People


Angela Brooks
Assistant Professor
Biomolecular Engineering
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 Hrabeta-Robinson
Specialist
Lab Manager

Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Santa Cruz with Charles Daniel
B.A. and Ph.D., Biochemistry and Comparative Biochemistry, UC Berkeley

As a senior scientist in the lab, I enjoy developing experimental approaches for new projects inspired by hypotheses derived from computational analysis of high throughput sequencing data. I provide preliminary data and support to our students who chose to take up and lead these projects as part of our team effort to understand the connection between genomic mutations and RNA processing in diseases like cancer.

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.

Cameron Soulette
Graduate Student, MCD

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
Graduate Student, BME

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
Graduate Student, BME

B.Sc., Biochemistry
University of Virginia

There are a number of chromatin factors that are recurrently mutated in lung cancer, and how these mutations affect DNA accessibility and contribute to cancer is poorly understood. To this end, my research focuses on developing new methods with long-read nanopore sequencing to determine changes in DNA accessibility on a genome-wide scale and also determine how DNA accessibility is coordinated to influence gene expression.

In my spare time, I like to go to trivia nights at bars across town, surf, rock climb at Pacific Edge, and play basketball with labmates and friends.

Alison Tang
Graduate Student, BME

B.A., Molecular and Cell Biology
UC Berkeley

My work is primarily focused on investigating splicing alterations, RNA modifications, and allele-specific expression of transcripts associated with human disease. To do so, I work on various methods to analyze long reads as these studies are powered by hybrid RNA-Seq approaches. More generally, I’m interested in furthering our understanding of cancer and other genetic diseases through the development of computational methods.

I like hiking (especially if there are water features involved!), doing jigsaw puzzles, reading, drinking pearl milk tea, and watching movies.

Megan Durham
Graduate Student, MCD

B.S., Biology
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

I work on the ssCRISPR project, which uses CRISPR/Cas9 targeting splice sites to force exon skipping events. I’m using this method to find new cancer driver mutations that result from aberrant exon skipping in lung adenocarcinoma.

When I’m not in lab, I enjoy backpacking, breakfast bonfires on the beach, and hammocking with beers and friends.

Alexis Thornton
Graduate Student, BME

B.S., Biology
University of Florida

My research aims to predict the impact of somatic cancer mutations by using Expression-based Variant Impact Phenotyping (eVIP). I’m also taking advantage of the vast amounts of existing RNA-seq datasets to create a database of splice variants and the cellular conditions (e.g. immune responses) they are associated with. This will be a valuable resource for the types of isoform-specific analysis we do in the Brooks Lab.

In my free time, I like to surf in Santa Cruz as much as possible. I also enjoy reading, playing basketball, and cheering for the Florida Gators.

Beth DeVogelaere
Graduate Student, BME

B.S., Biosystems Engineering
University of Arizona

I am excited about developing in silico methods to address fundamental and novel questions in disease progression and cancer therapies. Currently, I am working to develop algorithms to identify and interpret genomics data in order to better understand gene regulation and its effects on genetic trends in human health.

When I’m not in lab you can find me knitting, traveling, and exploring new restaurants.

Stefanie Brizuela
Undergrad Researcher

Major: Biomolecular Engineering
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.

Carmelle Catamura
Undergrad Researcher

Major: Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics

I'm currently looking into alternative splicing events as biomarkers for cancer cell lines that are sensitized to drugs that target splicing regulators.

When I'm not doing work, I like to cook, take care of my plants and spend time with friends.

Matthew Cattle
Undergrad Researcher

Major: Biomolecular Engineering
Minor: Bioinformatics

My research interests are in the medical applications of genomics and technology. I work on the Brooks-Carpenter collaboration focused on alternative splicing in the immune response.

In my free time, I like watching sunsets and spending time with those close to me.

Nathan Cook
Undergrad Researcher

Major: Biomolecular Engineering
Minor: Bioinformatics

I am currently studying the role of alternative splicing in oncogenesis. We hope to develop a CRISPR screen that can identify therapeutic targets in lung cancer. My interests in biotechnology extend broadly to medical research and I hope to one day work on chronic diseases such as diabetes.

When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy fencing, playing Catan, and talking about almost anything interesting.

Swetha Vadde
Undergrad Researcher

Major: Human Biology
Minor: Classical Studies

I am studying aberrant alternative splicing and its role in oncogenesis. Currently, I am contributing to a CRISPR screen that targets the splice sites of exons to cause exon skipping and investigating how much skipping is needed to see a cancer phenotype.

In my free time, I like to spend time with friends, ski/snowboard, read novels, and bake.