores in her dissertation 

Caitlin Regan

Caitlin Regan

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Bioengineering – mechanical track, California Institute of Technology, 2012

Research

Computational and experimental biophotonics

Advisor: Dr. Bernard Choi

Biography

Caitlin graduated with Honors from the California Institute of Technology in 2012 with a B.S. in Bioengineering specializing in Mechanics.  She is continuing her graduate education in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, as an IGERT fellow working in the Microvascular Imaging Laboratory at Beckman Laser Institute.  Caitlin’s current research focuses on computational modeling of light transport in tissue.  She uses computer simulations to study how laser light interacts with the body, and how it can be used to study blood flow dynamics in the skin and the brain.  In her spare time, Caitlin plays water polo with the UCI club team, and enjoys other outdoor activities including running, hiking, biking and playing tennis.

 

Zachariah Reagh

Zachariah Reagh

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Neurobiology & Behavior, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012

Research

Neurobiological basis of memory

Advisor: Dr. Michael Yassa

Biography

Originally from Alabama, I graduated with two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012, becoming the first in my immediate family to obtain a college education and earning several departmental research awards. I am presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior. Under the training of Dr. Mike Yassa, I study how the human brain supports learning and memory, and how these processes are altered by aging. I am the recipient of an NSF graduate fellowship, and have thus far authored a dozen papers as a graduate student. Outside of my research life, I am fortunate enough to share my time cooking, biking, hiking, and adventuring with my fiancée and dog.

Elyse Van Spyk

Elyse Van Spyk

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2011

Research

The role of the circadian clock in skin

Advisor: Dr. Bogi Andersen

Biography

I obtained by B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior with honors from UC Davis in 2011. From 2011-2012, I was a laboratory manager/technician for the Chief of Surgical Research at the VA Hospital of Northern California. In 2012, I joined UCI’s CMB graduate program. I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate and NSF GRFP fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Bogi Andersen in Biological Chemistry. My research focuses on how feeding time and the circadian clock influence skin biology. Specifically, I have found that abnormal meal timing alters the sensitivity to UVB-induced DNA damage, and the immune response in the mouse skin. These findings may be geared towards the development of chronotheraputics for skin diseases, with meal-timing as a key variable. Apart from experiments, I truly enjoy mentoring undergraduates, high school students and first year graduate students.


Past Fellows

Kyle Benson

Kyle Benson

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, 2016 expected
  • B.S., Computer Science, University of Delaware, 2011

Research

Networks and Distributed Systems

Advisor: Nalini Venkatasubramanian

Biography

Kyle, a Computer Science Ph.D. student and NSF GRFP Honorable Mention, researches resilient pervasive sensing platforms leveraging low-cost internet-connected devices.  His current project, the Safe Community Awareness and Alerting Network that he led development on during the SmartAmerica Challenge, aims to enable a safe resilient community through pervasive technology affordable by disadvantaged populations.  Kyle received his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware, where he was awarded the Quantum Leap Innovations Outstanding Senior Award for his simulation of the Quake-Catcher Network.  In his free time he enjoys running on the beach, cooking new foods, and various outdoor activities.

Nan Wu Hultgren

Nan Wu Hultgren

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Biological Science – Cellular and Molecular, California State University – East Bay, 2008

Research

Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis

Advisor: Dr. Christopher Hughes

Biography

Nan Wu graduated Cum Laude with her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from CSU, East Bay in just 3 years.  Following her graduation in 2008 she applied her knowledge in molecular biomedicine at Cholestech, Inc., helping patients with cardiovascular diseases.  Nan returned to basic research, her true passion, in her doctoral research with Dr. Christopher Hughes at UC, Irvine.  Her primary interest is molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, particularly in pathological conditions such as cancer and ischemic diseases.  She is currently studying the significance of endothelial expression of transcription factor Slug in sprouting angiogenesis.  Nan also enjoys teaching.  In 2012, she volunteered with a NGO to teach high school biology in rural Tanzania.  Since moving to Irvine, she has judged the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair, mentored undergraduates during the school year, and mentored for the UCI Cancer Research Youth Science Fellowship program this past summer.  Nan was recently awarded the American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship and the Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from NIH.

Sumner Norman

Sumner Norman

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, 2012

Research

Dynamics and Controls

Advisor: Dr. David J. Reinkensmeyer

Biography

A doctoral candidate in the biorobotics laboratory at UC Irvine, Sumner L. Norman earned a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah in 2012, and a M.S. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from UC Irvine in 2014. His research investigates the use of brain computer interface (BCI) technology in robot-assisted therapy after neurological trauma including stroke and spinal cord injury. His research has characterized new facets of brain activity during robot-assisted therapy and found biomarkers of brain function that can predict response to robot-therapy. He has been invited to present his work at the Congressional Caucus on Robotics and Innovation, as well as the IEEE Neural Engineering, American Society for Neurorehabilitation, and Data Science Initiative Conferences. As a graduate student at UC Irvine, Sumner has mentored several undergraduate and high school students, and has taught an undergraduate robotics course. He has received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Dean’s Prize at the Associated Graduate Student Symposium, ARCS Scholar Award, and Data Science Initiative award.  

Thomas Baker

Thomas Baker

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Irvine, 2018 expected
  • M.S., Physics, California State University, Long Beach, 2012
  • B.S., Physics, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2009

Research

Density Functional Theory

Advisor: Dr. Kieron Burke, Dr. Steve White

Biography

I am a fourth-year physics Ph.D. student using Density Matrix Renormalization Group to study exact conditions in Density Functional Theory with both of my advisers: Kieron Burke and Steven R. White.  I earned a B.S. in Physics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a M.S. in Physics from the California State University, Long Beach in 2012 on the Dean’s List.  I solved a 200-year old problem, the bead on a hoop, and won four first-place speaking awards while working with Andreas Bill.  I help facilitate an annual GRE Boot Camp and enjoy swimming everyday.



Clayton Elder

Clayton Elder

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • B.S., Environmental Science, Oklahoma State University, 2011

Research

Biogeochemistry, Isotope Geochemistry, Climate Change

Advisor: Dr. Claudia Czimczik

Biography

My fascination with nature and desire to learn motivate my curiosity for scientific research and in everyday life.  I hold a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences from Oklahoma State University and a M.S. degree in Earth System Science from UC, Irvine.  I have learned the skills of a successful Earth Science researcher during my undergraduate and graduate tenure and cultivated a long-term goal of becoming a global climate research professor.  My current project at UCI aims to quantify the magnitude and sources of arctic greenhouse gas emissions.  I believe that solving the worlds complex environmental problems will involve cooperation across generations and across the world.  To that end, I currently serve as a board member for the K-12 science education and outreach program, Climate Literacy Empowerment and Inquiry.

 

Kristine Dahl Arquero

Kristine Dahl Arquero

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected
  • M.S.Ed., Science Education, City University of New York – Lehman College, 2010
  • B.S., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2008

Research

Atmospheric Chemistry

Advisor: Dr. Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts

Biography

I earned my B.S. with honors in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. After college I taught high school chemistry in the South Bronx for three years while earning my M.S. in science education at the City University of New York, Lehman College. Currently I am a Ph.D. candidate working with the Finlayson-Pitts group. My research focuses on elucidating the kinetics and mechanisms of new particle formation and growth of atmospheric particles. I am a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. And, I am one of chemistry's Pedagogical Fellows; I developed the TA Professional Development Program and trained all incoming chemistry graduate students for their role as teaching assistants. I have a passion for mentorship and education of young women, which influences both my personal and professional goals.

 

Jed Brubaker

Jed Brubaker

Degrees:

  • PhD, Information and Computer Sciences, UCI, 2015 expected
  • M.A., Communication, Culture and Technology, Georgetown University, 2009
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Utah, 2004

Research

Social computing and human computer interaction

Advisor: Dr. Gillian R. Hayes

Biography

Jed Brubaker is a PhD candidate in the department of Informatics where he researches the design of identity-related technologies and the experiences they enable. His dissertation focuses on our “digital afterlives” and how to improve the management of accounts and personal data after we die. Brubaker’s research has received a best paper award and numerous honorable mentions, and he was named UCI’s Most Promising Future Faculty Member for 2013. Brubaker earned his M.A. at Georgetown University in Communication, Culture and Technology, and previously graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Utah.

Suzanne Klaus

Suzanne Klaus

Degrees:

  • M.D., School of Medicine, UCI, 2017 expected
  • Ph.D., Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, UCI, 2015 expected
  • B.S., Biochemistry, University of Iowa

Research

Role of Neutrophils in Salmonella Infection

Advisor:  Dr. Manuela Raffatellu

Biography

Suzi graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.S in Biochemistry and taught high school in American Samoa as an Americorps volunteer before joining UCI's Medical Scientist Training Program in 2009. Suzi's Ph.D. research focuses on neutrophil recruitment and function during Salmonella infection. Specifically, she is interested in characterizing intestinal neutrophil populations and understanding their role in expression of antimicrobial proteins during Salmonella infection. Suzi is interested in continuing her research in immunology and caring for patients with autoimmune or immunodeficient disorders. Suzi is also part of the leadership team of an ultrasound research study that screens high school and college athletes for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Her non-scientific interests include biking, kayaking, playing tennis, and singing.

Maria Inez Falcon

Maria Inez Falcon

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Neuroscience (in progress)
  • B.S., in biomedical engineering

Research

Physiological mechanisms subjacent to motor recovery after stroke

Advisor: Dr. Ana Solodkin

Biography

Inez completed her bachelors in biomedical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology before entering the Neuroscience PhD program at UCI.  She has worked in research labs at Georgia Tech and Emory studying locomotion and peripheral nerve injury, and is currently performing her thesis work in the Brain Circuits Lab with a focus on motor recovery after stroke.  Inez plans to pursue a career in neurorehabilitation research.  She is also a teaching assistant for multiple courses, including head TA for the freshman biology course, having completed the HHMI training program.  In her spare time, she enjoys running and baking.

Cynthia Northrup

Cynthia Northrup

Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Mathematics, University of California, Irvine, expected 2014
  • M.S., Mathematics, University of California, Irvine, 2010.
  • B.A., Mathematics, California State University, Northridge, 2006.

Research

Mathematical Foundations and Set Theory

Advisor:  Dr. Martin Zeman

Biography

Cynthia obtained her bachelor’s in Mathematics from CSU Northridge while working with the diverse students of Los Angeles public schools in NSF’s GK-12 program.  Currently, she divides her time between research, teaching, and outreach.  Her research uses an iteration of Radin Forcing to force a model in which the Diamond property fails.  As the 2013-2014 Pedagogical Fellow for the mathematics department, she developed and ran the TA training for the math department’s incoming graduate students.  Outside academia, Cynthia trains in Olympic-style weightlifting and won the 2012 Strongest Anteater competition.

Peyton Paulick

Peyton Paulick

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UCI Spring 2014
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering, UCI 2011
  • B.S., Bioengineering with a minor in Spanish Studies UCSD, 2009

Research

Medical devices, hearing technology

Advisor: Dr. Mark Bachman

Biography

Peyton Paulick is beginning her fifth year of the doctoral program in Biomedical Engineering at UCI. She received her bachelors’ degrees in Bioengineering and Spanish at UCSD. Her research is focused on the development of medical devices and assistive healthcare monitoring technologies. Specifically, her PhD work is developing on a non-invasive auditory prosthesis. Peyton recently was awarded the Whitaker Foundation International Fellowship and the NIH Center for Hearing Research Training Grant. Peyton completed her Whitaker grant at Ludwig Maximilians Universität München in Germany developing an assistive device to measure the human pupil light reflex. In her spare time Peyton enjoys traveling, yoga, and photography.

Sarkis Babikian

Sarkis Babikian

Degrees:

  • PhD, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UCI, in progress
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UCI, 2011
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Damascus, 2008

Research

Integrated devices for Point-of-Care diagnostics and health monitoring.

Advisor: Dr. Mark Bachman

Biography

Sarkis is in his third year of the doctoral program in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UCI. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Damascus and graduated with honors. In his PhD work Sarkis is developing integration technology to realize next generation Point-of-Care testing devices and wearable flexible health monitoring and drug delivery systems. His research is focused on developing methods to integrate microfluidics, optics and electronics for signal detection and micro actuation on flexible and stretchable substrates.  In his spare time he enjoys road biking and traveling.

Samuel Hallman

Samuel Hallman

Degrees:

  • PhD, Computer Science, UCI, 2015 expected
  • B.S., Computer Science, UCI, 2009

Research

Computer vision.

Advisor:  Charless Fowlkes

Biography

Sam received a B.S. degree in computer science from the University of California, Irvine in 2009. He returned as a PhD student in 2010 and has since been studying computer vision under Professor Charless Fowlkes, with whom he had originally worked as an undergraduate beginning in the summer of 2008. His main interests are in image segmentation and object recognition, with a focus on applications to biological image analysis.

Matthew Dawson

Matthew Dawson

Degrees:

  • Atmospheric Chemistry, UCI, Ph.D., Summer 2014
  • Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, B.S., 2009
  • Chemistry, Community College of Allegheny County, 2006

Research

New particle formation from methanesulfonic acid, amines and water in the atmosphere.

Advisor:  B.J. Finlayson-Pitts

Biography

Matthew is a doctoral student in the School of Physical Sciences and holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.  In his current laboratory experiments, he is looking to understand the fundamental chemistry of how aerosol particles form and grow in the atmosphere. The mechanisms involved in new particle formation currently are not well understood and his research is aimed at being able to accurately predict particle formation and growth from gas-phase precursors. This is crucial in the efforts to model their effects on human health, visibility and climate change. He believes that atmospheric aerosol chemistry is an exciting field with many open questions and can be approached from a variety of perspectives including theoretical modeling, field measurements and laboratory experiments.  Matthew's long-term goal is to continue to conduct research in this field and to broaden his research background to include some of these other approaches.

Virginia Liu

Virginia Liu

Degrees:

  • MD/PhD, Medicine/Anatomy & Neurobiology, UCI, PhD Summer 2013
  • B.S., Biochemistry, UCLA, 2006

Research

Dense-array electroencephalography (dEEG) application to acute stroke. 

Advisor:  Steven Cramer

Biography

After graduating from the UCLA College Honors Program in 2006 with a B.S. in Biochemistry, Virginia conducted translational research in the Heart Lung and Blood Institute as an NIH Intramural Research Training Award fellow.  In 2008, she joined the UCI Medical Scientist Training Program and currently investigates dense-array electroencephalography (dEEG) application to acute stroke.  She hopes the synergy of clinical training with neuroimaging research will allow her contribute to therapy development and early intervention in neurological diseases. Her clinical career interest is in neurointerventional radiology and her hope is to further healthcare options with human-based neuroscience research. Virginia's  passion is integrating arts in medicine to improve quality of hospital stay, physician-patient communication, and emotional health of patients and staff.  To achieve this goal, she is the founder and director of the MEDleys A Cappella and Chamber Ensemble, and was Co-Editor in Chief of the PLEXUS journal.  Additionally, she serves as VP of Hospital Programming for the Music to Healnon-profit.  In her free time, Virginia enjoys dancing and volunteering at a student-run clinic in rural Mexico with the Flying Samaritans. 

Andrew Newman

Andrew Newman

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biological Science, UCI, Fall 2013
  • B.S., Genetics, University of Wisconsin, 2006

Research

The process of angiogenesis in tumors.

Advisor:  Christopher Hughes

Biography

With a B.S. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Andrew has focused his efforts on studying the process of angiogenesis in tumors. He is interested in studying the intercellular signaling pathways between cancerous and non-cancerous cells within the tumor microenvironment that regulate new blood vessel growth and tumor development. As part of this work he and his colleagues have identified a number of extracellular matrix proteins critical to new blood vessel formation and are now focusing on the role of Wnt5a in blood vessel maturation. Upon completion of his PhD work, Andrew would like to continue with research in the field of cancer biology and hopes to aid in the development of complex in vitro systems that will improve cancer drug screening. When not conducting research, he can be found playing flag football, basketball and softball. An avid sports fan of all Chicago sports teams, Andrew enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, biking and relaxing at the beach. 

Melinda Simon

Melinda Simon

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UCI, Spring 2014
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 2007

Research

Stem cell research.  

Biography

Melinda is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at UCI with an interest in developing microfabricated devices to further the capabilities of stem cell research.  More specifically, she is working to develop a device to analyze genetic information from individual neural stem cells for a large number of cells. This information will be used to identify genes important to the differentiation of these cells, and may allow for the development of sorting strategies to obtain more homogeneous populations of neural stem cells with a certain fate potential.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and trying new recipes. 

Annie Vogel-Ciernia

Annie Vogel-Ciernia

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biological Sciences, UCI, Fall 2014
  • B.S., Biotechnology and Psychology, North Dakota State University, 2008

Research

Neuron-specific nucleosome remodeling complex in regulating transcription subserving long-term memory formation. 

Biography

Annie is pursuing her PhD in Dr. Marcelo Wood's laboratory, where her thesis project focuses on the role of a neuron-specific nucleosome remodeling complex in regulating transcription subserving long-term memory formation. Her interest in studying learning and memory began when her grandmother developed Alzheimer's disease. She understands how critically important long-term memory is for both our daily function and defining ourselves as individuals. She completed her undergraduate degree with double majors in Biotechnology and Psychology from North Dakota State University. Annie's long-term goal is to one day run her own laboratory as a principle investigator. In addition to her dedication to scientific training she is also passionate about long distance running.  Since entering graduate school she has completed four marathons and three ultra marathons (50k).  She has used the training for these events as both a form of stress relief and meditation. Currently, Annie is training to run the Tucson Marathon in December with the intent of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in April, 2013.

Mona Wood

Mona Wood

Degrees:

  • M.D., School of Medicine, UCI, 2016 expected
  • PhD, Chemistry, UCI, 2014 expected

Research

Application of computational biophysics methods towards the development of clinical treatments.

Advisor:  Douglas Tobias

Biography

Mona completed a B.S. Chem degree from the University of Michigan, where she majored in chemistry, biochemistry and French and wrote honors theses in chemistry and biochemistry. Mona joined the MD/PhD program in 2008 and is pursuing her PhD in chemistry with Professor Douglas Tobias.  Her current research uses computational biophysics and cell biology methods to study an ion channel that is involved in the immune system and cancer.  Insights gained about channel structure are applied towards development of drugs that modulate channel behavior. These drugs have the potential to be useful in treating allergies or cancer. Her long-term goal is to continue in this general line of investigation as a physician scientist involved in patient care and research.  Mona has published two peer-reviewed articles, presented at the National MD/PhD Conference and received a summer fellowship from Lawrence Livermore National Lab. She cofounded the translational medicine journal club and co-chairs the MSTP Distinguished Lecture Series. She enjoys traveling and has studied in France and volunteered in India.

Meredith Chabrier

Meredith Chabrier

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biological Sciences, UCI, Summer 2013
  • B.S., Biochemistry, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2008

Research

Alzheimer’s Disease

Biography

Meredith graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2008. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer Disease (AD) where she is particularly interested in amyloid-beta facilitates wild-type tau pathology, and how each contributes to synaptic dysfunction. Meredith’s goal is to determine the mechanisms contributing to the earliest cognitive decline found in AD, as this information is vital to develop novel, effective therapeutic treatments. In addition to her research, Meredith is a co-founder of the graduate student group Re-MIND (Research and Education for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders) which serves as a forum for student researcher to discuss and collaborate on research. When she is not in the laboratory, Meredith can be found outdoors training for triathlons.

William Gordon

William Gordon

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biological Chemistry, UCI, Summer 2013
  • B.A., Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, 2003

Research

Acute wound response

Biography

William grew up in Massachusetts, before traveling to Saint Louis where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Washington University in 2003.  As a doctoral scholar in UCI’s School of Medicine, he studies how transcription factors influence development of the mammalian epidermis and their role during wound healing.  One factor he is focusing on is known as Grainyhead and is essential for both the differentiation of epidermal cells as well as their migration.  Currently, William is studying the role of this factor in the acute wound response using a mouse model and in addition, through collaboration with the UCI medical center he is now looking at the expression of this factor in human skin after surgery. A passionate fan of all Boston Sports (Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins), William also enjoys golf and is fascinated by both astronomy and ancient history.

Anne Kelly

Anne Kelly

Degrees:

  • PhD, Earth System Science, UCI, Summer 2014
  • M.S., Environmental Science, California State University Los Angeles, 2007
  • B.S., Physics, California Institute of Technology, 2001

Research

Climate Change

Biography

Anne’s research seeks to understand how climate controls ecosystem growth, water use, and composition.  Climate change is beginning to impact ecosystems worldwide, and understanding the interactions between climate and ecosystem properties is critical to predicting future patterns of forest mortality, species migration, carbon cycling, and water cycling worldwide. She works with California governmental and non-profit organizations to translate her research results into a useful basis for policy decisions. Anne enjoys backpacking around the southwest and making botanical trail guides for Southern California hikes.

Dennis Park

Dennis Park

Degrees:

  • PhD, Computer Science, UCI, Fall 2014
  • M.S., Information and Computer Science, UCI, Summer 2009
  • B.S., Physics, Seoul National University, 2007

Research

Computer Vision

Biography

Dennis received his Bachelor of Science degree in 2007 from Seoul National University and a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from UCI in 2009.  His primary area of focus is on computer vision, where he is working on a computer’s ability to detect and track humans as well as recognize their activities in videos. In his spare time, Dennis enjoys cooking and Yoga.

Claire Robertson

Claire Robertson

Degrees:

  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UCI, Summer 2013
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering UCI, 2009

Research

Airway mechanics of Asthma

Biography

Claire graduated from UCSD in 2007 with degrees in bioengineering and mathematics. She then worked for several years as a research engineer testing orthopedic implants and techniques.  She received a Master’s of Science degree from UCI in Biomedical Engineering in 2009. Drawing on her interest in biomechanics, as a doctoral scholar in UCI’s Biomedical Engineering department, she now is investigating tissue compliance as a marker of asthmatic airway wall changes. Claire has been awarded and NSF graduate research fellowship and can be found working as a volunteer with the Rocket Science Tutors program.

Angel  Enriques Velasco

Angel Enriques Velasco

Degrees:

  • PhD, Chemical and Material Physics, UCI, Fall 2014
  • M.S., Chemical and Material Physics, UCI, Fall 2012
  • Physics, UCI, B.S., 2007

Research

Boundary conditions on liquid/gaseous flow rates through individual nanometer sized pipes.

Biography

Angel graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics and a Biomedical concentration. After graduation, he worked for two years as a polymer chemist and helped to develop composite systems currently being used in commercial airlines, military and marine applications. Angel is a 2010-2011 recipient of a Faculty Mentor Program fellowship and received an NSF Honorable Mention in 2011. Currently, he is involved with two research projects. The first involves studying the effects of boundary conditions on liquid/gaseous flow rates through individual nanometer sized pipes.  The second involves understanding helium’s competing liquid/vapor and superfluid phase transitions on different strength substrates. Future endeavors include moving into industry and entrepreneur ventures. His favorite past times include reading, running, surfing and building puzzles.  

William Reino Winter

William Reino Winter

Degrees:

  • MD, UCI, 2015 expected
  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, UCI, 2013 expected
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, 2007
  • B.S., Mathematics and Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, 2005

Research

Stroke research

Biography

Bill Winter completed received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics, from Tulane University in 2005, where he also served as Valedictorian for his class.  Bill went on to receive his Master’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane in 2007. Currently, Bill is working on his MD/PhD program in Biomedical Engineering at UCIrvine where he works to  understand the dynamics of the brain, particularly in stroke patients.  Active in Associated Graduate Government (AGS) where he has served as a council representative and Administrative Vice President.  Bill also sings with MEDleys, a student music group.  In his spare time, Bill debates, dances, and cooks and eats gourmet food with friends.     

Alexander Behm

Alexander Behm

Degrees:

  • PhD, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: Computer Science, UC Irvine, Winter 2013
  • B.S., Computer Science, University of Cooperative Education, Stuttgart, Germany (in cooperation with IBM), 2006

Research

Scalable Data-Intensive Computing

Biography

Alex is a PhD candidate in the Information Systems Group at UCI working on approximate string matching (Flamingo Project) and large-scale storage and indexing (Asterix/Hyracks Project). He received his B.S. from the University of Cooperative Education in Stuttgart, Germany in cooperation with IBM which included one semester in the UK. Alex has gained industry experience at the Deutsche Bank, IBM Almaden Research Center, and Microsoft Research. Apart from being an avid programmer, Alex is committed to publicizing his work in research papers as well as contributing to the open source community. Alex was born in Madrid, Spain, grew up in Frankfurt, Germany and was raised bilingually (English, German).

Janice Chang

Janice Chang

Degrees:

  • PhD, School of Biological Sciences: Anatomy and Neurobiology, UC Irvine, Spring 2012
  • B.S., College of Engineering: Bioengineering, UC Berkeley, 2006

Research

Auditory Neuroscience - Cochlear Implants and Tinnitus

Biography

Janice received her B.S. in bioengineering from UC Berkeley in 2006 and entered the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at UCI. She discovered her passion for research while studying cochlear implant processes and visual activation areas in the brain. She received the Whitaker Fellowship as an undergraduate and has published three papers as of January 2010, along with several poster and podium presentations. She is interested in understanding neural mechanisms in the disturbed auditory system — specifically in hopes of finding a cure for tinnitus, a common, prolonged "ringing of the ears" that affects more than 50 million Americans and is the No. 1 service-related disability of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Melissa Davis

Melissa Davis

Degrees:

  • PhD, School of Biological Sciences: Neurobiology & Behavior, UC Irvine, Summer 2013
  • B.S., School of Biological Sciences: Neuroscience, UC Irvine, 2006

Research

Cortical Plasticity and Ischemic stroke

Biography

Melissa graduated from UCI in 2006 with a B.S. in Neurobiology. From her first introduction to neurobiology as an undergraduate she was fascinated with the subject and knew that studying the brain was something she would love doing for life. As a graduate researcher at UC Irvine she worked in Dr. Frostig's lab, studying the role of stimulation induced neurovascular plasticity in mediating ischemic stroke damage. Melissa has coauthored one publication and is in the process of submitting two others. She volunteers regularly in several scientific outreach programs and is passionate about teaching and bringing an understanding of science to the public. As a graduate student Melissa has been awarded the UCI Neurobiology and Behavior NIMH Training Grant (2007-2008), the Edward Steinhaus award for excellence in teaching (2008), the UCI Faculty Mentor Fellowship (2009-2010), and the Roger Russel Scholar's Award in the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory in recognition of exacting scholarship, integrity, collegiality, and dedication to outreach goals (2010).

Elizabeth Gordon

Elizabeth Gordon

Degrees:

  • PhD, School of Biological Sciences, Developmental & Cell Biology, UC Irvine, Spring 2013
  • B.A., Biology, Pitzer College, 2002

Research

Mechanisms of Specificity and Integration in Cell Signaling

Biography

Elizabeth graduated from Pitzer College in 2002 with a B.A. in Biology, and is currently a Ph.D. student at UC Irvine. As a graduate student researcher in the Bardwell Lab, she is studying how cells process information through the MAP kinase signaling pathway. Combining both bioinformatics and imaging technologies to study this cellular circuitry. One intriguing predicted and now verified MAPK substrate, smoothelin-like 2 (SMTNL2) may have a role in early muscle development and is phosphorylated in healthy human skeletal muscle. She is currently a recipient of an NIH training grant in Biomedical Informatics at UCI, and was an HHMI graduate teaching fellow for 2009. Before she came to UCI she worked at MIT in the labs of Richard Young and Harvey Lodish where she studied gene regulation and Alzheimer's disease respectively.

James Jenista

James Jenista

Degrees:

  • M.S /PhD, M.S., Henry Samueli School of Engineering: EECS (concentration, Computer Networks and Distributed Computing), UC Irvine, Summer 2012
  • B.S., Department of Computer Science and Engineering: Computer Science, University of Notre Dame, 2003

Research

Global change effects on soil carbon using radiocarbon

Biography

James completed his B.S. at the University of Notre Dame and then worked as a software engineer with Northrop Grumman for four years. He enjoyed the work there, as it was very technical and challenging. His favorite tasks were investigating specific software-related questions— mini research projects— and so he decided to pursue an advanced degree. Currently, he is beginning his fourth year at UCI. To date, he has published several papers and received an MS in EECS.

Nicolas Mangano

Nicolas Mangano

Degrees:

  • PhD, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: Information & Computer Science, UC Irvine, Fall 2013
  • B.A., Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: Information & Computer Science, UC Irvine, 2007
  • B.S., School of Social Ecology: Psychology, UC Irvine, 2007

Research

Building Sketch-Based Tools in Support of Software Design

Biography

Nicolas went to UC Irvine as an undergraduate and received both a B.A. in Information and Computer Science, and a B.S. in Psychology. He has since moved on to pursue a PhD in Informatics at UC Irvine under the Dean's Fellowship award. His current research looks at ways to help software engineers design using an electronic whiteboard. More specifically, he is concerned with pushing the creative designer to greater heights by using computers to get more out of sketching. His past jobs include summer internships with IBM research during the summers of 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Aaron Mattfield

Aaron Mattfield

Degrees:

  • PhD, School of Biological Sciences: Neurobiology & Behavior, UC Irvine, Winter 2012
  • M.A., Cognitive Science Department: Cognitive Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, 2008
  • B.S., Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience: Biomedical Sciences, Montana State University, 2000

Research

Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning and Memory

Biography

Aaron is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. He uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and computational models to investigate interactions among multiple brain regions during learning, focusing particularly on the striatum and medial temporal lobe. Aaron has received awards from UCI's Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, and the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior for outstanding presentation and writing skills. He is the founder and coordinator of an ongoing, weekly fMRI Journal Club and serves on various departmental committees. Aaron earned his M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from Johns Hopkins University, and his B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Montana State University.

Timothy Minh

Timothy Minh

Degrees:

  • M.D./PhD, School of Medicine: Pharmacology & Toxicology, UC Irvine, PhD Spring 2012
  • B.A., College of Chemistry: Chemistry, UC Berkeley, 2006

Research

Exhaled Breath Biomarkers of Energy Substrate Metabolism

Biography

Timothy graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Chemistry before entering into the UC Irvine Medical Scientist Training Program, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology under the mentorship of Dr. Pietro Galassetti. Timothy recently received the NIH Pre doctoral MD/PhD Individual Fellowship to support his thesis project to investigate exhaled breath biomarkers of energy substrate metabolism. He hopes that the downstream evolution of his study will be the development of portable breath analyzers to non-invasively monitor blood glucose and lipid concentrations, replacing current blood-based bioassays for patients suffering from diabetes. Beyond research, Timothy enjoys spending time with his wife and son, playing musical instruments, studying the Bible with his church family, and fighting social injustice. He was a member of the National Coordinating Committee of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, a nonprofit group advocating for increased access to university-derived biotechnology in the developing world, and founded the local UCI chapter.

Vinh Nguyen

Vinh Nguyen

Degrees:

  • PhD, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: Statistics, UC Irvine, Summer 2011
  • M.S., Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: Statistics, UC Irvine, 2007
  • B.S., School of Physical Sciences: Mathematics, UC Irvine, 2006
  • B.A., School of Social Sciences: Economics, UC Irvine, 2006

Research

Robust Statistical Inference; Clinical Trial Designs

Biography

Vinh graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCIrvine with a degree in Mathematics and Economics. He is on track in completing a PhD in Statistics at UCI, where his research interests are in biostatistics. He successfully completed internships at Experian, where he developed tools for building predictive models, at Biogen Idec, where he studied optimal phase II-III designs for drug development, and at Genentech, where he studied a potential surrogate marker as an alternative final endpoint in cancer studies to potentially decrease the time to market for new therapies. Vinh presented part of his dissertation work at the Western North American Region of the International Biometrics Society's annual meeting in 2009 and won 1st place in oral presentation among graduate students and recent PhD's. He currently collaborates with researchers at UCI's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

John Reager

John Reager

Degrees:

  • PhD, School of Physical Sciences: Earth System Science, UC Irvine, Summer 2012
  • M.S., College of Earth, Ocean and Environment: Physical Ocean Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, 2005
  • B.S., College of Engineering: Aerospace & Ocean Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2001

Research

Hydrology and Global Change

Biography

John is a PhD candidate and a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow in UC Irvine's distinctive Earth System Science Program. His current research focuses on using data from NASA's ground breaking GRACE Satellite Mission to understand changes in Earth's global water cycle through the remote sensing of gravity. He is the co-founder and editor of Earth, actually – the earth science blog.

Tatyana Sheps

Tatyana Sheps

Degrees:

  • PhD, Henry Samueli School of Engineering: Chemical & Materials Physics, UC Irvine, Winter 2013
  • B.S., College of Science: Physics, Louisiana State University, 2006
  • B.S., College of Music and Fine Arts: Graphic Design, Loyola University, 2004

Research

Non-linear Optical Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanotubes

Biography

Tatyana received her first bachelor's degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Physics from Loyola University of New Orleans where she was a Chancellor's Honors Scholar. While computer graphics remains as her passion, she enjoyed experimental research and went on to earn a B.S. in Physics with Mathematics from Louisiana State University where she became involved in teaching and science outreach activities through the Society of Physics Students. Now, as a GAANN scholar and PhD student in Dr. Phil Collins' lab at UCI, she studies optical and electrical properties of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) circuits for applications in nanoelectronics and chemical sensors. In the past two years, she has developed a new non-linear optical spectroscopy technique which enables us to observe previously invisible dynamics of electrons in SWCNTs. Understanding the behavior of these electrons is crucial to understanding how nano-scale circuits interact with their environment and form chemical bonds. When she is not thinking about lasers and nanotubes, she enjoys all kinds of visual art, long backpacking trips, and running.

Sara Saedinia

Sara Saedinia

Degrees:

  • PhD, Henry Samueli School of Engineering: Electrical Engineering, in progress
  • M.S., Henry Samueli School of Engineering: Electrical Engineering, UC Irvine, 2009

Research

Development of Micro Immunoblotting for Small Sample Protein Analysis

Biography

At the age of nineteen, Sara moved to the U.S.A., the land of endless opportunities, without any knowledge of English. After spending two and a half years in a community college in San Diego and getting involved truly in different activities on/off campus to help her society, she transferred to UC Berkeley to pursue her degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. After graduation, she worked at a semiconductor company for a couple of years and then moved to UC Irvine to continue her education. Now, she is working on her PhD For hobbies, she plays piano and takes Rumba dance, power yoga and cooking classes.

Judy Chen

Judy Chen

Degrees:

  • PhD, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: Informatics, UC Irvine, Summer 2011
  • M.S., Information and Computer Science, UC Irvine, 2006
  • B.A., Computer Science, UC Berkeley, 2003

Research

Ubiquitous computing

Biography

Judy received a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003 and a M.S. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 2006. She began her PhD study at UC Irvine in 2004, where she is working with Paul Dourish. My research interests are generally in the realm of human computer interaction and ubiquitous computing. More specifically, she's interested in designing for awareness and the representation of presence in shared spaces through ambient information visualization.

Gregory Chinn

Gregory Chinn

Degrees:

  • M.D./PhD, School of Medicine: Developmental and Cellular Biology, UC Irvine, PhD Fall 2011
  • B.S., Neurobiology, UC Irvine, 2004

Research

Neuro Development

Biography

Gregory Chinn grew up in Orange County and attended UC Irvine as an undergrad. It was there that he realized that he had a passion for working with patients through his volunteer experience at the Share Our Selves free clinic in Costa Mesa. At the same time, he was introduced to the work of world-famous neuroscientists through working in the lab of Carl Cotman, and majoring in Neurobiology. Understanding the complexity of the brain has become another passion. He has chosen to pursue both of these interests in a combined M.D./PhD program at UCI. Currently, he is in his fifth year in the program. His current research is focused on understanding the role of specific transcription factors on neurogenesis in the developing brain.