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  Isha Jain, PhD (CV)    Assistant Professor

Isha received her undergraduate degree in Chemical and Physical Biology from Harvard University. There, she worked in the lab of Erin O’Shea on bacterial chromosome segregation. Subsequently, she joined the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. During her PhD, she worked in the labs of Vamsi Mootha and Warren Zapol, where she discovered that hypoxia could serve as a therapy for mitochondrial disorders. This work led to a Phase 1 clinical trial. Isha began as a UCSF Sandler Faculty Fellow and then became an Assistant Professor at the Gladstone Institutes and UCSF in 2021. She has received the NIH Early Independence Grant, Searle Scholar Award, Klingenstein-Simons Award, Mallinckrodt Award, and AFAR Junior Faculty Grant.


     Giselle Avina, B.S.      Admin. Associate

Giselle was born and raised in the SF Bay Area and received her BS in personality psychology from Saint Mary’s College of California. There, she worked under Dr. Paul Zarnoth, doing research on the relationship between cognitive styles and interpersonal influence in group decision making. She is now a graduate student at the California Institute of Integral Studies to become a psychotherapist. In her free time, she loves to spend time at the beach, meditate, hike, read, and play video games.

        Kirsten Chen, B.S.                   BMS PhD Student/           AHA Fellow

Kirsten grew up in China and earned her BS from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. There she completed a double major in chemistry and biology. At UNC, she worked in the lab of Dr. Steve Hursting on metabolic reprogramming during cancer progression to metastasis and differential responses to folate deficiency in a murine model of triple-negative breast cancer. As a BMS student, Kirsten hopes to use experimental and computational approaches to study the complexities of biological systems and disease. Outside of work, she enjoys dancing, traveling and exploring good food and coffee.


     Alan Baik, M.D.      Cardiology Instructor/ Sarnoff Fellow

Alan was born in Los Angeles and attended Harvard University, where he majored in biology. He completed medical school and internal medicine residency at UCSF. As a Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellow, he worked in the lab of Bill Kaelin at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, studying the mechanisms of remote ischemic preconditioning in a murine model of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion. Alan is currently a cardiology fellow at UCSF, interested in better understanding oxygen metabolism and signaling in myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease.


            Michael Vien, B.S.              Research Associate

Michael grew up in the SF Bay Area and received a B.A. in Physics at UC Berkeley. There, he joined Dr. Feng Wang’s nano-optics lab, where he created an image analysis program to facilitate the identification of crystal monolayers. He later worked in the lab of Dr. Carlos Bustamante, creating nucleosome arrays to study the mechanics behind nucleosome unfolding and chromatin phase separation. Outside of the lab, Michael enjoys taking pictures, rock climbing, and exploring new restaurants.


       Ankur Garg, PhD                   Postdoctoral Fellow/         CIRM Fellow

Ankur attended IIT Delhi for her undergraduate studies in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology. She received her PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics, in the lab of Xin Zhang at Columbia University studying the role of Fgf signaling in tear gland development. During a post-doc at UCSD, she worked in the lab of Xin Sun where she studied pulmonary neuroendocrine cells. She is now interested in studying the signaling mechanisms underlying hypoxia as a therapeutic intervention for neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders.


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    Galih Haribowo, PhD                   Postdoctoral Fellow/            CIRM Fellow

Galih received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Gadjah Mada University. He then joined the labs of Joost Holthuis at Utrecht University and Anne-Claude Gavin at the EMBL-Heidelberg to study protein-lipid interactions for his master’s degree. During his PhD, he worked in the labs of Howard Riezman at University of Geneva and Maya Schuldiner at the Weizmann Institute of Science, studying the roles of sphingolipid in neurodegenerative disease and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Galih is currently interested in understanding nutrient dependencies of cells under hypoxia and ischemia.


     Brandon Desousa B.S.               BMS PhD Student/          NDSEG Fellow

Brandon was born and raised in South Florida. He received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Neuroscience at the University of Miami. There, he worked on how neural stem cells can contribute to recovery after a brain injury. He then joined Dr. Ajit Divakaruni’s mitochondrial bioenergetics lab at UCLA and studied the bioenergetics of glioblastoma and macrophage inflammatory activation. Outside of the lab, Brandon enjoys discovering new films at independent cinemas, and working towards crafting the perfect cup of coffee.



Brandon Chew
        Brandon Chew, B.S.                   PSPG PhD Student/              NSF Fellow

Brandon was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Southern California. At USC, he worked in the lab of Dr. Nicolas Graham where he helped to develop a protocol for enriching and detecting protein methylation via liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy and analyzed multiple public data sets to determine metabolic pathway dependencies in cancer cell lines. Outside of lab, Brandon enjoys hiking, playing video games, and exploring ramen shops.



          Ayush Midha, A.B.              MD-PhD Student

Ayush grew up in San Jose, California, and attended Harvard University, where he majored in developmental biology. As an undergraduate student, he worked in the labs of Dr. Susan Bonner-Weir and Dr. Cristina Aguayo-Mazzucato at Joslin Diabetes Center. There, he studied mechanisms of aging in pancreatic beta-cells and the secretory changes associated with cellular senescence. At UCSF, Ayush is excited about advocating for universal healthcare and studying metabolism in physiology and disease. In his free time, he loves watching and playing basketball, experimenting with new recipes on his cast-iron skillet, and seeing new movies.


Will Flanigan B.A.   Bioengineering PhD Student

                                                                                                                    Will was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He attended UW-Madison, earning his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Biochemistry. There, he worked in the lab of Dr. Pam Kreeger studying the microenvironmental factors that drive metastasis in ovarian cancer. At UCSF, Will is excited to investigate cardiac hypoxia/ischemia using iPSC-derived cardiac cell types. Outside of lab, Will loves to run and is learning how to make the perfect charcuterie board.


Skyler Blume
        Skyler Blume, BS           Lab Manager

Skyler grew up in Davis, California and received his Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley, where he majored in Molecular and Cell Biology. There, he worked in the lab of Gertrude Buehring where he studied Bovine Leukemia Virus as a potential etiological agent of breast cancer. He went on to work for a pathology practice in San Diego, where he performed immunohistochemistry. In his free time he enjoys learning about new cuisines, exploring nature, and listening to podcasts.




Brian Curran (2018-2019) | Staff Scientist

Bruno Barros-Queliconi (2019-2021) | Staff Scientist | Currently – McKinsey

Alec Barrios (2019-2021) | Junior Staff Scientist | Currently – MIT PhD Student

Yuyin Zhou (2021-2022) | Staff Scientist | Currently – Genentech

Saahil Chadha | Undergraduate Student | Currently – Yale Medical School Student