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Meet our Organizers

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Co-Founder, Faculty Advisor

DR. SONYA NEAL

I'm an assistant professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at UCSD. I'm a Black in STEM, first generation college student and proud mother of two. My research strives to understand the basic biology of protein homeostasis and how organisms use quality control pathways to mitigate this universal biological stress. I enjoy mentoring, outreach, spending time with family, running, and watching basketball and football.

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Co-Founder

TARA SPENCER

Hello friends! I'm a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the Dutton Lab at UCSD. I grew up in Antigua and Barbuda and did my undergraduate studies at Howard University. I am a first-generation college student, and the first in my family to pursue a Ph.D.  I study the interactions between phages and other microbes in cheese. When I am not in lab, I am colouring, writing or cuddling my pup, Mecca.

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Co-Founder, Chair

SUMEDHA RAVISHANKAR

Hi! I’m a 4th year Ph.D. student in Dr. Cressida’s Madigan’s lab at UCSD. I study bacterial infections that affect the nervous system, such as bacterial meningitis, using zebrafish as a model organism. I’m from Tucson, AZ, but got my bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley. Go Bears! I then spent two years as a research scientist at the University of Washington before beginning my graduate work. In my free time I love watching baseball/playing fantasy baseball, cooking, running, and spending time with friends!

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Vice Chair

ERIC JORDAHL

Hello! I am a 1st-year Ph.D. Student in Biology at UCSD! I am currently rotating in labs around the department and have interests broadly in Cell and Molecular Biology with specific focuses on protein quality control and protein kinases and regulation. I grew up in Montgomery County, PA (Near Philadelphia), and received my bachelor’s in molecular biology at the University of Pittsburgh. When I’m not in lab, I love spending time with friends, juggling, baking, and playing with my cat, Artemis!

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Founding Board, Finance Chair

IVY FERNANDES

Hi! I am a 4th year Ph.D. student in Dr. Deborah Yelon's lab at UCSD, where I research heart development using zebrafish as a model organism. I was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I attended Santa Clara University for my bachelor's degree in bioengineering. During my free time, I love baking, running, and trying various DIY projects.

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Finance Co-Chair

DEVANSHI AGARWAL

I'm a 1st-year Ph.D. Student at UCSD. I'm originally from Chennai, India, and I received my B.S. in biochemistry with a minor in art history from UCLA. I'm the first in my family to pursue a Ph.D. and wouldn't be where I am without the mentors I've had along the way, which is why I resonate with BUMMP's mission. Outside of lab and mentorship, I enjoy going to the beach, visiting art museums, trying new restaurants, and watching reality TV! 

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Founding Board, Event Committee Chair

MEGAN HAYES

Hello! I am a 4th year Ph.D. student in Dr. Cressida Madigan’s lab at UCSD. I grew up in Tucson, AZ, and received my bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Arizona. Now, as a graduate student in Dr. Cressida Madigan’s lab, I study tuberculosis meningitis in a zebrafish model. Outside of lab, I enjoy spending time outdoors, crafting, and playing with my dog!

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Event Committee Co-Chair

ALEXANDRA STREAM

I am an MD/PhD graduate student in the lab of Dr. Cressida Madigan at UCSD. I study nerve damage in leprosy using zebrafish as a model organism. I went to UCLA for undergrad and then spent two years doing research at the NIH in Bethesda, MD before starting grad school. When I'm not in lab, I love going to the beach, paddleboarding, and trying new foods around San Diego.

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Event Committee Co-Chair

CLAIRE CHAPMAN

Hi everyone, I am a 2nd year Ph.D. student at UC San Diego! I am a member of the Rivera-Chávez lab where I study host-pathogen interactions of Vibrio cholerae. I grew up near Sacramento, California, and attended UC Davis where I earned a bachelor's degree in Global Disease Biology and minors in Public Health and Medical Entomology. When I am not in lab, I love baking, reading, fly fishing, and watching football and baseball.

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