2017-2018 Research Scholars 

We are extremely proud of each of our LSAMP Research Scholars, and would like to share their success! LSAMP Research Scholars have distinguished themselves in many ways: through their academic achievements, research experiences, service to their campuses and communities, and through their compelling personal stories.

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Sara Al Bassri

Sara Al Bassri is a senior Biochemistry major with Physics minor at California State University, Fullerton, who got involved in LSAMP in Fall 2017. Sara is currently participating in a biophysics research with Dr. Wylie Ahmed as an LSAMP Research Scholar to monitor the fluid physics of micro-swimmers. She successfully produced useful videos to visualize fluid flow around the organisms. The goal of this project is to explore flowfield patterns similarities and differences among different organisms. Sara’s career goal includes obtaining a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, and hope to develop devices that can be used in the medical field. Sara is planning to apply to graduate school in Fall 2017.


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Tilly Duong

Tilly Duong is studying in the plant biology concentration as a fourth year Biology major at California State University, Fullerton. This is her first semester joining LSAMP as a research scholar, although her research involvements have spanned 3 years participating in Dr. Joel K. Abraham’s plant ecology and biology education lab. Tilly’s project involves studying the impact of ecological changes on California native plants. This research is important to Tilly since she is interested in ecological studies and the implications it has in developing a socially responsible and sustainable future. As a result of receiving funding from LSAMP as a research scholar, she is able to obtain materials such as seeds, pots, and soil to implement her project. Her academic goals include graduating cum laude from the honors program at Cal State University, Fullerton, as well as attending graduate school for a masters or PhD.


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Isaiah Eruaga

Isaiah Eruaga is a cellular biology major at California State University, Fullerton. He has just begun his junior year and this will be his first year as a part of LSAMP. He will participating in research in Dr. Math Cuajungco’s lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar. Although Isaiah is new to LSAMP, he has been doing research as a member of the Cuajungco lab for 2 years. Isaiah’s project aims to understand how different domains of the protein TMEM163 contribute to the protein’s overall function. This protein has been shown to be an interacting partner to TRPML1 which when mutated results in the neurodegenerative disease Mucolipidosis type IV. Academically, Isaiah wants to pursues training as a M.D.-Ph.D. in Cancer Biology. He ultimately hopes to make a positive contribution to the war on childhood cancer by operating at the interface between clinical medicine and science. Isaiah will apply to graduate school in the 2020 academic year.


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Luis Garay

Luis Garay is a senior Biochemistry major at California State, Fullerton and is currently involved in LSAMP for the Fall 2017 semester. He is currently participating in research for Dr. Allyson Fry-Petit's solid-state inorganic chemistry lab as a LSAMP Research Scholar and has been involved in this lab for three years. Luis' project involves analyzing potential Non-Cooperative Octahedral Tilting Perovskites. This research is of importance to Luis because he has a keen interest, dedication, and passion for finding the threshold between Perovskites that are described as Cooperative versus those that are Non-Cooperative. Luis’ research has progressed by having more time available to dedicate to his project as he has received funding from LSAMP as an academic year scholar. His career goals include obtaining a Ph.D. in a field that studies the implications of inorganic solid-state chemistry for drug delivery in pharmaceutical applications. Luis hopes to apply to graduate school for the 2019 academic year.


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Liz Hitch

Liz Hitch is a junior Biology major at California State University, Fullerton and this is her first semester being involved in LSAMP. She is currently conducting research in Dr. Fry-Petit’s Solid State Inorganic Chemistry Lab and has been working on her project since Summer 2017. Liz’s project involves synthesizing perovskite compounds for oxygen transport membranes. This research is important to Liz because it allows her to learn more about inorganic chemistry. Her research has progressed into synthesizing other perovskites with varying stoichiometries at a higher mass. She hopes to continue her research in order to discover more results regarding the oxygen content and structure of the perovskite compounds. In the future, Liz hopes to apply for graduate school and obtain a Ph.D. in an area of Biology.


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Cameron Hooper

Cameron Hooper is a senior at California State University, Fullerton who is an applied mathematics major with a concentration in modeling and computation. He was recently accepted into the LSAMP program as a research scholar conducting multidisciplinary studies under the supervision of Drs. Hudson and Smith. In the summer of 2016, Cameron was a chemistry major in Dr. Hudson’s analytical chemistry lab studying the interaction of infrared (IR) radiation with dicarboxylic acids present in the atmosphere and their potential effects on climate. During his time there, he became intrigued with the mathematics portion of his project and contacted Dr. Smith for her expertise in Spring 2017. Since then, he has started using algorithms to predict and simulate the experimental results he obtained from Dr. Hudson’s lab. This summer, he made progress on successfully determining similarities between the spectra as well as predicting and identifying spectra of the dicarboxylic acids. His ultimate goal is to be able to create an accurate mathematical model that can identify and predict the infrared spectra of prominent atmospheric compounds. As for a career, Cameron plans to attend a graduate school to receive his Ph.D. in applied mathematics and work in the private sector.


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Linh Kim

Linh Kim is a senior Chemistry major at California State University, Fullerton, and this will be his first year as an LSAMP scholar. Since spring 2017, he has been working in Dr. John Haan’s electrochemistry lab where his project focuses on applying electrochemical sensors to detect lead in an aqueous solution at the smallest concentration possible by using a potentiostat, an analytical hardware that controls the voltage and measures the current flow between a working electrode and a counter electrode. He had previously worked with the detection of copper. This research is important to Linh because he wants to find ways to help people determine if their domestic water is safe for them to use. Thanks to the funding provided by LSAMP, he is able to dedicate more of his time towards his research and academics. His future goals include obtaining a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and earning a PE license as he hopes to work as a Certified Professional Engineer specializing in water resource. He plans to graduate in the summer of 2018.


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Erick Leon

Erick Leon is a junior Physics major at California State University, Fullerton and is in his first semester as an LSAMP scholar. He is currently working with Dr. Read in comparing gravitational waveform templates with neutron star parameters in order to better parameter estimation for coalescences involving these types of stars. This research peaks Erick’s interests of general relativity and the scientific details involving neutron star and the matter that makes it up. LSAMP support has helped Erick pursue further research into this field. His career goals involve further research into the emerging field of gravitational wave physics, especially involving neutron stars. Erick hopes to apply to graduate school for the academic year of 2019.


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Isabella Molina

Isabella Molina is a physics major from Cal State University Fullerton this is her first year participating in LSAMP. She currently works with Dr. Jocelyn Read in the Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center as a research scholar. She has conducted research there since summer 2016 that focuses on measuring neutron star properties using third generation gravitational wave detectors. She will be extending this research to include numerical relativity and possibly the post merger aspect of the coalescence. This research is important to her because it will hopefully broaden our understanding of neutron star matter and contribute to gravitational wave research. Isabella is a Junior working to earn her Bachelors in Physics at CSUF and will be applying to grad schools to earn her PhD in physics.


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Oscar Rocha

Oscar Rocha is currently a junior and is majoring in Mathematics. He also plans in getting a minor in Computer Science. Oscar is currently attending California State University, Fullerton. Oscar has recently joined LSAMP family. He plans on being an LSAMP scholar until graduation. Oscar has done research since his first summer here at Cal State Fullerton. What Oscar is currently working on is with his research advisors Dr. Brubaker and Dr. Suceava. The project that they have been collaborating on is on a ladder of curvatures in the geometry of surfaces. Oscar’s geometry group started this research a year ago with just reading. They wanted to stray away from the two most commonly used curvature invariants. That is why they came up with their own invariant, the Tangential curvature, that lies between the two most common curvature invariants. Oscar’s research has progressed in better approximate some curvature invariants in certain domains. With the funding from LSAMP Oscar will be able to travel and buy better equipment as a Desktop to do research on the go as well as getting better approximations. Oscar will also like to present his findings in conferences. His carrier goals include obtaining a Ph. D. in Geometry. Oscar will continue his research and find better improvements.


Photo of Samuel infront of computer


Samuel is a junior in the physics department, and looking to get a computer science minor. His area of research includes visualizing the curvature of spacetime around merging binary black holes and numerically modeling the Brownian thermal noise on optical coatings. Samuel transferred from Cypress community college in the fall of 2016. He began working with Dr. Geoffrey Lovelace in the summer of 2015 through a REU provided by STEM^2. He started off as an LSAMP participant and became and LSAMP scholar in the spring of 2018. Samuel hopes to go to graduate school after he graduates in the spring of 2019.


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Shooka Shahbazi

Shooka Shahbazi is a senior Earth Science major at California State University, Fullerton, and this is her third semester of being involved in the LSAMP program. She has been involved in Dr. Parham’s Paleontology lab for two years, and is currently participating in research as an LSAMP Research Scholar. Shooka’s current research consists of the analysis and description of a new species of fossil walrus from Oregon that is about five million years old. Shooka’s research is significant because it will help us understand the evolutionary history of modern day walruses. LSAMP funding allows Shooka to focus on continuing her research instead of devoting time to unrelated, outside employment. Her career goals are to obtain her Ph.D in Paleontology and join a museum where she can continue her research on earth’s prehistoric organisms. Shooka aims to graduate in Fall 2018.


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Monika Tadrous

Monika Tadrous is a Mechanical Engineering student at California State University, Fullerton. She grew up in Cairo, Egypt and came to the USA to study 6 years ago. Currently, she is a senior undertaking biophysics research in the Laboratory of Soft, Living, and Active Matter “SLAM Lab”, a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society, and a member of Society of Women Engineers “SWE”. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, she will pursue graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering where she will combine her expertise in engineering and biophysics to develop technologies to treat neurodegenerative diseases.


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Catherine Taylor

Catherine Taylor is a senior Biochemistry major at California State University, Fullerton and has been a participant in LSAMP for 1 year. She is currently participating in research in Dr. Peter de Lijser’s organic chemistry lab as an LSAMP Research Scholar. She has been involved in the lab for 1 ½ years. Catherine’s research project involves using photochemistry to induce oxidative cyclization to create novel heteroaromatic ring structures. She is also studying the mechanisms of these reactions because they proceed through reactive intermediates. These reactive intermediates can cause damage to DNA and proteins in the body so it is important to her to understand how these reactions work. She is currently working on isolating the cyclic products and characterizing them. She is also making progress in quantifying her preliminary data. Catherine’s career goals are to obtain her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and to continue research in the field of chemistry. Catherine plans to apply to graduate school for the 2018 academic year.


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Wes Whiting

Wes Whiting is a math major in his senior year at California State University, Fullerton, and has been part of LSAMP for one year. He is doing research under Dr. Ibragimov, and has been working with him since summer 2016. His research is on Cassinian metrics in the geometry of hyperbolic-type metric spaces. He recently submitted a paper on averaging one-point hyperbolic-type metrics to the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society. Wes plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics, hoping to do more research in his interest areas of analysis and probability theory, and will be applying to graduate schools for the 2018 academic year.