Meet our Scholars
Drs. Alvaro and White
Meet our Scholars
Drs. Cekanaviciute (past Scholar) and Sims
Meet our Scholars
Drs. Cole and Johnson
Meet our Scholars
Drs. Payumo and Sanchez
Meet our Scholars
Drs. McCully (past Scholar) and Hardin
Meet our Scholars
Drs. Pastore, Carrasco, McCully (past Scholar)
Meet our Leadership
Dr. Jennifer Breckler, Teaching Coordinator SFSU
Dr. Holly Ingraham, Program Director UCSF
Meet our Leadership
Anne Sufka, Program Coordinator, UCSF
Dr. Raymond Esquerra, Program Co-Director, SFSU


Christopher Alvaro, PhD

Molecular and Cellular Biology,
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Christopher Alvaro is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Allan Basbaum’s lab in the Department of Anatomy at UCSF. The Basbaum lab studies biological mechanisms of pain and itch and their regulation in the central nervous system to better understand disease states such as chronic pain and itch. Dr. Alvaro’s project addresses the question of how itch and pain signals are differentiated in the central nervous system and hopes to identify specific neurons and molecules important for the separation of these two pathways in the spinal cord. (Appointed to IRACDA March 2016)


Yazmin Carrasco, PhD

Natural Products Chemistry,
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Yazmin Carrasco is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Jack Taunton’s lab in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF. Dr. Carrasco's research interests focus on understanding the molecular mechanism for co-translation translocation of secretory and membrane proteins using small molecule inhibitors. Secretory and transmembrane proteins are critical for cell-to-cell communication and have been associated to numerous human pathologies such as inflammation, tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. (Appointed to IRACDA November 2013)


Daud Cole, PhD

Biochemistry and Biophysics,
 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Dr. Daud Cole is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Dean Sheppard's lab in the Department of Medicine.  Dr. Cole’s research project describes molecular mechanisms underlying vascular permeability in endothelial cells, measuring forces between VE-cadherins of adjacent endothelial cells using a FRET-based tension sensor under varying physiological relevant conditions. Dr. Cole hopes to find evidence of signal transduction between VE-cadherins at intercellular junctions. (Appointed to IRACDA January 2014)


Anum Azam Glasgow, PhD

 University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Anum Azam Glasgow is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Tanja Kortemme’s lab in the department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF. Dr. Glasgow is working on computationally designing and experimentally testing protein-based small molecule biosensors. Building new proteins that move and interact with other molecules in a predictable way will improve understanding mechanisms for protein allostery and expand the repertoire of available tools for investigating and treating diseases. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2017)


Aaron Hardin, PhD

Molecular and Cellular Biology,
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Aaron Hardin is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Nadav Ahituv's lab in the department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. Dr. Hardin answers questions regarding genetic variation and diversity in mammary glands in several model systems including mice, rats and humans. Additional areas of research include development of new in vitro assays for learning enhancer functions across vertebrates and machine learning techniques for high throughput genomic assays. (Appointed to IRACDA January 2014)


Teresa Monkkonen, PhD

Molecular and Cellular Biology,
Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Teresa Monkkonen is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Jay Debnath's lab in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Monkkonen is interested in the molecular signaling of stromal cells in development and disease. Dr. Monkkonen is studying the role of endothelial cell autophagy in angiogenesis and vascular integrity, as well as different stages of tumorigenesis using models of breast and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. This project will offer insight into the impact of autophagy inhibition on the stromal compartment, and improve our understanding of autophagy inhibition in the treatment of cancer.  (Appointed to IRACDA September 2017)


Amber Paasch, PhD

Comparitive Biology,
American Museum of Natural History

Dr. Amber Paasch will be a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Katie Pollard's lab at the Gladstone Institute and the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The Pollard lab develops statistical and computational methods for the analysis of massive biomedical datasets, and research focuses on emerging technologies for genomics, mass spectrometry, and imaging. Dr. Paasch will be using comparative genomics to study functional trait evolution in bacteria. (To be appointed to IRACDA October 2017)


Mayra B. Pastore, PhD

Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology,
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Mayra B. Pastore is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Holly Ingraham's lab in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology. The Ingraham lab's research focuses on the role of liver receptor homologue-1 (LRH-1) and estrogen receptor (ER) in metabolic homeostasis. Dr. Pastore’s project focuses on LRH-1 and ER nuclear receptors’ role in the etiology and progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). (Appointed to IRACDA September 2015)


Alex Payumo, PhD

Chemical & Systems Biology,
Stanford University

Dr. Alex Payumo is a postdoctoral scholar working with Dr. Guo Huang at the Cardiovascular Research Institute. Dr. Payumo's research focuses on understanding the basis for mammalian heart regeneration using neonatal mice as a model system. Neonatal mice can regenerate their hearts after injury until the first week after being born. Dr. Payumo researches the physiological basis for the limitation of cardiac regeneration during that developmental window. (Appointed to IRACDA September 2016)


Carlos Rodríguez, PhD

Molecular and Environmental Toxicology,
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Carlos Rodríguez will be a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Thea Tlsty's lab in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Rodríguez' research will focus on investigating the molecular mechanisms of malignancy with a focus on stromal contributions to the initiation and progression of cancer. (To be appointed to IRACDA October 2017)


Erica Sanchez, PhD

Molecular and Cellular Biology,
University of Washingon

Dr. Erica Sanchez is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Mark Von Zastrow's lab in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Sanchez's research will focus on the cellular biology of g-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) trafficking and signaling. Dr. Sanchez is exploring how GPCR signaling is different at the plasma membrane compared to signaling at the endosomal membrane. (Appointed to IRACDA September 2016)


Olivia Sims, PhD

Mayo Graduate School,
Mayo Clinic

Dr. Olivia Sims is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Melanie Ott’s lab at Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology in the UCSF division of Gastroenterology. A focus of the lab is to identify the molecular mechanisms contributing to HIV-1 latency. Dr. Sims studies the epigenetic modifications that maintain latent HIV-1 reservoir in T cells and searches for new drug targets to reverse latency  with a focus on the immunology of memory T cells. (Appointed to IRACDA February 2014)


Joe Udeochu, PhD

University of California,
San Francisco

Dr. Joe Udeochu will be a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Li Gan's lab at Gladstone Institute and the UCSF Department of Neurology. The Gan lab studies molecular mechanisms driving neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). Dr. Udeochu's research focuses on understanding glia contribution to disease pathogenesis and developing therapeutic strategies that harness glia homeostatic properties to mitigate protein aggregation and synaptic dysfunction in AD and FTD brains, using a combination on high throughput sequencing, functional genetics and in vivo approaches. (To be appointed to IRACDA October 2017)


Corin White, PhD

Kansas State University

Dr. Corin White is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Joseph DeRisi's lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. The DeRisi lab employs a number of omic approaches to explore and determine the causal agent of various diseases. Dr. C. White explores the genetic architecture of infected and non-infected individuals with lower respiratory and/or autoimmune disease, and is interested in identifying host state specific human and microbiome signatures to identify disease biomarkers. (Appointed to IRACDA January 2016)


Marquitta White, PhD

Human Genetics,
Vanderbilt University

Dr. Marquitta White is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Esteban Burchard's lab at UCSF focusing on asthma research. The Burchard Lab identified several single variants significantly associated with pediatric bronchodilator response (BDR) in Latino and African American populations. Dr. M. White's research identifies and characterizes the genetic and environmental factors contributing to genetic architecture of BDR in Latino populations. (Joined IRACDA September 2014)