MARC Scholars

Christine Kyauk

Christine K. Kyauk

Major(s): Integrative Biology, Education Minor

PI: Gary Firestone

Berkeley Research: Anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects of indole-3-carbinol derivatives on breast cancer and melanoma.

Summer Research Experience: I completed my SRE in the Viswanath Lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health.  My project focused on looking at the impact of social support on physical and mental health outcomes in cancer survivors.

Future Goals: My long term goal is to work in public health to reduce health disparities by increasing health education and physical fitness in low-income/minority communities.

Kendall Calhoun

Kendall Calhoun

Major: Molecular Environmental Biology

Emphasis: Ecology

PI: Erica Bree Rosenblum

Berkeley Research:  I am studying lizard evolution and ecology in Erica Bree Rosenblum’s lab. My research focuses on the White Sands Desert in New Mexico and how animals within the desert have adapted over time to change their body color to match the white color of the sand within the desert.

Summer Research Experience: I will be doing my SRE this summer in the Cook Lab at the University of New Mexico.          

Future Goals: In the future I plan on doing ecology research with an emphasis in restoration biology.

Rosa Rodriguez

Rosa Rodriguez

Major: Molecular and Cell Biology 

Emphasis: Genetics, Genomics and Development (GGD).

PI: Dr. David Weisblat

Berekely Research: I work in Dr. David Weisblat’s laboratory where the main focus is trying to understand developmental processes during embryogenesis (the early stages of development starting from the zygote) using the leech Helobdella austinensis as a model organism. My particular project focuses on trying to understand how environmental stimuli are translated into a signal that the brain then interprets.

Summer Research Experience: I did my SRE in the Jarvik Lab at the University of Washington.

Future Goals: My end goal is to obtain a Ph.D. where I hope to do medical research focusing on the genetic factors that lead to human diseases.

Matthew Aber

Matthew Aber

Major:  Molecular Environmental Biology

PI:  Dr. Barbara Meyer, MCB Department

Berkeley Research: I currently work in Dr. Barbara Meyer’s laboratory where we focus on the X-chromosome structure and the process dosage compensation in our model organism C. elegans.  My project focuses upon taking out portions of C. elegans DNA to see which sequences of DNA are the most important in regulating this process. 

Summer Research Experience: I will be doing my SRE this summer in the Ruvkun Lab at Harvard Medical School.

Future Goals: My long term goal is to integrate my passion of molecular biology with mentoring and improving the quality of the life of people from low-income, minority populations.

Leslie Pedraza

Leslie Pedraza

Major: Molecular and Cell Biology

Emphasis: Neurobiology

Principal Investigator: Richard Ivry

Berkeley Research: I am a research assistant in the Cognition and Action (CognAC) Lab in the Department of Psychology. The CognAC lab focuses on motor learning and my research project involves explaining the differences in implicit motor learning between musicians and non-musicians. I am addressing this question by conducting behavioral studies to explain what makes one a better learner.

Summer Research Experience: I will be doing my SRE this summer in the Stickgold Lab at Harvard Medical School.

Future Goals: My long term goals involve pursuing an MD/PhD degree and conducting biomedical research in addition to becoming a professor and having the chance to work with students as a teacher and mentor.

Alfonso Bonilla

Alfonso Bonilla

Major(s): Linguistics, Molecular and Cell Biology

Emphasis: Neurobiology

Department: Neuroscience/Psychology

PI: Frederic Theunissen

Berkeley Research: Modeling Language Perception in the Brain

Summer Research Experience: I will be doing my SRE this summer in the Wissow Lab at Johns Hopkins University.

Future Goals: In the long term, I want to fuse linguistic and biology to further understand the how bilingualism works.

Christian Cazares

Christian Cazares

Major: Cognitive Science

Department: Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies

PI: Richard Ivry, Dacher Keltner

Berkeley Research: My research encompasses studies on the inhibitory mechanisms employed by the brain during human volitional movement. I collect data for these studies via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) over the primary motor cortex, the area of the brain that controls muscle movement. I am also a research assistant in the Keltner Lab, where I help collect behavioral data in order to study the effect of socioeconomic status on social behavior.

Summer Research Experience: My SRE took place in the Gazzaley Lab at the University of California, San Francisco, where I helped Professor Ted Zanto source-localize electrocorticography (EEG) activity differences following videogame assisted multi-task training. I also trained in conjunction with WanYu Hsu on transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) methodology

Future Goals: After a year or two of traveling and post-bac research, I will pursue graduate school for a Neuroscience PhD. My ultimate goals is to entrench myself in academia as a faculty in charge of his own social/emotion neuroscience lab, as well as teach introductory neuroscience at the undergraduate level.