With an "I'll sleep when I'm dead" attitude, Cynthia (Cyn) McKee is a UCLA PhD Candidate studying the epigenetic regulation of muscle stem cells in development and tissue regeneration. When Cyn is not out sailing of the coast of So Cal, she enjoys developing business ideas and being immersed in the biotech startup community. As a part of the S2N team, she is passionate about making science accessible, relevant, and exciting. Make sure to follow Signal to Noise Mag online and say hi to Cyn by tweeting her at @Cyn_McKee. #S2N!
Rockelle earned her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Indiana University in 2016 and with an interest in investigating brain-gut-microbiome interactions she set out to gain a foundation in neuroscience. After graduation, she went on to study the neural mechanisms of early life adversity and adolescent stress at Virginia Commonwealth University. Knowing that she wanted to study more than just deleterious effects of psychological stress, she resolved to dedicating her career to understanding resilience. Now as a first-year doctoral student in UCLA’s Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology PhD program her research focus is in neuroscience—studying interactions between sleep, stress, pain, and the gut-microbiome.
David received his BS in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UCLA. He did undergraduate research with Mike Jung working on the synthesis of fluorinated nucleoside analogues. Now a student in the UCLA MD/PhD program, he is pursuing a PhD in molecular biology under the mentorship of Brigitte Gomperts trying to understand the molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in small cell lung cancer. Outside of lab work, he enjoys running, hiking, and rock climbing.
Kaleab is studying molecular biology as part of the MD/PhD program at UCLA. He earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering at Yale, focusing on HIV and stem cell research. In his current lab, he is investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder. You can likely find him playing FIFA for hours on end on any given night.
Kristina earned her B.S. in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and M.S. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She began her research journey studying cardiovascular development in zebrafish in the lab of Dr. Deborah Yelon at UCSD. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Genetics & Genetics home area of the Graduate Program in Bioscience at UCLA, studying adipose biology and genetic contribution to high serum triglycerides in Dr. Päivi Pajukanta’s lab. Science communication is a very important aspect of research, and Kristina joined the staff of Signal to Noise Magazine to contribute to the mission of disseminating information on current topics in research to the public in a digestible way.
Victoria is an MD/PhD student at UCLA currently pursuing her PhD in the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Doctoral Program. After earning her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago, she worked in a lab at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Her research now focuses on T cell development in Dr. Gay Crooks’ lab. Outside of the lab, she enjoys singing with the David Geffen School of Medicine a cappella group and contributing to the The UCLA Beat literary and art magazine.
Nyasha received her bachelor’s degree in physics in 2015 from Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS. After graduating with her BS, Nyasha spent a year in Chicago to participate in an NIH funded Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at the University of Chicago. While there she was involved in a quantitative radiomics research of multi-parametric breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultimately found her passion for research in imaging. Following her postbacc, Nyasha came to UCLA to pursue her PhD in the Physics and Biology in Medicine (PBM) interdisciplinary program. Now, as a 2nd year doctorate student, Nyasha’s thesis work is focused on characterizing cardiac microstructure using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI). Nyasha’s favorite things about LA include long runs on the beach and random celebrity sightings.
Shuin (or “Sue”, as she prefers to be called) graduated with a B.S. in General Biology from the University of California, San Diego. She started her research career in the lab of Dr. Randal Kaufman in the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute studying ER stress in hepatocytes during her undergraduate years and is now currently a MCIP graduate student in the UCLA Department of Medicine/Division of Cardiology. Her current research focuses on the contributions of various cell types to cardiac scar formation. Outside of the lab, Shuin is also an avid hiker, wannabe beer connoisseur, amateur tennis player, and bookworm (currently reading: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas).
Michelle is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Biochemistry, Molecular, and Structural Biology Program at UCLA. Her graduate studies involve the characterization of polypeptides responsible for coenzyme Q production to determine how their activity can be modulated for health benefits, under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Clarke. She is passionate about scientific writing and communicating science effectively to the public. Outside of the lab she enjoys running, eating tapas, and avidly ‘trusts the process’ of Philadelphia sports franchises.