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MARC Alumni- Where are they Now?

Cohort 1

Jacqueline Gallegos (2013-2015)
Jacqueline is interested in understanding the role of neurotransmitters in psychiatric disorders and behavior. At UCD, she worked with Dr. Erik Oleson investigating comorbidity between schizophrenia and drug addiction in relation to dopamine levels. Her experiences also include participating at a summer research program at Princeton to further develop her research.

Mariah Mendoza-Lehl (2013-2015)
Mariah is interested in clinical psychology; more specifically, she aspires to learn more about relationships, human development, and anxiety. At UCD, she works with Dr. Elizabeth Allen investigating ways to promote healthy and happy marriages among military couples. In this lab, she is also investigating ways to help military couples find solutions to post-deployment issues such as ways to ease the reintegration process and promote healthy communication. She gained additional research experience at Denver University last summer.

Kaylae Nakamura (2013-2015)
Kaylae is interested in understanding how to use nutrition knowledge to help others reduce their risk of chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. At UCD, she investigated the relationship between religiosity on the cardiovascular response to a stressor in Christian married couples in Dr. Kevin Masters’s lab. She also worked with Dr. Christopher Phiel investigating the biological mechanism by which the ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children with epilepsy. She furthered her research last summer at the University of Hawai’i. She graduated Spring 2015 and will be continuing her education in a post-baccalaureate program at the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders campus in Phoenix to do research in diabetes and obesity.

Shawn Orcutt (2013-2014)
Shawn is interested in understanding changes of neural anatomy and function associated with learning and memory. At UCD, he worked with Dr. Sonda Bland investigating changes in behavior and neural anatomy associated with social isolation in male rats. He participated in a summer research experience at Drexel University.

Cohort 2

MARC Scholars

Brown, Chelsey 2 Chelsey Brown (2015-2017)
Chelsey earned her B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in working with children and have a passion for those who struggle with disorders from early childhood to adolescence. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in child psychology.
Eltom, Nihal 3 Nihal Eltom (2015-2017)
Nihal earned her B.S. in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She is interested in how lifestyle changes (exercise, diet, meditation) can contribute to the prevention or treatment of affect disorders. In addition, she is interested in looking at the genetic basis and biochemical components (e.g., neurotransmitter release) contributing to other mental disorders, like anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. She is planning to pursue a PhD in the biomedical sciences ranging from neuroscience to genetics.
Jirsarale, Robert 2 Robert Jirsaraie (2015-2017)
Robert earned his B.S. in Psychology with a double minor in Biology and Ethics. He is interested in using neuroimaging methodologies to better understand mental disorders like schizophrenia, depression, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s Disease in hopes of finding potential treatment options. He plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology, when he graduates.
Mamo, Helen 2 Helen Mamo (2015-2017)
Helen earned her B.S. in Psychology. She is interested in understanding the underlying neurobiological causes of drug addiction. After graduation, Helen plans to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience with an emphasis on drug addiction, and hopes to further our knowledge of the disease and develop more effective forms of treatment.

MARC Affiliates

img_20160916_111948 Christina Garza (2016-2017)

Christina earned her BS in Public Health and a minor in Chemistry. She is studying proton transport through the EcCLC antiporter using computational methods. Christina plans on pursuing an MD/PhD with a focus in biophysics/biochemistry and its applications to human disease and treatment.



Chelsi Lopez (2016-2017)

Chelsi earned her B.S. in Chemistry. She is currently working toward the synthesis of novel compounds with biomedical applications, such as the treatment and prevention of corneal melting. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry with an emphasis on hydrology.


img_20160916_112019 John Powers (2016- 2017)

John earned his B.A. in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience. He is particularly interested in the role the social environment plays in determining our emotional reaction to challenges that individuals face thought their lives. He hopes that a better understanding of these processes will lead to interventions that will encourage healthier reactions to emotional trauma. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a PhD in Social and Personality Psychology.


apa-headshot-facing-forward Joseph Rosales (2016-2017)

Joseph earned a double major in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Cognitive  Behavioral Neuroscience. He currently research is focused on in-group bias and social stress. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in adolescent mental health, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. He hopes his research contributions in this field will particularly help at-risk, low-income youth succeed.



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