Sophie Rokaw
I am a third-year Pre-Medicine Honors Biology Student, and have been in the Sussman Laboratory since my first year! I currently help with Lung & Heart Histology, Imaging/Imaging Analysis, and the managing/genotyping of our colony in the vivarium. I am eager and excited to continue the growth of my skills within the Lab.  I volunteer at Scripps Memorial La Jolla in my free time and am an active member of the Kappa Delta Sororit
Sama Mikhail
I am a third-year student at SDSU studying microbiology and an undergraduate researcher in the Sussman Lab studying the cardiopulmonary effects of vaping. I started my work in the lab six months ago, and I am passionate about continuing my studies and growth in the lab as a student researcher. I also love to be involved in my campus community, and I am passionate about gender equality, cultural awareness, and reproductive rights.
Ariana Mardani
I am a third-year student at SDSU studying Kinesiology. I have been working in the Sussman lab for a year now and have loved learning the long term effects of nicotine as well as have enjoyed the hands on experience I’ve been able to provide all throughout. Research has always been an interest of mine and so this lab has really gifted me the ability to experience what I love, alongside a crew of extremely welcoming people. This past year a majority of my work was done in the basement, making sure the mice were kept in good conditions. Aside from that, I have had the pleasure of assisting the Master and PhD students in any way I can. I cannot wait for my next year in this lab and the knowledge to come from it!
Haley Mathews
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I am a fourth-year Pre-Medicine, Microbiology student. As a member of the Sussman Lab, I am researching the effects of heart disease using flow cytometry and machinery to determine the ploidy of healthy/ diseased hearts. I work alongside the Masters and PhD students, gaining knowledge and experience. I am eager to continue to grow my skills and knowledge through the lab. When I am not in the lab or studying, I coach competitive team gymnastics and volunteer with adolescents wishing to pursue a career in STEM fields.
Gina Jerjees
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Hi! I am a fourth year pre-med biology student with the privilege of working under Dr. Sussman and his master/PhD students in hopes to continue to learn the effects of vaping on the cardiopulmonary system. I am also involved in WSS since 2021, social media coordinator on NAAMA Next Gen, and served as community service coordinator in AMSA in the Spring of 2022. I am excited to expand my knowledge of the cardiovascular system that I have gained through being a medical assistant at the office of Dr. Kafri’s Heart and Vascular Clinic and hopefully make a difference among my college peers. In my free-time, I like to learn the effects of self-care, exercise, go shopping in my free time, and read a good book 🙂
Parker Amburn
I am a third-year honors Biology student excited to be working in the Sussman lab! I’m interested in Genetics and Virology, and I look forward to gaining in person experience in a lab setting. Since I’m an insatiable learner and I’m passionate about all things Biology, I hope to pursue a masters/PhD in the future. When I’m not studying or in a lab, I’m often at the zoo or the aquarium reading the placards and studying the animals.
Kylie Farber
My name is Kylie Farber, and I am thrilled to be a member of the Sussman lab. I am dedicated to investigating the intricate impacts of vaping on cardiovascular and respiratory health. I have been conducting research utilizing image flow cytometry and machine learning to explore ploidy in the myocardium. As an aspiring scientist, I am passionate about unraveling the mysteries of human physiology. I am going into my 4th year studying biology at SDSU. So far in the lab I have thoroughly enjoyed applying everything I have learned in school to real lab practices, and I am eager to learn more.
Alex Acosta
acosta My name is Alex Acosta and I am a fourth-year student studying Microbiology. I have always had an interest in biology over other subjects and my undergrad studies have definitely strengthened that interest. I only recently joined Dr. Sussman’s Lab, but I am eager to learn what research is all about. Joining the Sussman Lab has provided me the opportunity to grow as a young scientist and learn the work that goes into scientific discovery. I hope to earn my PhD one day and leave my mark on the scientific community. When I’m not in school, I enjoy snowboarding in the winter up in Tahoe and surfing down here in SD in the summer. During school, you’ll find me at Theta Chi, at the beach, or on the course working on my golf game.
Mena Mechael
I’m a second-year Biology student at San Diego State University. I’ve been volunteering in the Sussman Lab for a few months now, and I’m thrilled to be contributing to research projects that delve into the impacts of vaping on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, given it’s widespread use in today’s society. I’m eager to deepen my involvement in the lab and gain hands-on experience. Outside of research, I love participating in on-campus clubs, discovering great coffee spots, and spending time outdoors.
Taha Alani
  I am fourth-year student at SDSU majoring in biology. I have been in the Sussman Lab for a year now and it has been an incredible place to learn and practice my lab skills. I always had an interest in learning about pulmonary effect of vaping and being part of Dr. Sussman’s lab has been an honor. I have been working with SCIREQ machine along with helping M.S. and PhD students with various lab procedures
Pria Bose
I am a fourth year completing a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. I am also in the Webers Honors College and hope to get my PhD in biological sciences. I have always wanting to study the effects of vaping and I am deeply grateful the Sussman Lab has given me the opportunity to do so, all while teaching me scientific research techniques and practices.
Roberto Alvarez
Yo yo yo, my name is Roberto Alvarez Jr. I’ve been working for Dr. Sussman since March of 2005. I chose to move to San Diego so that I may expand my knowledge as a scientist. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree and intend to pursue my Ph.D. in the field shortly thereafter. My current project involves the study of a newly created transgenic that expresses fluorescent tags specific to cardiomyocytes, vascular smooth muscle and vascular endothelial cells.

Prior to my move, I was working at Northwestern’s Medical School, in Chicago, assisting with the production of transgenic mice as a team member of the Transgenic and Targeted Mutagenesis Facility where I created many transgenics for scientific endeavors at Northwestern. I am now using the skills I acquired while working there to help pursue my own scientific goals. In my spare time, I take pleasure in goofing off, playing xbox with friends, and finding new and clever excuses of why experiments didn’t work. My best days at work are when the boss is away. I’m secretly planning to overtake the lab and Dr. Sussman’s throne in the very near future, doh…

Lilian Ameh
I am a third year student studying biology at SDSU. I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab starting in January 2014, because I wanted research experience. I am a pre-med student, so volunteering here would be a great opportunity for me to learn how science works outside of the classroom and how it explains the workings of our body; in this case, specifically, the heart. I have always been curious about how the heart functions, that is why I jumped at the opportunity to work in Dr. Sussman’s lab. I will be applying to medical schools during the Summer of 2014, and I believe the knowledge and experience I will gain from this lab will be useful in my chosen career.
Gwynn Andaya
Gwynn joined the Sussman lab in August 2007 and is currently working towards her masters degree in Biology at SDSU. She received her BS in Biochemistry & Cell Biology at UCSD, and previously worked for 3 years in the Wallace lab at UCI investigating mitochondrial molecular diseases and helped set up the MitoMed clinical lab. Her thesis focuses on the cardioprotective PIM-1 kinase and its role in supporting the protection of mitochondrial integrity by assessing mitochondrial swelling, membrane depolarization, and cytochrome c release.
Daniele Avitabile
I was born in Italy in the city of Rome, where I lived until last year, when I moved to San Diego to join Dr. Sussman’s lab for my post-doctoral fellowship. I’m working on two different projects: the first is about the role of two nucleolar proteins (Nucleostemin and Nucleophosmin) and more in general of the nucleolus, in cardioprotection and heart regeneration.The second, is about the generation of a new reporter mouse expressing two different fluorescent fusion proteins (one is red the other green fluorescent), specifically activated at different stages of the cell cycle in the mouse heart. The mouse model will be very useful by making it easy to detect activated cells in the heart following myocardial infarction or other pathological challenges and to study the paracrine effect of exogenus injected stem cells on the resident cardiac populations.
Patrick Aziz
I am currently an undergraduate student majoring in Biology. I started working in Dr. Sussman’s lab in Fall 2012. I am thrilled to learn and gain valuable research experience in a real laboratory setting. My goal after graduation is to continue my education in medical school. I joined this particular lab because I have always been curious about how working and doing research in a lab would be. The heart has always been an organ that amazes me because it is so critical to survival and has so many functions. My lab tasks include cleaning equipment, autoclaving, aliquoting proteins, making dilution solutions and performing DNA extractions. As each day proceeds, I learn new things and my tasks increase as well. I am also there to assist the graduate students and post-docs with any projects they assign me.
Ryan Badertscher
ryan-badertscher My name is Ryan Badertscher and I am a 4th year student majoring in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Bioengineering. I joined Dr. Sussman’s Lab in Spring 2016 in order to research the fascinating healing potential of stem cells. I most look forward to being a part of a team researching a concept that could change the way we fight disease. I am extremely eager and grateful for this opportunity and I am excited to apply this experience toward any future education or career.
Brandi Bailey
I’ve been a PhD student in Dr. Sussman’s lab since 2006. I work on several different projects involving Cardiac Stem Cells (CSCs). I have found that CSCs isolated from mouse hearts thrive in culture and are very fascinating to manipulate. My first project involves the observation that CSCs isolated from cardiomyocyte-specific transgenic mice will express the transgene that was only supposed to be expressed in functional cardiomyocytes. My second project involves a mouse that has had the Stem Cell Antigen – 1 gene (Sca-1) replaced with GFP. These mice have impaired hearts and impaired stem cells which I believe to be a related phenomenon. The goal of all this stem cell research is to eventually make treatments out of them so you can use your own stem cells as therapy for your heart. Since you would usually not need this treatment until fairly late in life, I am investigating, as my third project, if CSCs isolated from older mice are just as good as those isolated from young adult mice. I enjoy cellular biology and looking at all aspects of cell behavior, and I think that MY cells are the coolest (of course)!
Kristin Bala
I am a 3rd year Cellular and Molecular Biology major at SDSU. I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in the spring of 2014. I have been exposed to several laboratory techniques since then, and I am eager to further my experience as a volunteer. I am confident that experiences such as these will better prepare me for my ultimate goal of attending Medical School and becoming a physician. I am especially fascinated with oncology and the study of cancerous cells. I believe that the possibilities that stem cell research hold are vast and have the potential to change several aspects of modern medicine. When I am not in school or volunteering, I enjoy staying active and spending time with my friends and family.
Andrew Barbosa
barbosa Hello everyone, my name is Andrew Barbosa and I have been volunteering in Dr. Sussman’s lab since the fall semester of 2016. I am currently a senior here at San Diego State University and am pursuing a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I am also involved in other organizations here at SDSU, such as PASA and Flying Samaritans. Once I graduate, I plan on applying to PA school while continuing to develop my skills as a scientific researcher.
Camille Joy Bermudez
img_20160914_172823 Hi. My name is Camille Joy Bermudez, a third-year Microbiology student here at SDSU. After hearing about Dr. Sussman’s lab from a colleague, I immediately knew I had to become a part of this team. I am a pre-med student who’s greatly interested in the inner workings of the human cardiovascular system. I’m familiar with diseases concerning the heart as evident from my family history. My grandfather died from a myocardial infarction caused by a congestive heart failure, while a cousin of mine had to endure multiple surgeries to fix her CCTGA. I’ve seen and felt the effects brought upon by common and rare heart problems, which is why I want to gain a deeper understanding of the cardiovascular system. This lab has provided me with an opportunity to further my knowledge in this specialty and I hope to learn more from the mentors in the near future.
Tao Bo
Tao Bo, received her Masters degree from Nankai University, China. She is working in the Sussman Lab as a research assistant. She focuses on performing surgeries for the whole lab.
Peggy Bonine
I joined the lab as Administrative Director for Professor Sussman in August of 2006. My responsibilities vary widely and include coordination and acquisition of research grants, budgetary management of over $2.5 million annually in research funding, purchasing of equipment and supplies, design and execution of multi-day scientific conferences, administrative management and executive level assistance. I am the proud single mom of three daughters who are all in college. In my spare time, I love gourmet cooking and great red wine.
Sebastian Braga
I am currently a senior undergraduate pursuing my goals toward becoming a physician. I graduate this May (2013), and I am looking forward to using my degree in Biology in the near future to help humanity. I have joined Dr. Sussman’s lab to broaden my knowledge and background in Biology. I am enjoying learning the many different aspects of the heart. I am obtaining many new research techniques to utilize, and I am gaining multitudes of experience. I am very excited for what Dr. Sussman’s lab has to offer, and even more excited about some of the new research techniques that I have added to my arsenal. When I’m not in Sussman’s lab, I enjoy going to the beach, sunset dinners, and eating food. But there is not a moment in time where I don’t think about my future career in Biology.
I'Alla Brodie
I started volunteering in Dr. Sussman’s lab in Fall 2010. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I hope to continue on to Physician’s Assistant school after graduating. My duties in the lab include working in the Vivarium, weaning the mice, and heart freezing. I also assist graduate students with any their research projects.
Kathleen Broughton
Kathleen BROUGHTON | PhD, JD | San Diego State University, California |  SDSU | Department of Biology

Kathleen Broughton, Ph.D., J.D., is classically trained in engineering and law. Kathleen is currently studying the ploidy content of progenitor cells from numerous species and tissue types. She is using various techniques to assess the ploidy state of somatic cells in vivo as it is influenced by cell-autonomous signals and environmental cues. During her PhD, Kathleen manufactured Biological Microelectromechanical System (BioMEMS) devices to control the cellular microenvironment and analyze the structure-function relationship of cardiomyocytes in 4D. She has experience with primary cardiomyocyte culture, cardiomyocyte-derived stem cells, and various stem cells.

Dr. Broughton earned her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2014) in Bioengineering with her research conducted in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics. She earned her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University with a Certificate in Law and Technology (2009) and her B.S. in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from Northern Illinois University (2004). Dr. Broughton is a Department of State Fulbright Scholar Alumni (2005-2006) and has an active bar membership for the State of Illinois.

Alexandria Casillas
Hello everyone! My research started in fibroblasts at Dominican University of California where I received my Bachelor’s of Science. After graduating I moved to remote Michigan to perform melanoma research on zebrafish with an NIH Diversity grant. After hightailing it back to Cali, I joined Dr. Sussman’s Lab in 2014 as a PhD candidate. I have been assigned to a collaborative effort with the Foundation Leducq. Our goal is to determine the ability of stem cell contribution in cardiac regeneration and remodeling. Come check us out if your interested in stem cell biology!
Monica Chavarria
My name is Monica Chavarria. I am currently a senior majoring in Biology. I started volunteering at Dr. Sussman’s lab in September 2010, hoping to gain research experience for medical school. During my years in the lab, I worked with Silvia Truffa from whom I learned tissue culture techniques. Then, Roberto Alvarez became my mentor. With him I primarily learned cloning techniques, but I also learned immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, western blots, and genomics. Currently, I am a technician at lab genotyping and managing the mouse colony. My future goals are to obtain a masters degree and continue working on cardiovascular research.
Zhaokang Cheng
Zhaokang Cheng, received his Ph.D. from Nankai University, China. He is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Sussman Lab. Zhaokang is interested in the nuclear Akt signaling pathway. The Sussman Lab has proven that the nuclear targeting of Akt can protect the heart from pathological remodeling after a heart attack. Thus, Zhaokang’s current task is to dissect the downstream signal transduction system and contribute some clinical implications. His final goal is to promote healthyhearts in humans.
Brett Collins
Near the end of 2007, I joined Dr. Mark Sussman’s laboratory as an undergraduate volunteer. I graduated from SDSU with a B.S. in Biology in May 2009, and I am currently applying for the Master’s program at SDSU for the Fall 2010 semester. In the meantime, I am working as a laboratory technician in Dr. Sussman’s lab. Many of my duties include genotyping, assisting in mouse colony management, getting new undergraduates acquainted with the lab, and helping graduate students with their individual projects.

In my spare time, I enjoy blaming failed experimental results on Roberto Alvarez or Matt Mason, hanging out with my buddies, and maybe a little PS3 when I get the chance.

Claudia Comacchio
Version 2 Hi! My name is Claudia, I’m currently a second-year student majoring in Cellular and MolecularBiology and I’m from Italy. Projects that improve human health interests me a lot. I joined Dr.Sussman’s Lab in Fall 2017 and I’m grateful for the opportunity given which will enrich myknowledge and experience as a scientific researcher and benefit my future career. My first goal is to obtain a master degree. Also, I will probably continue to do research in the biomedical fieldand earn a PhD.
Camille Contreras
I am a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of San Diego majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in Anthropology. I began volunteering with Dr. Sussman in 2015, seeking to expand upon my laboratory experience, in order to acquire the background necessary for a future career in scientific research. I am excited to build upon my current experience and develop a stronger understanding of lab techniques, procedures and protocols. I hope to use this amazing opportunity as a way to add to the standard of excellence that already exists in Dr. Sussman’s lab and prepare for my future endeavors.
Annina Cooper
Hi there! I am a 3rd year Cell and Molecular Biology student here at SDSU. After my bachelor’s degree, I plan to go to graduate school and pursue a career in genetics. I recently started volunteering in Dr. Sussman’s lab in the summer of 2015, and I am very excited to gain knowledge and experience from such a prestigious cardiac research laboratory and the people who are a part of it. I am excited to learn the research skills and techniques that I will be able to apply to my schooling and, later on, career. When I am not at school or studying, you could find me at the beach, playing volleyball, or tumbling at a local gymnastics gym.
Travis Cottage
I joined the Sussman Lab in 2005 as an undergraduate volunteer where I became an integral part of the lab researching various mechanisms underlying heart disease. After graduation I stayed and received a Masters degree studying the proliferative effects of the Pim-1 kinase on cardiac progenitor cells. That research led me to study chromosomal integrity in progenitor cells and cardiomyocytes. Specifically, how Pim-1 influences telomere length and telomerase activity two very important aspects in cellular homeostasis. Currently, I am seeking a Ph.D., which leaves me with very little spare time, if a Ph.D. is the path you seek, beware.
Jonathan Cubillo
Currently I am being mentored under the guidance of Pearl Quijada, and I am learning valuable bench work and tissue culture techniques. In the future, I plan on gaining more knowledge and skills with surgeries and understanding the different aspects of cardiac research. My biggest dream is to go to medical school and become a cardiologist, which is why I’m so attracted to this lab. All in all, I’m easy to talk to, so come find me.

I joined the lab in November 2012 while pursuing my degree in Biology. and let’s talk science!

Shabana Din
I joined the Sussman lab in 2005 as an undergraduate volunteer. After graduating from UCSD with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, I decided to pursue a M.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology in the Sussman Lab. My current research focuses on the effects of Pim-1 on cardiac aging. Global deletion of Pim-1 results in an accumulation of senescent markers within the heart at a relatively young age. Senescent cardiomyocytes do not contribute to the contractile function of the heart and therefore hinder its performance. The goal of my Masters project is to reverse the aging cardiac phenotype by selectively eliminating senescent cardiomyocytes to promote cardiac stem cell regeneration. I will pursue this project further during my Ph.D. I am also the resident fashion consultant as well as the interior decorator for the lab. Some also say that I am the cloning queen…don’t mess with me. MSRI 09!!! Holla!
Nima Dolatabadi
I started in Dr. Sussman’s lab in September of 2009, and I am a senior pursuing my bio-engineering degree. Currently I am working under the supervision of Dr. Voelkers analyzing a new promising protein treatment of myocardial infarction. This work is of great significance since established clinical drugs can only attenuate the progressive deterioration of contractile performance but cannot restore contractile function of failing myocardium. By the way, Team Germany for life!
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.
Alexis Dumitrescu
I am a third year undergraduate student majoring in Biology, here, at San Diego State. As an aspiring physician’s assistant, I was extremely excited to join Dr. Sussman’s lab in the fall of 2015. From my time volunteering here, I hope to enhance my knowledge of myocardial research while learning valuable laboratory skills that will assist me in my future endeavors.
Pedram Ebrahimi
I am Pedram Ebrahimi, a new CMB Master Student originally from the bay area. I recently moved from South Carolina, where I worked as a research assistant at the University of South Carolina Pharmacy School. I received my B.A. in Chemistry, in 1996, from Sonoma State University. I worked as a research associate at several pharmaceutical companies such as Amgen, Genentech, and Abgenix, from 1999 to 2008. In June 2009, I received my M.S. in Chemistry. My area of interest is drug discovery using stem cells. I also have a great deal of interest in cardiology, having been a pre-med student as an undergraduate, andthis has been the main reason for me joining Dr. Sussman’s Lab.
Samer Elhamad
I am a third year undergraduate student majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology at San Diego State University. I am determined and eager to enter Medical School and with hard work, become a Cardiologist. I believe that Dr. Sussman’s Laboratory offers me the opportunity to be a part of prominentand progressive research that can bestow upon me a deeper understanding about the molecular basis of cardiomyopathic disease. In my spare time, I like to watch the sunset and take long walks on the beach.
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 Espinoza
jeffespinoza Hi, I am Jeff and I joined Dr. Sussman’s research lab in the summer of 2016. I am currently working on completing my degree in Biology here at San Diego State University. There are many fields of science that interest me but I have found that the areas of stem cells, regenerative medicine, virology, and vaccine development are paths that I want to pursue for my lifelong career. I hope to gain valuable skills, knowledge, and relationships that will help in my development as a scientist.
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. Sussman’s lab. I look forward to gaining valuable insight and research experience within this particular field of study.
Kimberlee Fischer
I graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology in 2001 from UCSD. Not being sure what I wanted to do after graduation, I took a job at the Scripps Research Institute where I worked on inhibiting HIV infection in macrophages by inhibiting the expression of CCR5, a key cell surface receptor involved in HIV infection. It was there that I decided I liked science so much that I thought I would endure the pain of graduate school, and the Sussman Lab ;). Here, at what we like to call MSRI (Mark Sussman Research Institute), my thesis project focuses on modification of cardiac stem cells with the cardioprotective gene Pim-1. We are trying to improve the therapeutic potential of stem cells through genetic modification, and thus far have been quite successful! I am also currently working on delineating the functions associated with Pim-1 depending on its subcellular localization. In my very minimal free time, I like to go on vacation!!!! Any spare moment is spent looking at what deal I can grab on Travelzoo. And then I daydream about my travels while in my isoflurane induced euphoria!!!!
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.
Grady Gastelum
I joined the Sussman lab in spring of 2010 as a volunteer. I am working on my Bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology right now. A couple of research interests I have are stem cell differentiation and growth, cancer, and virology. I want to go to grad school to get a biology. Some of my duties in the Sussman lab include tail digestion, running PCR’s, and helping out graduate students and post-doc’s on their individual projects.
Jonah Gevercer
I joined Dr. Sussman’s laboratory in the summer of 2014. I am currently a senior undergraduate studying kinesiology. I am pursuing going to medical school after graduation. I joined this lab to broaden my understanding of biology by getting hands on experience. I’m excited to gain knowledge in a laboratory at the forefront of cardiac research.
Steven Greene
I am a 2nd year biology major with hopes for grad school. I recently joined the Sussman Lab this Fall 2013 Semester and I’m looking forward to the experiences and knowledge I will gain from this lab. I chose the Sussman lab because I am interested in the healing potentials of stemcells. When I finish my education, I hope to use what I gained from my experiences in this lab in other research positions.
Brittany Grover-Sidler
I am currently a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in biology here at SDSU, and I am an aspiring Physician. I just started working as a volunteer but am excited to learn more about cardiac research. I am grateful for having the opportunity to volunteer in Dr. Sussman’s lab and cannot wait to apply all I learn in my education and future career.
Nirmala Hariharan
Hi, I’m a post doc in the Sussman lab, and I joined here just after New Year’s Day, 2011. I am from the beautiful and culturally rich city of Chennai in Southern India. After completing my undergrad at BITS, Pilani, India, I went on to do a PhD in Dr. Junichi Sadoshima’s lab in the department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, NJ (UMDNJ). Now, in the Sussman lab, I am going to be working on the role of micro-RNAs in cardiac progenitor cells and cardiac myocytes. When I figure out more, I will let you know immediately!!
Daniel Hegler
I recently joined the Sussman Lab in May 2014, after I graduated from SDSU with a B.S. in Biology. I am currently interested in attending Pharmacy School while also having the opportunity to do research. My main interest has always been stem cells, and I am excited to learn and experience what the research field has to offer. When not in lab, I can be found either hiking, climbing, at the beach, or playing guitar.
Liz Hernandez
Hi, my name is Liz Hernandez. I am a 4th year student majoring in Biology with aspirations of pursuing an M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. I am from San Diego but I was raised in Mexico. I joined Dr.Sussman’s lab at the beginning of 2015. I am fascinated by and love learning about the heart and the human body. I want to learn the science behind the medicine and learn lab techniques that will help me in my future career. I am currently involved in FSMP (Faculty Student Mentoring Program), and I am a chemistry tutor at Morse High. Besides school and learning, I enjoy meeting great people, dancing and taking naps. My favorite quote is “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby
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. Sussman’s 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.
Luis Ibarra
luisibarra Hello, my name is Luis Ibarra and I am a pre-medical student who graduated on May 2016 from SDSU with a B.S. in microbiology. My goals are to apply for medical school after finishing a post-bac program. I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab during Spring 2016 and started working under Masters student Sarmistha as my mentor during the following summer. Her project involves working with stem cell fusion and many analytical experiments that determine their characteristics, which will aim toward cardiovascular regenerative medicine. I am very fortunate to have joined this lab and to learn cardiovascular research from my mentor and many other graduate students.
Arisa Iga
My name is Arisa Iga. I am from Japan! I am currently majoring in Biology at SDSU and joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in the Spring of 2015 as a volunteer. I am very interested in the human body, so I am excited to learn everything this the lab has to offer from the fundamentals to new lab techniques. My plan for the future is to work in a Pharmaceutical or a Make-up Company. Everything I learn in the lab will help to build and expand my career future career path.
Anya Joyo
I started volunteering in Mark Sussman’s lab as an undergraduate in spring of 2008. After graduating from SDSU last fall, I was offered a greatopportunity to work as a lab technician. I make a variety of viral vectors for the lab including adenovirus, lentivirus, and non-viral DNA vectors.When I have time, I try to get involved in research projects and learn everything I can! I am thrilled to extend my research experience and workwith such great people!
Eri Joyo
I joined the Sussman lab in June 2010 after graduating from University of California Irvine with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Women Studies. Currently, I am working as a research assistant to Dr. Natalie Gude, examining the NOTCH signaling pathway in relation to the heart. Recently, I have been enjoying taking echocardiograms and learning new techniques to assist with surgeries. I am applying for medical school this year and would like to continue participating in translational research to help advance medical treatments for prominent health diseases.
Arwa Kassab
arwa Hello! My name is Arwa Kassab. I’m a 4th year majoring in Biology. I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in the summer of 2016. My goals are to learn more about everything in the lab. 
Tasneem Kassamali
I connected with Dr. Sussman’s Lab in the Fall of 2010. I am a senior whose aspiration is to work in the Pharmacy field. My underlying interest inthe science field has been greatly enriched by this lab! I have learned the importance of sterilization, autoclaving, and the laminar flow hood technique. Other duties include splitting and harvesting cells and running western blots. The project in which I am most interested and have worked on with Pearl,a great graduate student, deals with bone marrow stem cells and infracted heart models. We have looked at the over expression of Pim-1 in the BMCs, based on their surgical potential as a myocardial injection that improves cardiac function to promote remodeling and improve cardiac function. I have worked with other members of the lab as well. For example, I have had the chance to work with Michael looking at another aspect of Pim-1 and different cell confluences.
Farid G. Khalafalla
As-Salamu Alaykum (Peace be upon you) – I received my Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the School of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Egypt. I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2014 after defending my Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. My Ph.D. project focused on investigating the role of the P2Y2 nucleotide receptor in salivary gland regeneration. My current research focuses on improving the regenerative potential of cardiac progenitor cells derived from heart failure patients for use in autologous stem cell therapy. I hope to contribute to the heart regeneration field with significant findings that help improve the quality-of-life and relieve the pain of millions of patients. Received a faculty position at School of Pharmacy, California Health Sciences University June 2018.
Mohsin Khan
I am from Lahore, which is one of the largest cities in Pakistan. I did my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the National Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of Punjab. I moved to San Diego in January 2010 to join Dr Sussman’s Lab as a postdoctoral fellow. I am working on a project that aims to elucidate the effect of ß-adrenergic signaling on myocardial repair mechanisms. Catecholamine-stimulated adrenergic signaling is one of the most powerful regulators of cardiovascular function and the failing heart is characterized by desensitization and impaired responsiveness of the adrenergic receptor signaling. Understanding the role of adrenergic signaling in the heart may lead to the development of strategies that protect the resident cardiac stem cells and improve the endogenous myocardial repair capability.
Tiffany Khieu
Tiffany_Khieu Hello everyone! My name is Tiffany Khieu and I recently graduated with a B.S. in Biology from SDSU in December 2015.I have been part of the Sussman lab since August 2014, and am constantly expanding my knowledge on cardiac stem cell research. Furthermore, I am working with Kathleen Broughton to determine the ploidy status of large and small mammal stem cells and how it affects tissue regeneration. My ultimate goal is to earn a PharmD and practice pharmacology to under-served communities. Outside of the lab, I am training for half-marathons, traveling to different cities and states, and being a “foodie”.
Avan Khoshnaw
I am currently an undergraduate student majoring in Biology. I recently started working in Dr. Sussman’s lab, and I am extremely excited to learn and gain valuable research experience. My goal after graduation is to continue my education in medical school. I joined this particular lab because it will be very beneficial for me when I choose my specialty of Cardiology in medical school. Because I am new to the lab, some of the tasks I do include autoclaving, aliquoting proteins, making dilution solutions and performing DNA extractions. I also assist the graduate students and post-docs with any projects they have.
Taeyong Kim
 Taeyong-Kim I received my Bachelor’s degree at Handong University, and M.S. and Ph.D. at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea. After I finished my Ph.D., I won a postdoctoral fellowship grant from the Korean government and joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in September 2015. My Ph.D. project focused on investigating the role of beta-adrenergic receptor signaling on the survival/death decision of cardiomyocytes using a systems biological approach. In my postdoctoral training, I hope to learn about regenerative medicine using stem cell engineering. *Now a Postdoc at UCSD.
Mathias Konstandin
I worked at the Department of Cardiology at the University Hospital of Heidelberg, in Germany, until I started my post-doc in Dr. Sussman’s lab in October 2009. Stem cell therapy may open up a novel strategy to treat heart failure. The PI3K-Akt-Pim-1 pathway plays a pivotal role in cardiac progenitor cell function regarding apoptosis and proliferation. In my project, novel extracellular stimuli activating this cascade are analyzed.
Kelli Korski
img_0858 I joined Sussmaniacs in the summer of 2014 as an undergraduate volunteer. I was overjoyed with the amount of intellectual freedom this laboratory offers thus I enrolled in the Master’s program. During my studies I have had the opportunity to co-author multiple manuscripts, present my work at the AHA scientific sessions and be the recipient of the Inamori Fellowship. More importantly, I have been able to develop my own project, which focuses on studying the effects of hypoxia on human heart failure patient’s cardiac progenitor cells in order to improve cardiac stem cell therapy. I am hoping to publish my project as a first author manuscript.

As a student I have experienced exponential growth in terms of understanding every aspect of research and I am excited to continue to grow as a scientists and also train the next generation of scientists. Obtained Masters Degree on May 2018.

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’slab 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 veryexcited 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.
Dieter Kubli
As an undergraduate student in the lab of Dr. Roberta Gottlieb, I studied the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family protein Bnip3 and its contribution to cardiac ischemic injury. After finishing my B.S. from UCSD in 2006, I stayed in San Diego and joined Dr. Åsa Gustafsson’s lab in 2010 for my graduate studies. I completed my Ph.D. in Biomedical Science at the end of 2013. My project investigated mechanisms of mitochondrial damage control involving mitochondrial autophagy through Parkin and PINK1 in cardiomyocytes. I joined Dr. Mark Sussman’s lab in April 2015 because of his promise that if I cure heart disease, all of my wildest dreams will come true. I intend to apply my experience in mitochondrial function and cardiac research techniques to restoring cardiac function in the face of acute and chronic stress.

When I’m not in lab, I’m usually enjoying one of several typical San Diegan hobbies – rock climbing, beer brewing, and surfing would be the top three. I also like to restore vintage bicycles, and I even ride them once in a while. Whenever I can squeeze a day or two off, I’ll usually go backpacking in the nearby mountains. And this is why I hope to stay in San Diego a while longer.

That’s all for now. Ask me again when my project is up and running!

Benito Lau
I joined the Sussman lab in summer of 2010 as a volunteer. I graduated from SDSU with B.S degree in Molecular Biology. My goal is to go to medical school. Some of my duties in the Sussman lab include handling mice, tail digestion, running PCR’s (A LOT OF THIS!!), and helping out graduate students and post-doc’s on their individual projects.
Marinda Le
Hi! My name is Marinda. I am a 3rd year student majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology. After attaining my bachelor’s, I plan on applying for graduate school in order to become a physician’s assistant or physical therapist. I recently joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in the summer of 2014. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to watch, experience, and constantly acquire new knowledge within the lab. I look forward to experiencing and learning more about different research skills and techniques.
Hanna Leong
I am an undergraduate at SDSU majoring in kinesiology. I plan to graduate in 2016 before pursuing medical school. I joined Dr. Sussman’s research lab because I wanted to learn more about the latest myocardial research, especially after completing anatomy and physiology courses. I find the new technology used to treat patients with cardiomyopathy fascinating, and am eager for the opportunity to get hands-on experience in this lab.
Nan Liu
Hi, I am a Masters student at SDSU. I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in October 2013. I have a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Sichuan University, China. My project focuses on working with a viral-free gene delivery called minicircle that is engineered with Pim1. I analyze its effects on cardioprotection after infarction injury. I am very interested in the minicircle project; hopefully, it can be used in future clinical trails. This team is great, and I am so excited to be part of it.
Abraham Lopez
Hello, Everyone! I am a 4th year Biology/Pre-Med student at San Diego State University. After taking an Anatomy and Physiology class this past spring, I discovered my interest for the human body systems and decided to get involved with research to learn more. I recently joined Dr. Sussman’s laboratory in the summer of 2014. I know this is a great opportunity for me to learn different research techniques and skills that I will be able to apply in my career in the near future. My goal is to attend medical school in the Fall of 2016. I want to complete a residency in internal medicine and then complete a fellowship in order to become a G.I. (gastroenterologist) physician.
Michael Lowe
My name is Michael Lowe and I am a fourth year student at San Diego State University. I am currently pursuing a major in Kinesiology along with a minor in Biology. I am hoping to attend medical school in Fall 2017 and I am interested in becoming a surgeon. I am excited for the opportunity to volunteer in Dr. Sussman’s lab and motivated to apply the knowledge I have attained throughout my undergraduate into this lab and my future career.
Nicholas Luis
I am just starting my volunteer experience, here, in the Sussman lab (Spring 2013). I am currently a 4th year Biology major looking into medical schools. Ultimately, my goal is to become a family physician in order to help enable people to live healthy and productive lives. My interest in medicine, along with my family history of heart problems, makes this opportunity very exciting. I look forward to helping out with the meaningful research of this lab. Cheers!
Kimberley Manalo
I started volunteering in Dr. Sussman’s lab in fall 2012. I am a 3rd year biology major. I am interested in either going to dental school or becoming a High school biology teacher. Some of the tasks I do in the lab range from cleaning and autoclaving equipment, making dilution solutions, and aliquoting proteins. Because this is my first semester, most of what I do consists of observing others working and learning from them.
Alex Martinez
alexmartinez My name is Alex, and I’m a Biology major with an emphasis in cellular and molecular biology here in SDSU. I joined Dr. Sussman’s Lab in the summer of 2015 to obtain more experience working within the field and to find out if the lab was the right place for me. So far, I have obtained a lot of valuable experience on how to carry out various experiments that involve protein analysis while assisting Veronica in her research on the Pin-1 protein. I have greatly enjoyed my time working here so far with the people in the lab and I hope to continue learning more great things. Out of work, I enjoy playing video games, cooking, and listening to music, among other things.
Hailey Mason
I started volunteering in Dr. Sussman’s lab in Fall 2012. I am pursing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. I plan to go to Physician’s Assistant school after I graduate to pursue my Masters. I am currently a junior, and my lab tasks include cleaning equipment, autoclaving, aliquoting proteins, and making dilution solutions. I am also there to assist the graduate students and post-docs with any projects they assign me.
Michael McGregor
Newly admitted MCB Master’s student.

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley.

Research Interests: Genetics, stem cell growth and differentiation, tissue engineering, aging… Oh yeah, and the heart is pretty cool too.

Thesis Project Pending: I can neither confirm nor deny what I’m working on now, but I can assure you it’s down right awesome.

Amy Malhowski
Amy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Smith College in 2005. Prior to entering the SDSU-UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in the Fall of 2009, she worked as a Research Assistant in Dr. Geraldine Finlay’s laboratory at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. Her first rotation as a graduate student is through the Sussman lab. Her research project revolves around examining the expression of mTORC1 targets in genetically modified cardiac progenitor cells in response to differentiation stimuli.

When she is not in the lab, Amy enjoys exploring sunny San Diego…and misses Boston’s public transportation! Go Red Sox!

Nidiane C. Martinelli
I have a background in molecular biology, genetics, cardiology, microRNAs, physiology and blood donor bank from my previous labs in Brazil where I got my Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees.

In 2014, I was selected for a 1-year internship as fellow researcher for the Heart Failure Department Unit of GlaxoSmithKlein located in Philadelphia. During this time, I had the opportunity to experience the industry side of the research and gather more knowledge and experience for my professional life. It was also in 2014 that I crossed paths with Dr. Sussman during the AHA Sessions and after some time he finally hired me, and I received the title of having the longest hiring process in his entire career. Took me 3 years to finally start in the lab after some long VISA process and a broken leg healing.

Since 2017 I am a post-doc in Dr. Sussman’s lab involved in unravel the potential of the interstitial cell population to repair the damaged myocardium. Keep tuned for the next chapter in this story.

Aside that I believe I am a funny person, prompt to help others and I know that I still have so much to learn. To help me with that, I am surrounded by wonderful colleagues who are helping me to thrive in science and guided (or not) by an outstanding supervisor.

Matt Mason
Mitochondria structural dynamics play a critical role in mitochondrial inheritance during mitosis, bioenergetics and the maintenance of healthy membrane potential. In mammalian cells, fusion and fission of the inner and outer mitochondrial membrane are thought to be effected by pro-fusion (e.g. Opa1, Mfn1/2) or pro-fission (e.g. Drp1, Fis1) proteins. During apoptosis the mitochondrial network fragments and recent evidence suggests that Drp1 dependent fragmentation participates in the apoptotic process and that is inhibition reduces apoptosis. It is possible that fragmented mitochondria morphology plays a critical role in the mitochondrial viability under cellular stress induced by myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent reperfusion (I/R) in the heart. My project centers on determining the role of the pro-fission protein Drp1 in cellular and mouse models of cardiac injury. Furthermore, activation of Injury Salvage Kinases (RISK) such as Akt and Erk1/2 at the time of reperfusion has repeatedly been shown to confer powerful cardioprotection following I/R injury. The serine/threonine kinase Pim-1 has recently been shown to be a critically effective downstream effector of Akt’s cardioprotective signaling and our lab has demonstrated that activation of Pim-1 in vitro and in mouse models of hypertrophy, infarction, and ischemia/reperfusion injury enhances cardiomyocyte survival through inhibition of intrinsic mitochondrial apoptotic pathways. Such pro-survival kinases may also inhibit the mitochondrial fragmentation during necrotic or apoptotic stress.
Dani Michel
I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology from SDSU in May 2012. I started volunteering in the lab in December 2011 and, after my graduation, I became an employed lab assistant. I have learned to do DNA isolation’s, protein purifications, western blots, PCRs, RT-PCRs, and genotyping. My other responsibilities include mouse handling, breeding, and maintaining the vivarium. Soon, I will also have the opportunity to learn and perform mouse surgeries applying the myocardial infarction model.
Sadia Mohsin
I was working at the National Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of Punjab in Dr Riazuddin’s Laboratory where I also did my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. I joined Dr Sussman’s Lab in January 2010 as a postdoctoral fellow. I am working on a very interesting project that involves the isolation of cardiac stem cells from human heart samples. Furthermore, human cardiac stem cells are being genetically modified to express Pim-1 kinase to enhance their potential to repair a failing heart.
Megan Monsanto
Hi y’all my name is Megan, and I am originally from South Carolina, if you could not tell from my southern accent! I went to Clemson University where I received my undergraduate degree in genetics. Since my interest is in regenerative medicine, I moved to San Diego having heard biotech is a hot field out here. I just recently joined Dr. Sussman’s lab and am very excited to be a part of this great group of scientists. I am pursuing a Master’s degree and cannot wait to learn everything I can about the heart and cardiac stem cells!
Danny Morrad
I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in 2011 as a volunteer and I hope to start working on a graduate student project soon. I am studying for a B.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at SDSU and plan on graduating in 2012 to continue on to medical school. I am currently helping with performing PCRs, making buffer solutions, and helping with anything else that needs to be done in the lab. I decided to volunteer in this lab because I work outside of SDSU with myocardial infarctions and I felt that this lab could benefit me in many ways.
Maryam Moshref
Maryam MOSHREF | PhD Candidate | University of California, Davis,  California | UCD | Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology I received my B.Sc. in Cell and Molecular Biology from North Tehran Azad University. I was a visiting student at the B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada where I worked on a student project on Cytotoxicity of Natural Killer cells against an MN1-overexpressing AML cell line. As a research assistant in Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute I focused on translational medicine while concurrently completing courses towards my Masters at SDSU. I joined the Sussman Lab in February 2014 for my Masters thesis. I am trying to show that different phases of cardiomyocyte cell cycle in the fluorescence ubiquitination cell cycle indicator (FUCCI) system are detectable by Flow-Cytometry. There are many exciting projects in Sussman Lab. Come join us!!
Alvin Muliono
I am int’l student from Indonesia, originally pursuing for purely Mechanical Engineering. However, when transferred to SDSU, I was placed as a M.E. with Biomechanical Engineering emphasis major. The first semester in SDSU, I took Dr. Feuer’s class, he made aware of the potential of Stem Cell as the future of medicine/ therapy. It creates a spark of deep interest in biology in me.I volunteered in Dr. Sussman’s lab to learn the techniques and knowledge required to do research in lab. I am grateful to be able to volunteer in the lab since l am learning many things hands-on, at “out of class” setting. In addition, the staffs are very helpful at reinforcing what I had learned in class.My goal is to work at R&D industry hope to find a way to directly connect neural wire to a man made object (non-organic) and sustain it; by learning neuroscience and the research of stem cell.May science fiction come true!
Natalie Navarrete
My name is Natalie Navarrete, third year at SDSU. I was looking for an opportunity to expand my experience in a laboratory environment and working as a volunteer in Dr. Sussman’s team made that possible. I expect to develop many skills working along side graduate students who are pursuing a similar path as me.
Natalia Navarro
Hello everyone, I graduated with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences from SDSU in May 2005. Currently, I am Dr. Sussman’s Program Coordinator. I oversee all laboratory administrative functions, NIH grant related submissions, manage the lab budget including reconciling accounts, financial transactions and serve as one of two points of contact for postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. I am so thankful and excited to be part of this lab and most importantly, to share the passion for science with this fascinating team. Happy research!
Lauren Neidig
I joined the lab in Fall 2009 and have spent the past two years working with doctoral student Travis Cottage on his work on telomere preservation and telomerase activity in cardiac progenitor cells. Particularly, I have been studying the role of Pim-1 on telomeres in murine hearts during development.I will be attending Veterinary School at Western University of Health Sciences in Fall 2011 and look forward to pursuing a career in LaboratoryAnimal Medicine and Veterinary Research.
Kristine Nguyen
I joined the Sussman lab in the summer of 2014, and I am currently an undergrad majoring in biology. I am volunteering to find out more aboutresearch opportunities that are available. I have learned lots of fundamental skills in the lab and am slowly building more experience eachday. I have been enjoying the environment and working with everyone in the lab, everyone brings new knowledge and is extremely helpful. Other thanworking as a volunteer, I enjoy playing video games, sewing, and going to various conventions!
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.
Nathalie Nguyen
Hi everyone! I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab in July 2013 as a post-doc fellow. I have a Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology from the University of Sherbrooke (in Quebec, Canada). I have a background in calcium signaling, and I want to extend my knowledge in the cardiac context, especially with CPCs. My project focuses on the mTOR signaling pathway and, if you want to learn more, you are more than welcome to send me an email or to come visit the lab!
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. Sussman’s 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.
Ben Norman
My name is Ben Norman, and I am a 3rd year student at SDSU majoring in Biology. Before joining Dr. Sussman’s lab, I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduation, so I joined to get experience working in a laboratory to determine if it was something I wanted to pursue. I’m grateful for the guidance provided, and I look forward to continuing to learn the practices and techniques used.
Lucy Ormachea
I graduated from SDSU in 2012. I work in the Sussman Lab as a lab technician. My main job is to generate all the viral vectors for the lab including adenovirus, lentivirus, and AAV9 virus. Also, I take care of the Neonatal Rat Cardiac Myocyte Prep and soon will learn how to perform surgeries. If you are looking for me, I’ll be in Tissue Culture.
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 inthis lab so I am looking forward to the experience I will gain from this lab!
Christina Payne