UCSF IRACDA Past Scholars

Antiño Allen, PhD, worked under mentor Dr. John Fike at UCSF’s Brain and Spinal Injury Center (Department of Neurological Surgery). His PhD in Evolution, Ecology and Behavioral Biology is from Indiana University. He is currently Assistant Professor nof Pharmaceutical Sciences, Division of Radiation Health, at University of Arkansas Medical School. (In IRACDA program July 2010 – July 2013)

Joaquin Anguera, PhD, was a postdoc under mentor Adam Gazzaley in the UCSF Department of Neurology. His SFSU teaching mentor was Ezequiel Morsella. His PhD in Kinesiology is from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. (In IRACDA program July 2010 – July 2012)

Santiago Archila, PhD, was a postdoc in the lab of Graeme Davis at UCSF.  His PhD in Neuroscience is from Emory University. He is currently a software engineer at Change.org. (In IRACDA program for less than one year, April – October 2013.)

Raymond Blind, PhD, did his postdoc under mentor Dr. Holly Ingraham in UCSF’s department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. His SFSU teaching mentor was George Gassner. His PhD is from New York University. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. (In IRACDA program January 2008 - June 2011, last 6 months on ARRA support.)

Betty Booker, PhD was a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Nadav Ahituv in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. Her SFSU teaching mentor was Karen Crow-Sanchez. She received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is currently a Scientist in the Application Group at Advanced Cell Diagnostics in Hayward, CA. (In IRACDA program June 2010 - May 2011; May 2012 – December 2015.)

Dr. Yazmin Carrasco is a Project Analyst for the SF BUILD Program, an NIH-funded program to increase diversity in the biological sciences. As an IRACDA Scholar, she trained in Dr. Jack Taunton’s lab in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF. Dr. Carrasco's research interests focused 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. (In IRACDA November 2013 - November 2017)

Egle Cekanaviciute, PhD is currently a scientist at NASA Ames studying deep space radiation and other health hazards associated with human spaceflight. At UCSF, she was a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Sergio Baranzini's lab in the department of Neurology. Dr. Cekanaviciute researched the connection between the microbiome and the development of autoimmune neurological disorders, specifically, multiple sclerosis. Dr. Cekanavicute hypothesizes that gut bacteria are involved in priming immune cells to become pro-inflammatory and autoreactive, and attack myelin in multiple sclerosis. (In IRACDA April 2014 - June 2017)

Miquella (Kelly) Chavez, PhD, worked under mentors Dr. Tejal Desai in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences and Dr. Ophir Klein in the Department of Orofacial Sciences. Her SFSU teaching mentor was Sally Pasion. Her PhD in Biomedical Sciences is from the University of New Mexico. She is currently Executive Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), Duke University.  (In IRACDA program August 2009 – July 2013.)

Dr. Daud Cole was a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Dean Sheppard's lab in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Cole’s research project described 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 is now the Robotics Director at the Oppurtunities Industrialization Center. (In IRACDA January 2014-January 2018)

Felipe de Jesus Cortez, PhD (“Jesse”) is now a scientist with Enable Biosciences. At UCSF, Dr. Cortez was currently involved in two projects. The first is focused on developing subtype-selective inhibitors for a class of ion channels that plays a central role in synaptic plasticity, and involves a combination of organic chemistry, molecular biology, and ionic current recordings from cells expressing wild type and mutant ion channels. His second project focuses on cancer biology, wherein he is developing covalent ligands for nuclear receptors using an intrinsic cysteine residue to tether ligands to the hormone binding site. Dr. Cortez's PhD in chemistry is from the University of California, Berkeley. (In IRACDA program July 2012.-July 2016)

Tigwa Davis, PhD, worked under the mentorship of Dr. Erik Ullian, in UCSF’s Department of Ophthalmology. His SFSU teaching mentor was Leticia Marquez-Magana. His PhD in Pharmacology is from the University of Michigan. He is currently a Senior Scientist in Neurobiology at ATCC Cell Systems, a private, nonprofit biological resource center and research organization.  (In IRACDA program September 2008 - September 2011.)

Alegra Eroy-Reveles, PhD, did her postdoc under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Craik in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF. Her SFSU teaching mentor was Ray Trautman. She is now Assistant Professor of Chemistry at San Francisco State University. Her academic interests include the incorporation of social justice and community engagement into science education. Her PhD is from UC Santa Cruz.  (In IRACDA program November 2009 - August 2011.)

Luis Estévez-Salmerón, PhD, worked under the mentorship of Dr. Thea Tlsty in UCSF’s Department of Pathology. His SFSU teaching mentor was Laura Burrus. His PhD is in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a Foreign Affairs Officer/AAAS Policy Fellow in the Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Office of Marine Conservation.  (In IRACDA program February 2009 – August 2013.)

Gabriel Gonzales-Roybal, PhD, worked under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Lim, MD, PhD in the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF. His SFSU teaching mentor was Carmen Domingo. His PhD is in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is now Vice President, Business Development, for TapGenes. (In IRACDA program October 2010 – March 2014.)

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)

Audra J. Johnson, PhD worked in Dr. Jody Baron's lab in the Department of Medicine. The Baron Lab studies immunopathogenesis of acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a mouse model with human correlates. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on dissecting the immune responses that lead to viral persistence or clearance, particularly immune priming that leads to HBV persistence and immune-mediated chronic inflammation of the liver. (In IRACDA Program September 2013 - September 2017.)

Dorothy Jones-Davis, PhD, did her postdoc with mentor Dr. Elliott Sherr, in UCSF’s Department of Neurology. Her SFSU teaching mentor was Jennifer Breckler. Her PhD is in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. She completed an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Science Foundation in June 2014, and is now a scientific project manager in neuroscience for the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health.  (In IRACDA program November 2007 - September 2011, last 12 months on ARRA.)

Lani Keller, PhD worked under the mentorship of Dr. Graeme Davis at UCSF.  Her PhD is from University of California, San Francisco. Her SFSU teaching mentor was Diana Chu. She is currently Assistant Professor of Biology at Quinnipiac University.  (In IRACDA program August 2009 – December 2011.)

Jose Lopez, PhD was a postdoc in Dr. Valerie Weaver’s lab at UCSF. His SFSU teaching mentor was Diana Chu. His PhD is from the University of Arizona. He is currently a scientist at Bio-Rad’s Life Science Education Division, where he works on the development of tools and methods that will help teachers and professors expose their students to lab science in the classroom.  (In IRACDA program April 2008 - June 2011.)

Sonia Mayoral, PhD is continuing as a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Jonah Chan’s lab at UCSF. The lab is focused on the study of oligodendrocytes, the myelin-producing cells of the central nervous system, which become damaged in diseases such as multiple sclerosis. The lab studies several aspects of oligodendrocyte biology, development, and function. Dr. Mayoral is specifically examining the regulation of cell death in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) using transgenic mouse models. Dr. Mayoral received her PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. (Started IRACDA program June 2012-June 2016.)

Michelle McCully, PhD was a postdoc in Dr. William DeGrado's lab at UCSF. Dr. McCully was designing a vaccine against HIV that targets a specific region of its envelope protein (Env) that is known to elicit broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNt MAbs). The lab is taking a structure-based approach to the vaccine design. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Santa Clara University. (In IRACDA program October 2012-June 2016.)

Christina Morales, PhD, was a postdoc in the lab of Joanne Engel at UCSF. Her PhD in Microbiology is from University of California, Berkeley. Her SFSU teaching mentor was Ravinder Sehgal (she left the program before teaching). She is currently a Research Scientist Supervisor for the California Department of Public Health. (In IRACDA program less than one year, October 2009 – May 2010.)

Maria Mouchess, PhD, did her postdoc in Dr. Mark Anderson's lab at UCSF's Diabetes Center. She left the program before teaching at SFSU. Her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology is from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined Genentech as a senior research associate in August 2014. (In IRACDA program May 2012 – July 2014.)

Jamila Newton, PhD, did her postdoc under the mentorship of Dr. Alison W. Xu at UCSF’s diabetes center and the department of anatomy. Her SFSU teaching mentor was Winifred Denetclaw. Her PhD is from Harvard University. She is currently a research scholar at Georgetown University. (In IRACDA program May 2008 - August 2011, last 4 months on ARRA.)

Alberto Rascón, PhD worked under mentor Dr. Jim McKerrow lab at UCSF. His PhD is from the University of Arizona. His SFSU teaching mentor was Teaster Baird. He is currently Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at San Jose State University.  (In IRACDA program January 2011 – August 2013.)

Dr. Olivia Sims is now a Scientific Advisor with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. She was 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. (In IRACDA February 2014 - November 2017)

Jillian Silva, PhD, worked under the mentorship of Dr. Martin McMahon at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF. Her SFSU teaching mentors were Teaster Baird and Nancy Gerber. She received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Davis. She is currently an Assistant Reseacher in the lab of Frank McCormick at UCSF, supported by a K01 NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.  (In IRACDA program April 2009 – July 2013.)

Christopher Villalta, PhD, worked under mentor Dr. Anita Sil in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UCSF. His PhD in Microbiology is from UC Berkeley. In April 2015, he began a position in Bioinformatics and Assay Development at Invitae, a San Francisco based genetic screening company. He is currently a Bioinformatics Scientist with Natera. (In IRACDA program January 2012 – April 2015.)

Bradley Voytek, PhD, worked under mentor Dr. Adam Gazzaley in UCSF’s department of Neurology. His PhD in Neuroscience is from UC Berkeley. He is currently Assistant Professor, Cognitive Science, at UC San Diego.  (In IRACDA program September 2011 – February 2014.)

Dr. Corin White is now a Research Curriculum Associate at California State University Monterey Bay. As an IRACDA postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Joseph DeRisi's lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics Dr. C. White explored the genetic architecture of infected and non-infected individuals with lower respiratory and/or autoimmune disease, and identified host state specific human and microbiome signatures to identify disease biomarkers. (In IRACDA January 2016 - January 2018)

~In Memoriam~

Dr. Cris Alvaro was a loved scholar, colleauge, and mentor to many in the scientific community and beyond. Among many talents, Cris was an artist, educator, performer, activist, and a role model for many in the LGBTQ community. Dr. Alvaro's loss is felt throughout the scientific community at large and here at UCSF. 

https://www.gofundme.com/crisalvaromemorialfund