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ARCS 2015-16 Scholars - Orange County Chapter

Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2016

Orange County Chapter provides awards to exceptional PhD students at UC Irvine. This year the chapter is funding 15 ARCS Scholars. At the Marh 23rd Awards Dinner our ARCS Scholars will remind us of their contributions in their fields in science, engineering and medicine now and in the future. This event is a wonderful chance to meet the ARCS Scholars, and learn about their research during the poster session/reception. Keynote speakers will be second year ARCS Scholars who will speak about their research. 

Lisa Soyeon Baik

Lisa Soyeon Baik

Degrees:

Ph.D., Physiology & Biophysics, University of California, Irvine, 2018 expected

B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2011

B.A., Psychology, University of California, Davis, 2011

Research: Electrophysiology, Molecular & Cellular Biology/Protein Chemistry

Biography: Lisa (Soyeon) Baik graduated with two bachelor’s degrees – B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, and B.A. in Psychology – from UC Davis in 2011.  She is currently a doctoral student and a National Science Foundation (NSF) GRFP fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Todd Holmes at UC Irvine.  Lisa’s research focuses on a novel phototransduction mechanism and light-induced neuronal changes that underlies changes in physiology and behavior.  Her recent work characterized the molecular mechanism of how a light activated protein CRY couples to the membrane.  Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, cooking, drumming, and spending time with her dog. 

Timothy Carleton

Degrees:

Ph.D., Physics,University of California, Irvine, 2018 expected

M.S., Physics, University of California, Irvine, 2014

B.S., Physics & Astronomy, University of Arizona, 2012

Research: Galaxy evolution, Star formation in z≈1 galaxies, Gas content in galaxies, Environmental dependence of star formation

Biography: Timothy is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Physics at UCI.  He graduated with a B.S. in Astronomy & Physics from the University of Arizona, where he used simulations to study convection in stars.  Currently, he is investigating how star formation evolves from the early universe to the present-day by comparing ultraviolet and infrared observations of star formation in high redshift galaxies with corresponding radio observations of cold gas to examine discrepancies between them.  A strong advocate for outreach and teaching, Tim brings astronomy to local schools and organizations as the Graduate Coordinator for the UCI Observatory and as an instructor for the summer astrophysics program for high school students, COSMOS.  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and biking by the beach. 

 

Dominique Ingato

Dominique Ingato

Degrees:

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

M.S., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2014

B.S., Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 2012

Research: Biotherapeutics

Biography: Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering and second major in Chemistry, Dominique followed her passions for nanotechnology and cancer research to the BioTherapeutics Engineering Laboratory (BioTEL) at UC Irvine.  During her first year in the M.S./Ph.D. program at UCI, she was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and presented research at the Chao Family Cancer Center Retreat.  In her free time, Dominique enjoys playing cello with Symphony Irvine and volunteering as a board member of Engineers Without Borders@UCI.  She is also a Graduate InterConnect Peer Mentor for incoming international students. 

Allison Najafi

Allison Najafi

Degrees:

Ph.D. Neurobiology & Behavior, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

B.S., Cell & Molecular Biology, CSU Dominguez Hills, 2012

Research: Neuroinflammation

Biography: Allison is equally impassioned by the well-being of our society as her scientific pursuits.  She previously studied English Literature at SFSU, but graduated from CSU Dominguez Hills with a B.S. in Cellular & Molecular Biology.  Her upbringing was impoverished financially, so for many years she worked with inner-city children, teaching life lessons and imprinting the importance of science and education on them.  She researches neuroinflammation in her lab, and is a representative for incoming classes.  Allison remains passionate about literature and the arts – she continues seeking to develop her creative writing skills, and is teaching herself to paint. 

Christine Wolf

Christine Wolf

Degrees:

Ph.D., Information & Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

M.S., Information, University of Michigan, 2013

J.D., Southern Methodist University, 2011

B.F.A., Painting, Texas Women’s University, 2007

Research: HCI, CSCW, technologies in practice, social computing

Biography: Christine T. Wolf is an Informatics Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information & Computer Sciences.  She holds an M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University.  Her research interests broadly focus on exploring the sociocultural aspects of Big Data.  She is currently conducting ethnographic fieldwork at IBM Research, where she works closely with designers and researchers on cloud and mobile data analytics for the enterprise. 

Kyle Benson

Kyle Benson

Degrees:

Ph.D., Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, 2016 expected

B.S., Computer Science, University of Delaware, 2011

Research: Networks and Distributed Systems

Biography: Kyle, a Computer Science Ph.D. student and NSF GRFP Honorable Mention, researches resilient pervasive sensing platforms leveraging low-cost internet-connected devices.  His current project, the Safe Community Awareness and Alerting Network that he led development on during the SmartAmerica Challenge, aims to enable a safe resilient community through pervasive technology affordable by disadvantaged populations.  Kyle received his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware, where he was awarded the Quantum Leap Innovations Outstanding Senior Award for his simulation of the Quake-Catcher Network.  In his free time he enjoys running on the beach, cooking new foods, and various outdoor activities.

Nan Wu Hultgren

Nan Wu Hultgren

Degrees:

Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

B.S., Biological Science – Cellular and Molecular, California State University – East Bay, 2008

Research: Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis

Biography: Nan Wu graduated Cum Laude with her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from CSU, East Bay in just 3 years.  Following her graduation in 2008 she applied her knowledge in molecular biomedicine at Cholestech, Inc., helping patients with cardiovascular diseases.  Nan returned to basic research, her true passion, in her doctoral research with Dr. Christopher Hughes at UC, Irvine.  Her primary interest is molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, particularly in pathological conditions such as cancer and ischemic diseases.  She is currently studying the significance of endothelial expression of transcription factor Slug in sprouting angiogenesis.  Nan also enjoys teaching.  In 2012, she volunteered with a NGO to teach high school biology in rural Tanzania.  Since moving to Irvine, she has judged the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair, mentored undergraduates during the school year, and mentored for the UCI Cancer Research Youth Science Fellowship program this past summer.  Nan was recently awarded the American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship and the Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from NIH.

Sumner Norman

Sumner Norman

Degrees:

Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, 2012

Research: Dynamics and Controls

Biography:A doctoral candidate in the biorobotics laboratory at UC Irvine, Sumner L. Norman earned a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah in 2012, and a M.S. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from UC Irvine in 2014. His research investigates the use of brain computer interface (BCI) technology in robot-assisted therapy after neurological trauma including stroke and spinal cord injury. His research has characterized new facets of brain activity during robot-assisted therapy and found biomarkers of brain function that can predict response to robot-therapy. He has been invited to present his work at the Congressional Caucus on Robotics and Innovation, as well as the IEEE Neural Engineering, American Society for Neurorehabilitation, and Data Science Initiative Conferences. As a graduate student at UC Irvine, Sumner has mentored several undergraduate and high school students, and has taught an undergraduate robotics course. He has received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Dean’s Prize at the Associated Graduate Student Symposium, ARCS Scholar Award, and Data Science Initiative award.  

Thomas Baker

Thomas Baker

Degrees:

Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Irvine, 2018 expected

M.S., Physics, California State University, Long Beach, 2012

B.S., Physics, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2009

Research: Density Functional Theory

Biography: I am a fourth-year physics Ph.D. student using Density Matrix Renormalization Group to study exact conditions in Density Functional Theory with both of my advisers: Kieron Burke and Steven R. White.  I earned a B.S. in Physics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a M.S. in Physics from the California State University, Long Beach in 2012 on the Dean’s List.  I solved a 200-year old problem, the bead on a hoop, and won four first-place speaking awards while working with Andreas Bill.  I help facilitate an annual GRE Boot Camp and enjoy swimming everyday.

Caitlin Regan

Caitlin Regan

Degrees:

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

B.S., Bioengineering – mechanical track, California Institute of Technology, 2012

Research: Computational and experimental biophotonics

Biography: Caitlin graduated with Honors from the California Institute of Technology in 2012 with a B.S. in Bioengineering specializing in Mechanics.  She is continuing her graduate education in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, as an IGERT fellow working in the Microvascular Imaging Laboratory at Beckman Laser Institute.  Caitlin’s current research focuses on computational modeling of light transport in tissue.  She uses computer simulations to study how laser light interacts with the body, and how it can be used to study blood flow dynamics in the skin and the brain.  In her spare time, Caitlin plays water polo with the UCI club team, and enjoys other outdoor activities including running, hiking, biking and playing tennis.

Zachariah Reagh

Zachariah Reagh

Degrees:

Ph.D., Neurobiology & Behavior, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

B.S., Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012

B.A., Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012

Research: Neurobiological basis of memory

Biography: Originally from Alabama, I graduated with two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012, becoming the first in my immediate family to obtain a college education and earning several departmental research awards. I am presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior. Under the training of Dr. Mike Yassa, I study learning and memory and how these processes are altered by aging.  I am the recipient of an NSF graduate fellowship, and have thus far authored eight papers as a graduate student.  Outside of my joyously busy research life, I am lucky to share my time cooking, biking, traveling, and adventuring with my wonderful fiancée and dogs.

Elyse Van Spyk

Elyse Van Spyk

Degrees:

Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2011

Research: The role of the circadian clock in skin

Biography: I obtained by B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior with honors from UCD in 2011.  From 2011-2012, I was a laboratory manager/technician for the Chief of Surgical Research at the VA Hospital of Northern California.  In 2012 I joined UCI’s CMB graduate program.  I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate and NSF GRFP fellow in the laboratory of Bogi Andersen in Biological Chemistry.  My research is centered around investigating the mechanisms and physiological consequences of food-induced entrainment of the circadian clock in the skin.  This project will provide novel insights into the relationship between food intake and skin immune function, including protection against pathogens and wounding responses.  Apart from experiments, I truly enjoy mentoring undergraduates, high school students and first year graduate students.

Clayton Elder

Clayton Elder

Degrees:

Ph.D., Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

B.S., Environmental Science, Oklahoma State University, 2011

Research: Biogeochemistry, Isotope Geochemistry, Climate Change

Biography: My fascination with nature and desire to learn motivate my curiosity for scientific research and in everyday life.  I hold a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences from Oklahoma State University and a M.S. degree in Earth System Science from UC, Irvine.  I have learned the skills of a successful Earth Science researcher during my undergraduate and graduate tenure and cultivated a long-term goal of becoming a global climate research professor.  My current project at UCI aims to quantify the magnitude and sources of arctic greenhouse gas emissions.  I believe that solving the worlds complex environmental problems will involve cooperation across generations and across the world.  To that end, I currently serve as a board member for the K-12 science education and outreach program, Climate Literacy Empowerment and Inquiry.

Kristine Dahl Arquero

Kristine Dahl Arquero

Degrees:

Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2017 expected

M.S.Ed., Science Education, City University of New York – Lehman College, 2010

B.S., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2008

Research: Atmospheric Chemistry

Biography: I earned my B.S. with honors in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. After college I taught high school chemistry in the South Bronx for three years while earning my M.S. in science education at the City University of New York, Lehman College. Currently I am a Ph.D. candidate working with the Finlayson-Pitts group. My research focuses on elucidating the kinetics and mechanisms of new particle formation and growth of atmospheric particles. I am a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. And, I am one of chemistry's Pedagogical Fellows; I developed the TA Professional Development Program and trained all incoming chemistry graduate students for their role as teaching assistants. I have a passion for mentorship and education of young women, which influences both my personal and professional goals.

Sarkis Babikian 

Sarkis Babikian

Degrees:

PhD, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UCI, in progress

M.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UCI, 2011

B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Damascus, 2008

Research: Integrated devices for Point-of-Care diagnostics and health monitoring.

Biography: Sarkis is in his third year of the doctoral program in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UCI. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Damascus and graduated with honors. In his PhD work Sarkis is developing integration technology to realize next generation Point-of-Care testing devices and wearable flexible health monitoring and drug delivery systems. His research is focused on developing methods to integrate microfluidics, optics and electronics for signal detection and micro actuation on flexible and stretchable substrates.  In his spare time he enjoys road biking and traveling.