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.
Pam E. Rios Coronado is a PhD candidate from Stanford University’s Biology Program. Pam was born in Peru and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. After graduating from Balboa High School, she entered the work force armed with only a basic understanding of English. Tired from working the stereotypical immigrant jobs, she enrolled in Skyline Community College. Under the mentorship of Dr. Christine Case, Pam joined several research opportunities while at Skyline. She, then transferred to UC Berkeley and received a B.A in Molecular & Cell Biology. Pam worked as a Research Associate at the Gladstone Institutes in UCSF, here, between the neurovascular and immunology fields she gained appreciation for interdisciplinary research. Currently at Dr. Kristy Red-Horse’s lab, Pam utilizes whole-organ/tissue antibody-labeling clearing and imaging to understand the molecular cues involved in cardiovascular development and repair. During her free-of-science time, Pam loves playing video games, reading, sleeping and chilling with family and friends.
Youlim is a 4th year PhD candidate in Microbiology and Immunology working in Dr. Manuel Amieva’s lab. She graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Biology, a minor in Chemistry, and a Certificate in the Arts of the Moving Image. Youlim’s research is focused on understanding the role Helicobacter pylori plays in gastric pathogenesis and whether disease progression benefits the microbe. Outside of research, Youlim loves getting involved in organizations and communities at Stanford such as the Stanford Biosciences Student Association, the Graduate Life Office, and XTRM Kpop Dance. She is always down to try new foods, binge-watch television shows, and play with everyone’s pets.
Dr. McKay Mullen is a postdoctoral scholar in the cardiovascular institute at Stanford School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Joseph Wu. McKay’s expertise is directed towards evaluating racial disparities as they relate to cardio-oncology. Specifically, he utilizes iPSC disease modeling to study the impact of chemotherapy on the cardiovascular system and determine whether racial disparities influence healthcare outcomes.
Josselyn Peña earned her BS in Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine and is a 6th year PhD candidate in the Immunology program working in Sheri Krams’s lab. Her thesis focuses on understanding the natural killer cell response to Epstein-Barr virus by using a high dimensional approach for characterizing activated natural killer cells. Outside of the lab, Josselyn is also passionate about social justice and outreach and has taken on various leadership roles through the Biomedical Association for the Interests of Minority Students (BioAIMS) and the Stanford Future Advancers of Science and Technology (FAST) program. Josselyn is a fan of boba, cats, showing everyone pictures of her cat, trying new baking recipes, long walks on the beach, and science (in that order).
Adonis is a 2nd year Stanford Immunology PhD student working in the lab of Dr. Christopher Barnes; Adonis graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Biology with honors in Microbes and Immunity and a minor in Ethics in Society from Stanford University. Currently, Adonis is using Cryo-EM to understand how antibodies bind and interact to viruses including HIV and SARS-CoV-2 to engineer broadly protective bispecific antibodies as therapeutics and to design broadly effective vaccine platforms. Apart from his PhD studies, Adonis is passionate about diversifying STEM and supporting individuals from historically excluded groups and has been an avid member of the Stanford SACNAS Chapter. In his free time, Adonis loves to go for walks, play with other people’s dogs, and go get ice cream!
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Lakai is a 2nd year Stanford medical student, born and raised in the suburbs of Denver, CO. She attended college at Howard University, where she studied biology, chemistry, and classical studies and cultivated a love for community and public health. After graduating from Howard in 2019, she attended Yale School of Public Health, where she earned an MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2021. Her academic and medical career interests include family medicine, primary care, women’s and SGM health, sexual health, mental health, health equity and social justice, and the social determinants of health. Lakai’s research interests include community health research and using mixed and qualitative research methods. Currently she is a Stanford Valley Fellow working with a local organization, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Santa Clara County, to conduct a needs assessment of services and programs they provide to clients. Lakai is passionate about meaningful mentorship, especially for those who are underrepresented in medicine, health, and STEM; she currently serves on the executive board of SNMA and Health Careers Collaborative (a mentorship program for underrepresented high school students interested in health careers). In her spare time, Lakai likes to paint, watch horror movies, or go enjoy nature (hiking, backpacking, camping, etc.)!
Ragini is 9th year MD/PhD student. She is from Stamford, CT and studied biology and computer science at the University of Connecticut before coming to Stanford for graduate school. She completed her PhD in Genetics in the lab of Dr. Kristy Red-Horse combining single-cell RNA sequencing and lineage tracing to reveal a transcriptional convergence of cell lineages that contribute to coronary vessels. This year she is working as a post-sophomore fellow in pathology and doing research with Dr. Albert Wu applying her background in transcriptomics to study eye development. Ragini is excited about mentoring students from the high school through graduate school level and has previously served as a college applications coach with the Boys and Girls Club as well as a TA for the Stanford SIMR program. In her free time Ragini enjoys dance and yoga, trying out new recipes and tending to her community garden plot.
Alex Tartt is a 2nd year Stanford medical student working in the lab of Dr. Karen Parker where she investigates mechanisms that underlie social deficits in monkeys and humans with disorders of low-sociality (e.g. autism and frontotemporal dementia). Alex graduated from New York University in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Global Public Health. After graduation, she worked at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center examining neural stem cells in the postmortem human brain. Her academic and clinical interests while in medical school include neurology/neuroscience, curriculum development, and addressing health inequities through advocacy, physician education and community partnerships. Additionally, Alex recently served as the co-president of Stanford’s chapter of SNMA, which fosters the social and professional development of Black medical students on campus. In her free time, Alex loves to try new restaurants, listen to music and watch sports.
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Mira is a second-year medical student at Stanford University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Mira is passionate about global child health, epidemiology, bioethics, and science communications. She hopes to one day practice as a community pediatrician, integrating clinical work and research. Mira also loves to teach and mentor; she is passionate about breaking down barriers in STEM and medicine for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. In her free time, Mira loves to try out free exercise classes, hang out at coffee shops, and adventure outdoors!
Suyash Raj is a second year PhD student in the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. He studies neural stem cells in the lab of Dr. Irv Weissman. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017, Suyash dedicated himself to research in preparation for medical school applications. His orthopedics research at Boston Children’s Hospital led him to discover his interest in the intersection of programming and biology to further bioinformatics. His newfound skills and passion for lab work landed him in an industry position at Semma Therapeutics, which later got acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. There, Suyash worked on the development of a cell-based therapy for Type 1 Diabetes which is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials. He followed his passion for translational research to Stanford University where he hopes to uncover the mechanisms of neural regeneration. In his free time, Suyash enjoys playing video games, experimenting with new recipes, baking goods to share with his lab, finding good restaurants to take his fiancée to when she visits, and traveling around the bay area.
Amy is pursuing her PhD in Immunology with Dr. Ravi Majeti at Stanford University, where she genetically manipulates human cells with CRISPR to uncover the molecular mechanisms of inherited blood cancers. Prior to being in the San Francisco Bay Area, she attended school and worked in Cambridge, MA. She received my B.S. in biology with a minor in Asian diaspora studies from MIT, where she studied breast cancer metastasis and identity in the global Chinese diaspora. After graduating in 2015, she worked on untangling host-pathogen biology using single-cell RNA-Seq at the Broad Institute. At Stanford, Amy has been involved in multiple leadership roles through the Immunology Program, the Biomedical Association for the Interests of Minority Students (BioAIMS), and Black In Immuno. In her free time, Amy enjoys taking care of her plant babies, hiking, and dog-sitting.
James is the Director of the REACH Postbac Research Program. He received his PhD from Stanford School of Medicine, Immunology Program, where he studied the role of the immune response in acute rejection after solid-organ transplantation. He loves all things immunology and science related. Additionally, he is passionate about student wellness and addressing inequities that negatively impact minoritized students in academia. In his personal time, he enjoys medium distance trail races, watching and playing basketball, anime (or generally binging a good tv series), wine-and-paint nights, board games and video games, learning new musical instruments, and basking in the sun. He loves the performing arts and has spent 4 years as a dance choreographer and 3 years performing with Stanford Taiko (a Japanese-style drumming group). His favorite social activity with friends is to go on culturally themed food tours and eat amazing food all day.
Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Professor, by courtesy, of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. Dr. Ricci is the previous Director of the Neuroscience Graduate program as well as the co-founder and current faculty director of the ADVANCE summer institute, an onboarding program for graduate students within the biosciences who come from underserved communities. He presently serves as director of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology as well as the Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.