PIBBS Spotlights

  • Silvia Cervantes Cortes

Silvia Cervantes Cortes

Silvia Cervantes Cortes joined PIBBS in fall 2015 and is currently part of the Medical Biophysics PhD program, working with her mentor Ansgar Siemer, PhD. She is inspired by science because of how it gives people a chance to engage in the process of exploration and discovery. Read More »

  • Daniel Fernandez

Daniel Fernandez

Daniel “DJ” Fernandez joined the PIBBS program in fall 2017 and is currently part of the Medical Biology PhD program working with his mentor, W. Martin Kast, PhD. He is from Pennsylvania and chose USC because he was curious about living in Los Angeles. Read More »

  • Sathish Kumar Ganesan

Sathish Kumar Ganesan

Sathish Kumar Ganesan joined the PIBBS program in fall 2016 and is currently in the Cancer, Biology and Genomics PhD program. In the future, he would like to pursue research that uses genomics to benefit patients’ health and would like to continue his community activism. Read More »

  • Rong Lu

Rong Lu, PhD

Rong Lu, PhD, has been a part of the Trojan family since 2014. She lectures in SCRM517: Historical and Contemporary Research: Hematopoietic Progenitor and Stem Cells (HPSCs). Lu wanted to become a scientist because she liked to learn how things worked. Read More »

  • Marilena Melas

Marilena Melas

Marilena Melas joined the PIBBS Program in 2015 and is currently part of the Cancer Biology and Genomics PhD Program. She started her career at USC in March 2013 working with Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH, as a research lab assistant. Read More »

  • Shannon Mumenthaler, PhD

Shannon Mumenthaler, PhD

Shannon Mumenthaler, PhD, has been a part of the Trojan Family since 2009. She started as a postdoctoral fellow and obtained her faculty appointment in December 2012. Her advice to those interested in obtaining a PhD is that it is a challenging experience, yet extremely rewarding. Read More »

  • Travis Nielsen, PhD

Travis Nielsen, PhD

Travis Nielsen, PhD, joined the PIBBS program in May 2016 while working in the lab of Brad Spellberg, MD, in the Medical Biology PhD program. He is grateful for the guidance he received from his principal investigator and the PIBBS department. Read More »

Lisa Nguyen

Lisa Nguyen joined the PIBBS program in 2013 and is currently part of the Development, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine PhD program with her mentor Rong Lu, PhD. She chose to attend USC because of its close-knit research community. Read More »

Marie Rippen, PhD

Marie Rippen, PhD ’15, is the CEO of Lab Launch Inc. Marie believes the PIBBS program is great and encourages each student to take advantage of the various opportunities that may come their way. Read More »

Maxwell Serowoky

Maxwell Serowoky started the program in Fall 2016 and is currently part of the Development, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine program working with his mentor Dr. Francesca Mariani. Max completed his Masters in Physiological Sciences at the University of Arizona in 2014. Read More »

Christopher Schafer, Ph.D.

Christopher Schafer joined the PIBBS program in 2004 and was mentored by Dr. Robert Maxson. Chris enrolled in the Genetic, Molecular, and Cellular Biology (GMCB) Ph.D. program while at the same time enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration program at Pepperdine University. Read More »

  • Joseph Skeate

Joseph Skeate

Joseph Skeate joined the PIBBS program in fall 2015 and is currently part of the Medical Biology PhD program. What inspires him the most about science is witnessing a student suddenly understand a scientific concept that they had been struggling to grasp. Read More »

Julia Taylor

Julia Taylor joined the PIBBS program in 2013 and is a part of the Medical Biology PhD program. She believes that science is collaborative and that by bridging science with concepts from technology, business and design, humanity’s toughest problems can be solved. Read More »

  • Damian Wang

Damian Wang, PhD

Damian Wang, PhD ’17, is a project manager in research services at 23andMe. He chose to attend PIBBS because of the wide-ranging programs available and the support and encouragement offered from both program faculty and staff. Read More »

  • Lisa Yan

Lisa Yan, PhD

Lisa Yan, PhD, is a principal quality lab associate in a center-led team for global quality control and global microbiology at Shire PLC. She believes the PIBBS program allowed her access to different areas of research and the first-year lab rotations were among her favorite things about the program. Read More »