Fall 2018

Artem Pashchinskiy

In 2015 I graduated from a STEM-oriented High School in Russia. I was curious about a wide range of subjects, biology and math being among the top three, and I was not willing to give up any of them. I dreamed about combining the power of multiple disciplines to make greater change for the Humanity than any of them could do alone. Yeah, yeah, I know – big words. But who says one can’t dream big? This is how the existence of the Interdepartmental Computational Biology program became one of the main reasons why I chose studying overseas over staying put and also why I chose UCLA over other great schools. Here I get to apply my technical skills like math, coding, and statistics to studying real living systems. Now I’m working in a lab under the supervision of Dr. Pinter-Wollman. My capstone project is centered around creating a stochastic agent-based simulation of the social insects’ behavior and interactions. I hope that understanding communication and emergent behavior in large decentralized groups of insects will give us insights into how we can manage human gatherings more efficiently. Aside from the lab work, I got interested in the management side of the biotechnology and healthcare, so I am studying Mathematical Economics as my second major. I hope to combine the knowledge from both programs when I go to the industry and start making my positive impact for the people.

Audrey Magsig

Audrey Magsig is a rising junior from Norman, Oklahoma pursuing a BS in Computational and Systems Biology with a mixed concentration in Bioinformatics and Neurosystems and a minor in Neuroscience. Though initially coming in as a neuroscience major with eyes toward a PhD, she found an interest in combining her passion for the brain with her interest in data analysis and switched to the CASB program in the fall of 2017. She first got involved in research in her junior year of high school through a summer research program at the University of Oklahoma investigating cystic fibrosis before transitioning to investigating the gender leadership gap at the high school level through the AP Capstone program. At UCLA, Audrey pursued her passion for women’s health research by examining sex differences in metabolism through the Correa Lab before transitioning to study the genetics of autism in the Geschwind Lab in June 2018. In the Geschwind Lab, she is a part of the Human Genetics Team and is currently working on analyzing de novo and inherited mutations in families with autism. Audrey plans on applying to the 5 year BS-MS Program at UCLA and use the program to merge her research interest in sex differences with her interests in neuroscience and genetics to give a new insight into the inheritance of neurological diseases. In addition to her research, Audrey is currently the Women’s Leadership Director for Bruin Belles Service Association, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the Los Angeles community through volunteering while preparing its members to be the next generation of female leaders through skill development, awareness, and activism for intersectional women’s issues.

Teia Noel

My name is Teia Noel and I am beginning my fifth year as a BS/MS Computational and Systems Biology student. Born and raised in Los Angeles, I made the long trek out to UCLA in the fall of 2014. Although I entered college as a biology student, I easily became sidetracked by my math courses. The natural decision was to switch to C&SB, where I could delve into my compartmentalized academic interests. However, by involving myself in research projects in Matteo Pellegrini’s lab in the department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, I learned how computational disciplines complement biology to generate a field that was an unfamiliar challenge for me. My area of research in this lab involves classifying immune components and their putative interactions from genomic data. While I previously utilized RNA sequencing analysis software to discern the immune receptor repertoire in different forms of leprosy, I am currently working on developing a web tool to quantify immune cell types from gene expression data. In the coming years, I will use my acquired skills in computational biology to solve biomedical problems, whether in biotech or academia.

Alex Raman

Hi! My name is Alex Raman and I am a 5th year BS-MS Student in Computational and Systems Biology. I’m from New Jersey and I love playing tennis and doing Bollywood dance in my free time. I am currently working with my mentor, Dr. Corey Arnold, on projects in the Computational Integrated Diagnostics group. Specifically, I have been working on ways to use prostate biopsy data to improve diagnosis from multiparametric MR images of the organ. After finishing the BS-MS program, I would like to work in industry for some time, pursuing computationally driven solutions to healthcare problems. Then, my plan is to apply to medical school. I love working in the intersection between computer science and medicine, two of the most exciting fields of our time, and I can’t wait to see how we will advance these fields together.