Peer Advisors

Peer Advisors

Aarohi Bhargava-Shah - Molecular & Cell Biology

    Aarohi is a fourth year student majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She has been extensively involved in research both on- and off-campus as an undergraduate. In high school and the summer following her freshman year of college, she was a Research Assistant at the Stanford School of Medicine where she worked on developing various therapies for triple-negative breast cancer. In the spring semester of her sophomore year, she joined the Tjian-Darzacq Lab at Berkeley, studying the mechanisms by which transcription is reactivated in stem cells following mitosis. She was also selected through URAP to work with a cross-institutional team comprising researchers from the UC Berkeley and Harvard Schools of Public Health to identify explanations for racial disparities in prostate cancer treatment and mortality. This summer, she interned at a biotech startup through the QB3 Biotech Internship Program. Aarohi is excited to share her experiences and looks forward to helping other students seek out research opportunities. She is also deeply passionate about improving how we convey science to those in non-scientific spheres, and currently serves as Managing Editor of the Berkeley Scientific Journal. Outside school, she loves to dance, play the violin, draw caricatures, and café-hop around Berkeley.

    Emma Bianco - History and American Studies

      Emma is a fourth year History and American Studies double major focusing on the Cold War era, including the communist “conspiracy,” espionage, and the United States and Soviet relations. She began research during her sophomore year through the history department’s URAP project on economic practices of slaveholding women, and has since participated in multiple URAP projects and has interned for a private archival company. This past summer she has worked on her SURF project which examines the rise of the right-wing conservative movement in Orange County, California in the Post-War era. In her free time, she enjoys reading Harry Potter, painting, and baking food that is extremely unhealthy.


      Lotus Lum - Molecular & Cell Biology

        Lotus is a fourth year majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. She started her research in the Scott Oakes lab at UCSF and has been there ever since. Her research focuses on a protein called LRRK2, which is the most common site for mutations for genetic Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and investigating the mechanism by which it causes PD. Since she started there, she has received funding from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the SURF program to pursue independent research projects. Lotus hopes to pursue biomedical research in the future and is looking forward to helping others get involved in research as well!

        Ala Mahmoud - Molecular & Cell Biology

          Ala is a third year majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in developmental genetics. Ala got involved in research his first semester freshman year working at the Selleri Lab at UCSF and has been there since. He is working on a project studying RPSA and its relationship to spleen development particularly in the context of the development of incomplete congenital asplenia (ICA). Outside of research Ala enjoys working out, playing guitar, and playing video games.

          Brittnie Phan - Molecular & Cell Biology

            Brittnie is a fourth year majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, with an emphasis on Cell/Developmental Biolgy. Brittnie’s first research experience came from the mcbUSA program working on solar tracking sunflowers in both the lab and in the fields. Under the Blackman Lab, sh works under a Post-Doc Student in the Plant/Genetics Lab on campus and will soon start her MCB honors thesis this upcoming fall. This past summer she went to Spain for a month to shadow various medical fields, ranging from ophthalmology to gastroenterology. In her free time, she enjoys gardening with her dad, cooking and baking with her family, and trying new foods from all different places in the world.

            Ariel Renner - English

              Ariel is a fourth year English major, particularly interested in 17th- and early-18th-century literature. This past summer, she was a SURF Fellow and spent time working in London with early modern manuscripts, prints, and drawings at the British Library and British Museum. She mainly focuses on works that use landscape and nature as a way to subvert traditional depictions and ideas of feminine beauty and sexuality in literature, looking at the way that landscape practices in 17th-century England potentially served as microcosmic reflections of societal attitudes towards women’s rights to sexual freedom.

              Dylan Stover - Molecular Environmental Biology

                Dylan is a fourth year student studying Molecular Environmental Biology with a minor in Geographic Information Systems.  His first research experience came from applying to a URAP program working on the Carrizo Plain Ecology Project both in the lab and in the field.  From there, he began working under a Master’s student in the Range Ecology Lab on campus, an experience that provided him with the necessary experience to work on an independent research project through the SURF program.  When he isn’t working in the lab, Dylan enjoys hiking and playing quidditch.

                Hannah Thorner - Molecular & Cell Biology

                  Hannah is a fourth year student majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology and Anthropology. She got involved in the URAP program at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology her first semester freshman year, and has been a part of it ever since. She has also worked in the laboratory of Evan Miller since summer 2016 assisting with projects that utilize voltage sensitive fluorescent dyes for the purpose of neuronal imaging. Outside of research she enjoys drawing and trying to find new music.