Graduate Students


Bennett, Suzanna

Program: MCP
Faculty: Lewis
Hometown: Newton, MA

I chose MCP for both the research and the culture. The research interests and scientific approach of the labs in this department are geared towards solving problems that span across the molecular, cellular and tissue levels for a deeper understanding of how life works.  More Meanwhile, the small size and collaborative environment of MCP means we all know one another and I don’t feel like just another cog in the wheel. I’ve gained more insight into how I learn and work as an individual and how groups of researchers work together as teams as a result of being a part of the MCP research community. I feel like the mentors around me in MCP truly care about me and the other MCP students and are willing to work closely with me to help me succeed. 

             I am the MCP Home Program representative in the Stanford Biosciences Student Association (SBSA), and a few of us MCP students just started as FAST mentors for high school students in San Jose. I went to UT Austin for my undergraduate degree and majored in Neuroscience. AT UT, I worked for 3 years in the Aldrich lab as a volunteer and then as a full-time research assistant for a 4thyear after graduation before coming to Stanford. Outside of science, I’m an avid concert/festival-goer & nature-lover. Once a competitive soccer-player, I now keep my hospital bill down by sticking to yoga, jogging and hiking. I also like to cook, paint with watercolors, road-trip and go camping.

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Bruguera, Elise

I’m broadly interested in how cells receive and respond to extracellular signals, which is a prominent theme within MCP and how I came to choose this program. I study the Wnt/Beta-catenin signaling pathway from a biochemical perspective in the Weis lab.  More As an undergraduate at Duke University, I studied chemistry and computational biology and researched olfactory receptors in Dr. Hiro Matsunami’s lab. Outside of science I play ultimate frisbee, go backpacking, and browse Petfinder.

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Gumbin, Samantha

Program: MCP
Faculty: Kopito
Hometown: The Plains, VA

I chose MCP because the faculty all study topics that interested me, and upon meeting the people at my interview, I discovered a warm group of people who wanted to help me on my journey through graduate school.  More The MCP environment is very supportive and the small size of the program allows for me to personally know all the students and faculty in the department. I discovered my love for cell biology during my undergrad at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I worked in the Voeltz lab for 2 years as an undergraduate, and stayed for 2 years to work as a technician. In my free time I like to take my dog LouLou to the dog park, catch up with my friends, and enjoy the great restaurants in the area. Less 

Iglesias-Thome, Andres

Jeffries, Jamie

I attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn and graduated with a major in Microbiology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. In undergrad, I worked in a chemistry lab on a project to generate metal-silica, core-shell nanostructures. At Stanford,  More I joined Lynette Cegelski’s lab, which uses biophysical techniques to study complex biological systems.  My thesis focuses on the extracellular matrix of Escherichia coli biofilms, more specifically investigating the structure and function of phosphoethanolamine modified cellulose, the first discovered naturally chemically modified cellulose! My hobbies include watching movies and playing intramural basketball, softball, volleyball, and soccer.

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Khan, Yousuf

 I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, traveled to the University of Cambridge to attain my MPhil, and am now pursuing a joint PhD in MCP and a MS in the BMI as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Outside of research, I enjoy basketball, exercising, and tennis.  More My interests in science have certainly changed over time but I am currently interested in understanding the basic, macromolecular principles that govern basic processes such as protein-protein or RNA-protein interactions. I believe that this can uncovered through a mixture of bioinformatics and informed biophysical measurements. I hope to engage and learn as much as I can while I am at Stanford, so please feel free to reach out whenever!

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Krishnamurthy, Ipsita

I graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 2020 and have called the Pacific Northwest home ever since. During my undergraduate thesis in Dr. Shivani Ahuja’s lab, I became interested in the structural changes that accompany receptor transmission of extracellular signals to intracellular actions. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant in the Mansoor lab at Oregon Health and Sciences University, structurally and functionally characterizing the response of ion channel P2X7 to competitive and noncompetitive agonists and antagonists by electrophysiology and cryoEM. Broadly, my research interests include structural biology, cell biology, and microbiology. I chose MCP because this program offers both the intellectual freedom to pursue my evolving research interests and exceptional support along the way. In my free time, you can find me at a local coffee shop, trying new restaurants, or scouring vintage shops for a new outfit!

Hermsmeier, Maiko

Program: MCP
Faculty: Rotating
Hometown: San Jose, CA

Born in South San Jose, I would often visit Stanford for events and tennis matches and I fell in love with the atmosphere. I was fortunate to attend UCSD, close to home but not too close, and graduated with a molecular biology degree. I was offered a scientist position at a Silicon Valley bio startup and through this opportunity I continually met outstanding scientists from Stanford University. Given a keen interest in understanding cellular mechanisms and the orchestration cells play in tissue function in creating a viable organism, I knew MCP would be a great fit where collaborations are encouraged, and leading experts are in every lab.

 



Lee, Chien-Ling

Liang, Jiahao

Program: MCP
Faculty: Brunger & Feng
DEI Cabinet Member
Hometown: San Mateo/Redwood City, CA

I grew up in the Bay Area and got my undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara. After soaking up a ton of (but not quite enough) sun, sand, and salt water, I returned to the bay and worked as a research associate/lab manager in the Manglik lab.  More There, I constantly patched up our leaky cell culture CO2 system and used yeast display platforms to study antibody fitness and hedgehog signaling. Applying to grad school as a first-generation college student and immigrant, I knew I wanted to find a department that housed diverse science and people – I found that within MCP. Outside of science, you can find me mentoring young students, snowboarding, or indulging in my guilty pleasures of drinking crispy cold PBRs and eating very spicy tacos.

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Muir, Colin

Program: MCP
Faculty: Feng
Hometown: Westlake Village, CA

I chose to join MCP because the research in the department fits my interests, the faculty are amazing, and the students are smart and very friendly. I want to pursue high impact research at the interface of structural biology and cell signaling.  More Before joining MCP, I studied biochemistry at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. When I’m not in the lab I love to be outside hiking, running, and climbing.

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Nors, Wagner

Program: MCP
Faculty: Rotating
Hometown: Abbott, TX

I felt that MCP was a good fit for me because it offered the perfect blend of science, people, and place. I grew up in Abbott, Texas (the birthplace of Wille Nelson!) and did my undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin, where I majored in Neuroscience and Biochemistry. There, I worked in the lab of Dr. Marcel Goldshen-Ohm on better understanding the structure/function relationship of ion channels with their ligands - or more simply put, how they work! In MCP, I hope to better understand ion channels in their physiological context, and I feel that there are multiple avenues here where I can achieve this aim and grow as a scientist. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy trying out new restaurants, wineries, and breweries, diving deep into arthouse movies/TV, and taking advantage of all the wonderful natural beauty California has to offer!

Rogel Hernandez, Lucero

I’ve always been fascinated with the structural diversity that exists among proteins and how protein networks become activated by extracellular signals to initiate cell-to-cell communication processes that ultimately induce behavioral responses at the organismal level. More  I joined the department of MCP to develop a greater understanding of such mechanisms and strengthen my knowledge in genetics, neurobiology, and biochemistry. From MCP I have learned about a variety of techniques to interrogate cell signaling mechanisms and to apply some of these techniques to my current research. In the Goodman lab, I study the ability of the small nematode C. elegans to detect plant-derived compounds, with the goal of identifying their molecular targets and assess their potential therapeutic properties for mental health. Before starting graduate school, I worked as a tech at Quintara Biosciences, a DNA sequencing facility, and conducted a post-bac in the Zahler lab where I studied the mechanism of RNA splicing. As an undergrad and post-bac at UCSC, I had the opportunity to engage with members of the STEM Diversity Programs Office and to advocate for STEM diversity in higher education. As a graduate student, I continue to support STEM diversity in higher education by serving as a mentor to undergraduate and first-year graduate students through ADVANCE, Bay Area Graduate Pathways (GPS) to STEM, Stanford’s First-Gen Low Income (FLI) Program, and the Women in STEM Mentoring Program. Outside of lab life, I enjoy painting, bird watching, hiking, and cooking with my family.

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Schwartz, Jacob

Program: MCP
Faculty: 1st year student
Hometown: Newton, MA

Zhao, Andy

Program: MCP
Faculty: Rotating
Hometown: Shanghai, China

I grew up in Shanghai, China as the son of two expats. I then attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon as an undergraduate, where I worked in Dr. Derek Applewhite's lab. My projects were formally centered around using various forms of microscopy to elucidate the regulation of the cellular cytoskeleton, although I was mainly enamored with collecting pretty images of fluorescent proteins. Dr. Applewhite was especially fond of the aphorism "seeing is believing" and this maxim proved to be prudent advice when it came to choosing a graduate program. During my visit, I was especially impressed by the strong sense of community and belongingness fostered by the program, cementing my decision to choose MCP. The sunny climate also seemed like an appropriate antidote to the grey, rainy skies of Portland. Outside of lab, you can find me agonizing over my fantasy football lineup, reading, or trying to perfect my pour-over coffee technique.