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Shaun McKinnie

2004 - 2008           B.Sc. in Biochemistry (Honors) - University of Alberta

2010 - 2015           Ph.D. Organic Chemistry - University of Alberta (with Prof. John C. Vederas)

2016 - 2019           Postdoctoral Scholar - Scripps Institution of Oceanography,

                                 University of California, San Diego (with Prof. Bradley S. Moore)

2019 - present      Assistant Professor - University of California, Santa Cruz

Jackson Baumgartner

PhD student

Hometown: San Luis Obispo, California

Degrees: Biochemistry B.S. and History B.A. - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

                 Chemistry M.S. - San Francisco State University (with Prof. Misty Kuhn)

Program: PBSE, CB3 track

About Jackson: enjoys nature walks, baking bread, and tinkering; believes spontaneous puns are the height of human achievement

Email: jabaumga [at]

Jennifer Cordoza

PhD student

Hometown: Murrieta, California

Degree: Biochemistry B.Sc - Point Loma Nazarene University (with Prof. Katherine Maloney)

Program: PBSE, CB3 track

About Jenny: enjoys being outside, strategy games, and going to museums; aspires to learn something every day.

Email: jcordoza [at]

Austin Hopiavuori

PhD student

Hometown: Rochester, New York

Degree: Biochemistry B.Sc - University of Rochester

Program: PBSE, CB3 track

About Austin: enjoys tennis, playing various instruments, and digital music production; loves cold weather

Email: ahopiavu [at]


Radcliff Huffman

PhD student

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Degrees: Allied Health, B.S. Minors in Biology and Biochemistry - Manhattan College, New York City

Program: PBSE, CB3 track

About Radcliff: enjoys swimming, olympic weight lifting, and playing the violin, still doesn't understand why he can't see when he closes his eyes

Email: trhuffma [at]

Karina Campos Salazar

MSc student

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Degrees: Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Biology B. Sc. - Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana

                Pharmacology M.S. - Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Mexico City

Program: Chemistry, MSc track

About Karina: enjoys going to the beach, camping, and traveling with family. Big pastry lover and enjoys volunteering within her community in her free time.

Email: kcamposs [at]


Manasi Natu

Junior specialist

Hometown: Folsom, California

Degree: Chemistry B.S. - University of California, Santa Cruz

About Manasi: enjoys reading and playing video games with friends. Big fan of cats and overly sugary coffee.

Email: mnatu [at]

Amelia Smyth

Undergraduate researcher

Hometown: Berkeley, California

Major: Chemistry and Fine Arts

About Amelia: is very interested in philosophical theories about life and its meaning, and spends her free time cooking, drawing or in nature (camping, backpacking, swimming, etc).


Mel Jones

Undergraduate researcher

Hometown: San Jose, California

Major: Biochemistry major, politics minor

About Mel: enjoys playing the violin, writing poetry, PC gaming, traveling, and learning new things about mathematics, biology, chemistry, and philosophy! They are a social activist in their spare time for access to healthcare and housing as a human right.


Olivia Matsumoto-Elliott

PhD Rotation student - Fall 2022

Hometown: Fairfield, California

Degree: Chemical Biology B.Sc. - University of California, Davis

Program: PBSE, CB3 track

About Olivia: enjoys hiking, bad karaoke nights, and video games; will get lost just about anywhere easily and frequently.

Adam picture.JPG

Adam Lentz

PhD Rotation student - Fall 2022

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Degree: Biology B.S. - University of California, Santa Cruz

Program: PBSE, METX track

About Adam: enjoys hiking and fishing; is a big fan of desserts for breakfast.

Lab Alumni

Visiting researchers

Alondra Maranon Rodriguez - summer ACCESS undergraduate student (Hartnell) - 2022

Linnea Blaustein - summer ACCESS undergraduate student (Cabrillo) - 2021 - 2022

Hanna Fleming - summer undergraduate researcher (UC Los Angeles) - 2021

Undergraduate students

Griffin May - undergraduate researcher - 2019 - 2021

Mehrzad Mohaddess - undergraduate researcher - 2019 - 2021

Ethan Bales-Dagemjian - undergraduate researcher - 2019 - 2021

Joshua Marquez - undergraduate researcher - 2019 - 2021

Mano Ranaweera - undergraduate researcher - 2019 - 2020

Elise Rogotzke - undergraduate researcher - 2019 - 2020

Rotation students

Sarah Levy - UCSC chemistry rotation student - 2022

Leila Parker - UCSC chemistry rotation student - 2022

Addis Getahun - UCSC chemistry rotation student - 2022

Casey Heaney - PBSE CB3 rotation student - 2021 - 2022

Allyson McAtamney - UCSC chemistry rotation student - 2021

Zhilian Liu - UCSC chemistry rotation student - 2021

Panpan Zhang - PBSE CB3 rotation student - 2021

Cristobal Morfin - PBSE CB3 rotation student - 2021

We are looking for students and postdocs with interests in organic chemistry, natural products chemistry, protein biochemistry, and molecular biology to join us!


Click here for more information!

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