Student/Postdoc Career Projects

We invite students and postdoctoral scholars to get real-world work experience by forwarding career and professional development projects for biomedical trainees.

Portrait of Angela Acostan

Angela Acosta, UCSF School of Medicine

Angela serves as a Career Peer Advisor at OCPD. Angela was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Chicana/a and Central American Studies. Angela is currently a first generation medical student at UCSF School of Medicine. Prior to attending UCSF School of Medicine, she mentored pre-medical students through social media, led the advocacy committee for a UCLA-based community organization and volunteered as a Health Coach at community health centers in Riverside county. In her free time, she likes to read and explore the beautiful city of San Francisco!

Portrait of Trase Aguigam

Trase Aguigam, UCSF Graduate Division

Hello! My name is Trase, and I am from Hanford, California, in the San Joaquin Central Valley. I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Gross and Narlikar labs in the Tetrad Graduate Program here at UCSF. My research involves using biochemistry and dynamic structural biology methods to address outstanding questions in the field of RNA processing. I graduated from UCLA in 2020 with a degree in Molecular Biology and African American Studies. Outside the lab, I serve on the Outreach Committee of the UCSF chapter of Black Excellence in STEM (BE-STEM) and enjoy teaching, reading, and playing basketball. As an OCPD intern, I look forward to helping people explore and work toward their career and professional goals!

Portrait of Matt Arvedson

Matt Arvedson, UCSF Graduate Division

Matt is a PhD Candidate in the Biomedical Sciences program at UCSF, and is a member of Dr. James Gardner's lab at the UCSF Diabetes Center. Matt's research is focused on immune tolerance in the context of transplant and autoimmunity. Matt is passionate about teaching and mentoring, and has mentored high school students through the UCSF Science and Health Education Partnership. He also serves on the BMS Curriculum Committee, where he works to improve the educational experience of BMS students at UCSF.

Matt is excited to be a part of the OCPD team, and is especially interested in improving resources to help first year students make important decision during graduate school.

Portrait of Jaysón Davidson

Jaysón Davidson, UCSF Graduate Division

Jaysón Davidson is currently a PhD candidate in the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics program at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF, he is a member of Dr. Atul Butte’s lab, where he intends to develop methods to effectively stratify the differences in disease and drug response outcomes between populations with different social determinants to improve overall healthcare quality and equity. Jaysón primarily studies treatment utilization, and health outcomes of Type 2 Diabetes patients that are treated within the UC-Health system. He recently published a perspective piece titled: “From Genes to Geography, from Cells to Community, from Biomolecules to Behaviors: The Importance of Social Determinants of Health,” which describes the impact of using Social determinants of health in real-world evidence studies. Jaysón’s main aspirations of scientific impact doesn’t just involve research, but it involves effective communication of science to communities of color in which his research affects the most. He believes that Science Communication is the bridge that will connect scientists to everyday people to translate important findings in a digestible and useful way.

While at UCSF, Jaysón has been selected as a UCSF-Stanford FDA CERSI Diversity scholar, NIGMS-IMSD program affiliate, and UCSF BE-STEM Co-president. Outside of UCSF, Jaysón is an E-Board Member of BlackinChem 501(c)3. He earned his B.S. in Biochemistry at Hampton University, and was initiated into the Beta Chi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. while playing Division I football and leading the team as captain.

Portrait of Daniela de Sousa Moura

Daniela de Sousa Moura, UCSF Graduate Division

I`m a Postdoc in Neuroscience and an intern at OCPD. My project in the lab is to investigate adult neurogenesis regulation by the Serotonergic system. As an international scholar living in the US for over 3 years now, I`m exploring a new world of possibilities in my career. At OCPD I expect to direct this exploration in a supportive and collaborative environment while bringing my own background and improving the experience for other international students as well.

Exploring different views of the world (or different careers) is extremely exciting to me but can also be very challenging, I believe OCPD is the right place to do that. In my free time, I like trying new foods, traveling, camping, or just exploring the city.

Portrait of Diana Do

Diana Do, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Hi, my name is Diana Do. I was born in the Bay area, and as of right now, I am in my second year at UCSF. I previously went to SFSU for my undergrad with a degree in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry. During my free time, I like to run or walk around my neighborhood, watch Netflix, and spend time with my friends and family. I enjoy eating sweets and like eating sushi.

Portrait of Jocelyne Fadiga

Jocelyne Fadiga, UCSF Graduate Division

Salut! My name is Jocelyne and I grew up in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. I am a first-generation immigrant and scientist and very proud of it. I have now lived in the United States for over a decade and cherish the unique perspective on life being an immigrant and nonnative speaker (French is my first language) affords me. I enjoy cooking for others, solitude, poetry, music, going to the beach and deep conversations. Here, I have been fortunate to make plenty of friends, who have become family eventually, and tell me my food is delicious – part of what keeps me cooking and sharing. I am excited to join the OCPD team and hope to be a wonderful addition to an already amazing group of people-oriented folks, dedicated to helping others thrive professionally.

Sarah Gallalee portrait

Sarah Gallalee, MPH (she/her), UCSF Graduate Division

Sarah Gallalee is a PhD candidate at the UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences and a graduate student researcher at UCSF’s Malaria Elimination Initiative. Sarah’s research is focused on risk factors for malaria and interventions to interrupt malaria transmission among high-risk populations. Among her research interests are improving disease surveillance systems and using geospatial methods to assess disease burdens and target data-driven interventions.

Sarah is excited to be a part of the OCPD team and working to support students and postdocs at UCSF on career and professional development.

Sarah earned her MPH from Columbia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Vermont.

Portrait of Jeanne Ko

Jeanne Ko, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Hello! My name is Jeanne, and I am a first-generation student born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to San Francisco! I attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for my undergrad and majored in biomedical engineering and business administration. Currently, I'm a student in the UCSF School of Pharmacy.

In my free time, I love to hike, cook, or hang out with my friends. I'm very excited to work with you as a Career Peer Advisor and help you achieve your career goals!

Portrait of Amanda Leon, UCSF OCPD trainee

Amanda León, UCSF School of Medicine

I am a medical student from La Habra, CA who graduated from Pitzer College with a degree in Human Biology and Chemistry. I am the 2021 LMSA UIM Liaison and Mentorship Match Co-Chair; I am also the SMEC representative on the Career Launch Operations Committee, a member of PRIDE-MED, and a PRIME-US student. My interests include health disparities research, health policy, anti-oppressive MedEd, and student advocacy. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, painting, and thrift-shopping.

Portrait of Zach McLaughlin, UCSF OCPD trainee

Zach McLaughlin, UCSF Department of Physical Therapy

Hello, my name is Zach! I use they/he pronouns and am occupying Ramaytush, Muwekma, and Ohlone land in what is also known as San Francisco. I am a neurodivergent, bi-queer student currently pursuing my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco State University. Previously, I received my Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Minor in Coaching Principles at the University of California, Davis.

When not engaged in school I can be found reading avidly, journaling, lifting weights, and most importantly fueling my plant parent desires by taking care of the multitude of flora in my apartment.

I have spent a lot of time volunteering with Bay Area elementary, middle, and high schools giving lessons on the benefits of exercise, physical therapy, and pathways to higher education. I have also been working with the University of California’s CARE office here at UCSF to support, educate, and guide Survivors by employing trauma-informed care. Finally, I currently have my hat in various positions including but not limited to the Title IX office, the CARE office's Trauma-Informed Care Elective, my cohort's student government, and just started my own research project on conceptualizing pain in Queer Survivors.

I am honored to be serving as an OCPD Career Peer Advisor and look forward to being in the presence of so many brilliant humans!

Portrait of Jacqueline Ong

Jacqueline Ong, UCSF School of Dentistry

My name is Jacqueline Ong, I am a second-year dental student who loves to help and encourage other students at UCSF which is why I am happy to be part of the OCPD team.  During my free time, I love to swim, hike, and be outdoors.

Portrait of Nicolai Parhami, UCSF OCPD trainee

Nicolai Parhami, UCSF School of Pharmacy
[email protected]

Nicolai serves as a Career Peer Advisor at OCPD. Prior to attending UCSF School of Pharmacy, Nicolai volunteered at Children's Hospital of Oakland for several years, interned at both a plant tissue culture laboratory and a family-owned pharmacy, and helped run the Pre-Pharmacy Club and Plant Science Club at his university where he set up and managed professional workshops and informative meetings. Nicolai is thrilled to continue to provide his peers with resources and advice to achieve their career goals and aspirations.

Nicolai received his Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences from the University of California, Davis.

Portrait of Jonathan Plascencia, UCSF OCPD trainee

Jonathan Plascencia, UCSF School of Dentistry

Jonathan Plascencia serves as a social media outreach and communications intern for OCPD.

Jonathan is a first generation Dental student at UCSF School of Dentistry. Before attending UCSF School of Dentistry, Jonathan attended San Diego State University and received his B.A. in Biology. He volunteered as a dental assistant through the Flying Samaritans of San Diego State in impoverished cities around Tijuana, Mexico. Before his interest in Dentistry, Jonathan also volunteered at Sharps ICU and conducted guided independent cancer research on mouse models at UCSD.

Portrait of Khuzaima Rangwalla

Khuzaima Rangwalla, UCSF School of Medicine

Hi there! My name is Khuzaima and I'm a medical student who's excited to make a positive impact on my community. I'm the oldest of four children, was born and raised in Southern California (which is the better part of the state, of course), and come from a Bioengineering background. In my free time, I love exploring the city, trying out the most unique and delicious foods, and spending time with my closest friends.

I'm excited to work with you as an OCPD Career Advisor! I want to see all my peers succeed, and I will do everything in my power to help you land the career of your dreams. Doesn't matter if you want to be a dentist, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional. With my insight and your ambition, I know that together we'll find a path to your success.

Portrait of Charlene-Mei Robles

Charlene-Mei Robles (she/her), UCSF Department of Physical Therapy

Hello! My name is Charlene-Mei Robles (she/her) and I am thrilled to serve as a Career Peer Advisor at OCPD. I look forward to helping my fellow peers connect with the proper resources and achieve their professional goals.

I am currently pursuing my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco State University. I also serve as Herstorian for my cohort's student government. Previously, I received my B.S. in Kinesiology Exercise Science at California State University Long Beach. Prior to pursuing physical therapy, I worked as an administrator at a pediatric speech language pathology clinic and was a research assistant through BUILD, an NIH funded program focused on biomedical research.

In my free time, I love to draw, try new foods, and visit various plant nurseries in the Bay Area. I look forward to meeting you all!

Portrait of Annie Xie

Annie Xie, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Annie Xie, a pharmacy student, serves as an Employer Engagement Intern at OCPD.

Before attending UCSF School of Pharmacy, Annie has had previous retail experience as a pharmacy technician at CVS pharmacy and research experience at USC International Center from regulatory science. Additionally, she was an active member of her community. She served as an External Vice President of USC’s pre-pharmacy society and volunteered at events around the USC campus and in the local community, taking advantage of her fluency in both Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese to serve as translator at various health fairs and to tutor underprivileged elementary school students at Los Angeles Chinatown’s Castelar Elementary School. Annie is excited to continue to coordinate outreach efforts to bring her peers opportunities to achieve their career goals.

Annie received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology and Drug Development from the University of Southern California.


Career Paths of Program Alums

Rachel Care, PhD
Program Manager, PhD Career and Professional Development
The Office of Career and Professional Development at UCSF

Christopher Crew, PhD
Research Scientist
Pomona College Diversity Office

Tina Solvik, PhD
Program Manager, Graduate Career Education
Texas Career Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin