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

Scholars Currently Funded by the Program

Ashley Albright, PhD

Molecular and Cell Biology,
 University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Ashley Albright is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Wallace Marshall's lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Dr. Albright is interested in the composition of the genome and gene expression in Stentor coeruleus, which are large trumpet-shaped single-celled protists (approx. one millimeter in length). These cells provide insight into single-cell pattern formation, cell regeneration, and wound healing. (Appointed to IRACDA October 2021)


William R. Arnold, PhD

 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dr. William R. Arnold is a postdoctoral scholar in the labs of Drs. Yifan Cheng and David Julius in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Dr. Arnold researches how endogenous ligands bind to the pain-regulating ion channel, TRPV1. TRPV1 is best known for mediating the spicy sensation of capsaicin from chili peppers and is at the forefront of inflammatory and nociceptive pain signaling. Dr. Arnold is using cryo electron microscopy and electrophysiology in order to understand how endogenous ligands regulate TRPV1 function and how they may regulate pain sensation. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2019)


José Carmona-Negrón, PhD

  University of Puerto Rico, Mayagü ez​​ 

Dr. José Carmona-Negrón is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Natalia Jura’s lab in the Cardiovascular Research Institute. Dr. Carmona-Negrón works on the molecular basis for regulation of protein kinases, specifically on structure-function studies of atypical protein kinases and their interactions with signaling partners. These macromolecules are frequently deregulated in human diseases, such as lung and breast cancer, and constitute an important focus of drug discovery efforts. (Appointed to IRACDA October 2019)


Eric Figueroa, PhD

 Vanderbilt University

Dr. Eric Figueroa is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Lily Jan’s lab in the Department of Physiology. Dr. Figueroa’s research is focused on studying TMEM16C, a member of the TMEM16 protein family comprised of calcium-activated chloride channels and scramblases. Dr. Figueroa will employ electrophysiological, histological, and biochemical approaches to study TMEM16C’s function and expression in neurons. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2021)


Nicole Fisher, PhD

 Vanderbilt University

Dr. Nicole Fisher is a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Mark von Zastrow in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Fisher’s research focuses on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a class of cell surface proteins that initiate signaling and serve as targets for many drugs. Dr. Fisher is particularly interested in understanding how GPCR signaling is organized and regulated within neurons. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2021)


Michael Guernsey, PhD

Developmental Biology,
 Stanford University

Dr. Micheal Guernsey is a postdoc in Dr. Nadav Ahituv's lab in the Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Guernsey studies genetic and developmental mechanisms underpinning vertebrate evolution by determining genetic changes  (using techniques such as De Novo Genome Sequencing, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, and Cut & Tag) contributing to wing evolution and unique pigmentation in bats. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2020)


Oleta Johnson, PhD

Chemical Biology,
University of Michigan

Dr. Johnson is a postdoctoral scholar in Jason Gestwicki’s Lab in the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. In the Gestwicki Lab, Dr. Johnson is developing complementary chemical and genetic toolkits that can be used to dissect complex protein homeostasis (proteostasis) networks. Of particular interest to Dr. Johnson is the application of such toolkits to elucidate the redundant and divergent functions of Hsp70 chaperone proteins and their regulatory co-chaperone proteins, with the overarching goal of identifying novel small molecule modulators of Hsp70 function for therapeutic uses. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2019)


Kevin Magnaye, PhD

University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Kevin Magnaye is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Susan Lynch's lab in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Magnaye leverages large multi-dimensional 'omic datasets to investigate host-microbe interactions in early life and their impact on health and disease throughout the lifespan. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2021)


Shermel Sherman, PhD

Molecular Medicine,
University of Toledo College of Medicine & Life Sciences

Dr. Shermel Sherman is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Holly Ingraham's lab in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. The Ingraham Lab studies the sex-dependent regulation of physiological responses such as locomotion, thermogenesis, reproduction and bone density. Dr. Sherman’s project will investigate how estrogen-receptor neurocircuits control female bone metabolism and physical activity. (Appointed to IRACDA September 2020)


Nicholas Silva, PhD

University of Michigan

Dr. Nicholas Silva is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Anna Molofsky’s lab in the Department of Psychiatry and the Weill Institute for Neurosciences at UCSF. Dr. Silva’s research is focused on developing new tools to study microglia and synaptic interactions during brain development. In addition to identifying novel microglial genes regulating neurodevelopment to provide insights for psychiatric disorders of the nervous system. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2019)


Zara Weinberg, PhD

Biological Sciences,
Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Weinberg studies how cells use their limited senses to understand the unlimited complexity of their environment in Dr. Hana El Samad’s lab in the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics. Dr. Weinberg uses a small molecule called cAMP as a model to understand how cells decode subtle changes in cAMP concentration to accurately perceive their surroundings using a mix of biochemistry, synthetic biology, cytometry, and optical microscopy to understand this problem quantitatively. (Appointed to IRACDA August 2020)