Ph.D. Biological Sciences, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India
Sukanya is from Kolkata, India. She received her PhD degree in Biological Sciences at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India. In her PhD she mainly studied the ligand-based structure and dynamic properties of G-Protein Coupled receptors (GPCRs). In the Beal lab she will be focusing on the structural studies of ADAR1. Apart from the lab she is a trained Indian classical dancer (Bharatnatyam) and also loves to spend her time by cooking, traveling, watching Netflix and spending quality time with friends.
6th Year Graduate Students
B.S. Biochemistry, Sonoma State University
Agya(she/her/hers) is originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. She received her Bachelors in Biochemistry from Sonoma State University. After which, she worked as a research associate developing enzyme purification methods at BioMarin. Currently, in the Beal lab, Agya is studying ADAR1 structure and function as well as its role in immune disorder Aicardi Goutières Syndrome. She believes ADAR1 has immense therapeutic potential in treating immune disorders and cancer. As a first generation student, she is passionate about outreach, diversity, equity and inclusion. When not in the lab, Agya enjoys hiking, weightlifting, travelling, salsa dancing, being an amateur chef and spending time with family and friends. Her bucket list after graduation is to climb up to the base camp of Mount Everest and enroll in a salsa dance competition.
5th Year Graduate Students
B.S. Chemistry and B.S. Biology, California State University Channel Islands, 2018
Casey is from Camarillo, California. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology at CSU Channel Islands. The university is not on an island but was an old state mental hospital and considered one of the most haunted colleges in the U.S.A. In the Beal lab, Casey is studying ADAR2’s interaction with double-stranded RNA. His projects include understanding what RNA secondary structures can mimic abasic sites for Bulky Mutant ADARs and enable editing at difficult to edit sites. Casey’s ways to destress include cooking, video games, and photography. He’s looking for more fun places to travel in northern California to take photos. Currently, the best way to contact him is through his UC Davis email.
B.S. Biochemistry, University of the Philippines Manila
M.S. Biochemistry minor in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of the Philippines Los Baños
Herra hails from the beautiful Philippine archipelago. Before joining the lab, Herra worked as an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños; teaching general biochemistry, organic and general chemistry lecture and laboratory. She did her M.S. research at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), where she performed purification and functional characterization studies on a multifunctional germin-like protein involved in rice development and stress response. In the Beal lab, Herra is studying ADAR dimerization and is currently developing inhibitors of this dimerization as potential treatment for ADAR-related diseases like cancer.
Herra is crazy about cats and is a huge fan of shōjo animés and Korean dramas. She loves to travel, to eat (Korean food being her favorite!), and to cook; and actually aspires to have her own restaurant someday!
LinkedIn: /Herra Grajo
4th Year Graduate Students
Victorio Jauregi Matos
NSF-GRFP Fellow (Present)
Bradford Borge Fellow (Present)
B.S. Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
Victorio (He/Him/His They/Them) was born and raised in the small town of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Before joining the lab, Victorio worked synthesizing acetylenic and halogenated fatty acids to elucidate their activity against leishmaniasis and nosocomial infections.
In the Beal lab, Victorio works creating novel ways to improve site directed editing of ADAR with the use of synthetically modified RNA guide strands. He believes that the use of synthetic guide RNAs will provide a pathway to improve ADAR’s as therapeutics for transcriptome editing. As a Queer-Latinox scientist, Victorio stands as an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion. He strongly believes that a diverse workforce promotes success and a collaborative environment, something crucial in science.
Outside of the lab, Victorio loves water. I.e. diving in oceans, snorkeling in beaches, or paddleboarding in Caribbean bays. He also loves photographing nature and Asian food. Always up for an adventure or willing to explore new countries/cultures/landscapes. Victorio also likes going out for drinks and supports local drag queen shows. Fav series: Avatar, POSE, Hannibal, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Office, Wes Anderson and Pixar films.
LinkedIn: /Victorio Jauregui Matos
B.S. Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University: San Luis Obispo, 2019
As an undergraduate at Cal Poly, Bailey worked with Dr. Daniel Bercovici on the optimization of the hydroboration-oxidation of ynamides (alkynes connected to amides). After optimizing the procedure for the reaction on the model molecule, Bailey moved onto increasing the substrate scope and performing the optimized procedure on those substrates.In the Beal lab, Bailey will be working on the synthesis of modified nucleotides that will be incorporated into guide strands for ADAR2 to identify high affinity binders.
3rd Year Graduate Students
B.S. Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University: San Luis Obispo, 2019
Aashrita (she/her/hers) is from the Bay Area in California. She graduated with her B.S. in Biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2019, where she worked on the synthesis of 2-aminooxazole probes targeting kinase STK-16. She then spent a year as a research associate at Hexagon Bio. Outside of the lab, Aashrita enjoys singing, hiking, and cooking with friends and family.
B.S. Chemistry, California State University Channel Islands, 2020
Prince (he/him/his) is from Los Angeles, California. He graduated with his B.S. in Chemistry from CSU Channel Islands in 2020, where he worked on investigating synthesized novel sulfonamide-nucleoside hybrid analogues as potential anti-cancer drugs through in silico molecular docking studies.
In the Beal lab, Prince aims to unlock the full therapeutic potential of ADARs. ADAR site-directed RNA editing faces a limitation due to ADARs selectivity for editing adenosines with specific neighboring nucleotides. Consequently, guide strands are readily designed for only a small fraction of target sites associated with disease-causing mutations that contain a 5’U, leaving disfavored sites (e.g., 5’C, 5’G) underserved. Prince, alongside his undergraduate mentees, Sherry and Megan, employ EMERGe, an innovative in vitro screening method that comprehensively assesses large ADAR substrates containing difficult-to-edit sites. They apply this methodology to a diverse array of disease-relevant target sequences to unveil previously unidentified guide RNA sequences, and in turn illuminate novel principles of ADAR-mediated editing.
Outside of the lab, Prince likes to go shopping, indulge in skin care and makeup, and go out for coffee and desserts. His favorite self-care activities are taking hot-girl walks, beautifying himself, and journaling. Prince also loves anything pink and Hello Kitty!
2nd Year Graduate Students
B.S. Biology and Chemistry, University of the Pacific, Stockton
Randall was born and raised in the SF bay area and received B.S. in Biology and Chemistry at University of the Pacific, Stockton. There, he dabbled in site-directed mutagenesis to probe the foundations of the thermal stability of Taq Polymerase. After graduating, he spent an undisclosed amount of time as an industry scientist, where he was introduced to oligonucleotide chemistry. Randall now aims to apply his experience to study ADAR guide strand design.
When not in lab, Randall is passionate about naps and daydreaming and spends most of his waking hours eating and petting dogs.
B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Linfield University, 2021
Natalie (she/her/hers) was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. During undergraduate she worked on synthesizing more potent small molecule inhibitors of the actin related protein (ARP2/3) complex to halt important functions of the cytoskeleton by inhibiting the branching of actin polymers. An additional project she worked on looked at modulating the copper concentrations for growing S. cerevisea to understand the basic science of mitochondrial metabolic processes such as the electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation.Outside of the lab she enjoys communicating female health research and engaging in science outreach. She also enjoys playing the cello, yoga, and baking bread.
B.S. Biochemistry, Brigham Young University
Kristen (she/her/hers) grew up in 7 different states (!!) but is most recently from Washington state. She received her bachelor’s from BYU in Biochemistry. In between her bachelor’s degree and graduate school, she performed research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) working on synthesis of polymers as fuel additives, characterization of gas/diesel/jet fuels via NMR spectroscopy, and bioengineered yeast to produce biofuel precursors.
In her free time she loves to bike, homebrew, play video games, and mess around with her pets. If anyone wants a plant buddy, she’s always willing to give some cuttings of plants that she tries to propagate.
1st Year Graduate Students
B.S. Chemistry, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea
Charles was born in New Jersey and grew up in Seoul, Korea.He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea. In his undergrad, he conducted various research about medicinal chemistry, bioinformatics, and bioengineering.
In the Beal lab, Charles is studying various ways to improve ADAR editing efficacy, currently focusing on the effect of ribo pyridine-2-one on the orphan position on ADAR1 deamination.
Outside the lab, he likes cooking for his friends, traveling, and visiting art galleries. He also enjoys learning new languages!
Olivia is currently pursuing a B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UC Davis. Outside of school, she enjoys crafts, music, and watching superhero movies.
Sherry was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and is currently studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UC Davis. In the Beal Lab, Sherry works with Prince Salvador in the identification and verification studies of guide RNA strands to enable editing at difficult-to-edit sites.In her free time, Sherry likes to read manga, her favorite genre being strong female leads. She is passionate about Korean sunscreens and poke bowls, and although she loves nostalgic, comfort foods, she is always down for an adventure to a restaurant she’s never been to before!
Megan is from Castro Valley in the Bay Area and is studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UC Davis. She works with Prince Salvador in the Beal Lab, identifying guide strands that enable editing at difficult-to-edit sites.
When she’s not in school, Megan likes to play and watch basketball. She’s also an avid fan of kpop and enjoys going to concerts!