UCSF/CCSF's Inclusive Mentoring Fellows: 2020 Cohort

This inaugural group of 14 UCSF graduate students and postdocs first completed over 16 hours of training on being supervisors, trainers, and advisors.

Next, they were coached through the hiring and supervising/training process for four months.

They began working with their interns in February 2020 and continued to do so through the shut-down of UCSF labs in March - May 2020.

We applaud their intrepid leadership and celebrate their efforts toward becoming inclusive mentors and managers!


Inclusive Mentoring Fellows

Madeline Andrews

Madeline Andrews is a postdoctoral fellow in Arnold Kriegstein’s lab at UCSF. She is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms guiding human cerebral cortex development. For her studies on cell signaling mechanisms she utilizes neural organoids and primary tissue culture systems. The project her CCSF intern, Raul Morales Rivera, worked on this semester is focused on understanding how Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Signaling (LIF) regulates the developmental trajectory of a population of neural stem cells expanded in the human cortex, called outer radial glial cells.

 Allison Cohen

Allison is a sixth-year Tetrad graduate student in Dr. Anita Sil’s laboratory. The Sil Lab studies a group of fungi that can cause severe lung infections in humans. Allison is studying how one of these fungi, Histoplasma capsulatum, is able to invade and destroy host immune cells. The lab has been making genetic alterations in the immune cells to uncover points of vulnerability in these immune cells that can be readily exploited by the fungus. Allison's CCSF intern, Eric Tablante, has been working on a project using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to disrupt genes in the immune cell that may play a role in triggering a stress response upon infection with H. capsulatum. This project will improve the understanding of how this fungus can kill immune cells.

Read a profile of Allison and Eric's experience working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Jeff Glasgow

Jeff is a postdoc in Jim Wells' lab in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The Wells lab studies how changes in cell surface proteins in disease can be targeted using engineered proteins. Jeff's current projects focus on antibody-based modulation of T cell activity to tune immune responses. Jeff’s CCSF intern, Miguel Padilla, is investigating the effects of small molecules on cytokine/receptor interactions.

 Jennifer Hayashi

A San Francisco native, Jennifer left the Bay Area to study microbiology at UC Davis and subsequently UMass Amherst. While away, she developed an appreciation for snow and the cold, as well as an increased interest in immunology and infectious disease. Returning to San Francisco, she aims to delineate the mechanisms of membrane alteration during viral infections. Outside of the lab, she enjoys eclectic cooking, hiking, and meeting all the dogs of the Bay Area. Jennifer’s CCSF intern, Amy Li, worked on building a Zika virus expression library and identifying potential targets of Zika virus in the Hippo signaling pathway. Jennifer had also previously mentored CCSF Bioscience Intern, João Paulo Moreira, who investigated the levels of interferon production in macrophages during Junin viral infection. 

Geil Merana

Geil is a 4th year Biomedical Sciences graduate student in Dr. Tiffany Scharschmidt’s lab, which studies how skin commensal microbes maintain good relationships with the host immune system. Geil is interested in how inflammation at distal sites (such as the gut) can alter host-microbe relationships, such as breakdown of immune tolerance, in the skin. Geil's CCSF intern, Yasmin Palacios, worked on a project focused on learning how to use an in vitro DC-T cell assay to dissect the mechanisms by which this can occur.

Heather Richbourg

Heather is an NIH-funded postdoctoral researcher studying the genetic and cell-based variations contributing to craniofacial and brain defects during early development. Heather's overarching research question is quantitatively understanding mechanisms and phenotypes present in diseased states, from the cellular mechanistic to an organismal level for a system-wide understanding of pathology. Heather's CCSF intern, Cole Chabon, worked on a project investigating the relationship between the NOSIP gene and PP2A protein levels in early embryonic development.

 Camille Simoneau

Camille received her BA in biochemistry from Barnard College in 2014 and then worked for two years researching the immune response to HIV at the Ragon Institute.  She then switched coasts to come to UCSF to begin her PhD studies with a focus in immunology and virology.  In the Ott Lab she works on the immune response and pathogenesis of HCV infection.  In her spare time she enjoys travelling, reading in Golden Gate Park, and providing the lab with baked goods. Camille’s CCSF intern, Joshua Aldon, worked on investigating entry factors for Zika virus utilizing 3D liver organoid cultures.

 Michel Tassetto

The primary goal of Michel’s research is to understand how animals process viral genetic information and orchestrate their antiviral immune response at the cellular level and systemically. He is specialized in multiple high throughput sequencing techniques and has developed a new approach to decipher small RNA-based antiviral signaling. Michel’s CCSF intern, Amethyst Zhang, while initially working on restriction enzyme cloning to build CRISPR constructs, switched to learning about TAR cloning of SARS-CoV-2, using artificial yeast chromosomes during the pandemic.

T.K. Martin Tsui

T.K. is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Kliment A. Verba (Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Quantitative Biosciences Institute). The Verba Lab studies signaling protein complexes that are involved in various forms of human cancers using structural biology (specifically cryo-EM) and biochemistry. T.K.'s CCSF intern, Zita Gao, worked on a project focused on performing proof-of-principle experiments to repurpose a class of biomolecules for molecular biology and structural biology applications, via molecular cloning, molecular biology, and protein expression.

Peng Xu

Peng Xu received his Ph.D. in Cellular Biology from Hebei Normal University, China in 2013. He then worked as an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, working on the development of droplet microfluidic platforms for single cell genomics and pathogen diagnostics. In 2017, he joined Dr. Adam Abate's lab at the University of California, San Francisco as a postdoc continuing his research on developing droplet microfluidics for microbial genomics.

Fauna Yarza

Fauna is a PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences program carrying out thesis work in Dr. Seemay Chou’s laboratory. Fauna is interested in the basic biology of parasites that permits transmission of human pathogens. Fauna focuses on the immune system of the tick vector for Lyme disease to better understand how ticks tolerate the presence of human pathogens. Fauna's CCSF intern, Soomi Kim, contributed to this work by identifying novel tick antimicrobial peptides.

Inclusive Mentoring Fellow Affiliates

Meghna Gupta

Meghna is a postdoctoral scholar at the Stroud Lab, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. The Stroud lab works on understanding membrane proteins using X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM. Meghna is interested in studying the function and mechanism of ABC transporters with a specific focus on structural biology. Meghna is currently working on the interaction of a soluble protein with an ABC transporter to elucidate its function using Cryo-EM. Meghna's CCSF intern, Carina Ancheta, focused on the expression and purification of the soluble counterpart and sequence analysis for assessing the predicted binding site.

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