San Diego State University - Minds that move the world

Meet the Lab's Volunteers

Jonathan Cubillo

I recently joined Dr. Sussman's lab during the Fall of 2012. As a volunteer, I am currently a 3rd year biology student with aspirations to attend medical school in order to apply all that I have learned to help those in need. From this opportunity, I expect to learn vast amounts of knowledge regarding research techniques and practices. For now, my lab duties range from cleaning to autocalving and pipetting. Although I am new to the lab, I am excited for what this experience holds for me!

Mirae Dong

I joined Dr. Sussman's lab in the Fall of 2013. I am a second year undergraduate student studying Cell and Molecular Biology at SDSU. My goal is to enter a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program in the biomedical field after graduation and be able to use the skills I acquire in this lab. I am grateful for this opportunity and excited to gain valuable experience from my time in the lab!

Jeanne Drucks

I am currently a 3rd year undergraduate student at San Diego State. I am majoring in Kinesiology, Athletic Training, and minoring in both Interdisciplinary Studies and Biology. I am just beginning my volunteer journey in Dr. Sussman's Lab, this Fall 2013 semester. I joined the lab to broaden my understanding in Biology outside of a classroom setting. I believe that when knowledge is obtained through hands-on experiences, its value and relevancy increase. I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity, and I look forward to laying down this fruitful experience as another stepping stone in my journey to becoming a Physician Assistant.

Jacqueline Emathinger

I am a third year undergraduate student of biology at the university. I recently started working at the Sussman laboratory, and I am excited to gain such invaluable research experience. I am hoping to go to medical school, and I am eager to incorporate the skills I am acquiring in the lab in both my education and future career.

Jeff Filmer

I was born in Seattle, Washington, and I moved down to San Diego to pursue a degree in Biology from San Diego State. I am currently a senior undergraduate majoring in Biology with aspirations of attending dental school upon graduation. A very close friend of mine recently passed away from a heart attack, which inspired me to join this lab in order to obtain a better understanding of how the heart works. This is my first semester volunteering within Dr. Sussmanís lab. I look forward to gaining valuable insight and research experience within this particular field of study.

Krissy Fisher

I am a 5th year undergraduate biology student. I am originally from Minnesota. I joined the Navy and it brought me to San Diego. After my enlistment of six years I decided to pursue my dream of being a doctor. I have recently started working in the Sussman Laboratory, here, at SDSU, and I am anxious to learn more on a subject that has always fascinated me, stem cells. I am planning on attending Medical School in the Fall of 2014 to warp myself into a Pediatric Oncologist. I am hoping to be able to take the knowledge and techniques I acquire from this lab to establish a deeper understanding of the power of stem cells.

Wendy Herrera

I am currently in my fourth year at San Diego State, double-majoring in Biology and Political Science. I took an interest in volunteering in Dr. Sussmanís laboratory as I saw that it would be a great opportunity to get hands-on experience outside the classroom and gain practical experience in a research environment. I hope to use what I learn in the lab to prepare me for a career in biomedical research, where I hope to be involved in the development of modern medicine.

Danielle Kraemer

I am currently a 4th year undergraduate Biology major, and I am planning on graduating this upcoming Spring of 2014. I am volunteering in Dr. Sussman's lab because I feel the heart is one of the most fascinating organs, and I have always had an interest in its anatomy and physiology. I am also very excited to learn about how a research lab operates and gain valuable experience along the way. In the long run, I hope to either become a Physician or a Physician Assistant. I hope to apply the skills I learn in the lab to my current job as a Medical Assistant and any of my future endeavors.

Jonathan Nguyen

I joined Dr. Sussman's laboratory in the Spring of 2011. I am pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Biology. I have had the pleasure of working under multiple graduate students. I am interested in pursuing a Master's Degree and then applying to a PharmD program. In the past years that I have volunteered in the laboratory, I have learned many useful techniques that could be applied in future research studies. Volunteering in this laboratory has given me an opportunity to be involved in an exciting field of study.

Nicky Nguyen

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but raised in San Diego, I am reluctant to be surrounded by such beautiful cities. I am currently an undergraduate junior majoring in Microbiology. The field of science has been an awe-inspiring subject for me since I was in grade school. The ability to accurately describe the functions of the Universe followed by scientific applications to better humanity is truly one of the most precious things we can do. I feel that becoming a part of Dr. Sussmanís exciting research lab will not only do just that, but it will also give insight and lab experience for the field of science. After graduation, I plan on working in a clinical lab setting. I am honored to participate in such a great cause.

Kyle Park

I am currently a senior undergraduate student majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology. I plan to graduate in May 2014, and I am looking forward to using my degree to continue my education in medical school, particularly in the field of Osteopathy. I joined this lab because I was a USA amateur boxer. We always had our heart rates checked before boxing matches, so I was very curious about how the heart worked as a young teenager. I look forward to utilizing what Dr. Sussman's lab has to offer and learn more about this field. This is going to be my first semester in this lab so I am looking forward to the experience I will gain from this lab!

Jeff Pepper

I joined Dr. Sussman's lab this previous summer of 2013, and I am currently an undergraduate student going into my last year at state. I was previously majoring in Bioengineering but after volunteering in Sussman's lab and being immersed in the interesting environment of stem cells, I switched my major to Cellular and Molecular Biology. I couldn't be more excited for the semester to begin and to start refining my lab techniques and learning valuable research practices. My future goals include being able to work with stem cells on various diseases, as I believe the possibilities of helping people with stem cells are endless!

Timothy Rodriggs

Hi there! I am currently a 4th year undergraduate pursuing a degree in Biology. I joined Dr. Sussman's lab in the Fall of 2013. I have always had a profound interest in human body systems, especially at a cellular level. When I first learned of the research being performed in this lab, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. My long term goal is to become a family medicine physician. I am excited for the challenges ahead and grateful for the opportunity to grow as a scientist. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy spending my free time playing the piano and hurting my roommates' ears with my terrible singing.

Hazel Salunga

I am a fourth year undergraduate studying Biology, with dreams of pursuing a career in the medical field. I have been a part of Dr. Sussman's lab since the Spring of 2011. I enjoy working with my mentor, Roberto Alvarez, and learning about the field of cardiac research. I have obtained many priceless skills while working in the lab, and I look forward to learning the many more new things to come!

Kathryn Smith

My name is Katie. I am a 4th year Psychology/Pre-Med student. I am excited to be a part of the research, here, in the Sussman Lab, and find this type of research to be very interesting. I plan to become a doctor and hope to begin medical school by Fall of 2015. I am excited to apply what I learn in the Sussman Lab to my education and career.

Marlo Villanueva

I am a junior majoring in Biology at San Diego State University. I am very interested in the field of stem cells and would like to learn more about them. I believe there is a true future for regenerative medicine with the use of stem cells. I plan on attending graduate school to earn a Pd.D. in Microbiology. I love to help people in need and hope that I may be able to contribute to otherís wellness. My career goal is to become an exceptional researcher to find ways to utilize stem cells in various diseases.