Tyler Bodily is a third-year PhD student in the Bioengineering department at UC San Diego. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Utah, where he helped to develop a quantitative phase microscope for measuring live cancer cell growth in Dr. Thomas Zangle's Lab. He's currently co-advised by Dr. Gert Cauwenberghs, whose lab specializes in neuromorphic-inspired integrated circuit chip design, and Dr. Ratnesh Lal, whose lab has expertise in AFM cell imaging and novel biosensor technologies. His projects include the development of a multiplexed array of scalable antibody/aptamer-modulated graphene FET (GFET) biosensors. Upon modification with a probe molecule (ie DNA aptamer/antibody) the graphene channel becomes sensitive to biomolecules and can be detected by measuring changes in conductance. The array of biosensors would make it possible to diagnose higher-order diseases by integrating concentration measurements from several protein biomarkers simultaneously. Outside of the lab, he spends his time reading, surfing, biking, taking power naps, or trying out a new local restaurant.
Natasha Carlson is a third-year PhD student in the Biomedical Sciences Program at UCSD. She grew up in Tujunga, California and earned her B.S. in both Biotechnology and Cellular and Molecular Biology from the California State University, Northridge. Under the co-mentorship of Dr. Pekkurnaz and Dr. Gustafsson, Natasha currently seeks to unravel the molecular cascade that leads to neuronal dysfunction due to accumulating mtDNA mutations at both the subcellular and organismal level by utilizing various interdisciplinary approaches including live-cell imaging, cellular respirometry, and mass spectrometry. Outside of lab, Natasha enjoys drawing, exploring San Diego, and spending time with her boyfriend and cat.
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 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.
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
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.
Gillian McMahon is a second-year Bioengineering PhD student in Dr. Johannes Schöneberg’s lab at UCSD. She earned her BS in Mathematics-Applied Science from UCSD. She also worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory developing a microfluidic flow cytometer. Her current research, co-mentored by Dr. Rommie Amaro, is creating a model for coronavirus infection in hiPSC-derived branching lung organoids and determining effects of different coronavirus variants. Using lattice light sheet microscopy (LLSM) to investigate mitochondrial network behavior in live organoids, she hopes to identify changes in cell biology and potentially identify treatment avenues. Outside of lab, she enjoys outreach, dancing, and spontaneous trips.
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Sarah Narehood is a 3rd year PhD student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department co-advised by Dr. Mark Herzik and Dr. Akif Tezcan. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and attended Emory University where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry. She is currently studying the structure and function of nitrogenase through both biochemical techniques as well as cryoEM/cryoET. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her partner and dog, hike, bake, and try new SD restaurants.
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Anson Noland is a second-year Chemistry PhD student in Rommie Amaro’s lab at UC San Diego. He graduated from Cal State Los Angeles in 2022 with a B.S. in Biochemistry, where he worked on developing a charge penetration model to improve how partial charges are assigned in classical force fields. This began his interest in developing and improving molecular dynamics methods. His current research focuses on extending enhanced sampling methods to computing kinetics for protein-protein interactions, and connecting these simulations to multiscale models of biological systems. Outside of the lab, he enjoys going to Torrey Pines beach, camping, traveling, and playing guitar.
Jocelyn Olvera is a Ph.D. student in Biological Sciences at the Salk Institute and conducts research in the laboratories of Dr. Dmitry Lyumkis and co-mentor Dr. Pallav Kosuri. Her research focuses on studying the structural and spatiotemporal regulation of chromatin by enzymes and the influence of post-translational modifications on gene expression. She holds B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular/Cellular Biology from California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM). Prior to starting her Ph.D., she worked as a staff research associate at UCSD's School of Medicine and in a San Diego-based pharmaceutical company. In addition to her studies, she enjoys mentoring students, and as the Vice President of SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science) at UCSD, she focuses on STEM outreach. When not in the lab, she loves to capture drone footage of the beautiful granite hills in Arizona and explore the underwater world through freediving and SCUBA diving.
Samantha Sanchez is a second-year PhD student in the Bioengineering department at UC San Diego. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from UC Irvine, where she contributed to multiple research projects in the labs of Dr. Jered Haun and Dr. Fangyuan Ding. She is currently co-advised by Dr. Jin Zhang and Dr. Lingyan Shi, designing genetically encodable biosensors for live subcellular imaging. She is especially interested in developing and applying red-shifted biosensors for multiplexed investigations into 2D/3D cancer-immune interactions. Outside of lab, you can find her relaxing at home with a DIY project or out exploring San Diego events/food with friends.
Will Sharpless is a PhD student in Bioengineering at UCSD. His interests revolve around control and optimization in nonlinear, stochastic systems for autonomous devices in robotics, medicine and economics. He is particularly captivated by the graphs underlying differential systems and how their topology influences stability. He also generally enjoys employing learning methods in these spaces. As an undergraduate, Will studied applied math and biology at UC Berkeley, during which he discovered a fascination for the theory of nonlinear systems and control that arose in the metabolic networks and cellular ecology that led him to his studies today. When away from work, Will is likely running, reading, or listening to music.
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Kyle Stark is a PhD student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department, is advised by Prof. Padmini Rangamani, and mentored by Prof. Samuel Ward through the Interfaces program. He is currently using mathematical and computational modeling to develop a quantitative understanding of how cytoskeletal proteins and cell membranes change their material stiffness moduli to optimize force and velocity requirements. This extends into his broader thesis of how constitutive relations contribute to cell and tissue developmental processes. In his spare time, he is often found going for runs, eating brunch or skiing.