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Recent Lab Members

Recent Postbac Researchers:


Brenda Portugal, BS


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Brenda graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Biological Sciences and is currently a Postbac student for the Pre-Health program. Her goal is to pursue a career in the field of dentistry. In her free time she enjoys working out, learning new languages, and volunteering with dental clinics.

Ryan Dulong, BS


Ryan (he/him) graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in Molecular/Cellular Biology in 2022 and is now completing a Postbac program to apply for medical school. In his free time, he enjoys swimming and playing/listening to music.


Cassandra Legaspi Odulio



Cassie (she/her) was born and raised in the Bay Area, graduated from University of San Francisco with a B.S. in Biology, and is currently a UC Davis student in the Health Professions Post-Baccalaureate Program, with plans to apply for dental school in 2024. In her free time, she enjoys reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, singing, and spending time with her family and her cat at home.

Tim McGinley


Tim (he/him) graduated from UC Santa Cruz with his B.S. in Neuroscience in December 2019. He is currently a post-baccalaureate student at UC Davis hoping to apply to medical school soon. In his free time, Tim enjoys cooking and recording music. 

Melody Yang



Melody is a from Sacramento, CA. She received her major in Biopsychology from UC Santa Barbara. She is a current post bacc student at UC Davis and aspires to go to medical school. She is a huge Sacramento Kings fan, and enjoys going to basketball games, going to the beach, playing volleyball and tennis, hiking and visiting national parks, and traveling.

Recent Undergraduate Researchers:

Liam Condon



Liam is a second year NPB major that aspires to become an orthopedic surgeon. He also plays lacrosse for UC Davis and likes to do Olympic lifting in his free time. 

Roger Hsieh



Roger is an NPB major from southern California. In his free time, he enjoys improvising music on his piano, volunteering with student orgs, and is an avid competitor in his fantasy

sports leagues. He is an aspiring physician and hopes to work with kids someday!

Tiange Hou



Tiange Hou is a 3rd year NPB major student. She has gained many new perspectives in science thanks to the Gomes Lab. She would like to continue her  study in biological research in the future. She enjoys science, traveling and video games.

Leib Lipowsky



Leib is a neurobiology, physiology, and behavioral science major from San Diego. He enjoys outdoor activities with his friends. Since his move from Southern California, his search for the perfect wave has shifted to the perfect coffee shop.

Jennifer Morales



Jennifer is from San Jose, CA. She is a third year undergraduate student majoring in biological sciences with a minor in Chicanx studies. With her degree, she hopes to become a physician to provide quality care to individuals from underserved communities. Her favorite pastimes include reading, playing volleyball, going on hikes and traveling.

Rainney Chiu



Rainney is an NPB major from the Bay Area. She enjoys playing volleyball, watching Netflix with a face mask on, and spending time with family and friends when she's not at the library. 

Andrew Kisin


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Andrew is a sophomore studying biological sciences with a strong interest in pursuing medicine. In his free time, he loves to ski, bike, fish, hike, and listen to music.

Michael Chang



Michael is a third-year global disease biology major. He enjoys playing golf and watching movies during his free time. His favorite types of music are rap and Electronic Dance Music (EDM). 

Ajuni Kaur



Ajuni is a Biochemistry major from the Bay Area. She enjoys sketching and reading poetry in her free time. She likes being around nature (especially under stress) and the 17 Mile Drive is her favorite place for sightseeing. 

Cierra Hall



I am a 3rd year Cell Biology major and African and African American studies minor with hopes of going to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. I am currently on the Women's Basketball team here at Davis and while that takes up most of my time, I also love going to the movies and play with my cat Cleo.

Yael Vainberg (


Yael is a third year neurobiology, physiology, and behavioral science major aspiring to become a gastroenterologist. In her free time, she enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures, playing piano, being a leader in the Jewish community, playing basketball, cooking, and discovering new coffee shops!

Elena Willow



Elena is a third year NPB major from the bay area with hopes of becoming a surgeon. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling the world.

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Ria is from Houston, Texas and currently a Sophomore at UC Davis majoring in NPB. I love spending time with my family and friends, and enjoy playing the piano as well as painting and cooking! As an aspiring physician, I am so excited to see how the field of medicine will grow over the years.

Ching Hsuan (Sophia) Lin


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Sophia is an international student from Taiwan majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. She has a strong passion in pursuing medicine. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new songs on YouTube, watching medical tv shows and true-crime documentaries, spending time with friends and family and experimenting with cooking and baking. She also loves collecting cute stuffed animals.

Natalie Nashed



I am a 2nd year NPB major from Southern California aspiring to go to medical school and become a pediatric surgeon. In my free time I like to paint, craft, bake and explore new places while traveling.

Postdoctoral Associates:                  


Shuchita Tiwari, PhD



Shuchita is from India and did her PhD in Saskatoon Canada. She loves biking reading and traveling.

Rômulo Leão Silva Neris, MS


Romulo is a Fulbright's exchange visitor doing his PhD in immunology on the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. He loves to discover and play new music genres on bass, to play soccer and rugby and to read and talk about fantasy and dystopias.

Junior Specialist:

Anna Georgieva, BS 



Anna graduated from UC Riverside with a major in Biology and an emphasis in Biochemistry. She is currently part of the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at UC Davis and is applying to graduate school. She hopes to earn her PhD in Biomedical Sciences. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading, walking her dog, watching Netlflix and eating chocolate. 

Postdoctoral Associate:                  

Rong Pei, MD


Rong moved to the U.S. three years ago in order to increase her academic knowledge. While in China, Rong was a doctor and a professor. In her free time, Rong enjoys reading and traveling.

Visiting Graduate Students:

YU-Hsuan Chen, MS


I am from Taiwan on a short-term exchange scholarship at UC Davis. I like drawing and eating gourmet food, as well as travel.

Rotating Graduate Student

Selin Gumusderelioglu, BA


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Selin is a first year graduate student in the BMCDB graduate group. She was born and raised
in Ankara, Turkey. She moved to Boston to study biochemistry and molecular biology at
Boston University. She enjoys running, doing ballet and yoga in her free time.

Undergraduate Researchers:   


Celena Lozano



Celena is currently a fourth year majoring in NPB. After taking a gap year, she plans to attend graduate school for neuroscience. In her free time, she loves hanging out with a few close friends and when she's home, her niece and nephews whom she adores.

Andrew Johnson


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Andrew Johnson is a fourth year majoring in Global Disease Biology. He heard of Dr. Gomes' lab through a friend and found the research very interesting, so he sought out to join the lab. Outside of lab and class, he  enjoys playing volleyball, exercising, watching movies, and spending time with friends. 

Joanne Newens



Joanne loves Harry Potter, chocolate, hikes and musicals, and she has a strange aptitude for making music parodies to study apoptotic pathways.  

Rosemarie Majdalani


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Rosemarie is a Nutrition Science major with an emphasis in Biology. After graduating from UC Davis, she plans to pursue a medical degree and specialize in pediatrics. In addition, she hopes  to become a physician nutrition specialist, devoting much of her career to nutrition improvement. In her free time, she is a Latin dance instructor and loves to dance as much as possible!

Samantha Wallace


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Sam is a senior majoring in genetics and genomics. She loves Christmas time and baby goats.

YSP  Students Summer 2024

Ahmad Amin Belhadj Mohamed   (


I’m a rising senior from Sacramento, California. I’m extremely passionate about the world of medicine, especially behavioral neuroscience. In my free time I swim, play the guitar, and consume French media.

Sasha Campbell      (

Sasha Campbell (she/her) is currently a rising senior at York High School. She is interested in biochemistry and hopes to pursue a career in academic research. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and likes to binge watch TV shows.

Pranav Gunturu (

Pranav Gunturu is currently a rising senior at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, CA. His research interests are neurobiology and methods to alleviate the impact of disease, and he hopes to pursue a medical career. He loves going out with friends, playing basketball, and eating good food.


YSP  Students Summer 2023

Emily Zheng (

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Emily Zheng is currently a rising senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego. Her research interests center around the biomedical sciences and she is considering pursuing a career in medicine. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and exploring new places.

Dory Kawauchi


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Dory is a high school senior at Walnut High School in California. She aspires to pursue a career in healthcare or research. In her free time she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with friends!

Mario Machado


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Mario is a senior at pioneer high school. He likes dogs and to go on his bike sometimes. He also plays water polo and golf.

YSP  Students Summer 2019

Valerie Fu

Valerie is from Sunnyvale, CA, and is a senior at Fremont High School. At school, she serves as head captain of the varsity cheer team, co-speech captain of Speech and Debate, and president of Interact Club. She loves to binge-watch HBO and Netflix, make art, try new food, and drink copious amounts of coffee.


Aarjav Joshi

Aarjav is a senior at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California, hoping to study both immunology and the Sanskrit language in college. At school, Aarjav runs cross country and track, serves as Vice President of the Foreign Language Honor Society president of the Rotary-affiliated Interact club. In his free time, Aarjav sings Indian classical music, pathetically attempts various sports, and incessantly watches the Office, much to his friends’ chagrin.


Celeste Do

Celeste is a rising junior at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, CA. She is a part of her school’s swim team and enjoys dancing and listening to music in her free time.

High school  Student Summer 2019


Nyssa Alvarado

Nyssa is a rising junior in Sacramento, California. She is president of her Youth Speech and Debate club where she teaches research and speaking skills to students at Mark Twain and Tahoe Park Elementary School’s, secretary of her school’s Interact club and a volunteer with Sacramento Reading Partners and Mercy General Hospital. In her free time she loves to read, hike, and binge watch the ridiculous amounts of Game of Thrones and Greys Anatomy.

MCBGAP Summer 2019


Hernan Osorio

Hernan is a chemistry major from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He is part of the MCBGAP, a program that provides students from HBCU's opportunities to conduct summer research at UC Davis.  Hernan enjoys spending time with his family, and on his free time plays guitar and composes music

SPIRIT PROGRAM (Saudi ARABIAN Medical students) Summer 2019


Yaman Swied

Yaman is from Columbia, Missouri. He is third year medical student at Alfaisal University in Saudi Arabia. He hopes to come back to USA after his medical school is done. In his free time, he likes to play soccer and watch movies.


Bassam Makd

I'm a third year medical student at Alfaisal University in Saudi Arabia. I'm from Yemen and really like to spend time with family and friends. In my free time, I like to watch TV series, movies, and also Anime! I hope to become a great neurosurgeon.

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