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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


Jin Feng, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar (2024 - present)

Hometown: Shandong, China

Degrees: Traditional Chinese Medicine B. Sc. - China Pharmaceutical University, China

Pharmacognosy M. Sc. - Peking University, China (with Prof. Min Ye)

Microbiological Chemistry Ph. D. - Leibniz University Hannover, Germany (with Prof. Russell Cox)

Natural Product Biosynthesis Postdoctoral Scholar - Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry

(with Prof. Gong-Li Tang)

About Jin: enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family; loves being outside with nature and is interested in philosophy and religion

Email: jfeng61 [at]

Jackson Baumgartner

PhD student (2020 - present)

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]

Austin Hopiavuori

PhD student (2020 - present)

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]

Jennifer Cordoza

PhD student (2021 - present)

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]


Radcliff Huffman

PhD student (2022 - present)

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]


Lia Lozano Salazar

PhD student (2023 - present)

Hometown: San Diego, California

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

Program: Chemistry Ph.D. track

About Lia: I enjoy open-ocean swimming, running, and rowing as well as doing the NYT crossword puzzle

Email: llozanos [at]


Jackson Calhoun

PhD student (2024 - present)

Hometown: Dublin, California

Degrees: B.S. Biochemistry - Syracuse University

                M.S. Pharmaceutical Sciences - Medicinal Chemistry - University of Connecticut

Program: PBSE, CB3 track

About Jackson: enjoys traveling and being outdoors in any capacity. Loves board and card games and will never turn down a bowl of ramen

Email: jtcalhou [at]


Alex Tabag

Post-baccalaureate researcher collaborative with Sanchez lab (2023 - present)

Hometown: Watsonville, California

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

About Alex: enjoys playing video games with friends, collecting movies, and spending time with his pup. He has a keen interest in collecting and sharing knowledge of any kind. He is a decent cook, with a desire to expand his cooking repertoire and loves to visit the beach.

Email: atabag [at]


Melanie Jones

Undergraduate researcher (2022 - present)

Hometown: San Jose, California

Major: Chemistry with Biochemistry concentration

About Mel: enjoys playing the violin, writing poetry, PC gaming, traveling, and learning new things about mathematics, biology, chemistry, and philosophy! She is a social activist in her spare time for access to accessible and diverse healthcare, including the dynamic emerging field of psychedelic therapeutics.

Lukas Varga

Undergraduate researcher (2022 - present)

Hometown: San Leandro, California

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics minor

About Lukas: enjoys playing the cello, the occasional jog, and spending time with family and friends; is invested in expanding his biological and chemical repertoire, and discovering fields of interest!

Gabriel Lefebre

Undergraduate researcher (2023 - present)

Hometown: Oakland, California

Major: Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

About Gabe: enjoys cooking, spending time with animals and nature, looking under a microscope (someday an electron one too!) and wants to relearn the trombone.

Anandi Radhakrishnan

Undergraduate researcher (2024 - present)

Hometown: San Diego, California

Major: Biomolecular Engineering

About Anandi: enjoys crocheting, hiking, hammocking, Wikiracing, and listening to Billy Joel, Dominic Fike, Beabadoobee, and The Backseat Lovers; is also interested in gene-based therapies!

Lab Alumni

Specialists and Employees

Manasi Natu - Junior Specialist - 2022 - 2023

Meron Mesgun - Junior Specialist - 2023

Graduate students

Karina Campos Salazar - MSc volunteer researcher - 2021 - 2022

Visiting researchers

Sage Welch - summer ACCESS undergraduate student (Cabrillo) - 2023

Crystal Nowell - summer UCSC-HBCU undergraduate student (NCCU- 2023

Arianna Kessler - summer undergraduate researcher (UC Los Angeles) - 2023

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

Sage Welch - undergraduate researcher - 2023 - 2024

Meron Mesgun - undergraduate researcher - 2023

Amelia Smyth - undergraduate researcher - 2020 - 2022

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

Shevelle Brown - PBSE MCD rotation student - 2024

Gino Magalang - UCSC chemistry rotation student - 2023

Jason Guerrero - PBSE CB3 rotation student - 2023

Robert Shepherd - UCSC chemistry rotation student - 2023

Olivia Matsumoto-Elliott - PBSE CB3 rotation student - 2022

Adam Lentz - PBSE METX rotation student - 2022

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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