Previous Seminars


Fall 2020: 12-1PM via Zoom 

Hernan Reza (former RISE student)

September 18
Title:  Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment to Improve Anti-tumor Efficacy of CAR T cell Therapy
PhD student City of Hope, Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences

Mark Alonzo (former RISE student)

October 9Title: Investigation of the DDR1 receptor in muscle invasive urinary bladder cancer cell modelsPhD student, Cedar Sinai Laboratory of Keith Syson Chan
 Yeraldi Loera (Former RISE student)November 13 Title: Evolution by PesticidesPhD student, UCLA EEB 

Jennifer Rubio (former RISE student)

November 20Title: Mechanism and Accuracy of Polymyxin Efficacy TestingPhD Student, University of Southern California,
Laboratory of Brian LunaDepartment of Infections Diseases, Immunology and Pathogenesis

Spring 2020: 12-1PM 


Jessica Abner (former RISE Student)

February 28

Title: The Biogenesis, Cargo, and Function of Extracellular Vesicles in Colorectal Cancer

Ph.D. Candidate at Vanderbilt University


Dr. Sophia Shahin

March 6

Title: siTWIST Nanoparticle therapeutics reverses chemoresistance and reduced tumor burden

Lecturer, Dept. of Biological Science

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Winter 2020: 12-1PM 

Dr. Chantal Steiber 

January 31, 2020

Title: Taming Pollutants with Transition Metals & Inorganic Chemistry

 Assistant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry 

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 

Fall 2019: 12-1PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room  314

 Maribel P. Marquez (former RISE student)

December 6th, 2019 

Title: Modeling complex genetic diseases using stem cell and CRISPR/Cas9 technology

Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Brandon Tan 

November 15th, 2019

Title: Targeting RNA modifications as a novel treatment for cancer

City of Hope 


Dr. Daryl Davies

USC School of Pharmacy

October 25th, 2019   

Title: Methods of Target Validation (CNS Agents)

Houda Alachkar PharmaD, PhD

USC School of Pharmacy

Title:  Novel Therapeutic Targets in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

September 27th, 2019


Spring 2019: 12-1PM Building 4, 2nd floor, Room 314


Julio ACamarero, Ph.D. 

Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences 
School of Pharmacy

University of Southern California

Title: Cyclotides, a new molecular scaffold to target protein-protein interactions

March 8, 2019


Julio Sanchez

PhD Candidate, Cornell University

Title: Unique insights into glioblastoma: modes of intercellular communication and tumorigenesis

March 22, 2019

Larry Grill, Ph.D.

Dean of Research, Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences 

Title: Producing a new generation of vaccines using plants

April 19, 2019

Dr. Alex Nisthal


Title: "Engineering bispecific antibodies for immuno-oncology"

February 8, 2019


Fall 2018: 12-1PM Building 4, 2nd floor, Room 314

Dr. Aladin Boriek

Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Baylor College of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Rice University
Title:  Current Understanding of Respiratory Muscle Mechanics in Health and Disease
December 7, 2018

Dr. Ángel A. Valdés

Professor, Cal Poly Pomona

Title:  Exploring Tropical Biodiversity: Sea slugs of the Koumac 2018 Expedition, New Caledonia

November 30, 2018

Dr. Martine Culty

Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Title: Impact of common environmental chemical mixtures on male reproduction

November 9, 2018

Dr. Jill Adler-Moore

Professor, Cal Poly Pomona

Title: "Value of AmBisome (Liposomal Amphotericin B)  Now and in the Future for Treating Life-Threatening Fungal Infections"

October 26, 2018

Pablo Unzueta

PhD  Student, University California, Riverside

Title: "Fragment-Based Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Chemical Shift Predictions in Proteins and Molecular Crystals"

October 12, 2018



Summer 2018: 1-2PM Building 4, 1st Floor, Room 314

Dianne Sanchez

August 3, 2018PhD Candidate Kim Research GroupDepartment of Earth System Science
University of California, Irvine

Spring 2018: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Cydne Perry, PhD

May 4th, 2018Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Health & Nutritional SciencesSouth Dakota State University
"Pregnancy and Lactation Alter Biomarkers of Biotin Metabolism in Women Consuming a Controlled Diet"


H. Howard Xu, PhD

May 18th, 2018 Director of Incubator Development and Programming 
Professor of Microbiology, Department of Biological Sciences
California State University, Los Angeles
“Combating bacterial pathogens: targeting essential and virulence processes”

Edith Porter, M.D.

April 13th, 2018 
California State University, Los Angeles
"Lipid and Peptide Effectors of Epithelial Host Defense"

Winter 2018: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Parag Vaishampayan, PhD

January 19th, 2018 
Cal Tech, JPL
"Planetary Protection: How I started worrying about bugs on the Spacecraft"

Tamara Holst, PhD

February 9th, 2018 
Monsanto Vegetable Seeds
“Technology: Optimizing and Accelerating Agriculture”

Michael St Martin, PhD

March 2nd, 2018 
Presentation: "Doctoral Provenance and How It Relates to You"

Fall 2017: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Dr. Carla Stout

NSF postdoctoral fellow, Cal Poly Pomona  

Presentation Title: "Minnows and molecules: Resolving broad and fine-scale evolutionary patterns of Cypriniformes”

September 29th, 2017

Anna Zelaya

Ph.D. student, Montana State University

Presentation Title:  "Microbes underground: Diversity and variability of microbial communities in a subsurface aquifer"

October 27, 2017

Dr. Victoria Fox

Pathways to Stem Cell Science

Presentation Title:  “Adventures in stem cell science”

November 17, 2017

Summer 2017: 1-3PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Jessica J. Abner

PhD Candidate
Department of Biological Sciences
Vanderbilt University

Presentation Title: "The role of TGF-beta signaling in regulating the CAF-mediated changes in ECM alignment, contraction, and cancer cell migration" 

August 4th, 2017

Sophia Allaf Shahin, M.S.

Ph.D. Candidate in Laboratory of Dr. Carlotta Glackin
Department of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
Beckman Research Institute of CIty of Hope
Presentation Title: "The 7 wonders of a Ph.D."
August 18, 2017

Spring 2017: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Joseph E. Henriquez

Michigan State University
Ph.D. Dual Major Candidate (Pharmacology and Toxicology, Biomedical Toxicology)

Presentation Title: "D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-mediated suppression of immune response  
by Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) and T cells from healthy and HIV  
infected Donors"

Friday, May 26th, 2017 

Kevin Urak

University of Iowa

Presentation Title: “Neutralization of Extracellular Histones with Aptamers for the Treatment and Prevention of Secondary Organ Failure in Sepsis”

May 5th, 2017

Julie Schwartz DVM, PhD, DACVP

Senior Veterinary Pathologist Charles River

Presentation Title: “Preclinical Drug Development: Safety first"

April 28th, 2017


Winter 2017: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Manny Azizi, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Assistant Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

School of Biological Sciences

Presentation Title: “Can age-related changes to connective tissue structures explain musculoskeletal deficiencies?"

March 3, 2017


Shelley Halpain, PhD

Professor, Division of Biological Science

Univ of California San Diego & Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine 

Presentation Title: How & Why Do Brain Cells Boogie?  The Cytoskeleton in Neural Circuit Development & Repair

February 17, 2017


Tammy Butterick, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Department of Food Science and Nutrition

University of Minnesota

Presentation Title: The Role of Neuroinflammation in Aging and Cognitive Decline

February 3, 2017

Fall 2016: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Gregory Pauly, PhD

Natural History Museum

Presentation Title: Reptile & Amphibian Discoveries from Southern California’s Citizen Scientist Army

Friday, December 2, 2016

Milton Saier. PhD

UC San Diego

Presentation Title: Our Precarious Earth and its Biosphere

November 4, 2016

Brandon Tan

USC PhD student

Presentation Title: "The N6-methyladenosine epitranscriptome and Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus replication"

October 14, 2016

Summer 2016: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Nhu-y Nguyen

PhD student

Presentation Title: Prevention of Mocrobial Adhesion to biomedical implants using nanoparticles

August 19, 2016

April Simmerman

Laboratory Supervisor 
Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles
Presentation Title: A Career As A Water Professional for LA County Sanitation Districts
August 5, 2016

Wendie Johnston

Lab Director, Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative
Presentation Title: "Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative: meeting the needs of industry"

July 29, 2016

Spring 2016: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Jermaine Mahguib

2nd year PhD student, Iowa State University
Presentation Title: "Population genetics of an endangered and genomics of a common terrestrial gastropod; a set of project proposals"

June 3, 2016

Jorge Juarbe-Velez

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles 

Presentation Title: "What can fossils tell us about the evolution of odontocetes: examples from the Pacific NW and Central America"

May 13, 2016

Adam Rosenthal, PH.D.

Calico, Inc. 

Presentation Title: "Using single-cell data to understand the physiological function of different cell-types and organisms"

April 15, 2016

Winter 2016: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314



Solutions for the Heart


Presentation Title:“Decellularized Matrices and Biomaterials”
When: Friday, March 4, 2016, Noon
Where: Cal Poly Pomona Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314


Andrew A. Voss, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences
Wright State University

Presentation Title: 'Progressive Muscle Defects and Neuromuscular Transmission in Huntington's Disease'

January 15, 2016

Fall 2015: 12-2PM Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 314

Chris Petro

Albert Einstein University, completing PhD

Presentation Title: "Linking Humoral Immunity to Protective Herpes Simplex Viral Vaccines: Is Complete Immunity Achievable?"

November 13, 2015

Amanda Goodrich

USC PhD student

Presentation Title: "Effect modification of prenatal folic acid on the association between prenatal air pollution exposure and autism spectrum disorder"

October 30, 2015

Gustavo A. Ramírez

USC 4th year PhD student

Presentation Title: "The Marine Deep Dark Energy Biosphere Explored via Sub-Seafloor Observatories and Osmotic Colonization Chambers"

October 23, 2015

Winter 2014: 12:00pm-2:00pm in Bldg 4-2-314

January 24th

Microbial community analysis of native populations in contaminated and non-contaminated environments

Anna Zelaya
Montana State University

Fall 2013: 12:00pm-2:00pm in Bldg 4-2-314

October 18th

Understanding genital immunity towards HSV-2

Christopher Petro

November 22nd

Dynamic processes controlling mitochondrial function

Dr.David Chan
California Institute of Technology

Spring 2013: 12:00pm-2:00pm in Bldg 4-2-314

April 19th

Overcoming the Hiring “Catch-22”. Insight for Transitioning from Academia to Medical Science Liaison

Dr.Wendy Tai
May 3rd 2013

Macrophages lacking a functional Angiotensin Converting Enzyme N-terminal domain respond to inflammatory stimuli with increased MAPK activation and decreased c-Maf expression

Dr. Lamar Blackwell
Cedar Sinai Medical Center,
Los Angeles, California

June 7th 2013

Biotin Status Response in Pregnant, Nonpregnant and Lactating Women Consuming a Dietary Biotin Intake Exceeding Current Recommendations

Dr. Cydne Perry
Shepherd University
West Virginia.

Winter 2013: 12:00pm-2:00pm in Bldg 4-2-314

January 25th

LRP1 is a novel therapeutic target in the regeneration of CNS neurons after injury

Dr. Haodong 
Dr.Travis Stiles
University of California, San Diego

February 8th

Reemergence of Simian Varicella Virus Infection in Cynomolgus Macaques (Macaca fascicularis)

Dr.Julie Schwartz

February 15th

Kinetic trapping of the cotranscriptional fold as a determinant of adenine riboswitch translational control

Dr.Cuauhtémoc García-García
Stanford University, California

February 22nd

Discovery of a novel T cell subset that controls autoimmune inflammation

Dr.Daniel Cua
Pathway Biology
Merck Research Laboratories
Palo Alto, CA

Summer 2012

July 13th

Studies on the Structure, Function and Regulation of the Sarcolemmal Na+/Ca2+ Exchanger (NCX1).

Dr. Gabriel Mercado Besserer
University of Southern California

July 27th

RNF168 is important for defects in homologous recombination caused by BRCA1 loss

Meilen Chang Munoz
City of Hope, Duarte , CA

August 17th

Intra-terrestrial” Life: Microbiological Exploration of the Deep Dark Energy Biosphere

Gustavo Ramirez
University of Southern California

Fall 2012

October 26th

Subversion of Surveillance: The Manipulation of Innate Immunity by HIV Infection

Dr.David Sanchez
Western University, Pomona, CA

November 9th

Biological imaging of cells and tissues using coherent Raman scattering

Dr.Jeffery Suhalim
University of California, Irvine, CA

November 30th

Update on Using Liposomes to Deliver Drugs and Vaccines

CSU-Pomona, CA

Winter 2012: 4:00pm-6:00pm in Bldg 3-1616

February 3

Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics in Heart Diseases: What Central Dogma didn't Tell You"

Dr. Haodong Chen
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

February 17

Early stage solid state characterization and formulation development of pharmaceutical candidates

Dr. Andrew Phimister
Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

February 24

Mechanisms of host cell invasion by Rhizopus oryzae during mucormycosis

Dr. Ibrahim Ashraf
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Spring 2012: 4:00pm-6:00pm in Bldg 3-1616

April 6

Regulation of Neurotransmitter Release by Ubiquitnation

Dr. Gina Rinetti
University of California, San Francisco

April 20

The impact of methamphetamine use on outcomes in herpes simplex virus type 2 disease and immune response

Dr. Frances Valencia
University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas

April 27

Obesity and brain health: A central role for Orexin A

Dr. Tammy Butterick
University of Minnesota

Winter 2011: 4:00pm-6:00pm in Bldg 3-1616

January 28

Applications of Computational Design to Red Fluorescent Proteins

Dr. Matthew Moore
Caltech, Pasadena

February 11

Do aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases have a major role to play in drug development?

Dr. Anthony Bell
University of Mississippi

March 11

Should I stay or should I go? the molecular genetics of surface motility in Variovorax paradoxus"

Dr. Paul Orwin
CSU-San Bernandino

Spring 2011: 4:00pm-6:00pm in bldg. 3-1616

April 22

The Microbiology of Wastewater Treatment and Its Impacts on the Environment

Dr. Ryan Reinke
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

May 27

Multifocal Mapping of Retinal Ganglion Cell Receptive Fields

Dr. Movses Karakossian
Allergan, Irvine

June 3

Bacterial Biofilms in Specialized Ecosystems

Dr. Marc Baum
Oakcrest Institute, Pasadena

Summer 2011: 4:00pm-6:00pm in bldg. 3-1639

July 22

Genomic Insights into Wood-Degradation by Termites

Dr. Adam Rosenthal
Caltech, Pasadena

July 29

Computational Protein design of structural ensembles

Dr. Alex Nishtal
Caltech, Pasadena

August 12

Pieces to the Puzzle: How Pathogens, Innate Immunity and Genetics Fit Together

Dr. Yvonne Dreschler
Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona

Fall 2011: 4:00pm-6:00pm in bldg. 3-1616

October 21

A Physiological Relationship between Adrenal and Ovarian Activity during Reproduction in the Giant Panda

Dr.David Kersey
Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona

November 4

An Alzheimer's blood test developed from stem cells

Dr. Doug Ethell Western
University of Health Sciences, Pomona

November 18

Bringing novel therapeutic technologies through research and into development

Dr.Erik Forssen
Allergan Inc., Irvine, CA

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