LAB MEMBERS

MEDHA PATHAK, PhD

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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

MITRADAS PANICKER, PhD

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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

JAMI NOURSE, PhD

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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

BETH EVANS, PhD

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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

IGNASI CASANELLAS, PhD

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POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW

Ignasi is a Chemist and Bioengineer studying how physical environmental cues modulate processes such as cell migration, communication and differentiation. He moved from Catalonia to California to work on Piezo1 and learn more about microscopy, data analysis and neuroscience. Ignasi is a big movie fan who also enjoys eating out, going for walks in nature, and following the news on politics.

 

icasanel at uci.edu

JESSE HOLT

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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

ALAN LY

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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

GABRIELLA BERTACCINI

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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

LAURA WILLIAMSON

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MSTP ROTATION STUDENT

Laura is a SoCal native, born and raised in San Diego, CA. While at UCSD, she developed a passion for molecular biology and biophysics through her work in the Tezcan lab, and eventually received her BS in Biochemistry/Chemistry from UCSD in 2020. Laura’s current research interests center around how glycosylation affects neural stem cell differentiation, and through her work in the Pathak and Flanagan labs hopes to evaluate the role that N-glycan branching plays in modulating neural stem cell adhesion and response to mechanical stimuli. Outside of lab, Laura loves to climb, play DND and boardgames, and binge endless amount of TV while cuddling with her cats.

lwillia5 at uci.edu

JOSHUA ALCANTARA

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CMB GRADUATE ROTATION STUDENT

Joshua graduated from UCI in 2019 with a B.S. in Human Biology. He has worked with microfluidic models of vascular development, transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, and organoid models of colorectal cancer. Joshua has returned to UCI to earn his PhD with an interest in studying Alzheimer's disease in iPSC-derived neuron and organoid models. Outside of the lab, Joshua enjoys cycling, trying new food places, and working on his model railroad.

jaalcan1 at uci.edu

VIVIAN LEUNG

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LAB MANAGER & RESEARCH ASSISTANT

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

ELAINE LAI

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LAB MANAGER & RESEARCH ASSISTANT

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

NAOMI JANNAE FERRER

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Naomi is a first year student studying biological sciences at UC Irvine with an interest in both research and medicine. In the future, she sees herself with a career in the medical field and aspires to become an anesthesiologist or a pediatrician. You can find her at the Science Library early in the morning or at Newport Beach with her friends at night. Naomi values quality time with loved ones and enjoys watching sunsets, going on roadtrips, grocery shopping, and petting dogs (especially golden retrievers).

njferrer at uci.edu

EDEN VOLD

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Eden is a second year Biological Sciences major who is particularly interested in neuroscience and human biology. She is currently on the pre-med track and hopes to become a Plastic Surgeon. When Eden is not studying for OChem, you can find her hanging out with friends at Newport beach, getting competitive over the NYT Daily Crossword Puzzle, working out at the ARC, or making (and drinking!) lattes.

evold at uci.edu

ALICIA MARGARET LIN

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WORK-STUDY UNDERGRAD

Alicia is a first year biological sciences major at UCI. She hopes to follow a career path in neuroscience or psychology someday. She is especially interested in possible biological and psychological factors contributing to neurological disorders that affect psychology and behavior, and how the two types of factors can intertwine for better treatments. Alicia greatly enjoys drawing, playing JRPGs, and taking pictures of her cat.

aliciml1 at uci.edu

KELLY GISELLE GARCIA CAMACHO

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WORK-STUDY UNDERGRAD

Kelly is a second year Biological Sciences major, with an interest in the medical field. She holds a great interest in biology and medicine, and hopes to pursue a career as a physician assistant in either dermatology or pediatrics, in the future.  In her free time, she enjoys learning choreographies from her favorite K-pop artists. She also likes to draw, sing, and cook.

kellygg at uci.edu

ASHLEY NGUYEN

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WORK-STUDY UNDERGRAD

Ashley is a second year Biological Sciences major on the pre-med track. She has an interest in skin regeneration and would like to pursue a residency in dermatology or plastics. When Ashley’s not busy with school, you can find her spending time at the beach, cooking new recipes, and traveling to find the best ski resort.

ashletn7 at uci.edu

ELSA FLUDYN

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DOGTOR OF PLAY TIME

Elsa (named after Elsa the Lioness from Born Free) loves to explore the world, play with fellow dogs, and meet new people. She specializes in driving away "failed experiment blues".

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

TRUC TRAN

Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA – Summer 2017

DAI TRANG THI LE

University of Central Florida – Summer 2016

Undergraduate Students

MICHAEL THANH-PHONG VU

Undergraduate Researcher – Jan 2021 - Sept 2022

DAVID LEE PHAM

Undergraduate Workstudy – Nov 2019 - June 2022

SOPHIA TRAN

Undergraduate Workstudy – Nov 2021 - June 2022

SHAYAN FINI

Undergraduate Researcher – Sept 2018 - June 2021

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

RIA BAHADUR

Eastside Preparatory School, Kirkland, WA

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