Matt Wright is a second-year graduate student in the microbiology and molecular genetics program. He earned his BS in microbiology at UC Davis in 2010 and started research before graduation in host-microbe interaction and plant biochemistry. His first job after graduation was at a biotech company in Sacramento, where he worked on metabolic engineering and fermentation. After this, he did diagnostic microbiology work in veterinary pathology before deciding to return to school.
Justin Klein is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and president of the Optics, Photonics and Imaging Society at UC Davis. His current research focuses on developing new biomedical imaging technology, and he recently received a two-year award from the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.
Klein is also highly interested in harnessing advances in medical imaging to address tasks in security and defense areas such as surveillance, threat and contraband detection.
Yunze Zeng is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science. He received his BS in telecommunications engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University, China, in 2012. As an undergraduate, he was a visiting student at UC San Diego.
Outside of academics, Zeng loves hiking and outdoor photography.
Note: This interview was conducted during Yunze Zeng’s tenure as a 2015/16 Business Development Fellow.
Steven Grossenbacher is a Ph.D. candidate in the integrative pathobiology graduate group. He has a BS in neurobiology, physiology and behavior from UC Davis. Prior to his graduate studies, Grossenbacher held an in vivo technologist position at the Jackson laboratory, where he was responsible for designing and executing several preclinical studies in a contract research setting.
Natthiporn Aramrueang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Biological Systems Engineering Department. After completing her BSc at Mahidol University in Thailand, she received a scholarship from the Royal Thai government to pursue her master’s degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in biological systems engineering at UC Davis.
Stefan Kalomoiris is a doctoral candidate in the Biochemistry Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology Graduate Group. Born and raised in Greece, he moved to California to pursue his graduate education. He works in the Nolta laboratory at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures.
Xinjun “Jun” Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in molecular anthropology. She received her BS in biological sciences and biotechnology from Beijing Normal University in China. She spent her junior year studying at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, where she was introduced to the interdisciplinary field of biological anthropology. Zhang joined the evolutionary anthropology graduate group at UC Davis in 2012 and received her master’s degree in early 2015.
Shan Huang is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Food Science and Technology. Born and raised in China, she came to the U.S. five years ago and graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor in food science and a minor in business. Huang says, “I am inspired to deliver safe, nutritious, convenient and good-tasting food products to consumers, and I believe food is the most affordable means to create moments and bond people together.”
Vivi Tolani MD is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Thoracic Oncology (Surgery) at the University of California, San Francisco.
Shang Heng Wei received an MS in health informatics from UC Davis in 2013.
Maria Navas-Moreno earned a BS in physics and mechanical engineering and an MS in biomedical sciences from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.
Akshata Mudinoor is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, with a designated emphasis in biotechnology.
Note: This interview was conducted in April 2014.
Anita Oberbauer’s father was a rancher, and he nurtured her interest in livestock when she was growing up. She earned a BS at UC Davis and then moved east to Cornell University for her PhD emphasizing food animal growth and development. These experiences instilled in her a deep abiding affinity for animal agriculture that is sustainable from environmental, economic and social perspectives.
Heather Shapiro graduated from UC Davis in 2013 with a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Her research focused on using brain imaging and behavioral cognitive experiments to examine neural correlates of learning impairments in children with developmental disabilities. Heather is an alumna of the Business Development Fellows program 2010/11.
Heather is now the co-founder of Neurecall, an educational technology startup. We caught up with her in winter 2014 to learn more about her work.
As a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Viticulture & Enology, Tom Shapland’s project on surface renewal measurements of daily crop water use was funded through SATIC’s prototype seed fund program. Today Shapland is co-founder and CEO of Tule Technologies Inc., which is developing a sensor-based monitoring system that allows growers to use water more efficiently when irrigating their fields.This interview was conducted in 2013, while Shapland was at UC Davis.
Biodegradable plastics from wastewater
John Bissell is the CEO and co-founder of Micromidas, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company that is converting municipal wastewater sludge into bio-degradable plastic.
Anthony Santamaria is a postdoctoral researcher in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UC Davis.
(UPDATED OCTOBER 2013): Lorna de Leoz is currently employed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Mass Spectrometry Data Center.
Lorna has a Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Davis, a Master of Science in chemistry and Bachelor of Science degrees in computer engineering and chemistry, all earned at Ateneo de Manila University. Lorna is a Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy and Business Development Fellow alumna. The following Q & A took place in 2011.