Monty Blencowe

Master of Science in Physiological Science (2019) - University of California, Los Angeles

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science, First Class Honours (2015) - King’s College London, United Kingdom
Thesis Research:

Integrative genomics and systems biology approaches to study genetically perturbed networks in Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). As well as the utilization and application of species-, tissue-, and cell-type specific databases of molecular signatures of drugs for drug repositioning for T1D and NAFLD.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xia Yang
Mirian Krystel De Siqueira

Master of Science in Genetics and Molecular Biology (2019) - State University of Campinas, Brazil & National Institutes of Health

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science (2016) - University Tuiuti of Paraná, Brazil & Rowan University
Thesis Research:

The adipocyte life cycle involves a complex and highly orchestrated program of gene expression. However, in vivo, detailed mechanisms underlying the molecular regulation are incompletely misunderstood.  My major research interest relies on studying novel nutrient-sensing genes and whether they have an impact on adipose tissue heterogeneity.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Claudio Villanueva
Jessica Ding

Master of Science in Physiological Science (2020) - University of California, Los Angeles

Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience (2017) - University of California, Los Angeles
Thesis Research:

Systems biology of neurodegenerative diseases.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xia Yang
Madza Y Farias-Virgens

Master of Arts in Anthropology (2015) - University of California, Berkeley
Master of Science in Genetics and Molecular Biology (2010) - Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science (2008) - State University of Santa Cruz, Brazil
Thesis Research:

Conducting a collaborative project between the Okanoya lab at RIKEN, the Huerta-Sanchez lab at Brown U and the White lab and the Xiao Lab IBP-UCLA. The goal is to investigate the genetic correlates of the evolutionary forces and neurogenetic mechanisms underlying changes in vocal behavior between Bengalese finches and their ancestral species, white backed munias.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Stephanie White
Ivan Flores
Bachelor of Science in Physiological Science (2014) - University of California, Los Angeles
Thesis Research:

Our lab studies the cellular interactions that occur in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a lethal disease characterized by muscle necrosis and inflammation. My project focuses on evaluating a therapeutic strategy in which genetically modified inflammatory cells are used to deliver a therapeutic molecule to reduce the pathology of dystrophic muscle.

Faculty Mentor: Professor James Tidball
Ting Fu

Master of Science in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (2015) - University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science in Biosciences (2014) - University of Science and Technology of China
Thesis Research:

Investigating the function of ADARs and RNA editing in cancer EMT. Developing a massively parallel reporter assay to examine the effect of 3’UTR RNA editing sites on mRNA abundance.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xinshu (Grace) Xiao
Pranav Kannan

Master of Science in Physiological Science (2021) - University of California, Los Angeles

Bachelor of Science in Human Biology (2018) - Michigan State University
Thesis Research:

Immune cell-matrix interactions in mouse models of muscular dystrophy

Faculty Mentor: Professor Rachelle Crosbie
Sabeen Kazmi
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (2012) - University of California, Los Angeles
Thesis Research:

Uncovering the role of the microbiome in neurodegenerative diseases.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Elaine Hsiao
Gaoyan Li
Bachelor of Science in Biological Science (2018) - Nanjing University, China
Thesis Research:

Single-cell transcriptome analysis reveals sexual dimorphism in the hypothalamus.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xia Yang
Cynthia McKee
Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science (2015) - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Thesis Research:

Epigenetic regulation of stem cells in developing skeletal muscle.

Faculty Mentor: Professor James Tidball
Lesly Palacios Castillo

Master of Science in Biological Science (2019)- California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Bachelor of Science in Biology and Zoology (2017)- California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Thesis Research:

Olfactory and aminergic neuromodulation of visual circuits and behavior.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Mark Frye
Martha Rimniceanu
Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Biology (2017) - Tufts University
Thesis Research:

Neural control systems and circuits for visuo-motor integration.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Mark Frye
Shantée Ayala Rosario
Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (Minor in Chemistry, 2020) - Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón
Thesis Research:

Understanding how traumatic memories are embedded in the brain and impact sleep. Specifically how this occurs through norepinephrine influence in cortical brain regions to produce maladaptive stress responses.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Gina Poe
Norma Sandoval
Bachelor of Science in Physiological Science (2015) - University of California, Los Angeles
Thesis Research:

Elucidating the effects of hypothalamic estrogen signaling on thermoregulation and metabolic health.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Stephanie Correa
Rachel Scott
Bachelor of Science in Physiological Sciences (2020) - University of California, Los Angeles; Bachelor of Arts in Ethnomusicology (2020) - University of California, Los Angeles
Thesis Research:

Studying sex differences in feeding behavior. Specifically, interested in how sex steroids, namely estrogens, and body composition act on the hypothalamus to modulate food intake.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Stephanie Correa
Ashley Stein-Merlob, MD

Doctor of Medicine (2015) - Harvard Medical School

Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Bioengineering (2009) - University of Pennsylvania
Thesis Research:

Studying the use of computational modeling of cardiac mechanics to better understand the development and progression of heart failure in humans.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Alan Garfinkel
Paul Vander
Bachelor of Science in Biology (2016) - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Thesis Research:

Studying neural control of torpor in mice. Specifically interested in how circulating hormones, particularly estrogens, interact with torpor-regulating neurons in the brain to modulate this process.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Stephanie Correa
David Wong
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology (2020) - University of Washington
Thesis Research:

Investigating the role of pericytes and epicardium-derived secreted factors in the cardiac remodeling process following ischemic injury in the adult heart.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Pearl Quijada
Sicheng Zhang

Master of Science in Biochemistry (2018) - Tulane University

Bachelor of Science in Biological Science (2016) - Shandong Agricultural University, China
Thesis Research:

Nutrient sensing and physiology between adipocyte tissue and liver.

Faculty Mentor: Professor Claudio Villanueva