Angela Brooks

Angela Brooks

Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering

Institute Faculty, UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Broad Institute with Matthew Meyerson
Ph.D., Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley with Steven Brenner
B.S., Biology with Specialization in Bioinformatics, UC San Diego

When I’m not sciencing , I like to run to offset my love of food and cooking. I also like to sing and play guitar.



Eva Robinson

Associate Specialist

B.A. and Ph.D., UC Berkeley in Biochemistry and Comparative Biochemistry.

Interests: Genome-wide research to understand the roles of RNA processing in disease and aging.

Hobbies: I am happiest spending time with my family swimming, hiking, and camping in the mountains. I also love ballet, and teach at local studios on occasions.



Dominic Schenone

Junior Specialist

B.S., Bioengineering/Bioinformatics, Minor Statistics and Electrical Engineering, UC Santa Cruz

I am currently working on a data mining project, focusing on analyzing CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNA data to determine the location of cut sites within exons in the genome.

Hobbies: When I have time outside of school, I enjoy playing video games, going sailing or skiing and traveling to new places.

Graduate Students



Cameron Soulette


M.S., Cell & Molecular Biology, San Francisco State University with Scott W. Roy
B.S., Physiology, San Francisco State University

I’m generally interested in mechanisms and signals involved in pre-mRNA splicing. My current project is concerned with understanding how somatic mutations across different cancer types affect splicing. In my effort to get the best resolution on cancer-associated splicing alterations, I am also aiding in the development of new technologies at UCSC to sequence full transcript isoforms – Nanopore sequencing.

In my free time I enjoy running, kayaking, and exploring new restaurants!


Jon Akutagawa


B.S., Bioengineering, UC Berkeley

I want to develop better models to predict disease progression and drug resistance in cancers that arise from mutations that alter splicing and the transcriptome. My current project involves uncovering mutations in the 5′ untranslated regions of genes and characterizing their effects on transcription and translation.

When I’m not in lab, I enjoy discovering new rock walls to climb, re-imagining childhood Japanese dishes, and fiddling with new frameworks for data visualization.


Brandon Saint-John


B.Sc., Biochemistry, University of Virginia

My research is involved in looking at genes involved with chromatin modification and how somatic mutations in lung adenocarcinoma in those genes affect alternative splicing.

In my spare time I enjoy playing basketball, ocean activities, and studying Japanese.


Alison Tang


B.A., Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley

I’m looking at altered splicing in SF3B1 mutated CLL samples using ONT long reads and Illumina short reads. I’m interested in understanding/using/developing long read and Hybrid-seq methods to make biological discoveries in cancers, among other genetic diseases.

I like hiking, doing jigsaw puzzles, and drinking pearl milk tea.




Pratibha Jagannatha

Proposed Major: Bioengineering, Minor Bioinformatics

My research interests include the development and application of technology to biological sciences, specifically those with medical applications. I am currently working on a collaborative project with the Brooks Lab and Carpenter Lab involving identification of alternative splicing events within the innate immune response system.

In my free time I enjoy drawing, singing, and dancing.

Jake Runyan

Computer Science

I will be working on implementing the WEB-seq and DEB-seq shrinkage strategies for comparing two datasets in a new statistical test on the JuncBASE library. I will later contribute to a cloud-based model of JuncBASE.

I enjoy learning about different types of neural networks, playing basketball, and mountain biking.


Daniel Schmelter

Bioengineering, Minor Bioinformatics

I’m currently working on cloning CRISPR sgRNAs to investigate splicing mutations.

My hobbies include speeding down hills on bikes, scampering up vertical rock surfaces, partner acrobatics, food chemistry, and traveling anywhere beautiful.


Stefanie Brizuela

Proposed Major: Bioengineering, Minor Bioinformatics

I am currently contrasting DNA methylation detection between nanopore sequencing and bisulfite sequencing. I want to potentially use nanopore for detecting long-range associations in exon inclusion to better understand gene regulation and diseases.

On my downtime, I like to explore different glass staining techniques, read poetry, walk my hamster, and paint with acrylics.


Kyvan Trout


I am developing a program that will take junction coordinates, find mutually exclusive junctions, and calculate the PSI of those junctions actually occurring.

In my free time, I love cardiovascular activities.




Maximillian Marin

Sep 2015-Jun 2017, Awards: Crown College Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Koret Scholarship, Dean’s Award, Currently: Graduate Student, Harvard Systems Biology


Kevyn Hart

Jul 2015-Jul 2017, Currently: Research Associate, City of Hope

Alexis Thornton

Jun 2016-Jul 2017, Currently: Graduate Student, UC Santa Cruz Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics



Positions available

Computational and wet-lab postdoc positions available. Computational postdocs with experience in high-throughput sequencing analysis are strongly encouraged to apply. Potential wet-lab postdocs with experience in molecular biology, RNA biochemistry, and cancer biology are strongly encouraged to apply. If interested, please send an email and CV.

Graduate student positions available through the PBSE and Biomolecular Engineering graduate programs.

Please check back one month before the start of a quarter for availability of undergraduate research positions. Email for more information.