Emmanuel Chavez graduated from the University of California, Riverside, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology with a medical emphasis. While at UC Riverside, Emmanuel led the Riverside Free Clinic and was a founding member of the Coachella Valley Free Clinic, where both initiatives helped provide free medical services to the underserved population of the Inland Empire. He recently joined Dr. Chu’s lab, where Emmanuel will help research new ways to identify “pre-osteoarthritis,” or signs of knee deterioration that occur before osteoarthritis even develops, as well as treatments that might prevent osteoarthritis.
Pedro Cuevas gradauted from UC Davis in 2021 with a degree in Genetics and Genomics. While at UC Davis, he volunteered at the UCD Medical Center in both the Pediatrics and Cardiology departments. Shortly after graduating from UC Davis, he worked on dental and regenerative medicine research in Dr. Jill Helms’ lab at Stanford University. He is a published author in journals including: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease, Cancer Research, Journal of Dental Research, and Journal of Student Research. As Pedro continues his research at the Helms lab, he will now be studying how dental implant surfaces affect the way gingiva heals in a mouse and human model, as previous studies have solely focused on alveolar bone-implant integration. By studying the biological response in healing epithelial tissue, new approaches may be taken to improve the long-term success of implant placement.
Having witnessed how infectious disease can exacerbate inequity in our society, Soneida is interested in exploring the inequity in our own immune systems. Soneida will be joining the Blish lab and investigating the role of innate immunity and systemic inflammation in the context of COVID-19, amongst other diseases. Most recently, Soneida graduated from Brown University with a Masters in Medical Science (22’). At Brown, she led a quality improvement project at a FQHC, organized public health campaigns, contributed to Brown Interviews, and spoke at TEDxBrownU 2022. In 2021, she graduated as a first-generation college student. Her cardiovascular research culminated in a museum exhibit that highlighted how policy decisions impact disease at the molecular level. In the future, she aims to become an M.D.-J.D and build interdisciplinary healthcare systems that prevent health crises like the ones we are living through now.
Michelle Ananym Dzeinse is a graduate from Bowie State University located in Maryland where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology. While in BSU, Michelle worked as a research assistant under the chemistry department on a project which aims to synthesize molecules that will facilitate the transport of analogs of tryptophan (coupled with cancer drugs) through the blood brain barrier. She is currently part of the immunology laboratory under Dr. Martinez’s supervision. She will be working on exploring the molecular effects of the immune system during post-transplantation of an organ.
Jaime Morales Gallardo graduated from the University of California, Davis where he earned a B.S. in Global Disease Biology and a B.A. in Chicana/o Studies with a Social/Policy Studies emphasis along with a Sexuality Studies minor. As a NSF CAMP Scholar at UC Davis, Jaime was able to contribute to Dr. Rebecca Calisi Rodríguez’s Birds, Brains and Banter Lab’s research on behavioral and reproductive neuroendocrinology. Jaime also assisted in the La Merrill Lab’s study on the effects of parabens on the invasive phenotypes of breast cancer cells. He also completed his Global Disease Biology Practicum in the Gomes Lab which determined that acetaminophen induced stress on cardiac cells. As a REACH Postbacc Scholar, Jaime will be working with Dr. Naima Sharaf in the Sharaf Lab, where he will work to characterize the structure and function of Borrelia burgdorferi proteins involved in lipoprotein trafficking.
Dariana Gil-Hernández earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and music at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. During her undergraduate years, Dariana worked in different research studies regarding the etiology, impact of cognitive functioning, and efficient treatments for anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and suicide. Throughout her year as a REACH postbaccalaureate scholar, Dariana will work in the Rodríguez Lab and the Berk Lab at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The research focus for both labs will be identifying risk factors for suicide attempts in adults and adolescent suicidal and self-harm behavior.
Timothy Johnson II
Timothy Lemuel Johnson II is a graduate of the distinguished Hampton University where he earned his bachelor’s degree Biochemistry and minored in Leadership Studies. While at Hampton, Timothy was a research fellow with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he studied environmental justice and social inequities using high-spatial-resolution remote sensing. As the newest member of the Goldberg Laboratory at the Byers Eye Institute, Timothy will be working on clinical research of neuroprotection, identifying biomarkers, and regeneration of the optic nerve.
Ivan Lopez is a graduate of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Biological Sciences. While at UTRGV, he was a Genetics Teaching/Research Assistant where he worked in identifying toxin transcripts to discover pharmacological properties that inhibit certain oncogenic pathways initiated by protein-protein ligand interactions in western diamondback snake venom. Becoming the newest member of the Haileselassie Lab, Ivan will be working to determine the role of altered mitochondrial dynamics in sepsis-induced multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS).
Aicha Rose Mabene is a graduate from the University of California, San Diego where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Physics with specialization in Biophysics. While at UC San Diego Aicha interned at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she worked in the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group on mathematically modeling immune responses to malarial infection. As the newest member of Attardi Laboratory, Aicha will be working to help identify p53 tumor suppressor target genes in order to better characterize p53-mediated tumor suppression networks in cancer and illuminate possible therapeutic strategies in p53-deficient cells.
Jazzelle Denean Magaña is a graduate from the University of California, Davis where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Cognitive Science with an emphasis in Neuroscience and a minor in Human Development.
Here she participated in qualitative research that examined the social constructs of disability, specifically if there were any imbalances in the NIH funding allocation at UC Davis regarding disability and technology. If an imbalance was found, the goal of this research was to encourage an equitable dispersion of funds across these groups to allow this community to thrive in a society that values accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.
Now as a REACH Postbac scholar, Jazzelle has joined the ProfitLab at CPQCC where she will be using qualitative methods to study neonatal quality of care in NICU’s across California. This research will help lower infant mortality rates and promote opportunities for improvement in equitable, safe, and quality healthcare.
Hector S. Medrano is a recent graduate from New York University where he earned a degree in Neuroscience. While at NYU, Hector worked as a Research Assistant in the Joyner Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. There, he pursued his undergraduate thesis work investigating the role of the gene KMT2D in the progression of SHH-driven medulloblastoma, the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Taking a step away from the bench, and as the newest member of the Patel Laboratory, Hector will be working on the ALCANCE (Addressing Latinx CANcer Care Equity) Initiative which aims to evaluate the efficacy of a community health worker delivered educational intervention to improve knowledge of and access to precision medicine.
Juan Melesio is from Williams California. Juan received his Associates Degree in Biology from American River College in Sacramento & his Bachelor’s Degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. He is currently apart of Dr. Joseph Wu’s Lab in the department of Medicine and Radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Joseph Wu’s lab is focused on the biological mechanisms of patient-specific and disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
Neha Momin is a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a specialization in Audiology. While at UT Austin, Neha received the President’s Award for Global Learning for her research on the use of augmented reality to promote skin cancer prevention efforts. Recently, she joined Marinkovich Lab to assist in clinical trials for gene therapy as a treatment for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.
Jairelisse Morales is a graduate student of a bachelor’s degree in General Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao. During the month of May, she was accepted for a position of REACH Postbaccalaureate Scholar as Life Science Research Professional. During this year, she will be part of BRAVE lab with Claudia Padula, PhD at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, working in three different projects related to improve treatment outcomes for Veterans suffering from alcohol addiction. She will be involved in both clinical and scientific laboratory experiences.
Anne Onyali is a recent graduate from Santa Clara University, where she majored in Public Health Science and Biology. During her undergraduate years, she worked as a student researcher in the University of Washington Musculoskeletal Systems Biology Lab. In the lab, the Tacoma native studied the impact variants of the TRAM family of genes have on bone mineral density and osteoporosis formation. Now, Anne has joined the Barnes Laboratory, where she will be studying the correlates of broad cross-reactivity of human antibodies targeting emerging coronaviruses to inform vaccine development. In addition, she is currently applying to medical school, seeking a career that will help address the racial and economic disparities in healthcare.
Josselyn Perez is a Chicana, alumna of the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a minor in Spanish. As the newest member of the Food for Health Equity lab, she will be working to evaluate the All-In Alameda Receipe4Health (R4H) Project, which aims to reduce food insecurity, improve health outcomes, and healthcare utilization. She is also interested in Latinx pre-health community spaces, community health & engagement, and mentorship. She currently serves as an ambassador for MiMentor and as a peer mentor for UCLA’s Médicos, Enfermeros, y Dentistas Para El Pueblo (MEDPEP).
Cristela Samaniego is a graduate from the University of California, Davis where she earned two bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Toxicology with a medicine emphasis and Cognitive Science with a neuroscience emphasis. Under the guidance of Dr. Sascha Nicklisch at UC Davis’ Department of Environmental Toxicology, Cristela conducted research to determine the molecular interactions of multiethnic P-glycoprotein (P-gp) variants with cancer drugs involved in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN). As the newest member of Dr. Katrin Chua’s Laboratory, Cristela will be working to better understand the molecular functions of the SIRT7 chromatin regulatory enzyme and its roles in aging and cancer biology.
Jay is a REACH Postbaccalaureate Scholar at Stanford University’s School of Medicine working jointly between the Bao, Bertozzi, and Deisseroth laboratories. His work is on genetically targeted chemical assembly of functional bioelectronic materials in vivo.
Katya was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and grew up in the Central Valley of California. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 2020 with a degree in Anthropology and minors in Global Health & Health Policy and Latin American Studies. Her previous research has focused on health disparities and her thesis discussed implicit bias training in medical schools in the U.S. and Mexico. After working at Latinx en Medicina and completing a pre-med post-bac at Loyola Marymount University, she joined Stanford University School of Medicine as a REACH post-bac scholar. She enjoys blogging, shopping, and traveling.
Samantha Zenteno graduated from UC Berkeley in 2022 with a BA in Psychology and Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology. She was a transfer student from Diablo Valley College, where she majored in Biology and Natural Science. Samantha is currently at Williams PanLab, where she will be researching potential biotypes of depression and investigating biomarkers that may better predict an individual’s response to a specific course of treatment.