Mark Xiang

TITLE: Graduate Student (PhD)
PROGRAM: Bioinformatics (2020 – present)
B.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2020)

Research Interests

My current research interests are how NFκB dynamics informs B cell fate decision. Our lab has previously determined 6 informative NFκB dynamical features, but what remains unknown is whether cells actually use these information to make decisions – apoptosis, proliferation, division and/or differentiation. I focus on RelA and cRel, two distinct subunit of NFκB, to study signaling dynamics and their correlation with fate decision.

Connor Razma

TITLE: Undergraduate Student
MAJOR: Computational and Systems Biology


My research focuses on bioinformatics and data analysis. My main project involves methylation data from patients infected with cytomegalovirus post kidney transplant. I am also implementing deep learning techniques to study liver pathology images. Outside of the lab, I enjoy hiking and learning about other disciplines such as history, philosophy, and economics.

Aditya Pimplaskar

TITLE: Undergraduate Student
MAJOR: Computational and Systems Biology, concentration in Data Science
MINOR: Mathematics


My work focuses around bioinformatics and data analysis for the lab. My current research develops single cell RNA sequencing methods for reconstructing heterogeneous time course trajectories from snapshot time series data. I have previously worked on analyzing ChIP-seq and RNA-seq data, along with performing DNA motif-oriented analysis to investigate DNA-binding mechanisms of RelA. In the UCLA BIG Summer program, I used genomic landscapes in small cell lung cancer cell lines to predict drug sensitivities. Outside the lab, some of my interests include playing the piano and guitar, engaging in community service projects for science education and mentorship, playing and watching sports, trying new cuisines, and analyzing sports data.

Minh Nguyen

TITLE: Undergraduate Student
MAJOR: Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
MINOR: Biomedical Research, Bioinformatics


I joined the Hoffmann lab in June 2020. I work primarily with Dr. Quen Cheng. My research focuses on analyzing RNA-seq and ChIP-seq datasets to understand the variable outcomes of immune cells upon infection. Outside of the lab, I enjoy swimming, hiking and playing the piano.”.

Jennifer Chia

TITLE: Resident Physician
Residency in Anatomic Pathology, UCLA (2018 – 2021)
M.D. Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University, Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program  (2018)
Ph.D., Weill Cornell Graduate School of Cornell University, Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program (2016)
B.A., University of Colorado (2007)


As a developing physician scientist and Hematopathologist-in-training, I am interested in understanding how inflammatory signaling in the bone marrow microenvironment may influence hematopoiesis and human bone marrow disorders.


Azar, S., Buen, F., Chia, J.J., Ma, Y., Caron, J. Dry, S. Bhuta, S. Abemayor, E. Spindle cell lipoma arising from the supraglottis: a case report and review of the literature. Head and Neck Pathology. [In press manuscript number HANP-D-20-00412R1; accepted for publication 11/19/2020.] 

Chia J.J., Zhu T., Chyou S., Dasoveanu D.C., Carballo C., Tian S., Magro C.M., Rodeo S., Spiera R.F., Ruddle N.H., McGraw T.E., Browning J.L., Lafyatis R., Gordon J.K., Lu T.T. Dendritic cells maintain adipose-derived stromal cells in skin fibrosis. J Clin Invest. 2016 Nov 1;126(11):4331-4345. PMID: 27721238; PMCID: PMC5096920. 

Dasoveanu D.C., Shipman W.D., Chia J.J., Chyou S., Lu T.T. Regulation of lymph node vascular-stromal compartment by dendritic cells. Trends in immunology. 2016; 37(11):764-777. PMID: 27638128; PMCID: PMC5492966. 

Chia, J.J. & Lu, T.T. Update on macrophages and innate immunity in scleroderma. Curr Opin Rheumatol 27, 530-536 (2015). PMID: 26352734; PMCID: PMC4763869. 

Hains, L.E., Loram, L.C., Taylor, F., Strand, K., Wieseler, J.L., Barrientos, R., Young, J.J., Frank, M.G., Sobesky, J., Martin, T.J., Eisenach, J.C., Maier, S.F., Johnson, J.D., Fleshner, M.R., & Watkins, L.R. 2011. Prior laparotomy or corticosterone potentiates lipopolysaccharide-induced fever and sickness behaviors. J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Oct 28;239(1-2):53-60. PMID: 21907418; PMCID: PMC3205218. 

Chia, D.J., Young, J.J., Mertens, A.R., Rotwein, P.R. 2010. Distinct alterations in chromatin organization of the two IGF-I promoters precede growth hormone-induced activation of IGF-I gene transcription. Mol Endocrinol. 2010 Apr;24(4):779-89. PMID: 20160126; PMCID: PMC2852351. 

Young, J.J., Mehdi, A., Stohl, L., Levin, L.R., Buck, J., Wagner, J.,Stessin, A.M. 2008. ‘Soluble’ adenylyl cyclase-generated cyclic AMP promotes fast migration in PC12 cells. J Neurosci Res. 2008 Jan;86(1):118-24. PMID: 17680672; PMCID: PMC2587045. 

Awards & Fellowships:

2019: Translational Research Fund project support, Department of Pathology, UCLA 

2018: Herman L. Jacobius Prize in Pathology, Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University 

2015: Outstanding Poster Award, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Cornell University 

2014-2015: T32 funding award to the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program of Weill Cornell Graduate School of Cornell University 

2009 – 2011: T32 to the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program 

2006 – 2007: Undergraduate Research Assistantship funding award, University of Colorado 

2006: Leibowitz Fellowship Undergraduate Prize, Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program 

2004 – 2007: Puksta Scholarship, University of Colorado 

2004 – 2007: Norlin Scholarship, University of Colorado 

Kelly Lin

TITLE: Undergraduate Student
MAJOR: Biology

Nathan Price

TITLE: Undergraduate Student
MAJOR: Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics


UCLA Alumni Scholar (2019-present)

Haripriya Vaidehi Narayanan

TITLE: Postdoctoral Fellow
OFFICE: Boyer Hall 570
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University – 2019
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University – 2013
B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering + M.Tech in CAD/Automation, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay – 2011


I’m a hybrid between an engineer and a biologist, with research interests centered on infection and immunity across scales. I want to study human immunity from the perspectives of systems biology and robotics. In my current work, by combining experimental tools and techniques with computational modeling, I aim to dissect how the dynamics of B-lymphocytes across scales – gene regulatory networks, cell-cell interactions, and population-level competitive selection – shape the evolution of highly specific, robust, and diverse antibody responses.

Alongside this primary research interest, I love learning about the wonderfully weird biology of exotic “non-model” organisms. I’m also passionate about global development and improving health outcomes among vulnerable populations through my work. I initiated and still contribute towards a web/mobile-based citizen science effort to crowdsource mosquito ecological data for monitoring and predicting mosquito-borne disease outbreaks [Abuzz].

As hobbies, I love hiking, cooking, playing racquet sports, Indian classical and epic music, reading comics from various countries and drawing my own, and reading sci-fi, fantasy, and non-fiction books


1. Using mobile phones as acoustic sensors for high-throughput mosquito surveillance. (2017) eLife 2017;6:e27854
2. Surface tension dominates the biomechanics of insect flight on fluid interfaces. (2016) Journal of Experimental Biology 219, 752-766

Awards & Fellowships:

2021-2024: Damon Runyon Quantitative Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship
2019-2021: James S McDonnell Foundation (JSMF) 21st Century Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Understanding Dynamic and Multi-scale Systems
2013-2016 : Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Graduate Student Research Fellowship
2015 : DARPA Rising Stars Award
2011 : IIT Bombay Technical Activities Citation
2008 & 2009 : IIT Bombay Institute Academic Prize
2008 : IIT Bombay Heritage Fund Shantilal H Goradia Memorial Scholarship
2003 : Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) Fellowship (Government of India & Indian Institute of Science)
2003 : National Talent Search Scholarship (Government of India)

Zachary Qian

TITLE: Undergraduate Student
MAJOR: Applied Mathematics
MINOR: Bioinformatics


My research focuses on primarily on data analysis and bioinformatics in the lab. My current work deals with RNA-seq and methylation data, more specifically in differential gene expression and differential methylation analysis. I am also investigating the prediction of psoriatic arthritis using genotypic data and machine learning/deep learning techniques. Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing and watching ice hockey and basketball, hiking, and reading up on startup culture and venture capital.

Aishwarya Atmakuri

TITLE: Undergraduate Student
MAJOR: Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology