Josh Espinoza

josh-espinoza-128Presently working as a Research Associate at the J. Craig Venter Institute

Josh recently earned his MS at the University of California, Santa Cruz in Biomolecular Engineering with an emphasis in Bioinformatics. After the internship, he continued working in Miles Wilkinson’s lab at UCSD for a year studying RNA-decay pathways. He aspires to a career studying gene regulation, non-coding RNA, and bioinformatics.  Josh earned his B.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from SDSU in May of  2013.

Chelsea Green

chelsea-green-128Presently working as a Technical Recruiter

She did her internship with Dr. Luke Lairson at TSRI and CALIBR, doing research associated with MS, particularly examining the effects of drug-like small molecules on the differentiation of precursor cells into oligodenrocytes. Chelsea graduated with a BS in Chemistry from SDSU in May 2013.

Kevin Lopez

kevin-lopez-128Presently working as a Research Associate at the Scintillon Institute

Kevin is continuing the work he did during the internship, in the lab of Dr. Stuart Lipton, at the Sanford Burnham Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  His research involves modeling Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by generating iPSCs from patient fibroblasts. Kevin graduated with his BS in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry from SDSU in May 2013.

Cullen Pivaroff

cullen-pivaroff-128Presently working as a Research Associate at Scripps and training new CIRM interns

His internship was at the Scripps Research Institute with Drs. Louise Laurent & Heather Schultheisz, exploring the regulatory roles of miRNAs in hESC and the apoptosis pathway. He continues to work at Scripps in the lab of Dr. Jeanne Loring. He is also currently reprogramming stem cells at the Brazilian National Laboratory for Stem Cell Research in Rio de Janeiro. Cullen graduated with his BS in biology at SDSU in May 2013.

Shahad (Melody) Rahawi


Presenting applying to graduate school for Genetic Counseling

Her internship was in the lab of Dr. Larry Goldstein at UCSD. She will repair genetic mutations in iPSCs derived from Alzheimer’s disease patients, generate neural progenitor cells and neurons and characterize the cells for AD-related phenotypes. Melody earned her BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology in May 2013

Patrick Reilly

patrick-reilly-128Presently working as a research assistant at UCSD

He has continued his internship work in the lab of Dr. Suana Yuan’s lab at UCSD, investigating the mutant tau protein’s role in synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s patients.  Patrick earned his BS in biology with a CMB emphasis in May 2013.

Cody Smith

cody-smith-128Presently attending Medical School at the University of Arizona

During the  CIRM internship he worked at both CalAsia Pharmaceuticals and Scripps with Dr. Tayo Fakunle, differentiating iPSC’s derived from patients with Parkinson’s disease into dopaminergic neurons in order to model PD, as well as, drug development for the disease.his BS degree in cellular and molecular biology in May 2013. Cody graduated with his BS degree in cellular and molecular biology in May 2013.

Trishana Smith Norquist

trishana-smith-128Presently teaching General Biology at Grossmont College

Trishana recently earned her MS in Biology from SDSU. For the internship, she was in Dr. Mana Parast’s lab at UCSD, determining if culturing hESCs on placental extra-cellular matrix creates a better environment for cell differentiation into trophoblasts than on the currently used matrigel. Trishana plans to graduate in May 2015 with her MS. She has also recently had her first child, a baby girl. Trishana earned her BS in Biology with a minor in Sociology in May 2013 and her

Anna Tarabrina

anna-tarabrina-128Currently a second year naturopathic doctoral student at Bastyr University California

Naturopathic doctoral program is a four year doctoral program that trains individuals to become primary care physicians with an emphasis on the art and science of natural medicine. The modalities she is getting training in are: clinical nutrition and nutritional counseling, homeopathy, physical medicine, including hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and naturopathic manipulative therapy, botanical medicine, conventional therapies including pharmaceuticals, IV therapy and minor surgery. Anna earned her BS in Kinesiology in May 2013.

Ryan Tingle

ryan-tingle-128Currently working as a Research Assistant at The Scripps Research Institute

His internship was in the lab of Dr. Carlos Barbas at Scripps, focusing on protein engineering and molecular evolution strategies to establish a new technology for genome modification utilizing zinc-finger recombinases (ZFRs). The methods developed will enable targeted genetic manipulation of human stem cells for therapeutic purposes. He presently works at Scripps in the lab of Dr. Bill Schief, wherein they use computer based protein modeling software and molecular biology techniques to design vaccine candidates for HIV and other highly variable viruses. Ryan eared his BS in Cell and Molecular Biology in May 2013.

Marina Watanabe

Marina_photoPresently working toward her PhD at Harvard University

Marina began her graduate studies in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at Harvard University. She is currently working towards her PhD in the research laboratory of Dr. Mario Suvà studying the biology of brain tumors, focusing specifically on the epigenetics and heterogeneity of glioblastoma and oligodendroglioma. She did her CIRM internship in Dr. Inder Verma’s lab at the Salk Institute investigating the differences between ES cells, naïve iPS cells, and primed iPS cells, particularly heterochromatin. Marina graduated from SDSU with a BS in Biology in December 2013.  She enjoys the Boston foliage and “chowdah,” but misses the San Diego sunshine.