CaSB Student Representatives & Ambassadors represent the CaSB major–participating in outreach, volunteering at student events, and connecting with current and prospective students.  Student Representatives also attend Faculty Advisory Committee meetings and serve on program subcommittees, communicating the needs of students to the faculty.

Have questions about the major and want to learn more about CaSB from actual CaSB students? Read on to learn more about our current CaSB Ambassadors & Student Representatives. If you would like to be put in email contact with an Ambassador or Rep, email casb@lifesci.ucla.edu to request an introduction!

Andrew Bennecke – Student Representative

My name is Andrew Bennecke, and I am a third-year concentrating in Biological Data Sciences with minors in Entrepreneurship and Neuroscience. I chose CaSB because, after taking LS 30A with Dr. Garfinkel, I found a passion at the intersection of computer science and biology. Also, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do at that time, and CaSB offered tremendous flexibility in helping me create a path. Aside from academics, I am an SRP student in the Zheng Lab at the Jules Stein Eye Institute. We are currently studying the Wnt signal transduction pathway in ophthalmologic cells through a network analysis focusing on each component in the known pathway. Following my undergraduate education, I plan to pursue the 5-year B.S./M.S program with a focus in neuroinformatics. Upon the completion of this program, I hope to launch a neurotechnology company focused on simplifying basic tasks and discovering precursors to neurodegenerative diseases.

Suraj Doshi – Student Ambassador

Hi! My name is Suraj Doshi, and I am a second-year CaSB student with hopes of concentrating in Neurosystems. I chose CaSB as I found it to be a very comprehensive program that would provide skills necessary for all types of work environments and overlap with multiple STEM fields. I am currently an undergraduate researcher in the Kumar Lab in the Department of Anesthesiology, where I have created a prediction algorithm for a study about OSA patients to determine affected individuals versus controls. At UCLA, I am a member of ISU, Bruin Medical Entrepreneurs, and UCLA BioBusiness. In the future, I hope to work as some sort of healthcare professional with an inclination towards surgery.

Sandy Kim – Student Ambassador

My name is Sandy Kim, and I’m a fifth-year Computational and Systems Biology B.S.-M.S. student with a concentration in Computers and Biosystems and a minor in Digital Humanities. I chose to study CaSB because I enjoy learning about the applications of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to the life sciences. As a CaSB major, I’ve conducted research on the dynamics of large gene regulatory networks at the transcriptome-level with Eric Deeds. In previous summers, I’ve participated in QCBio’s BIG Summer, where I mathematically modeled gene regulation, and interned as a software engineer at JP Morgan Chase, where I built a web application for a local non-profit. At the moment, my research consists of using a model-driven approach to optimize the design of high-throughput in vivo CRISPR screens with Harold Pimentel. Following graduation, I’m either moving to Seattle, WA to work as a software engineer or going to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics (we’ll see how the application process goes!). In addition to my academic pursuits, I’m involved in UCLA Dragon Boat, exploretech.la, MentorSEAS, and Alternative Breaks. Outside of school, I love baking, playing video games, binging TV shows, sleeping, and listening to music (especially live)!

Dhwani Krishnan – Student Ambassador

My name is Dhwani Krishnan, and I am a 3rd-year Computational and Systems Biology major. My favorite subjects in high school were biology and math, and I was drawn to CaSB because of its unique focus on using quantitative approaches to understand living systems. I’m currently working in the Wollman Lab, where my current project involves segmenting cells in time-lapse microscopy images to analyze MAP Kinase activity. Outside of lab work, I also conduct clinical research with the THINQ Collaborative (a healthcare improvement team at UCLA), tutor and mentor high school students with Bruin Initiative, and am a member of the Club Swim team. In the future, I hope to use the skills I have gained to make a positive impact, whether in medicine or academia.

Grace Ramey – Student Ambassador

Hi there! My name is Grace Ramey, and I am a 4th-year undergraduate double majoring in Neuroscience and CaSB with a concentration in Neurosystems. I chose to study CaSB because the curriculum gives a great foundation in both life sciences and computational sciences, and I definitely have become a more well-rounded scientist as a result. I am very passionate about resolving neurodegenerative diseases and using computational modeling to study the brain, so over the past few years I have gotten involved in research projects aimed at identifying early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and assessing the neural receptor specificity of new anesthetics. I am currently working on a collaboration project between a few different labs at UCLA and Merck in order to create a computational model that predicts drug exposure in the brain. In the future, I hope to attend graduate school to study computational biology further, and one day, I hope to break into the biotech or pharmaceutical industry. Outside of the classroom, I love to get outdoors and hike and go to UCLA sporting events like basketball and gymnastics.

Wendy Su – Student Ambassador

Hello, hello! My name is Wendy Su, and I am a second-year pre-CaSB student who is also pursuing a minor in the history of science. Although I got accepted into UCLA as a Biophysics major, my desire to pursue Biophysics changed the day before orientation. Knowing that I wanted my major to include biology, I looked at all the biology-related majors UCLA offered, and I came across computational biology. It was the perfect intersection of biology and computer science that I wanted, and I loved how many different paths I could take with this major. After completing my undergraduate degree, I want to continue to graduate school to use computational methods to study women’s health. One day, I hope to be a professor because I love teaching and promoting STEM education. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, baking, and brewing kombucha.