Amjad Askary

Amjad is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UCLA. He is also a member of the Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences and Brain Research Institute. Amjad is interested in understanding how cell fate decisions are orchestrated during development and has been developing molecular tools that help us answer this question.

Amjad did his undergrad in Iran at University of Tehran, before moving to US to work on his PhD with Dr. Gage Crump at USC, where he worked on cell fate specification in joint cartilage and developed a zebrafish model for human joint disease. He then worked with Dr. Michael Elowitz at Caltech on genetic recording and in situ readout of cell lineage.

Fun fact about Amjad: there is none.

Yuka McGrath

Yuka is our laboratory assistant. She has moved from Tokyo to Paris and now calls Los Angeles her home. She has recently graduated from Loyola Marymount University with her undergraduate in biology. She’s been doing research since high school at Caltech in an embryology lab studying the migration and fate mapping of cardiac neural crest cells. During her undergrad at LMU, she also worked in an evolutionary biology lab studying arachnids. In her free time, she enjoys reading a good Steven King novel and watching nature documentaries.

Kai Hao

Kai is a postdoctoral scholar working on imaging based molecular recorders. He has recently completed his PhD in Cell Biology at the Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences. During his PhD, he focused on studying ciliary local translation using super resolution and live imaging. He is interested in quantitative analysis of spatiotemporal dynamics at the single molecule and single cell level. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, role-playing games, and watching nature documentaries, especially on geography and astronomy. His favorite outdoor activity is hiking snow-capped mountains.

Parviz Seifpanahi Shabane

Parviz is a Staff Research Associate working on quantitative analysis of cell type and gene expression distributions in space. He studied physics as an undergrad in Iran and graduated from Sharif University of Technology before moving to Virginia Tech, where he got a Master’s degree in biophysics. He is interested in combining concepts from physics and biology, and has worked on molecular dynamics simulations before joining the lab.

Vanshita Gupta

Vanshita is an undergraduate at UCLA studying Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Prior to working here, she was exposed to research through the COSMOS program at UC Irvine where she studied atypical protein kinase C and its role in the development of cancer. Currently at UCLA, she is actively involved in the Bruins Fighting Pediatric Cancer Club, helping raise awareness about pediatric cancer, and the Pacific Ties News magazine, exploring and addressing the vital issues pertaining to the APIDA community. In her free time, she enjoys reading, creative writing, and hanging out with her dog.

Andy Garcia

Andy is currently a third-year physiological science major and global health minor at UCLA. He was born and raised in Porterville, CA, a small town in California’s Central Valley near Sequoia National Park. He is interested in cell and developmental biology to develop a better understanding of the ways in which physiological processes occur. After graduating, Andy will be taking a gap year before pursuing medical school. He enjoys reading memoirs and other non-fiction books, watching sports, and learning new things.

Sahana Ramesh

Sahana is a first-year Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology major interested in exploring developmental cell signaling pathways. In her free time, she enjoys learning languages and playing video games.

We are hiring at all levels. Come join us!

Previous members

Joseph Bugliarelli

Now at Capsida Biotherapeutics