IMSDNews

Volume 3 | Number 1 | July 2022

 

Initiative to Maximize Student Development | graduate.ucsf.edu/imsd

From Dr. D'Anne Duncan

 
 
D'Anne Duncan, PhD

Greetings!

 

The IMSD Program welcomes our incoming cohort of 16 first-year graduate students, and welcomes back our second-year graduate students. As we prepare to return to campus and in-person research and community activities, the IMSD Program will continue to offer career

and professional development enrichment and mentorship activities that complement academic research training, and a welcoming environment to showcase, celebrate, and value all of your individual personalities, identities, and experiences!

 

To provide historical background and stay connected, we created a newsletter to help foster relationships within our wonderful community. We hope you enjoy the sixth issue of the IMSD newsletter, which is all about you, our students!

 

Hugs and smiles!

 

– Dr. D’Anne

 

P.S. Learn about the Graduate Division's full range of diversity programs and resources at graduate.ucsf.edu/diversity.

 

Meet the 2022-23 First Year UCSF IMSD Students

As we welcome our newest IMSD students, we asked you to tell us a little about yourselves. Read on and meet your community!

 
Andoni Asencor

Andoni Asencor

he/him/his

Home: Miami, FL

PhD Program: Neuroscience

Research Interests: Neuroinflammation, Blood-Brain Barrier, Neurodevelopment

 

Interests outside the lab: Cooking, being outdoors

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? Inching towards gaining independence as a full-time scientist!

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? I love being around a mentor who is always present, yet never overbearing. Someone who you chat with about science, but also seek advice from in general. Someone who is always excited for your wins and will nudge you to apply for things, but will also be there as a helping hand when things may not go as you had hoped. Even if this mentoring style is hard to come by, it's the mentor I aim to be as a professor.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? What sort of (free/reduced) wellness activities are made available to members of the UCSF community! For example (but not limited to), any sort of free yoga classes, events, outings, casual gatherings, etc.

 
Andoni Asencor

Cindy Barrios

she

Home: San Francisco

PhD Program: Biological and Medical Informatics

Research Interests: Precision medicine

 

Interests outside the lab: Reading, biking, exercise, traveling, cooking

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? Networking and developing new skills

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? Verbal communication in a supportive and caring setting

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Writing

 
Andoni Asencor

Miranda Cabanski-Dunning

she/her

Home: Novato, CA

PhD Program: Tetrad

Research Interests: Molecular biology, cell biology, early stage drug discovery

 

Interests outside the lab: Working out, Hulu (TVD and reality shows), and food

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? I am super excited for the potential opportunities that come with a PhD. I am also excited to be learning from my peers and building lasting friendships.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? I like a somewhat hands off approach with regular check ins on progress and questions. My first boss at my last job gave me space to grow as a researcher by providing guidance when I asked but also gave a lot of constructive criticism when I was unsure. I really like working with my mentor and developing a good, trusting relationship.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? BE-STEM and professional development programs

 
Andoni Asencor

Romelo Casanave

he/him/his

Home: Milpitas

PhD Program: Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics

Research Interests: Genetics, Oncology

 

Interests outside the lab: Basketball, Outdoors, Anime, Gordon Ramsey

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? The journey and experiences that I gain along the way.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? Casual conversation and sincere insight

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? None specifically yet, but interested in UCSF resources in general.

 
Andoni Asencor

Gary Chan

he/him/his

Home: Hong Kong/Berkeley

PhD Program: Biomedical Sciences

Research Interests: Oncology, Immunology

 

Interests outside the lab: Rock climbing, Cooking

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? Expanding

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? Meeting weekly but then hands off, also whoever respect my work life balance even I do work way too much.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Career development!

 
Andoni Asencor

Ivan Chavez

he/him

Home: Southern California

PhD Program: Biomedical Sciences

Research Interests: Microbiology and microbial pathogenesis/host-pathogen interactions

 

Interests outside the lab: Leisure nature walks, trying new recipes/restaurants with friends

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? Being around fantastic science/scientists and focusing on interesting research questions

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? A style that supports my personal interests and consistently provides advice/guidance. My undergraduate mentor was fantastic: she supported the new directions my project took and the freedom that came with while always setting aside time to meet.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Applying to funding, student interest groups

 
Andoni Asencor

Diana Cruz Garcia

she/her

Home: Los Angeles, CA

PhD Program: Bioengineering

Research Interests: Tissue Engineering - making 3d models to study diseases and/or creating 3d organoids

 

Interests outside the lab: Binging tv shows, going to the beach, shopping, spotting new boba/coffee shops, and being with my dog!

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? The research and mentorship opportunities

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? I love a good balance between hands-off and hands-on. one of my mentors at first walked me through every step of my research project in the beginning and would give me papers/slides to read then sit down with me and ask me questions about what I read. After doing that for a couple of weeks he then let me run the experiments on my own since I had familiarized myself and I started to find my own papers if I was stuck but If I ever needed help or hands-on assistance he was always there. I want a PI who will give me the ability to work closely with them at first, do things on my own to grow but always just be present when I need help.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Any sort of outreach programs, wellness resources

 
Andoni Asencor

Kevin Delgado-Cunningham

he/him/his

Home: I have lived in a few different places but Sunnyvale, California is the one that feels the most like home.

PhD Program: Biophysics

Research Interests: I am really excited about using molecular structures to understand mechanisms of immunity and human disease.

 

Interests outside the lab: I love hiking, running, listening to music, and spending quality time with my friends!

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? I think I find my PhD most exciting as an opportunity to get exposed to new problems in biology and to learn how to ask powerful, testable questions.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? My most memorable mentor would have to be my undergraduate and postbaccalaureate PI. I really like that she made sure I had frequent support with and feedback on my experiments, but also gave me space to tackle problems independently once I was ready to do so. I also benefitted immensely from being able to let her know if I was struggling with something, in or out of the lab, and to get her advice on how best to keep my projects on track to being successful.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Peer mentoring groups!

 
Andoni Asencor

Jose Figueroa

him/his

Home: Los Angeles, CA

PhD Program: Neuroscience

Research Interests: Neural circuits and mechanisms of psychiatric disorders, emotions, and social memory

 

Interests outside the lab: Exploring the city and nature, watching sports, videogames, gym sessions, and bingeing TV series

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? I am most excited about learning new techniques and analytical skills that contribute to groundbreaking discoveries. Additionally, I want to learn how to ask the right questions and relay my knowledge to up-and-coming individuals who seek a career in science.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? I believe I am most compatible with a mentor who is very attentive initially but would allow me the freedom to conduct my experiments as I feel necessary. I would also resonate well with a mentor who is understands that mistakes happen and helps me work through them. Weekly meetings would be most ideal regardless of whether there has been significant progress within our project.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? UCSF-CCSF Inclusive Mentoring Fellows program

 
Andoni Asencor

Jasmine Garcia

she/her

Home: Oregon

PhD Program: Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

Research Interests: Microbiome studies, immunology, stem cells

 

Interests outside the lab: Cooking, reading, hiking, traveling, trying new coffee and tea places!

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? Becoming an expert in something that will help us understand how to treat and diagnose health disparities in the community.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? Someone that is concerned about me as a person and as a professional.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Professional development, tutoring, how to have better presentation skills, grant writing and applying for fellowships

 
Andoni Asencor

Adriana Guajardo

she/her

Home: Tijuana/San Diego

PhD Program: Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

Research Interests: Evolutionary Development

 

Interests outside the lab: Art, dancing and animals

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? Getting the chance to create my own project and answer scientific questions. I also really want to become a mentor to other individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? I have been very lucky with my mentors. Both of them were very hands-on at the beginning and then became hands-off. I enjoyed that because it allowed me to learn from my own mistakes and have some freedom of how I approached my goal. I also really appreciate someone that is very approachable and easy-going.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Mental health resources, mentorship (for me and to learn how to be a mentor)

 
Andoni Asencor

Riana Hunter

she/her

Home: San Diego

PhD Program: Biomedical Sciences

Research Interests: Disease ecology, molecular biology, host-pathogen interactions

 

Interests outside the lab: Arts and crafts, tide pooling, trying new foods, herpetology

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? Learning how to design experiments and homing in on a very niche topic.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? I like mentors who relate to me on a personal level and engage with me holistically, not just scientifically / professionally. My favorite mentors have been women who serve also as a role model for me.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about? Accessing healthcare through UCSF (including mental health)

 
Andoni Asencor

Joaquín Magaña

he/him

Home: San Francisco Bay Area

PhD Program: Biological and Medical Informatics

Research Interests: I am very motivated by recent advancements in health disparities and human genetics research.

 

Interests outside the lab: My interests include building computers, competitive fighting games, playing trumpet, playing board games, walking with my dachshund, cooking, and reading up on the newest technology.

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? I am most excited to leverage the advanced knowledge I will be acquiring towards the betterment of human health.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? My best mentoring experience was a series of check-ins at vital points in my project. At these check-ins we would discuss overall objectives and how to accomplish them. Once I had a list of tasks, I would try to perform them with hands-off mentoring. I could always reach out if I had an imposing question, but my mentor was very good at letting me develop my own skillset. She also made sure to acknowledge my progress at each check-in and contextualize the work I had just performed in the greater context of the research project.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about?

I would like to learn more about student health services. I have a few pending tests and exams and I would like to follow through with them as soon as possible.

 
Andoni Asencor

Dani Rodea

she/her

Home: Temecula, CA

PhD Program: Biophysics

Research Interests: Protein-protein interactions, drug discovery and design

 

Interests outside the lab: Hiking and eating

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? I'm excited to become a critically-thinking scientist and meeting great scholars along the way.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? I like someone who gives me flexibility to explore but also someone who is honest with me. I like being told things up front rather than hear niceties all the time.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about?

Any sort of food resources and mental health services

 
Andoni Asencor

Connie Silva

she/her

Home: San Francisco

PhD Program: Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics

Research Interests: Quantitative and systems pharmacology, drug development sciences, and computational genomics

 

Interests outside the lab: Rock climbing, roller skating and exploring new restaurants/food trucks

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? What excites me about earning a Ph.D. is having the opportunity to collaborate and spearhead my research interests from different multidisciplinary perspectives. Most importantly, gaining the knowledge and tools to become an impactful and independent scientist in the pharmaceutical sciences.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? Traditional one-on-one mentoring: Mentors that will not only support your professional development but also your self-development.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about?

Cost of Living Supplement

 
Andoni Asencor

Olive Tambou Nzoutchoum

she/her/hers

Home: San Francisco

PhD Program: Neuroscience

Research Interests: Neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, psychiatric illnesses

 

Interests outside the lab: Hiking, camping, softball, watching basketball, exploring new places

 

What most excites you about earning your PhD? The chance to be surrounded by peers that share similar interests and the opportunity to spend every day learning and growing.

 

What kind of mentorship style resonates with you? Do you have a memorable mentor? The most memorable mentors for me have been hands-on but also provide me the space and guidance to grow independently. They're constantly challenging me to develop strong problem-solving skills with the goal of potentially becoming a mentor for someone else.

 

What UCSF resources would you like to learn more about?

Career development, student food market, opportunities for community engagement

 

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

Co-PIs/Co-Chairs:

 

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]