Current Trainees


Current Trainees

Natalie Chen – Predoctoral Trainee

Natalie is a 3rd year student in the Molecular, Cellular, Integrative Physiology Graduate Program at UCLA. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology with Honors in 2014.

Mentor: Dr. Stephen Young
Research Project: Nuclear Membrane Ruptures as an Underlying Cause of Arterial and Neuronal Disease

Andrew Cicchetto – Predoctoral Trainee

Andrew is a 3rd year graduate student in the Molecular and Medical Pharmacology program. In 2016, he graduate with a Masters in Biological Sciences from the California State University, Sacramento.

Mentor: Dr. Heather Christofk
Research Project: A role for the ZFP36 family of RNA-binding proteins in rapid metabolic transitions.

Chantle Edillor – Predoctoral Trainee

Chantle is a 5th year graduate student in the Genetics & Genomics Home Area of the Human Genetics Department. She received her Bachelors of Science in Developmental and Cell Biology with a minor in Medical Anthropology from UC Irvine in 2013.

Mentor: Dr. Aldons Jake Lusis
Research Project: Characterizing Zhx2-mediated transcriptional regulation in atherosclerosis

Tanya Gromova – Predoctoral Trainee

Tanya Gromova graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and History in 2017 and is now a Ph.D. student at UCLA in the Vondriska Lab.

Mentor: Dr. Thomas M. Vondriska
Research Project: Identify the epigenetic markers encoding the metabolic disease state on the chromatin and to uncover the chromatin regulators and key metabolites that facilitate the encoding of this pathology in epigenetic memory.

Jessica Nevarez-Mejia – Predoctoral Trainee

Jessica is a 2nd year PhD student in the Molecular Cellular & Integrative Physiology Graduate Program. She received her Bachelors in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine in 2017.

Mentor: Dr. Elaine Reed
Research Project: Macrophage polarization induced by anti-HLA class I antibody activated endothelium in chronic antibody-mediate rejection (cAMR)

Hannah Sunshine – Predoctoral Trainee

Hannah is a 3rd year graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology program at UCLA. She graduated with a Bachelors in Cell & Developmental Biology from the California State University, Fullerton in 2012.

Mentor: Dr. Luisa Iruela-Arispe
Research Project: Post-transcriptional modulation of VEGF downstream signaling

Anastasia Vavilina-Halstead – Predoctoral Trainee

Anastasia received her Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry/Cell Biology from UC San Diego. She is currently a third year graduate student in the Cell and Developmental Biology Home Are of the MBIDP.

Mentor: Dr. Hanna Mikkola
Research Project: Investigation of MLLT3 Isoforms as Regulators of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Fate Decisions

Juliet Girard – Postdoctoral Trainee

Juliet Girard received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences, cum laude from Harvard University in 2007 and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of California San Francisco in 2015. Since receiving her Ph.D., she has been doing developmental genetics research and mentoring undergraduate in the Banerjee lab at UCLA. She has also been teaching undergraduates using evidence-based practices at Cal State LA.

Mentor: Dr. Utpal Banerjee
Research Project: Investigation of the role of gene expression, cell cycle, and cell size on differentiation during hematopoiesis in Drosophila melanogaster

Kelsey Jarrett – Postdoctoral Trainee

Dr. Jarrett received her Doctorate in Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences from Baylor College of Medicine in 2018. Post graduation, she continued her research training with the Tarling-Vallim lab at UCLA.

Mentor: Dr. Thomas Vallim
Research Project: Understanding the physiological role of PSMD9 in lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis

Catera Wilder – Postdoctoral Trainee

Dr. Catera Wilder is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Alexander Hoffmann and investigates signaling system networks and ISGF3 transcriptional regulation in lung epithelial cells. She obtained her Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in 2016 and her B.S. in Biological Engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2010. She is fascinated by complex biological systems and employs a systems biology approach to investigate them.

Research Project: Understanding innate immune and inflammatory responses in lung epithelial cells due to their role as barrier cells and importance for the pulmonary microvascular network.

Revised: September 10, 2019