LAB MEMBERS

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MEDHA PATHAK, PhD

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

Medha is a biophysicist interested in how mechanical forces shape neural processes. She enjoys developing multi-disciplinary and novel approaches for studying complex biological processes. She also enjoys reading, hiking, yoga, cooking and exploring the local beaches.

 Bio | CV 

medhap at uci.edu

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MITRADAS PANICKER, PhD

ASSOCIATE ADJUNCT PROFESSOR

Das Panicker (A.K.A. Panic in a previous avatar) is interested in the role of Piezo1 in neural stem cell differentiation. He likes ‘out of this world’ ideas in neurosciences, serotonin, and stem cells, but is still looking for the time to pursue all of them.

mmpanick at uci.edu

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JAMI NOURSE, PhD

ASSISTANT PROJECT SCIENTIST

Jami is a cell biologist who enjoys developing and applying novel technologies to understand how cells interpret their environment to shape cell fate and function.  She also enjoys spending time with her husband and four daughters. Also on the list of passions is: improving in Crossfit, walking the dog, visiting the beach, visiting Pubs with her husband and friends, reading novels, and keeping up with the politics and policies that affect the health of the local and global environment and the strength of democracy in the U.S. and Europe.

jnourse at uci.edu

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BETH EVANS

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW

Beth completed her PhD at The University of Leeds, UK studying the mechanically-sensitive ion channel Piezo1 within the cardiovascular system. This interest in Piezo1 caused Beth to move across the pond to UCI to work in the Pathak lab. Here she hopes to learn about imaging and brain organoid technologies. Beth enjoys being out in the (still novel) sunshine, exploring local breweries and running.

elevans at uci.edu

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JESSE HOLT

GRADUATE STUDENT

Jesse graduated from UCSD in Cognitive Neuroscience. He then worked at UCSF before coming to UCI to get his PhD. Jesse is interested in using various imaging techniques to study the behavior of ion channel activity. In his free time, Jesse enjoys participating in ridiculously strenuous activities such as triathlons, rock climbing and hiking.

holtj at uci.edu

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ALAN LY

GRADUATE STUDENT

Alan graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. Before coming to UCI, Alan worked in a structural biology lab at UCLA. Alan’s research interests lay in the crosstalk between cells and their environment and how it directs cell fate. When he’s not thinking about science, you can usually find Alan at a concert, exploring new restaurants, or walking (and picking up) his friends’ pets.

atly1 at uci.edu

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GABRIELLA BERTACCINI

GRADUATE STUDENT

Gabby graduated from UC Davis in 2019 with a B.S. in Cell Biology and a Minor in Technology Management. Prior to coming to UCI she worked as a Manufacturing Sciences Cell Culture Laboratory Intern at Genentech. If she is not in the lab, she enjoys grabbing a cup of coffee with friends or going out to eat. You can also catch her daydreaming of going to Disneyland on the weekends.

gbertacc at uci.edu

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VIVIAN LEUNG

LAB MANAGER

Vivian graduated from UC Irvine with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She has dedicated most of her time to volunteering and giving back to her community and is currently working towards her goal of becoming a family physician. If she's not busy studying or working in the lab, you'll most likely find her playing with her dog, Billy, or finding new foods to eat (while also stopping Billy from taking her food).

vmleung at uci.edu

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SHAYAN FINI

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

& WORK-STUDY STUDENT

Shayan is a 4th year biomedical engineering pre-med major hoping to become a doctor in the near future.  He enjoys reading about the many mysteries and astonishments relating to the human body.  If Shayan isn't at the library, lab, or in class, he's most likely standing in some line to buy something to resell.

sfini at uci.edu

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ELAINE LAI

CIRM BRIDGES INTERN

Elaine is a biochemistry major from California State University, Fullerton.  At CSUF, Elaine was in a protein biochemistry lab focusing on structural biology. At UCI, Elaine is interested in researching vascularized brain organoids generated from iPSCs. In her free time, Elaine enjoys going out to eat with her friends or binge-watching Korean dramas.

elai9 at uci.edu

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MICHAEL THANH-PHONG VU

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Michael is a second year Biological Sciences major pursuing a double major in Electrical Engineering, and he hopes to one day have a career researching the applications of Brain-Computer Interfaces. He's fascinated by all fields of science, but has a particular interest in the fields of neuroscience and computer science. When not busy with academics or lab work, Michael dedicates his time to his hobbies such as dance and photography.

vum3 at uci.edu

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DAVID LEE PHAM

WORK-STUDY UNDERGRAD

David is a 3rd year Biomedical Engineering student hoping to help others in any way he can. He has an obsession with the color blue and dolphins (although he still likes other aquatic animals like turtles or tardigrades). He enjoys doing origami, playing chess, and revisiting old Pokemon games in his free time.

dlpham1 at uci.edu

ALUMNI

Research Staff

HAMID ABUWARDA

Junior Specialist – Sept 2016 - July 2020

ESMERALDA IZQUIERDO

Junior Specialist – Aug 2016 - March 2020

SOUMYA HUNAGUND

Lab Manager – Sept 2017 - June 2018

NHU NGUYEN

Post-Baccalaureate Student – Dec 2015 - May 2017

Medical Students

JACOB DEYELL

UC Irvine MSTP Rotation – Summer 2020

TRUC TRAN

Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA – Summer 2017

DAI TRANG THI LE

University of Central Florida – Summer 2016

Graduate Students

CHERIE LEPE

INP Rotation Student – Fall 2020

MULATWA HAILE

INP Rotation Student – Winter 2019

CHLOE SARAS THANGAVELU

CMB Rotation Student – Spring 2018

HALEY MASTERS

UCI, CMB Rotation Student – Fall 2017

DAVID AU

UCI, CMB Rotation Student – Fall 2017

Undergraduate Students

KAITLYN MANH

CIRM Bridges Intern – Jan 2020 - Dec 2020

MARIZE RIZKALLA

Undergraduate Workstudy – Nov 2019 - Sept 2020

HAMID ABUWARDA

Junior Specialist – Sept 2016 - July 2020

NGUYEN MINH TRUONG

Undergraduate Researcher – Aug 2017 - July 2020

HARSH BHAVSAR

Undergraduate Researcher – April 2018 - July 2020

SAMI SMITH

Undergraduate Researcher – Sept 2018 - July 2020

ABHISHEK KULKARNI

Undergraduate Researcher – Oct 2019 - July 2020

JUHI GOPAL

Undergraduate Researcher

ZOE DU

Undergraduate Researcher – June 2017 - April 2019

LADELYN BOONLUA

Undergraduate Researcher – Aug 2017 - July 2019

KLARA ZAKERY

Undergraduate Researcher

BRIAN NGUYEN

Undergraduate Researcher

MAHAZABIN AZAD

UCI Undergraduate Work Study Student

ADRIJA CHAKRABARTY

UCLA Undergraduate Research Student – Summer 2017

COLLEEN CHAU

UCI Undergraduate Research Student – 2015 - 2016

High School Students

TIA DESARKAR

Beckman High School, Tustin, CA 

KIANNA MARIA DOMINICK

Sage Hill High School, Newport Coast, CA

ALLY MENDELHALL

Tesoro High School, Las Flores, CA  – Summer 2017

JESSICA PARPANA

Tesoro High School, Las Flores, CA – Summer 2016

ADAM CLEMENTS

El Toro High School, Lake Forest, CA  – 2016 - 2017