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2017-2018 Sloan Scholars

  • Gary Arevalo

    Gary Arevalo

    I knew I wanted to become a scientist after completing my first organic chemistry course at UC Davis. The shapes of molecules, their applications, and the various synthetic strategies were all so fascinating to me! Based on this interest, I pursued a research position in the laboratory of Professor Annaliese Franz, where I co-discovered novel methods for the stereoselective synthesis of biologically relevant spirocyclic oxindoles. After graduation, a desire to expand my scientific experiences led me to the chemical industry where I gained first-hand experience in process chemistry. After my inspirational industry experience, I decided to attend Cal State LA as an MBRS RISE fellow where, under the aegis of Professor Matthias Selke, I researched the reactivity of singlet oxygen with cation-pi-containing molecules. My fruitful and positive experiences at Cal State LA broadened my scientific interests, which now include biochemistry, biology, and bioengineering. Not being able to resist the lure of sunny Southern California, I enrolled at UC San Diego where I am now pursuing a PhD in chemical biology.

  • Isaac Cabrera

    Isaac Cabrera

    I was born in San Bernardino, CA and lived there my entire life until I graduated from high school. During high school, I participated in dual enrollment programs with Cal State San Bernardino and University of California Riverside so that I could pursue one of my former passions - mathematics. Following high school, I attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and studied Materials Science and Engineering. While a MIT, I took advantage of as many international opportunities as I could. In the summer after sophomore year, I worked for a steel company in Kawasaki, Japan. During my junior year, I studied abroad in England at the University of Oxford. This past summer I worked in India helping to improve the lives of people in various communities. I am currently beginning a PhD program in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCSD working under Professor Joanna McKittrick. My lab works on biomimetic materials and microstructure replication using magnetic freeze casting. I want to incorporate more computational simulations into our lab to supplement the experimental work and hope to apply finite element techniques to studying these biomaterials.

  • Miranda Diaz

    Miranda Diaz

    I grew up in Long Beach, CA. I went to New York University for undergrad, where I received a BS in Chemistry and a BS in Chemical Engineering. Here at UCSD I am pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering. My research interest are in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. I'm currently rotating in the Christman Lab where I am learning about decellularized injectable hydrogels for treatment of critical limb ischemia.
  • Judith Flores

    Judith Flores

    I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I got my undergraduate degree on biochemistry in Cal State San Marcos. I am currently rotating in my department, but I have worked on different projects so far in the short time that I have been here.

  • Carlos Guzman

    Carlos Guzman

    I grew up in Texas, in a border city called Roma within the Rio Grande Valley. I attended undergrad at the University of Texas Pan American where I got my BS/MS in Biology. I study DNA sequences called enhancers that regulate the gene expression program in a cell-type specific manner. Enhancers exert their functions through the recruitment of a large variety of transcription factors that are poorly understood. My project involves identifying the binding patterns of these transcription factors using signal-dependent biochemical and bioinformatic approaches.

  • Moses Kodur

    Moses Kodur

    I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where I was also born. After high school, I attended Chabot Community College before transferring to UCSD to study Chemical Engineering. I currently work on engineering new systems to enable the widespread use of efficient but low-cost solar cells.

  • Esther Lim

    Esther Lim

    I grew up in Malaysia. I graduated with a degree in Biological Engineering from Cornell University. Before coming to graduate school, I worked at Merck & Co. as a Bioprocess Scientist in the Vaccine Process Development group for a few years.  I am currently working on a cancer metabolism project. I use metabolic tracing and flux analysis to understand how pathways are altered and regulated in cancer cells.
  • Brianna Sierra

    Brianna Sierra

    I grew up in the middle of the valley in Bakersfield, California. For undergrad I moved to San Luis Obispo to attend California Polytechnic State University, SLO. There I earned my B.S. in Chemistry through the Chemistry and Biochemistry department. I participated in research where I worked under Dr. Scott Eagon on a novel, silver-mediated oxidation of tetrahydro-beta-carbolines to beta-carbolines, which my group published a paper on in July of 2017. I also worked at Promega Biosciences Incorporated in San Luis Obispo for two and a half years where I was both a laboratory technician and a research and development intern. During this time I worked with the Custom Assay Services team to develop fluorescent tracers to progress the drug development process for pharmaceutical companies. My research interests lie in organic synthesis with biological applications. I love being in the lab and making molecules that will be used as tools to probe and progress the knowledge of biological systems.

  • Ivan Torres

    Ivan Torres

    I grew up in Chino, CA; Attended UCSD for my undergraduate education, where I studied Mechanical Engineering. Currently, my research focuses on understanding the mechanisms behind bioinspired color-control (chameleons, cephalopods, insects).

  • Tran Tsan

    Tran Tsan

    I was born in Vietnam, and we immigrated to the U.S when I was ten. We have been living in Pomona, Los Angeles ever since then. I went to UC Los Angeles for my undergraduate studies and got my B.S. in physics. My graduate research will focus on cosmology, a sub-field of physics and astrophysics. Cosmology studies the earliest history of the universe, the universe’s structure and composition, and its formation and evolution ever since the Big Bang. Through our understanding of the universe’s early phases, we can further our knowledge regarding the current universe, our own Milky Way, the Solar system, and Earth. We can then predict the possible paths of evolution.

  • Ved Vakharia

    Ved Vakharia

    I was born and raised in Santa Clara, California. I completed my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UC San Diego. I’m a doctoral student in the Materials Science and Engineering program. My research is primarily concerned with the plasma facing material (PFM) in a nuclear fusion reactor. Currently I am researching tungsten, as it is the most investigated material for use as a PFM. Moving forward, I will understand why tungsten is the element of choice as a PFM, why tungsten is not completely ready to be used as a PFM, and investigate other elements and materials in order to find a new PFM that would perform better than tungsten.

  • Teofilo Erin Zosa IV

    Teofilo Erin Zosa IV

    Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, I graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in cognitive science before pursuing my PhD in computer science. My research focuses on Artificial intelligence for healthcare robotics.

Sloan Scholars Program