Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology Program

PhD Students

 

Jingyu “Sophia” Chen


jingyuch@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biological Engineering, China Agricultural University

Graduate Education: Master of Science, Regulatory Science, University of Southern California; Master of Science, Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Southern California

Research Interests: Cancer, Molecular Biology

Research Project or Thesis Title:  SOX9+ hybrid hepatocytes (HybHP) act as cancer stem cells giving rise to intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC)

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bangyan Stiles

Year of Study:  4th

Awards:  Presidential Poster of Distinction Award, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) (2017, 2018)

 

Melanie Galano


galano@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Double Major), University of California, San Diego

Research Interests: Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Steroids, Therapeutic Targets

Research Project or Thesis Title:  CRISPR/Cas9-mediated steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR) knockout in MA-10 cells

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos

Year of Study:  3rd

 

Samuel Garza


samuelkgarza@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biology, California State University Los Angeles

Graduate Education:  Master of Science, Biology; California State University Los Angeles

Research Interests: Aging, Cellular Stress, Drug Design, Pharmacology, Steroids

Research Project or Thesis Title: Role of translocator protein (TSPO) in maintaining mitochondrial function in Leydig cells

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos

Year of Study:  2nd

Awards:  USC Graduate School Research Award (2019); USC School of Pharmacy Culty Diversity Award (2018)

Leadership: Senior Vice President, USC Graduate Student Government (GSG) (2020); Director of Operations, USC GSG (2019-2020); Chair, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) – USC Student Chapter (2019-2020); Board Member, Pharmacy Graduate Alliance (PGA) (2018-2020); Secretary, AAPS – USC Student Chapter (2018-2019)

 

Yiqi “Christina” Lin


yiqichrl@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Pharmacology Honours, Computer Science Minor, McGill University

Research Interests: Biochemistry, Neurodegeneration, Steroids

Research Project or Thesis Title:  CYP11A1-independent synthesis of pregnenolone in the brain

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos

Year of Study:  3rd

 

Amy Tran


amyt@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine

Graduate Education: Master of Science, Regulatory Science, University of Southern California

Research Interests: Cancer, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Regulatory Science, Toxicology

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Evaluating the role of the eicosanoid biosynthetic pathway in spermatogonial stem cell development

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Martine Culty

Year of Study:  3rd

 

Anh Tan Truong


truonga@usc.edu

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Arts, Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology (Double Major), San Jose State University

Graduate Education:  Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Southern California

Research Interests: Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Protein Engineering

Research Project or Thesis Title:  An alternative approach modulating signaling utilizing thermo-responsive biopolymers

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew MacKay

Year of Study:  3rd

Awards:  Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship for US Researchers Award (Aug 2018); American College of Clinical Pharmacy Student Research Award (Aug 2018); Dr. B. Olive Graduate Educational Grant (Apr 2018); ACCP Research Institute Futures Grants Program (Sept 2017)

 

Casandra Walker


casandrw@usc.edu

Education: Bachelor of Science, Molecular/Cellular Biology, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Research Interests: Reproductive Biology, Toxicology

Research Project or Thesis Title:  Analysis of testis transcriptome from adult rats exposed in utero to low dose mixtures of genistein and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Martine Culty

Year of Study:  3rd

Awards: NIH Trainee Travel Award Recipient – 44th Annual American Society for Andrology Conference (Apr 2019)

Leadership:  Founder/CEO of Curls & Careers non-profit organization (Apr 2019 – Present); USC School of Pharmacy Peer Mentor Program (PMP) (Aug 2019 – Present); Member, USC School of Pharmacy Student Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (SC-DEI) (Oct 2018 – Present)