Interfaces Research Symposium for Interdisciplinary Research in Multi-Scale Biology

This event offers graduate students the unique challenge of presenting their work to faculty and fellow students from across the biological, medical, physical, and engineering disciplines of science. In addition, it is an excellent opportunity for attendees to identify common interests and form new interdisciplinary collaborations within the UC San Diego community.

Date: Thursday February 23, 2023

Time: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, with a networking mixer to follow

Location: Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine - Roth Auditorium

This event will include Keynote Speakers, Career Development Talks, Faculty and Trainee Research Talks.

 8:15 AM  -    Breakfast

 9:15 AM  -    Welcome and Opening Remarks - Andrew McCulloch, Ph.D. - UC San Diego Bioengineering

 9:30 AM  -    Keynote Presentation - Francisco Contijoch, Ph.D. - UC San Diego Bioengineering, Radiology

                       Understanding the Heart and Lungs with Imaging

10:00 AM  -   Keynote Presentation - Joh Schöneberg, Ph.D. - UC San Diego Pharmacology, Chemistry and Biochemistry

10:30 AM  -   Keynote Presentation - Kamil Godula, P.hD. - UC San Diego Chemistry

                       Hidden in plain slime - multiscale chemical glycobiology approaches to unravel mucosal barrier functions

11:00 AM  -    Lightning Talk Competition - Interfaces Trainees

                     ​​​​ Judges: Kamil Godula, Ph.D., Marcus Hock, CPH and Rebecca Kandell, CPH - UC San Diego Bioengineering 

12:00 PM  -   Lunch and Poster Presentations

  1:30 PM  -   Academic Panel Discussion

                       Courtney Glavis-Bloom, Ph.D. - Staff Scientist at Salk

                       Alyssa Taylor, Ph.D.- UC San Diego Bioengineering

  2:15 PM  -   Coffee Break and Poster Presentations

  2:30 PM  -   Industry Panel Discussion

                       Nicole Behnke, Ph.D. - The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

                       Miriam Bell, Ph.D. - The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

                       Andrew Rudd, Ph.D. - Palm Therapeutics

  3:15 PM  -   Keynote Presentation - Daniela Valdez-Jasso, Ph.D. - UC San Diego Bioengineering

  3:45 PM  -   Academic Research Presentation

                       Matthew Childers, Ph.D. - University of Washington Bioengineering

                       Multi-scale models of actin-myosin association

                       Sage Malingen, Ph.D. - University of Washington Bioengineering

  4:15 PM   -   Awards Ceremony

  4:30 PM   -   Networking Mixer

Andrew McCulloch, Ph.D.
Dr. Andrew McCulloch is the Shu Chien Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Engineering and Medicine at the University of California San Diego and Director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine. He earned his bachelor (1981) and Ph.D. (1986) degrees in Engineering Science at the University of Auckland and joined the UC San Diego faculty in 1987. He directs the UCSD Interfaces Graduate Training Program and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Specialization in Multi-Scale Biology. Dr. McCulloch served as Vice Chair of the Bioengineering Department from 2002 to 2005 and Chair from 2005 to 2008. He is also a member of Qualcomm Institute, a Senior Fellow of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Leader of the Wu-Tsai Human Performance Alliance at UC San Diego.

Francisco Contijoch, Ph.D.
Dr. Francisco Contijoch is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Bioengineering and Radiology at UC San Diego. He completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to his faculty appointment, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the division of Cardiology at UC San Diego.  
Dr. Contijoch’s research laboratory focuses on developing advanced MRI and CT imaging methods to improve assessment of cardiopulmonary function. His team primarily focuses on heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and congenital heart disease. His group not only develops novel imaging methods and analysis tools, but also applies these techniques to clinical populations to evaluate their effectiveness. Dr. Contijoch is a Fellow of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and is an active member of the Society for Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.

Joh Schöneberg, Ph.D. 
Dr. Joh Schöneberg  is  an Assistant Professor in the departments of Pharmacology and Chemistry & Biochemistry at UC San Diego. His lab investigates the fundamentals of mitochondrial dynamics and the role of mitochondria in neurological diseases in four dimensions (4D) with the goal to develop a new generation of drugs based on mitochondria.

Kamil Godula, Ph.D.
Dr. Kamil Godula is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Godula received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Columbia University in 2006 after which he became a Postdoctoral Associate at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, working with Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi.
Dr. Godula was awarded an NIH Pathway to Independence Award in 2011, and an NIH New Innovator Award in 2015. In 2017, Dr. Godula has been named an ACS PME Young Investigator, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, and a Cottrell Scholar.
His research program in chemical glycobiology is broadly interested in gaining an understanding of how carbohydrates, or glycans, encode and transmit biological information at the boundary between cells and their environment. To achieve this objective, he is developing chemical and materials-based strategies to intercept, analyze and, ultimately, rewrite this information to accomplish desirable biological outcomes with an eye toward biomedical applications.

Matthew Childers, Ph.D.
Dr. Matthew Childers is a senior postdoctoral fellow in Michael Regnier's laboratory at the University of Washington. His research leverages computational methods to model the structure and dynamics of contractile proteins in health and disease. We are developing new strategies to integrate these atomic-scale results into other modeling paradigms and to inform and guide wet lab work. He received his B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia in 2013. Afterward, he received a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the College of Engineering at the University of Washington in 2019 while working with Dr. Valerie Daggett. His other research interests include the validation of molecular dynamics simulations against experimental data and the development of strategies to understand how small perturbations propagate through complex biological systems with many interacting components.

Sage Malingen, Ph.D.
Dr. Sage Maligen is a postdoctoral researcher working in Dr. Michael Regnier’s group (University of Washington, Bioengineering) using computational models to study multi-scale interactions in muscle’s contractile machinery. After receiving her B.S. in mathematics at NDSU, she received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Washington. There she worked with Dr. Thomas Daniel studying the kinematics and mechanics of the sarcomeres of muscle cells. In 2020, Sage joined Dr. Padmini Rangamani’s group as a postdoc in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCSD and investigated the mechanics of cell membrane bending

Daniela Valdez-Jasso, Ph.D.
Dr. Valdez-Jasso is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego. The research goal of Valdez-Jasso’s group continues to focus on soft-tissue biomechanics and multi-scale mathematical modeling of organ and tissue function, as they pertain to understanding the ventriculo-vascular adaptations to pulmonary hypertension. 
Dr. Daniela Valdez-Jasso is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics in 2005, her Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics in 2008, and her doctorate in Biomathematics in 2010, all at North Carolina State University. Her graduate thesis was recognized for its excellence with a Lucas Research Award. During her postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she was an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellow.
In 2013, she was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and in 2017, she was recruited to the Bioengineering Department at the University of California San Diego. Her work has been funded by the American Heart Association, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute R01, and the Wu Tsai Foundation. She is the 2022 Shu Chien Early Career Lecture Awardee.
Dr. Valdez-Jasso has been an active mentor for minority students and an advocate for diversity and inclusion at her campuses and for national professional societies. In 2020 she was the campus-wide recipient of the Faculty Inclusion Excellence Award at UC San Diego. She Chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Bioengineering Division, and in 2022, she was the recipient of the Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine Inclusion Initiative (GEMINI) Faculty Mentor awardee from the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at UC San Diego.

Courtney Glavis-Bloom, Ph.D.
Dr. Glavis-Bloom is a senior staff scientist in the lab of Professor John Reynolds at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and studies the brain areas and pathways that are affected in aging in the hope of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. During her Ph.D. in neuroscience and animal behavior at Emory University, Glavis-Bloom studied a memory center of the brain called the hippocampus and how the brain compensates when this region is injured. She wanted to understand why the brain can adapt to injury early in life but can’t compensate enough in old age or in age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Her work led to a few non-academic positions where she examined how potential therapies could aid cognition in healthy brains and those with Alzheimer’s degeneration.
At Salk, Dr. Glavis-Bloom is looking at aging across multiple time points to better understand cognition in normal aging, which can help inform age-related disease states. In addition to designing and implementing cognitive tests that detect brain changes with aging, Glavis-Bloom is working with Professor Rusty Gage’s lab to transform skin sample cells into neurons to see how they change with age. They’re also using high-powered imaging techniques to look at how neurons communicate at various stages across the lifespan.

Alyssa Taylor, Ph.D.
Dr. Alyssa Taylor is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Shu Chien-Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering at UC San Diego bringing twelve years of experience teaching across bioengineering laboratory, introductory, and capstone design classes. Dr. Taylor is interested in conducting educational research and continually improving the educational experience for our fabulous students. She plans to develop new program components and experiences to optimize undergraduate engineering education and will utilize her background in biomedical engineering, biology, and physiology to develop and teach bioengineering courses.
She previously served as an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. There, she was awarded the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Pacific Northwest Section Outstanding Teaching Award in 2022; the University of Washington College of Engineering Faculty Teaching Award in 2021; and the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award, the university's top teaching award, in 2020. 
Taylor earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree in biological systems engineering from UC Davis.

Nicole Behnke, Ph.D.
Dr. Nicole Behnke is a scientist at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Behnke received her doctorate in Organic Chemistry in 2016 from Rice University. Her graduate studies included developing a novel methodology for the synthesis of carbon-heteroatom bonds.

Miriam Bell, Ph.D.
Dr. Miriam Bell is a computational researcher at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson tackling systems biology and neuroscience problems, with a background in physics and mechanical engineering. Dr. Bell employs numerical and analytical modeling approaches to probe interesting biological systems and complex problems. Dr. Bell received her doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from UC San Diego in 2022.

Andrew Rudd, Ph.D.
Dr. Andrew Rudd is co-founder and CEO of Palm Therapeutics uses next-generation therapeutics to treat cancer at the root. Dr. Rudd received his doctorate in Chemistry from UC San Diego in 2019.

Alex Chen
Ph.D. Student in Materials Science and Engineering at UC San Diego

Juston Jaco
Ph.D. Student in the Biomedical Sciences Program at UC San Diego

​​​​​​Bianca Peña
Ph.D. Student in the Shu Chien - Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering at UC San Diego

Joseph Sawires
Ph.D. Student in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego

Will Sharpless
Ph.D. Student in the Shu Chien - Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering at UC San Diego

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