MARC Faculty



Picture of Dr. Ahmed

Dr. Wylie Ahmed


Biological physics, soft, and active matter - Quantitative measurements of softy squishy matter using laser tweezers and high-speed microscopy.




Picture of Dr. Laura Arce

 Dr. Laura Arce

 Biological Science

Dr. Arce investigates the regulation of gene expression of photosynthetic genes in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Dr. Arce also is involved in the NIH-funded MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program), which offers students an inclusive experience that leads to acceptance into PhD programs and biomedical related research careers. She is directing the Research Careers Preparatory (RCP) program as part of her involvement in the MARC program.

Picture of Dr. Iris Blandon-Gitlin

Dr. Iris Blandón-Gitlin


All aspects of human memory, including the cognitive processes underlying memories for non-existent events (false memories), the effects of Oxytocin on face identification to test models of face recognition memory, and the cognitive mechanisms underlying  deception.

Picture of Dr. Catherine Brennan

Dr. Catherine Brennan

Biological Science

Cell biology of phagocytosis; Genetic approaches to elucidating mechanisms used by white blood cells to control the killing of engulfed microbes.

Picture of Dr. Esther Chen

Dr. Esther Chen

Biological Science

Molecular biology of microbe-host interactions; Bacterial genes and signals involved in forming a symbiosis with plants.



Picture of Dr. Amybeth Cohen

Dr. Amybeth Cohen

Biological Science

Regulation of photosynthetic gene expression in plants; use of Chlamydomonas as a bioreactor for the production of eukaryotic proteins.

Picture of Dr. Math Cuajungco

Dr. Math P. Cuajungco

Biological Science

Analysis of protein interactomes of TRP ion channels (TRPMLs) and metal transporters (ZNTs, TMEM163, ZIPs) relevant to the neuropathology of Mucolipidosis type IV and other neurodegenerative disorders; Drug discovery for metal transporters and ion channels.

Picture of Dr. John Haan

Dr. John Haan

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Electrochemistry of energy and sensing for applications in biomedicine, environmental science, and alternative energy.



Picture of Dr. Ahmed

Dr Kristy Forsgren

Biological Science

Reproductive anatomy and physiology of internally fertilizing fishes; endocrine regulation of gamete development in fishes.


Dr. Paula Hudson

Dr. Paula Hudson

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Examination of chemical and physical processes of atmospherically relevant surfaces and aerosols related to climate change.

Dr. Veronica Jimenez

Dr. Veronica Jimenez Ortiz

Biological Science

Role of ion channels in sensing and adaptation to environmental conditions in protozoan parasites and characterization of biophysical properties of ion channels in protozoans.

Picture of Dr. Hope johnson

Dr. Hope Johnson

Biological Science

Physiology and biochemistry of microbial manganese oxidation. Microbial interactions with metals and metal cycling.

Picture of Dr. Niroshika Keppetipola

Dr. Niroshika Keppetipola 

Chemistry and Biochemistry 

Understanding how post-translational modifications alter the activity of splicing factors and in turn cellular gene expression.

Picture of Dr. Charles Lee

Dr. Charles Lee


Computational Applied Mathematics: Modeling; Numerical Algorithms; Simulation; Optimization; Pattern Recognition; DNA Microarrays; Cancer Detection.

Picture of Dr. Maria Linder

Dr. Maria Linder

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Structure, function, regulation and gene expression of protein associated with transport and storage of iron and copper in mammals; Biochemistry of inflammation in relation to copper and iron metabolism.

Picture of Dr. Alison Miyamoto

Dr. Alison Miyamoto

Biological Science

Molecular mechanisms of Notch receptor signaling by typical and atypical ligands; developmental and cell biology of elastic fiber proteins.

Picture of Dr. Nga Nguyen

Dr. Nga Nguyen


Behavioral endocrinology, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology of wild social mammals.

Picture of Dr. Nikolas Nikolaidis

Dr. Nikolas Nikolaidis

Biological Science

Evolution and functional differentiation of proteins involved in stress and immune responses.



Picture of Dr. Ortega

Dr. Marcos Ortega

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Biochemical, biophysical, and structural approaches to study viral replication and assembly using X-Ray crystallography and enzyme kinetics.

Picture of Dr. Misty Paig-Tran

Dr. Misty Paig-Tran

Biological Science

Comparative functional anatomy, biomechanics, and biomaterials focusing on marine systems. Emphasis on biomimetic filters.

Picture of Dr. Nilay Patel

Dr. Nilay Patel

Biological Science

Drug discovery; cell cycle regulation; signal transduction; gene expression.



Picture of Dr. Pecic

Dr. Stevan Pecic

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of inhibitors of enzymes involved in lipid metabolism and their evaluation as potential therapeutics for pain and inflammation. Development of DNA-based biosensors using SELEX procedure.

Picture of Dr. Jessie Peissig

Dr. Jessie Peissig


Visual recognition of objects and faces, using both applied and evolutionary perspectives.


Picture of Dr. Maria Soledad Ramirez

Dr. Maria Soledad Ramirez

Biological Science

Identification and characterization of antibiotic resistance mechanisms, their dissemination, evolution and impact in morbidity and mortality of bacterial infections.

Picture of Dr. Maria Soledad Ramirez

Dr. Adam Roberts


Investigates learning and memory in humans using modern techniques such as optogenetics and microscopy of neurons from a model organism.



Picture of Dr. Nina Robson

 Dr. Nina Robson 

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanism Design, Robotics, Biomechanics, Assistive Technologies, Human-Robot Interaction.    

Picture of Dr. Melanie Sacco

Dr. Melanie Sacco

Biological Science

Molecular biology of plant-pathogen interactions; protein-protein interactions and signaling in disease resistance.



Picture of Dr. Ahmed

Dr. Nicholas Salzameda

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Synthesis and evaluation of small molecule inhibitors for proteins related to human health and disease.



Picture of Dr. Nancy Segal

Dr. Nancy Segal


Twin studies of behavioral development; evolutionary psychological approached to behavior.

Picture of Dr. Eriko Self

Dr. Eriko Self 


Human visual perception and color vision. Recent topics include color from motion, optical illusions, and color vision screening test.

Picture of Dr. Parvin Shahrestani

Dr. Parvin Shahrestani

Biological Science

Evolutionary genomics, population genetics, experimental evolution, aging, immune defense, Drosophila melanogaster .

Picture of Dr. Garrett Struckhoff

Dr. Garrett Struckhoff

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Uptake and translocation of environmental pollutants into wetland and upland plants. Potential for use of algae to reduce wastewater contaminants and produce bioproducts.

Picture of Dr. Marcelo Tolmasky

Dr. Marcelo Tolmasky

Biological Science

Molecular genetics and mechanism that contribute to the virulence of pathogenic bacteria.

Picture of Dr. Jennifer Trevitt

Dr. Jennifer Trevitt 


The anatomy and pharmacology of the basal ganglia, particularly as it relates to Parkinson's disease and motor function. The relationship between dopamine and adenosine and their combined effects on motor function.

Picture of Dr. Anael Verdugo

Dr. Anael Verdugo


Mathematical modeling of biological systems. Computational studies of cellular stress responses and biochemical oscillators.