Volume 3 | Number 2 | July 2022


Initiative to Maximize Student Development |

From Dr. Jason Sello...


Image Description: A photo of Dr. Jason Sello wearing a suit and glasses smiling at the camera.

One of the most wonderful times of year is the end of the academic year for so many of us in our community of scholars. First-year students can reflect on successfully navigating the highs and lows of courses and rotations that have expanded their minds and skills. Second-year students can bask in the afterglow of completed qualifying exams wherein they demonstrated mastery of new fields and presented brand new data that convince faculty members that their projects will be exciting ad fruitful. A subset of more advanced students is granted the coveted Ph.D. degree for research projects that have expanded the scope of or even

changed the course of inquiry in a field. Regardless of the stage in graduate education, this is a time to celebrate because each success (those big and small) reflects hard work, signifies resilience through failure, and affirms talent! Surviving and thriving through a protracted global pandemic only heightens the case for reveling in the good that we have achieved and the awesome opportunities that lie ahead for us to pursue. It’s my hope that everyone in our community will take a moment to reflect on and celebrate their own successes, but also on those of others.


2021-2022 Fellowship Awardees

Congratulations to the following members of the IMSD community who are awardees for prestigious fellowships this spring!


Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholarship

Miguel Guardado, Biological and Medical Informatics


Bakar Computational Health Science Fellowship

Dani Rodea, Biophysics


Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine Fellowship

Ivan Chavez, Biomedical Sciences


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP)


Ivan Chavez, Biomedical Sciences

Jesus Marcial Madigral Lombera, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Alvincé Pongos, Bioengineering


Graduating IMSD Students and Friends

Congratulations as well to the following members of the IMSD community who graduated this year!

Image Description: A photo of Ekland Abdiwahab wearing a grey shirt smiling at the camera.

Ekland Abdiwahab


Program: Epidemiology and Biostatistics



Image Description: A photo of Dina Buitrago Silva standing outside dressed in regalia smiling at the camera.

Dina Buitrago Silva


Program: Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics


Next Steps: Completing dissertation writing and afterward, I will be applying for an industry job, hopefully one that focuses on studying and treating rare diseases which is what I study now!

Image Description: A photo of Muryam A. A. Gourdet wearing a denim jacket smiling at the camera.

Muryam A. A. Gourdet


Program: Tetrad


Next Steps: Scientist at Tipping Point Biosciences

Image Description: A photo of Fauna Yarza wearing a yellow shirt and glasses smiling at the camera.

Fauna Yarza


Program: Biomedical Sciences


Next Steps: Scientist at Actym Therapeutics


Image description: A photo of Dina Buitrago Silva handing her graduation stole to the hooder on stage at Commencement.

Image description: A photo of Dean Nicquet Blake wearing regalia standing behind a podium and clapping.

Image description: A photo of graduates, family members, friends and UCSF community members sitting in the Herbst Theatre.


UCSF's IMSD program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). 



D'Anne Duncan, PhD

Jason Sello, PhD

Program Contacts:


D'Anne Duncan, PhD

Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learner Success

[email protected]u


Jason Sello, PhD

Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

[email protected]





Zachary Smith, AA

Diversity and Outreach Program Manager

[email protected]


Jessica Ip, MA

Diversity Programs and Events Coordinator

[email protected]