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Faranak Fattahi(PI)
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Sina Farahvashi (Research Assistant and Lab Manager)

In 2018, I graduated with a BS in Microbiology from UC Santa Barbara and soon after joined the Fattahi lab as a lab manager and research assistant. I find great value in the ability of research to contribute to the better quality of life for everyone and it is this same passion for helping others that fuels my desire to attend medical school in the future. Raised in the Bay Area, I enjoy supporting my Bay Area sports teams as well as my favorite soccer team, FC Barcelona. Aside from sports, I LOVE to travel the world and being able to appreciate all the different cultures and lifestyles!

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Homa Majd (Post-doctoral Fellow)

Before joining the Fattahi lab, I did my PhD studying mitochondrial membrane transporters and how they link the metabolic pathways of mitochondria and cytoplasm (you can find out more about it here :) ). I am fascinated by cell metabolism and signaling and I hope to understand them better. I love hiking in national parks, gardening, running and cycling as much as I enjoy reading a book in a chilled cafe.

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Mikayla Richter (Graduate Student)

I am a Ph.D graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco pursuing a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics. Prior to graduate school, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on all facets of late stage biologic drug development - formulation, process, manufacturing, device, and patient usability. Now a graduate student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics PhD program, my interests have expanded to disease modeling and drug discovery. In my free time, I manage my cat’s Instagram: @kingcurtisthecat. Besides pharmaceutical science, I can talk about Curtis and our adventures together for hours.

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Ryan Samuel (Graduate Student)

Originally from Virginia, I completed my Bachelor of Science at James Madison University in Biotechnology. Currently, I am a graduate student in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Ph.D. program with broad interests in developmental/congenital disorders, stem cell based therapies, and stem cells as a tool to study development. In the Fattahi Lab, I use directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to study the development and function of specific neural crest lineages in health and disease. Outside of the lab, I like to go to the gym, binge Netflix shows with my wife and cat, and explore the beautiful state of California.

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Jonathan Ramirez (Research Associate)

Originally from Texas, I came to California 20 years ago to hone my cheesemaking skills. However, my real interests lie in bioengineering and its application to regenerative medicine. My recent work focuses on the role the extracellular matrix plays in tissue development. In my previous lab, I studied hydrogel-based designer matrices for 3D differentiation of retina in vitro.   I recently joined the Fattahi Lab to broaden my skills in stem cell differentiation as well as gain new skills in single cell transcriptomics and high-throughput drug screening. Inside and outside of lab I love to design 3D printable toys as well as tools for lab. I am currently working on a modular, rotatable centrifuge tube rack.

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Andrew Cesiulis (Research Assistant)

I joined Fattahi lab while on the last year of my postgraduate studies at Imperial College London for the research into molecular and genetic pathways of zebrafish heart regeneration. I am fascinated by applications of multiomics techniques to better understand cell state regulation in disease and particularly how this may be applied in regenerative medicine.

On my free time I enjoy playing drums and guitar and take interest in filmmaking, philosophy and music. When not studying I like exploring European capitals or hiking in the countryside.

Angeline Chemel (Graduate Student)

I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and moved to San Francisco, CA when I was two years old and haven’t left since. I am currently a PhD student in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology program at UCSF. Previously, I went to City College of San Francisco and then transferred to San Francisco State University and earned a B.S. and M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2018 and 2020, respectively. I became really intrigued in understanding how cells regulate complex processes and developed a strong interest in cell fate determination. As a new member of the Fattahi lab, I am still exploring my thesis project but hope to update this bio in the near future! Outside of the lab, I really enjoy spending time outdoors whether that is walking, hiking or running and trying new boba spots around the Bay Area.

Megan Scantlen (Graduate Student)

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago but moved to Boston to study Cell and Molecular Biology at Northeastern University. Throughout my time at Northeastern I had the opportunity to work in three different research environments studying three very different topic, visual perception, neurodegenerative diseases, and immunotherapy. Through my diverse experiences I developed an interest for both neuroscience and immunology. As a graduate student in the Biomedical Sciences PhD program, I hope to study interactions between the immune system and the enteric nervous system. When I’m not in the lab I enjoy hiking, painting, taking care of my many plants and trying new foods.

Nick Elder (Graduate Student)

I received my BS degree from Davidson College in North Carolina before moving to SF to join the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program at UCSF in 2018. With interests spanning stem cell biology, neuroscience, and cell engineering, my project focuses on development of the human spinal cord. I am specifically interested in how neurons diversify their fate and function based on their location, developmental history, and signaling environment. My hope is that my research can improve the use of lab-derived neurons for the treatment of spinal cord injury and neurological disease. Outside of my graduate work I maintain too many houseplants, garden, hike, and cook.


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Meso Okoye (CIRM Masters Student)
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Phi Nguyen (Research Assistant)
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Ali Kalantari (Research Assistant and Lab Manager)
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Kevin Barber (Research Assistant)
Samyukta Bhat (Research Assistant)
Mehrnaz Namiri (Volunteer)