I joined the department at the beginning of 2020 after spending six years working as an industry scientist. I am excited to build a research program that is focused on leveraging molecular imaging to understand disease biology and advance therapeutic discovery.
How did you decide on your focus of research?
I firmly believe in following your passions. My research combines two of my great loves molecular imaging and immune biology. I have always been a visual learner often pestering my Ph.D. advisor “where do you think that goes?” Molecular imaging paints a picture of a biological process; a real-life marriage of science and art. My interests in immunology was sparked during my tenure in industry, where I embraced the challenge of developing assays to support mechanism of action studies for discovery therapeutics. The immune system is a wonderfully complex system requiring coordination across multiple cell types and organs. We find ourselves at a moment in time, where the pace of therapeutic discovery and clinical trials has outpaced our basic understanding. There are so many questions that remain unanswered about how the immune system works! I hope the research in my group can help advance our collective knowledge.
What brought you to UCLA?
UCLA is home to extremely talented and prolific scientists that have inspired and challenged so many researchers. It is the home of one of the founding father of PET imaging, where giants in the field of cancer and immunology research lives, and most importantly, a place that embraces the responsibility of educating the next generation of scientist. I could not pass on the opportunity to be in a place where everything and anything is possible because I can stand on the shoulders of giants.
Do you have a personal motto?
I am only limited by the limitations of my own imagination.
Do you have any hobbies outside of the lab?
When I’m not in the lab, I’m talking long walks, hitting up dog parks/green spaces, or failing to convince my 4-legged bud, Milo, that running is a great bonding activity.