CHIN, Chee Jia (Julia)
Mentor: CROOKS, Gay
Chee Jia Chin received her B.S in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from UCLA in 2009. During undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Amander Clark’s lab and her research involved the use of human embryonic stem cells to understand germ cell formation. Upon graduation, Chee Jia pursued her M.S. in Bioscience in Dr. Jasmeen Merzaban’s lab at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, an international graduate institute dedicated to interdisciplinary research. In summer of 2010, Chee Jia entered the ACCESS program and she has now transitioned into Dr Gay Crooks’ lab. She is currently working on the formation of hematopoietic niche from human pluripotent stem cells.
Mentor: RAO, Dinesh
Jorge Contreras is currently a second year graduate student in UCLA's Cellular and Molecular Pathology department, while making time for his great wife Teri and beautiful daughter Valeria. He recently graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) with a B.S. in biology. While at CSUDH, Jorge worked in Dr. Helen Chun's lab attempting to find the mechanism by which Ataxia Telangectasia Mutated is inactivated. He is a past MBRS-RISE and MARC-USTAR scholar, which allowed him the opportunity to attend national minority research conferences such as ABRCMS and SACNAS. Currently, he is researching the micro RNA mir146 in conjunction with oncogenes to elucidate the role of micro RNA's in oncogenesis.
Mentor: DAWSON, David
Katie received her B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Santa Clara University in 2010. At SCU, she studied the non-templated nucleotide addition properties of DNA polymerases in the lab of Dr. Angel Islas. Katie then worked as a research associate in the Immunology group at Stanford Research Institute International before joining the ACCESS program in the fall of 2012. She joined David Dawson’s laboratory and is studying the role of the Wnt pathway in pancreatic cancer.
Mentor: BAUM, Linda
Brian McMorran received his B.S. in Physiological Science from the University of Arizona in 2010. After completion of his undergraduate studies, Brian pursued a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis on Tissue Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Brian performed his M.S. research work in Dr. Linda Baum’s lab where he characterized muscle-specific adhesion-complex glycosylation in murine myoblasts as well as changes in glycosylation resulting from differentiation of myoblasts into myotubes. After joining the ACCESS program in fall 2012, Brian ultimately decided to return to Dr. Baum’s lab for his doctoral work. His doctoral work will focus on characterizing human muscle cell glycosylation, as well as clinical applications for related muscular dystrophies.
Mentor: REED, Elaine
Sahar Salehi received her B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics from UCLA in 2010. As an undergraduate researcher, she focused on elucidating mutagenic mechanisms of chemotherapy drugs. After graduation, she spent a year in the immunology-based laboratory of Dr. Kathleen Kelly as a research associate where she was involved in a novel project studying the potential use of an engineered vault nanoparticle as a vaccine delivery system for Chlamydia. In the fall of 2011, Sahar joined the ACCESS program at UCLA and after completing the first year of coursework and rotations, she joined Dr. Elaine Reed’s lab where she is currently studying the role of the mTOR pathway in HLA-antibody-mediated leukocyte recruitment.
Mentor: CROOKS, Gay
Chris Seet received his B.A. in Biological Science from the University of Chicago, where he joined the lab of Dr. Barbara Kee investigating transcriptional regulation of B lymphocyte development. He returned home to Australia and received his M.D. with Honors from the University of Sydney, completing Honors research in the lab of Prof. Tony Basten investigating molecular mechanisms of B cell self-tolerance. He returned to the US and completed internship and residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago where, as a Resident Research Scholar, he conducted research in the lab of Dr. Jiwang Zhang investigating growth factor signaling in leukemia stem cell development and function. He is currently a fellow in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UCLA with a special interest in hematological malignancies. As a STAR fellow in the lab of Dr. Gay Crooks, he is pursuing a combined clinical fellowship and basic science Ph.D., with a research focus on the molecular regulation of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell development.
Mentor: SINGH, Ram Raj
Cynthia Tran received her B.S. in Biology from Wesleyan College in 2010. During her undergraduate years, she did a summer internship in Dr. Elizabeta Nemeth?s lab at UCLA School of Medicine to study the role of BMP6 in iron metabolism. In 2010, she joined ACCESS program at UCLA and completed three rotations in three different stem cell labs. Currently, Cynthia is working on identifying molecular defects of mesenchymal stem cells in autoimmune disease models.
Mentor: TONTONOZ, Peter
Jiexin Wang received her M.D. from School of Medicine, Zhejiang University in China in 2010. After graduation, she joined the ACCESS Program at UCLA in the fall of 2010. Upon completing the first year of the ACCESS coursework and rotations, she joined Dr. Peter Tontonoz's lab where she is currently studying the regulation of adipogenesis.