Sarah Aarons

December 7, 2016

Dr. Sarah Aarons works with Asst. Prof. Kathleen Johnson and Prof. Eric Saltzman in the Department of Earth System Science. Her research is in ice core chemistry, where she measures organic and inorganic chemicals in ice cores to reconstruct biomass burning in the Northern Canadian Arctic. This is important to constrain how the rates of forest fires in high latitudes will change with increasing temperatures resulting from climate change.

Sarah received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where she worked on reconstructing natural and human-induced changes in the dust cycle in the ice core record. She is a current UCI Chancellor’s ADVANCE Postdoctoral Fellow, and has received a Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM scholarship. Sarah has had the opportunity to travel to Antarctica twice for field work.


George Stiubianu

November 16, 2016

Dr. George Stiubianu works with Prof. Alon Gorodetsky in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He is interested in producing dynamic materials that control infrared radiation. The aim of this is to develop clothing that can regulate the temperature of the wearer, which can have applications in everyday clothing and in camouflage.

George received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry “Petru Poni” Iasi, Romania, where he looked at the preparation of new materials using reactions such as dehydrocoupling and allylation by bringing together synthetic silicon-based polymers (silicones) and derivatives of natural polymers. George shared second place for his presentation at the 2016 UCI Postdoc Research Symposium. He also won the “Audience’s Choice” award.



Jessica Cassidy

October 27, 2016

Meet Dr. Jessica Cassidy, a postdoc in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Cramer in the Dept. of Neurology. Her projects focus on central nervous system repair in humans and encompass telerehabilitation, neuroimaging, and EEG application in stroke. She earned her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science with a Neuroscience minor at the University of Minnesota where her research utilized transcranial magnetic stimulation in chronic stroke to examine homeostatic plasticity mechanisms following therapy.

Jessica earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and practiced physical therapy in adult and pediatric neurorehabilitation settings prior to and during her doctoral studies. She is an adjunct faculty member at Chapman University in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Her work received funding from the Foundation for Physical Therapy and NIH. She is currently a T32 trainee on the UC Irvine Multidisciplinary Exercise Science Training Program (PI: Dr. Vince Caiozzo).

Jessica’s presentation, Predicting Post-Stroke Motor Recovery with Measurements of Brain Function and Structure, earned her first place at the recent UCI Postdoctoral Research symposium.


Alicia Hall

October 20, 2016

Meet Dr. Alicia Hall, a postdoc in the laboratory of Dr. Tallie Z. Baram in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. She currently studies mechanisms of epileptogenesis in order to block epilepsy development. She earned her Ph.D. at University of Alabama at Birmingham studying neuronal hyperexcitability in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Alicia attended University of California, Davis for her undergraduate studies.

Alicia is starting her second year of leading the UCI Postdoctoral Association (PDA) serving as co-chairman. She has made significant contributions to increasing the support and visibility of postdocs here at UCI, including organizing the first UCI Postdoctoral Research Symposium in September.


Rishi Jajoo

August 18, 2016

Meet Postdoctoral scholar Dr. Rishi Jajoo who conducts research in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Rishi is re-engineering the mitochondrial genetic code to produce new proteins with functions not found in nature. He is also planning to speed the evolution of mitochondrial DNA to allow evolution to draw on that increased number of building blocks to produce new proteins that could be used as novel therapeutics, or for fuels or biomaterials. In recognition of this promising research, Rishi was recently awarded a three-year postdoctoral fellowship by the Jane Coffin Childs (JCC) Memorial Fund. Rishi earned his Ph.D. in 2015 at Harvard University; he worked with Johan Paulsson studying the control of mitochondrial DNA copy number, yeast polarity and RNA polymerase dynamics. He received an A.B. in physics at Harvard College in 2007.