Alex Chen

Alex Chen grew up in New Jersey and did his undergraduate in Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. His current research is focused on characterization of a naturally derived extracellular matrix hydrogel used for treatment of myocardial infarction and on the synthesis of targeted nanoparticle therapeutics. In his free time, he likes to go to the gym, play hockey and hike.


Kristen Garcia

Kristen Garcia is a third-year PhD student in the Bioengineering department working in Dr. Valdez-Jasso's lab. She’s originally from Sacramento, California but received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. Kristen is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the sex-differences in the remodeling process of the right ventricle (RV) from the cellular-level up to the organ-level in pulmonary arterial hypertension. She’s looking at the process with the use of a three-dimensional biventricular mathematical model of the heart. Outside of the lab she likes to play pickleball, take spin classes, and run. Kristen is currently training for her first marathon! 


Dani Gonzalez

Dani Gonzalez is a second-year PhD student in the Bioengineering department at UC San Diego. Originally from California, she received her Bachelor of Science at MIT, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Biomedical Engineering. She is currently co-advised by Dr. Andrew McCulloch in Bioengineering and Dr. Sam Ward in Orthopaedic Surgery. She is interested in investigating the epidemiology of athletic injuries and creating multi-scale models aimed at predicting injury risk in athletes. Outside of the lab, Dani loves making things, exploring San Diego with her dog, and playing on the UC San Diego Club Water Polo team. 


Juston Jaco

Juston Jaco is a second-year PhD student in the Biomedical Sciences Program at UCSD. He is currently researching proactive and progressive solutions that go beyond pharmacy and surgery in the lab of Ajit Varki, MD. Juston is studying how a single molecular change in one dietary sialic acid can lead to systemic inflammation involved in colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease. His academic career began at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with Highest Honors in Environmental Science. Juston is passionate about the intersection between the environment and nutrition and its impact on human and planetary health. Believing in the concept of “food as medicine”, Juston applies his diverse knowledge and interdisciplinary approach to the Interfaces program. 


Nathaniel Linden

Nathaniel Linden is a PhD student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, co-advised by Professors Padmini Rangamani and Boris Kramer. He's currently working on computational methods to combine mathematical models and experimental data of biological systems. Work at this intersection of applied mathematics and systems biology will help to improve how mathematical models are used in studying biological systems and in developing new medical treatments. Outside the lab, he tries to spend as much time as possible in nature by hiking, rock climbing, and cycling. 


Daniel Milshteyn

Daniel Milshteyn is a third-year Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry PhD student in the Budin lab at UC San Diego. He earned his Bioengineering B.S. at UC Santa Cruz, where he conducted undergraduate research studying prebiotic chemistry for the origins of life in David Deamer's lab. Currently, Daniel studies the biophysical roles of cholesterol and plasmalogens in lipid-driven dynamics of membranes in mitochondria and deep-sea/high-pressure environments. Daniel is training in interdisciplinary approaches including super resolution live-cell microscopy, lipid biophysics, and synthetic biology to understand the implications of lipid composition across scales from membranes to organismal physiology and disease. In his free time, Daniel likes to rollerblade, hike, and kayak.