Dr. Sonali Nashine works in Dr. Cristina Kenney’s laboratory at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at UC Irvine. Sonali’s research is focused on the causes of dry AMD, with an emphasis on identification of potential therapeutic targets that may prolong the longevity of retinal cells. Her research goal is to screen and identify peptides and drugs that will rescue damaged AMD mitochondria and thereby improve the health and function of retinal cells in AMD patients. Sonali’s poster ‘Humanin G (HNG) reduces mitochondrial (mt) DNA-mediated apoptosis and autophagy in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) ARPE-19 cybrids: implications for therapeutics’ won third place award at the recent ‘Bench to Bedside’ Symposium at UC Irvine.
Sonali received her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. She currently holds the Arnold and Mabel Beckman postdoctoral fellowship and will be presenting her research findings at ARVO (The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) 2016 annual meeting in Seattle, for which she recently received a postdoctoral travel award.
Dr. Birendra Mishra works with Dr. Ulrike Luderer, MD., PhD. in the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine. Birendra is working on the effect of space radiation on the ovarian functions of women astronauts which is funded by NASA. He is also a recipient of National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) First Award Fellowship to establish his independent research program on the effects of space radiation on the reproductive health of women astronauts.
This research is important because about 15% percent of astronauts are women, and women made up half of the 2013 NASA astronaut class, but the risks of space radiation to women’s reproductive health remain poorly understood. Radiotherapy for cancer treatment is known to damage ovarian follicles, which increases the risk of infertility, osteoporosis, bone loss, and cognition impairment. Therefore, it is important to understand the reproductive risk associated with space radiation.
Outside of his research, he has been volunteering with different professional and social organizations including as Co-president of the PDA, which have helped him to develop his interpersonal relationship, scientific collaboration and networking. His advice for success to a Postdoc or graduate student in academia, includes: i) keep asking yourself what would you do if you get your own research laboratory, and ii) try to write any kinds of grant/fellowship at your stage which will help you in updating your ideas, collaboration, and scientific needs.
Lee seeks to explore how public debates over race, crime, and (under)development in Trinidad challenge classic theories of sovereignty. She hopes that this research will lead to a rethinking of the relationship between law and sovereignty and allow for a globally southern perspective to find a voice amongst predominantly globally northern theories.
Dr. Joseph Heras is an evolutionary biologist keenly interested in the genetic mechanisms that facilitate evolutionary adaptation. He attended UCRiverside for undergrad, CSULA for his masters, and UCMerced for his Ph.D. Joe works in the Donovan German lab (Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) and recently attended the 2016 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Portland Oregon to present a poster on his current research entitled “The monkeyface prickleback (Cebidichthys violaceus) genome: a source for understanding biology in a complex environment.” The American Physiological Society also recently supported his travel to attend a course in Vietnam on the physiology of native ﬁshes in Mekong Delta, and the impact of environmental conditions on the adaptive traits of these ﬁshes. As part of the course, he was able to co-author a manuscript based on his research in Vietnam entitled “Ambient CO2, fish behaviour and altered GABAergic neurotransmission: exploring the mechanism of CO2-altered behaviour by taking a hypercapnia dweller down to low CO2 levels,” which was featured as an editors’ choice in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Dr. Robert Lin was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Magdalene Seiler at UC Irvine in the Department of Ophthalmology. During his postdoc, he examined visual acuity and electrophysiological responses to light in retinal degenerate rats treated with human stem cell–derived retinal transplants. During his postdoc, Robert was president of the UCI Postdoctoral Association (2014-2016) and as president implemented coffee hours to introduce postdocs to nonacademic career options. During these events, Robert made sure to network with invited speakers and other postdocs. Additionally, he took advantage of various programs and courses offered at the Graduate Resource Center (GRC) and the Graduate Professional Success in the Biomedical Sciences (GPS-Biomed) program. Throughout his postdoc, Robert spent a great deal of effort doing informational interviews and talking to people with very diverse careers to find a position that suited his scientific background and was both rewarding and engaging. It was through these diligent efforts where he met a fellow postdoc that eventually became the internal contact for a job at Allergan as a Publications Planning Specialist. As a Publications Planning Specialist, Robert develops strategy and organizes the publication of Allergan research to the appropriate conferences and peer-reviewed journals in the field of eye care.