Current Trainees


Current Trainees

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.

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.

Tyler Hoffman – Predoctoral Trainee

Tyler is a 4th year graduate student in the Bioengineering Department. He previously worked at the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials under Dr. Yong Mao and Dr. Joachim Kohn and graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering in 2016. For the following two years, he worked as a research associate at Osiris Therapeutics in Maryland.

Mentor: Dr. Song Li
Research Project: Spatially patterned synthetic cues for controlled co-differentiation of vascularized muscle tissues.

Michal Juda – Predoctoral Trainee

Michal is a 4th year graduate student in the Cell and Developmental Biology program. Before joining UCLA studied neurodegeneration under Dr. Andrew Steelman and Dr. Gregory Freund while graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Animal Sciences and a minor in Chemistry.

Mentor: Dr. Atushi Nakano
Research Project: Defining the role of cardiomyocyte phenotype in heart regeneration.

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)

Asif Razee – Predoctoral Trainee

Asif is a 3rd year graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, Integrative Physiology Program at UCLA. In 2019, he received his Masters in Physiological Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mentor: Dr. Soban Umar
Research Project: Investigating the Role of NOS1-mediated Neuroinflammation and Apoptosis in Experimental Pulmonary Hypertension. 

Hannah Sunshine – Predoctoral Trainee

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

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

Lauren Crisman – Postdoctoral Trainee

Lauren is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Jau-Nian Chen studying how the loss of mitochondrial trafficking proteins leads to defects in heart development. She received her doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2020 and my B.S. in biology and general chemistry from Eastern Michigan University in 2012.

Mentor: Dr. Jau-Nian Chen
Research Project: Defining the role of mitochondrial function in heart development.

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

Revised: September 10, 2019