Team

lab culture word cloud

PI

Christal Sohl

Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma

Degree/training: B.S., Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma; Ph.D., Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University; Postdoctoral training, Pharmacology, Yale University

Favorite non-science activity: Fitness/exercise, travel, and hiking in San Diego’s beautiful outdoors.

 Favorite book/author: Impossible question! But if I go by re-read frequency, it’s Richard Bradford’s Red Sky at Morning, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, and David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day.

 Scientist hero: Prof. Joan Steitz

 Fun fact about me: For two years during my postdoc, I played the triple cello pans in a steel pan band. I am currently scratching the percussion itch by learning to play the tabla.

CV: sohl_cv_3.28.19public

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Lab Manager

An Hoang

Research focus: I play a number of important roles in the Sohl Lab, from training students in a variety of biochemical and cell culture techniques, maintaining and repairing instruments, and making sure the lab runs smoothly. I am currently generating stable cell lines for modeling IDH-driven cancers in order to better understand mechanisms of tumorigenesis.

Hometown: Binh Dinh, Vietman

 Degree/training: B.S., Microbiology, San Diego State University

Favorite non-science activity: Gardner, sugarcane

 Scientist hero: My parents

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Postdocs

 

Mowaffaq Adam

Research focus: stay tuned!

 Hometown: stay tuned!

Degree/training:stay tuned!

 Favorite non-science activity: stay tuned!

 Favorite book/author:stay tuned!

 Scientist hero:stay tuned!

 Fun fact about me:stay tuned!

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Graduate Students

 

Elene Albekioni

MS student

Research focus: stay tuned!

 Hometown: stay tuned!

Degree/training:stay tuned!

 Favorite non-science activity: stay tuned!

 Favorite book/author:stay tuned!

 Scientist hero:stay tuned!

 Fun fact about me:stay tuned!

Jade Ngoc Huynh

MS student

Research focus: Catalytic behavior of malate dehydrogenase 1 (MDH1) is modified in tumors, but the mechanisms of these modifications are not yet known. I am interested in biochemically and biophysically characterizing MDH1 and establishing the ways in which the tumor microenvironment can modulate activity to drive cancer.

 Hometown: Vietnam

Degree/training: BS Biochemistry (SJSU), MS Chemistry (UCR)

 Favorite non-science activity: Gathering with church members

 Favorite book/author: The Bible

 Scientist hero: Albert Einstein

 Fun fact about me: My two younger sisters and I have the same first name but different middle names.

Isaac Marquez

MS student

Research focus: stay tuned!

 Hometown: stay tuned!

Degree/training:stay tuned!

 Favorite non-science activity: stay tuned!

 Favorite book/author:stay tuned!

 Scientist hero:stay tuned!

 Fun fact about me:stay tuned!

Lucas Luna

PhD student

Research focus: My current research project focuses on studying hypermutated phenotypes of human DNA polymerase epsilon, frequently present in colorectal cancer. Little is known about its catalytic mechanism due to barriers in heterologous protein expression. I am working on the expression, purification, and kinetic characterization of full length human exonuclease competent DNA polymerase epsilon. I will study how exonuclease domain mutations affect fidelity and processivity to further understand how DNA replication errors are created and propagated, with the goal of developing novel methods of combatting cancer growth and metastasis.  

Hometown: San Jose, California

Degree/training: B.S., Biochemistry, University of California Santa Barbara

Favorite non-science activity: All you can eat KBBQ

Favorite book/author: Dante’s Inferno

Scientist hero: Archimedes

Fun fact about me: Made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.

Kate Sabo

MS student

Research focus: Mutant IDH is an important therapeutic target, and establishing selectivity features is critical for developing inhibitors that are efficacious and less toxic. I am interested in using biochemical and structural techniques to find new handles that drive inhibitor binding to mutant IDH1. 

Hometown: Bakersfield, California

Degree/training: B.S., Biochemistry, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA

Favorite non-science activity: Hiking

Favorite book/author: Jane Austen

Scientist hero: Rosalind Franklin

Fun fact about me: My favorite color is yellow!

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Undergraduates

 

Danielle Caliger

Biology major

Research focus: While the role of IDH1 in cancer is well known, we have limited knowledge on this enzyme’s regulation. I am studying how post-translational modifications can inhibit IDH1 using biochemical methods.

Hometown:  Chula Vista, CA

Degree/training:  SDSU Undergraduate Biology

Favorite non-science activity:  Exploring new places, trying different foods, and spending time with friends

 Favorite book/author:  1984 by George Orwell

 Scientist hero:  Rosalind Franklin

 Fun fact about me:  I can’t wink

Nalani Coleman

Biochemistry major

Research focus: Though IDH1’s role in cancer is well established, modes of regulation of this protein are not well known. I am using mutational methods to understand the role of post-translational modifications in altering IDH1’s activity.

Hometown:  San Diego, CA 

Degree/training:  SDSU Undergraduate Biochemistry

Favorite non-science activity: Concerts, the beach, hanging out with friends/family, SDSU basketball and football games, walking my dog, runway fashion!

 Favorite book/author: The Giver by Lois Lowry

 Scientist hero:  Mae Jemison

 Fun fact about me: My name translates to “calm of the heavens” or “chief of the sky.” I am a resident advisor (RA) in Huāxyacac Hall!

Chelsie Miller

Nutrition major

Research focus: stay tuned!

 Hometown: stay tuned!

Degree/training:stay tuned!

 Favorite non-science activity: stay tuned!

 Favorite book/author:stay tuned!

 Scientist hero:stay tuned!

 Fun fact about me:stay tuned!

Alexandra Strom

Biology major

Research focus: The regulation of IDH1 is not well understood. I am using mutational analysis to probe the role of post-translational mutations on inhibiting IDH1 activity.

Hometown:  Reseda, CA

Degree/training:  SDSU Biology Undergraduate

Favorite non-science activity:  Music festivals, finding new coffee shops, and reading on the beach 

 Favorite book/author: All My Sons by Arthur Miller

 Scientist hero:  Dr. Estralita Martin

 Fun fact about me:  I was drum major of my high school’s marching band for two years. 

Ella Thornberg

Biology major

Research focus: Post-translational modifications can activate or inhibit proteins as a means of rapid regulation. I am using steady-state kinetics to understand how these modifications alter substrate binding and turnover in IDH1.

Hometown:  Danville, CA (East Bay Area)

Degree/training:  SDSU Undergraduate Biology

Favorite non-science activity:  Spending time with friends, going to the beach, traveling, trying new foods/restaurants

 Favorite book/author:  When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

 Scientist hero:  Harold Varmus

 Fun fact about me:  I’m ambidextrous!

Vinnie Widjaja

Biochemistry major

student at instrument

student at instrument

Research focus: Pre-steady-state kinetics can be used to dissect individual steps of a reaction pathway catalyzed by enzymes. I am developing a series of IDH1 mutants that will allow us to understand the rates of conformational change of IDH1.

Hometown:  San Diego, CA

Degree/training:  SDSU Biochemistry Undergraduate

Favorite non-science activity:  Playing Animal Crossing, Reading, Hiking

 Favorite book/author: Rudolfo Anaya, Cassandra Clare

 Scientist hero:  Dr. Jennifer Doudna

 Fun fact about me:  I once took a picture with a tiger in Indonesia. 

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 Alumni 

Phuc Phan (SohlMate 2019-2020), currently a MS student in SDSU engineering

Diego Avellaneda Matteo (SohlMate 2015-2020), PhD 2020, currently a scientist at Molecular Assemblies

Joi Weeks (SohlMate 2018-2020), PhD 2020, passed away in 2020

Amanda Coale (SohlMate 2019-2020), MS 2020, currently an engineer at Biolinq

Grace Wells (SohlMate 2016-2020), MS 2018, currently an educator

Giovanni Quichocho (SohlMate 2017-2020), BS 2020, currently a PhD student at the University of Utah

Sati Alexander (SohlMate 2018-2020), BS 2020, currently a PhD student at Augusta University

Viraj Upadhye (SohlMate 2017-2020), BS 2020, currently a PhD student at Cornell

Zeqing “Ruth” Xu (SohlMate 2017-2019), MS 2019, currently a scientist at CTK Biotech

Michelle Scott (SohlMate 2018-2019), BS 2019, was a PhD student at Vanderbilt University before passing away in 2020

Dahra Pucher (SohlMate 2019), currently USC undergraduate

Tin Duc Nguyen (SohlMate 2019), currently UCSD undergraduate

Zach Lesecq (SohlMate 2017-2018), BS 2018, currently applying to med school

Jeon Erik Fonbon (SohlMate 2017-2018), BS 2018, currently applying to med school

Madison Kennedy (SohlMate 2015-2018), BS 2018, currently a PhD student at U Washington

Michelle Nguyen (SohlMate 2018), current SDSU undergraduate

Dania Meza-Acosta (SohlMate 2018), current SDSU undergraduate

Esteban Delgado (SohlMate 2018), current SDSU undergraduate

Elan Zora (SohlMate 2018), current SDSU undergraduate

Adam Grunseth (SohlMate 2016-2018), BS 2015

Celena Anaya (SohlMate 2017), BS 2018, currently a scientist at Trilink Biotechnologies

Precious Moman (SohlMate 2016-2017), BS 2018, attending medical school

Anna Uvarova (SohlMate 2015-2017), MS 2017, currently a scientist at Novartis

Eric Gonzalez (SohlMate 2015-2017), BS 2017, currently a PhD student at UCSF

Stacy Anselmo (SohlMate 2015-2017), BS 2017, currently a scientist at Eton

Andrea Ruiz (SohlMate 2016), current SDSU undergraduate

Jorge Sandoval (SohlMate 2016), BS 2019, currently applying to med school

Anup Sarakki (SohlMate 2016), MS 2018, currently a scientist at Alkahest

Carlos Bobadilla (SohlMate 2016), BS 2017, currently a scientist at Retrogen

Yunjin Wu (SohlMate 2016), MS 2018, currently a scientist at BASF Enzymes