Former CPFP and PPFP Fellows

Julieta Aguilar

  • Julieta Aguilar, Awarded PPF 2012

    Julieta Aguilar, Awarded PPF 2012

    Current Position:
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego

    Education:
    B.S., Microbiology with Minor in Chemistry, California State University, Northridge; Ph.D., Microbiology, University of California, Berkeley Dissertation: Localization of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens Type IV Secretion System and its role in attachment

    Dissertation:

    Localization of the agrobacterium tumefaciens Type IV secretion system and its role in attachment

    Thesis Advisor:

    Patricia Zambryski, Professor of Plant & Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley

    Research Topic:

    Identification and Characterization of Secondary Metabolites Produced by Bacillus Subtilis to Combat Plant Pathogens and Plant Associated Human Pathogens

    Mentor:

    Kit Pogliano, Professor of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego

Mike Amezcua

  • Mike Amezcua, Awarded CPF 2013

    Mike Amezcua, Awarded CPF 2013

    Current Position:
    Assistant Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

    Education:

    B.A., History and Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; M.A., American Studies, Yale University; Ph.D., American Studies, Yale University.

    Dissertation:

    The Second City Anew: Mexicans, Urban Culture, and Migration in the Transformation of Chicago, 1940-1965

    Thesis Advisor:

    Stephen Pitti, Professor of American Studies and History, Yale University

    Research Topic:

    The Second City Anew: Mexicans, Urban Culture, and Migration in the Transformation of Chicago, 1940-1986

    Mentor:

    David Gutierrez, Professor of History, UC San Diego

Anna L. Anderson-Lazo

  • Anna L. Anderson-Lazo, 2010-2012

    Anna L. Anderson-Lazo, 2010-2012

    Email: annie.lorrie@gmail.com

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    • Ph.D., Anthropology University of California, Santa Cruz
    • M.A., Anthropology University of California, Santa Cruz
    • B.A., Honors, Anthropology Stanford University

    The research that Dr. Anderson-Lazo will perform during the fellowship aims to advance social science and broader understandings of community organizing for social change, history-telling as political practice, and participatory ethnography by collaborating with community organizations focused on improving the food system in underserved communities of Southern San Diego. In the year to come, Dr. Anderson-Lazo will continue working with community-based co-researchers and university students to collect localized histories and create interactive maps related to food and economic security, political empowerment, and development as they pertain to community health and health disparities. In addition to individual and collaborative publications, these stories will be featured in the People's Produce Project "Good Food Legacies" Storytelling Festival (Summer 2011 & 2012) and on the “Foodways and Foodscapes” interactive site, where residents’ analyses of community-specific health challenges will connect with “public domain” policy-related data.

    This research makes an intellectual contribution to the ongoing study of diversity by employing participatory research methods that emphasize building collaborative relationships among partners in the university and in multi-ethnic as well as socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods of San Diego to address health disparities related to the food system. By conducting research in collaboration with and in support of organically diverse community-based efforts such as the People's Produce Project and the One in Ten Healthy Food Coalition, this project can contribute to research about diversity as it relates to urban community development, public health and neighborhood resource allocation, as well as foster relationships with residents, organizations and potential students in some of the communities least represented at the university.

    Dr. Anderson-Lazo’s dissertation was based on ethnographic fieldwork in Guatemala during the 1996 to 1998 Peace Process that ended the civil war between the government and the revolutionary army. Over the course of two years, Dr. Anderson-Lazo lived among the afro-indigenous Garifuna people and worked alongside community organizers, peace and development workers, and political storytellers. The written text describes how the Garifuna organizers and storytellers used their collaborations in the context of the negotiations of the Peace Process to reclaim their history and political rights after surviving 36 years of political repression and ethnic genocide.

Kristen L. Dorsey

  • Kristen L. Dorsey, 2013-2014

    Kristen L. Dorsey, 2013-2014

    Email: kdorsey@ucsd.edu

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    • Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
    • M.S., Carnegie Mellon University
    • B.S., Olin College of Engineering

    Dr. Kristen Dorsey’s research at UC San Diego investigates the use of commercial metal oxide sensors for inexpensive air pollution monitoring. Metal oxide sensors offer good chemical sensitivity and excellent per-unit price, making them possible solutions to personal monitoring of exposure to EPA-identified air pollutants. Unfortunately, they are also reactive to a wide range of gases and measurement conditions, meaning that changing weather conditions and the presence of other gases can influence their sensitivity.  

    In this work, she simulates and characterizes the effects of weather conditions on the stability and sensitivity of commercial metal oxide sensors. The effects of wind (air flow/convection) and atmospheric pressure (oxygen concentration, air conduction) have not been previously characterized, but are essential to understand before using metal oxide sensors for high-precision outdoor measurements. The time constant to reach steady-state are on the order of 5 h, requiring significant time before measurements can be made. Dr. Dorsey demonstrated a compensation scheme where increasing the sensor temperature in relation to the wind speed reduced wind reactivity, leading the way to wind-compensated metal oxide sensors.

    In her second research project, Dr. Dorsey investigates microfabrication processes for printed sensors and electronics. Printed electronics show promise for a wide variety of applications because they can be demonstrated with a wide material set and fabricated with flexible substrates. One method for forming printed devices is by micro-templating metallic or semiconducting nanoparticles. In this process, nanoparticle-solvent ink is introduced to a patterned polymer template. As the solvent in the ink evaporates, the nanoparticles are packed in the template to form the desired device features. Dr. Dorsey has modified this fabrication process to template nanoparticles with a self-aligned functionalization mask, with the goal of batch fabricating inexpensive, printed, and multiplexed gas chemical sensors without the need for expensive and time consuming alignment steps. Sensors fabricated in this process with a filtering layer were three times less sensitive to a pulse of CO than sensors exposed to air.

Timu Gallien

  • Timu Gallien, 2013-2015

    Timu Gallien, 2013-2015

    Email: tgallien@ucsd.edu

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    • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of California, Irvine
    • M.S., Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
    • B.S., Agricultural Engineering, Purdue University

    Dr. Gallien is committed to a vibrant and pluralistic scholarly community. She believes diversity drives discovery and leverages her own experiences to advance representation in the STEM fields.  She has mentored a diverse group of students in research, job preparation activities, graduate school applications, funding proposals, and overcoming social barriers beyond the classroom.

    Dr. Gallien’s research focuses on quantifying evolving coastal flood risk from El Niño, sea level rise, storm events, and urbanization. The urban coastal system represents a critical and complex intersection of nature and anthropogenic modification. Comprehensive flood models that explicitly resolve key flooding processes and constraints are critical to proactively manage the future urban coast. The objective of her research is to accurately predict flooding from future climatological conditions to inform municipalities, policymakers and individuals of the possible effects of climate change, and to investigate the efficacy of proposed adaptation measures.

    Her dissertation presented a high resolution (< 5m) fluid-mechanics based model for urban coastal flood mapping that accounts for flood control infrastructure, wave runup and overtopping volumes and urban drainage. This model outperforms existing equilibrium flood mapping techniques that ignore hydraulic connectivity and assume instantaneous filling of the backshore. Results showed that critical flooding infrastructure must be measured to centimetric accuracy and that developed areas may be vulnerable to flooding from small gaps or low spots along sea walls.

    Dr. Gallien’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, The Newkirk Center for Science and Society, and California Department of Boating and Waterways.

David J. Gonzalez

  • David J. Gonzalez, 2014-2015

    David J. Gonzalez, 2014-2015

    Email: djgonzalez@ucsd.edu

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    • Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
    • M.S., University of California, San Diego
    • B.S., California State University, San Marcos

    Dr. Gonzalez is a native of North County San Diego who received his undergraduate degree at California State University, San Marcos where he majored in Chemistry. He then joined the Ph.D. program in Biochemistry at UCSD, completing his dissertation in the laboratory of Pieter Dorrestein exploring several innovative avenues utilizing mass spectrometry to characterize the metabolic output of bacterial pathogens.  His doctoral work was funded by NIH/NIDDK fellowship and recognized by induction into the Yale Bouchet Honor Society.

    As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Gonzalez was supported by the A.P. Giannini Foundation for Medical Research, UCSD IRACDA, and the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowships. His research projects helped to bridge the gap between the fields of bacterial pathogenesis and bioanalytical mass spectrometry, and were co-mentored by Jack Dixon and Victor Nizet. 

    Dr. Gonzalez has been recruited to join the UCSD faculty in the Departments of Pharmacology and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Gonzalez will focus his research on better understanding the chemical biology that governs the host-pathogen interaction. In particular, the Gonzalez lab will aim to identify and characterize key virulence factors and important host immune responses in order to develop strategies for pharmacological development.

E. Mara Green

  • E. Mara Green

    • Ph.D., Anthropology (emphasis in linguistic anthropology), University of California, Berkeley
    • B.A., Anthropology, Amherst College

Todd Honma

  • Todd Honma, 2011-2012

    Todd Honma, 2011-2012

    Email: toddhonma@gmail.com

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    • Ph.D., American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
    • M.L.I.S., Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
    • M.A., Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
    • B.A., Molecular Cell Biology and Japanese, University of California, Berkeley

    As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Honma will be conducting research in the area of race, aesthetics, and tattooing in Southern California. In particular, he will be looking at how the development of tattoo aesthetics have been coded through the specific lenses of race, class, gender, sexuality, and criminality in the Los Angeles region.

    Dr. Honma’s work is concerned with issues of diversity by examining how marginalized populations express themselves through the modification of the body, how this functions as a form of both individual and collective expression within particular constraints based on race, class, gender and sexuality.

    Dr. Honma’s dissertation, “Cartographies of Skin: Asian American Adornment and the Aesthetics of Race,” examines the construction and performance of tattooed bodies as sites of circulating materialities: where art, labor, culture, and ideology converge to color our understanding of race and the politics of visuality. By analyzing a series of case studies of transnational Asian and Asian American tattoo practices in California, he locates skin as the site of identity, difference, and possibility and how this relates to racial formation and local and global creative practices.

    Dr. Honma is extremely grateful to be awarded the UCSD Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship and is thrilled to be working with Professor Nayan Shah in the History Department. He is excited to be joining the intellectual community at UCSD and looking forward to a fun and productive year ahead.

Anthony Jerry

  •  Anthony Jerry

    Anthony Jerry

    Email: ajerry@mail.sdsu.edu

    • B.A., Anthropology, San Diego State University
    • M.A., Applied Anthropology, San Diego State University
    • Ph.D., Socio-Cultural Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

    Dr. Jerry’s primary research interests are in theorizing citizenship and investigating the effect that regional discourses of race have on citizenship practices and overall access to citizenship.  He has worked in the Costa Chica Region of Mexico for over eight years.  In 2011 he received a Fulbright fellowship in order to conduct his dissertation research, which explored how Black and Indigenous Mexicans mobilize race as a means of access to national citizenship(s) within the confines of the state endorsed multicultural political arena.   The main argument within the dissertation is that a logic of difference, based on colonial logics of race and belonging, limits the potential value and use of race and ethnicity (i.e., difference) as effective political tools towards a project of full citizenship.  Dr. Jerry’s work ethnographically investigates how these logics are explicitly challenged by grass roots organization in an attempt to provide alternatives to government approaches to recognition and representation.  His work also calls attention to the ways that colonial legacies of race, ethnicity, and culture help to define the current value of these “commodities” within the neo-liberal multicultural state and can therefore be “traded” in a limited number of ways.  Ultimately, his research contributes to the larger body of work on the political economy of race and adds an explicit cultural, social, and political element to the notion of “racial economy”.

    Dr. Jerry’s fieldwork among African descendants on the Pacific coast of Mexico offers an alternative view of race and “Blackness” than that commonly considered in the extensive literature on the Black diaspora in the Caribbean basin, as well as the Black Atlantic.  On the basis of this work, he argues that we must take seriously the ways in which a focus on the Pacific can uncover new paradigms for looking at African descendants (and ultimately race) in Latin America, and be aware of the use and privileging of the Black Atlantic paradigm to overdetermine and define any approach to African descendants and their unique experiences within the Pacific region.  This focus, as he understands it, ultimately asks us to avoid the potential to institutionalize theories of race, which tend to impose this notion rather than liberate the subjects of academic and ethnographic investigation by maintaining certain racial traps or relying on foundational colonial logics.  In this way we might avoid the potential for such paradigms to reinforce the same colonial and imperial legacies that they attempt to undo; most often times fixing difference and essentializing the properties, experiences, and desires that we assume are naturally attached to such forms of difference.  An attempt at avoiding these racial traps informs his theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches.

    Dr. Jerry will use the fellowship period at UCSD in order to research and draft two new chapters that compliment his dissertation in order to complete his book project.  He will also continue work on his second major research project which focuses on the discourses of racialization that surround the U.S./Mexico border, and how these discourses effect conceptions and practices of citizenship, particularly among youth of color, and potential inter-racial collaborations and coalitions within the U.S. Southwest.  Dr. Jerry is extremely excited to continue his work on racial formation and citizenship within the department of Anthropology under the mentorship of Nancy Postero.

Solmaz Kia

  • Solmaz Kia, 2012 - 2013

    Solmaz Kia, 2012 - 2013

    Email: skia@ucsd.edu

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    • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
    • M.Sc., Sharif University of Technology
    • B.S., Sharif University of Technology

    Solmaz Kia's research is centered around control systems design, mainly coordination of multi-agent networks. Multi-agent networks are broadly characterized by large collection of interacting agents where each agent is capable of sensing, computing, communicating and actuating. These agents, either cooperatively or competitively, work towards a goal, however, they do not necessarily have access to information held by all other agents. The examples range from multi-vehicle operations to smart grid. The desirable operation for networked systems is a distributed/decentralized operation where there is no central authority. Dr. Kia works on developing efficient distributed multi-agent coordination algorithms in three areas of 1) Consensus, 2) Optimization, and 3) Estimation and Data Fusion. Consensus or agreement is a canonical problem that often appears in the coordination of multi-agent systems. The consensus algorithms specify interaction laws for neighboring agents such that  all the agents can agree upon a common value.   Dr. Kia's research is focused on offering a solution that also satisfies practical requirements such as consistent response over different possible communication topologies, control over rate of convergence and time of arrival to the agreement point for each individual agent, handling of limited control authority, and preservation of privacy of the agents. The first three issues are of importance in physical processes such as coordination of multi-vehicle systems. Privacy preservation is crucial in applications involving sensitive data. Dr. Kia's  research on distributed optimization algorithms is motivated by applications in power networked systems. Her objective is to design distributed algorithms with smaller information-exchange bandwidth that are also robust to time-varying interaction topologies. Dr. Kia's  work on distributed estimation is concerned with developing efficient cooperative localization algorithms, where instead of fix landmarks in the environment, agents use relative measurements with respect to one and other as a feedback to correct their uncertain location estimations based on dead-reckoning. The results of this research benefit the areas of multi-human-agent or multi-vehicle exploration in unknown environments with changing features, such as search-an-rescuer missions where GPS signals are not available or may not be reliable. 

    In the past, Dr. Kia worked on controller design for systems with bounded actuators, and flight dynamics and control. During her graduate studies, she was the recipient of several fellowships including: the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship for Women in Aviation, Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship and the Holmes Endowed Fellowship in UC Irvine, and the Irene Goldsmith Scholarship when she was briefly a Ph.D. student in the Aerospace Engineering department of the University of Kansas. 

    She is also passionate about teaching and mentoring. She taught an undergraduate course for four years in the UC Irvine.  Since arriving in UC San Diego, she has been supervising several graduate and undergraduate students in the robotic lab of Prof. Martinez in the MAE department. More information about Dr. Kia's research activities, including access to her publications, can be found in her website at http://tintoretto.ucsd.edu/solmaz/.

Ekaterina Merkurjev

  • Ekaterina Merkurjev

    Email: kmerkurjev@gmail.com

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    • Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles
    • M.S., Applied Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles
    • B.S., Applied Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles

Lara Rangel

  • Lara Rangel

    Lara Rangel

    Email: Lara.m.rangel@gmail.com

    • B.S., Biological Sciences, Stanford University
    • Ph.D., Neurosciences, University of California San Diego

    Lara Maria Rangel received a B.S. in Biological Sciences in 2006 from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Neurosciences in 2012 from the University of California San Diego. Her graduate research was conducted in the laboratories of Dr. Andrea A. Chiba and Dr. Fred H. Gage. Her early postdoctoral work was conducted within the Boston-based NSF Cognitive Rhythms Collaborative under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Kopell and Dr. Howard Eichenbaum from 2012 to 2015. She utilizes in vivo electrophysiology to characterize the mechanisms that facilitate flexible coordination of neural networks, and to investigate how the brain selectively engages specific networks to accomplish behavioral tasks. 

    As a UC Chancellor’s Fellow, she will study the interactions of neurons within rhythmic networks in order to reveal the cellular and systems level processes that give rise to brain rhythms and develop tools for translating the EEG signal into underlying network processing states.

Rocio Rosales

  • Rocio Rosales, 2012-2014

    Rocio Rosales, 2012-2014

    Email: rosales@ucla.edu

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    • Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
    • M.A., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
    • B.A.,  Sociology, certificate in Latin American Studies, Princeton University

    As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Rosales will engage in research that focuses on a case study of immigrant fruit vendors in Los Angeles, aims to understand how undocumented immigrants working within the informal sector navigate through a distinct regulatory environment and, in the process, build or fail to build lasting connections in the host country. She will expand her current research in two important ways with the ultimate goal of producing a book manuscript.

    The research she will conduct as a postdoctoral fellow also attempts to make sense of how vulnerable immigrant populations adapt to life in the US. The cohorts she follows are undocumented Latino immigrants whose illegal status prohibits them from legally participating in the formal workforce. These immigrants’ decision to work as street vendors on public street corners in Los Angeles within the informal sector increases their risk of detection by local (i.e. police and health departments) and federal (ICE) law enforcement agencies. Their survival strategies are thus organized around ethnic-based social networks including kinship and paisano ties.

    Her dissertation, “Hidden Economies in Public Spaces: The Fruit Vendors of Los Angeles,” examines the social and economic lives of a group of undocumented Latino street vendors. Her work is situated within and contributes to the ethnic entrepreneur, economic sociology, transnationalism, and immigration literature. At its core, her dissertation is a story about immigrant adaptation. Fruit vendors present an interesting case study because they occupy a precarious position, both within the United States and its labor market, as undocumented and informal workers. Both of these markers open the possibility for state-sponsored retribution in the form of deportation, arrest, confiscation of vending materials, and citation. The fact that street vending is an illicit activity in Los Angeles creates another layer of vulnerability. This work is based on five years of fieldwork using qualitative methods including ethnography, participant observation, and interviews.

    Her work has been funded by the American Philosophical Society (2011), John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation (2010), Ford Foundation (2005-2008), and the Social Science Research Council Mellon Mays Foundation (2003-2005). Her research will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and as a chapter in The Migration Industry: Brokers, Buses, and the Business of International Mobility to the United States, edited by Rubén Hernández-León.

Sheila Rosenberg

  • Sheila Rosenberg, 2014-2015

    Sheila Rosenberg, 2014-2015

    Email: ssrosenberg@eng.ucsd.edu

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    • Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Southern California
    • B.A., Double Major in Biology/French, University of Southern California

    As a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Rosenberg will be conducting research with an emphasis on improving the medical outcomes of newborns through innovations in physiological monitoring and quantitative analysis of multi-modal clinical data. There is a crucial need for research in this area; in 2010, there were 3.1 million newborn deaths, mostly in low-income countries.  Over 1 million of these deaths were a result of preterm birth, which represents one of the leading causes of newborn deaths and long-term neurological disabilities.

    This research is relevant to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion because racial minorities and low-income mothers are more likely to give birth prematurely and are also less likely to receive prenatal care, putting these infants at even higher risk.  Furthermore, pregnant mothers and newborns in many developing countries have limited access to medical care as compared to patients in developed nations.

    Dr. Rosenberg’s research focuses in part on evaluating and optimizing the clinical use of non-invasive sensors known as epidermal electronics, which are designed to measure physiological signals such as the electrical activity of the heart, the brain, and muscle cells. Specifically, Dr. Rosenberg is studying the potential use of these sensors in two clinical settings where improvements in technology could potentially contribute to improved newborn outcomes:  1) maternal-fetal monitoring during pregnancy and labor and 2) continuous monitoring of brain activity in newborns at-risk for brain injury.

    Dr. Rosenberg is also working on developing a statistical framework to predict how brain health and newborn outcomes are modulated by clinical variables such as perinatal and postnatal events, and by changes in brain activity during therapeutic hypothermia- a treatment method administered to infants at risk of brain injury. Dr. Rosenberg will be developing algorithms to assess the relationships between a baby’s clinical history, his/her patterns of brain activity during hypothermia, and his/her short and long-term medical and developmental outcomes.

    Her dissertation work focused on studying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the process of myelination in the developing brain. The myelin sheath plays a key role in facilitating communication between the nervous system and all other systems of the body. Understanding how myelination occurs during normal development can provide insight into conditions where the myelination process is impaired and/or when myelin is damaged.  Damage to myelinated areas of the developing brain is the major cause of disability for premature infants and a better understanding of the myelination process may help guide new developments in the treatment of newborn brain injury.

Eric A. Stanley

  • Eric A. Stanley, 2013-2014

    Eric A. Stanley, 2013-2014

    Email: eastanle@ucsc.edu

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    • Ph.D., History of Consciousness (with notation in Feminist Studies), University of California, Santa Cruz
    • B.A. American Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

    Dr. Stanley’s work uses radical trans politics, theories of disability, and carceral  studies  to apprehend the forms of (non)subjectivity trans/queer people of color are forced to inhabit in the wake of state violence. Understanding the state as one of the primary forces of violence, and not its remedy, the question “what is to be done?” is held in suspension as a way of creating new openings that are not predicated on the reproduction of harm.

    As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Stanley will study trans/queer currents of radical leftists US based social movements of the 1970s and early 80s.  Here, Dr. Stanley will specifically focus on the writings of Kuwasi Balagoon, a former member of the Black Liberation Army, and will conduct an oral history of Bo Brown of the George Jackson Brigade. Against the binary of freedom and capture, Dr. Stanley believes these histories will offer an opportunity for articulating a queer otherwise that accounts for both systematic violence and the endurance of a fugitive existence. Further, by focusing on the semiotics of the underground, the narrative of the closet as the instantiation of non-normative sexualities is also put into jeopardy.

    Dr. Stanley’s dissertation, Queer Remains: Insurgent Feelings and the Aesthetics of Violence used National Institute of Health records, judicial rulings, prison interviews, and visual culture to understand how the promise of liberal democracy and the larger projects of humanism are built through the slaughter of other types of life. Specifically Dr. Stanley brings together the murders of trans and queer people of color, prisons, and HIV/AIDS to argue that state violence and interpersonal violence must be understood together.

Roberto Tinoco

  •  Roberto Tinoco

    Roberto Tinoco

    Email: rtinoco@ucsd.edu

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    • Ph.D., Biology, University of California, San Diego
    • B.S., Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine

    Dr. Tinoco will be studying immune responses to viral infections. Specifically, he is interested in the function of adhesion molecules in T cells and their contribution during acute and chronic viral infections. Infections by viruses continue to pose a threat worldwide and understanding the molecules important in dampening and/our augmenting T cell function will aid in developing therapies to modulate immunity to these pathogens.

    Dr. Tinoco was a recipient of the NSF-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation fellow and joined the lab of Dr. Elina Zuñiga (UCSD) to study host-pathogen interactions during chronic infection. His dissertation work showed that TGF-b signaling directly in T cells led to death of virus-specific CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, the magnitude and diversity of functional virus-specific CD8+ T cells was increased in mice that had attenuated TGF-b signaling. This preservation of CD8+ T cells led to complete viral eradication and prevented a chronic infection. He published in Immunity and presented in both local and national meetings.

    Dr. Tinoco is very interested and passionate about teaching and mentoring undergraduates. As an HHMI/National Academies Teaching Institute fellow and NIH Institutional Research and Career Development Award (IRACDA) fellow, he has taught lectures in cardiovascular physiology, immunology, human physiology cell biology and biochemistry at San Diego State University to both biology majors as well as non-majors undergraduates. He has trained to incorporate active learning, assessments, and diversity while teaching undergraduates.

    To help address diversity efforts at UCSD, Dr. Tinoco is actively involved in mentoring undergraduate students. He is aware that underrepresented ethnic minorities and women continue to leave science majors at higher rates and earn fewer doctorate degrees in science. Consequently leading to fewer minority faculty in academia and leadership positions. He currently trains and mentors two minority UCSD undergraduates in the lab and a student at SDSU. He offers career advice and encourages them to help them succeed in science.  As a graduate student and postdoc, in collaboration with the minority science programs at UCSD, he ran workshops to teach undergraduates how to present a poster and research talk for scientific conferences. He participated in graduate student panels to advice minority undergraduates about his Ph.D. experience. He has presided each year as a round table moderator for the undergraduate research conferences (URC) at UCSD. He has given lab tours to high school students and undergraduates and taught science lessons at his local elementary school. 

    Dr. Tinoco credits his accomplishments to the mentoring he received through several minority science programs. He participated in the California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP), Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS) and Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program as an undergraduate UC Irvine.  The NSF-Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate (LSAMP-BD) fellowship as a graduate student at UCSD. He has continued his training as a postdoctoral fellow and was selected for the NIH-supported Institutional Research and Career Development Award (IRACDA) at UCSD.

    His research aims to uncover novel molecules and the mechanisms that impact T cell function during viral infections. He is enthusiastic to complete this research project, publish, and continue mentoring as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow.