Group Members

Principal Investigator

  • Yvonne Chen Yvonne Chen
    • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
    • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

    Prof. Chen’s research experience includes engineering RNA-based regulatory systems for mammalian systems, demonstrating the ability to achieve rapid, reversible, small-molecule–responsive control over T-cell proliferation in tissue culture and in animal models. As a postdoctoral scholar at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Harvard Medical School, Yvonne continued her research on engineering next-generation chimeric antigen receptors capable of logical computation of multiple antigen signals to enhance adoptive T-cell therapy for cancer. Yvonne was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a recipient of the 2012 NIH Director’s Early Independence Award as well as the NSF CAREER Award.

    yvonne.chen at ucla dot edu

Project Scientists

  • Christopher Walthers Christopher Walthers
    • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, UCLA

    Chris is a Project Scientist in the Chen Laboratory. During his Ph.D. in the lab of Dr. James Dunn at UCLA, Chris researched biomaterial- and stem cell-based approaches for tissue engineering intestinal smooth muscle cells. As a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Stephanie Seidlits, he further developed his biomaterials research to study differentiation of neural stem cells in hydrogels mimicking the brain microenvironment to treat brain and spinal cord injuries. In his free time, Chris enjoys seeing the world and watching great films.

    walthers at ucla dot edu

Graduate Students, Ph.D.

  • Laurence Chen Laurence Chen
    • B.S., Bioengineering, UC San Diego
    • Ph.D. Student, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA

    Laurence is a PhD student in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at UCLA. While an undergraduate at UC San Diego, he gained research experience in cartilage tissue engineering, nanobody engineering, and metabolic systems biology. Laurence is looking forward to apply synthetic biology in real world applications at the Chen Lab. He has adapted well to the beach bum lifestyle during his time in San Diego...except for surfing. He aspires to one day be a true surfer bro.

    laurence.chen at ucla dot edu
  • Ximin Chen Ximin Chen
    • B.S., Chemical Engineering, UC San Diego
    • Ph.D. Student, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA

    Ximin is a PhD student in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. As an undergraduate student at UC San Diego, she focused on developing microfluidics devices for efficient single-cell trapping. Ximin is excited to begin her work on mammalian synthetic biology. Besides research, she enjoys traveling and photography.

    ximinchen at ucla dot edu
  • Patrick Ho Patrick Ho
    • B.S., Chemical Engineering, UCLA
    • M.S., Biotechnology, Northwestern University
    • Ph.D. Student, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA

    Patrick is a PhD student in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. While a masters student at Northwestern University, Patrick focused on developing low-cost, cell-based diagnostics for use in resource-poor settings. Outside the laboratory, Patrick enjoys developing low-cost dishes for use on graduate-student budgets.

    patrick.ho at ucla dot edu
  • Andrew Hou Andrew Hou
    • B.S., Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology
    • Ph.D. Student, Chemical & Bimolecular Engineering, UCLA

    Andrew is a PhD student in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. At Caltech, Andrew worked on engineering conditional CRISPR interference in E. coli, and he is excited to now be working with T cells. When he's not pipetting things, Andrew enjoys being in the great outdoors and is known to be a not-so-great pebble wrestler.

    andrewhou910 at ucla dot edu
  • Meng-Yin Lin Meng-Yin Lin
    • B.S., Chemistry, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
    • Ph.D. Student, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA

    Meng-Yin is a PhD student in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. As an undergraduate student and research associate at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, Meng-Yin studied H-bond interactions between polymers and focused on synthesizing plasticizer metabolites to serve as biomarkers in diagnostic tools. She is now developing synthetic circuits to regulate cytokine levels in tumor microenvironments. Outside of lab, Meng-Yin enjoys great food and sometimes makes food (not guaranteed to be great food).

    lemon682 at ucla dot edu
  • Tasha Lin Tasha Lin
    • B.S., Biological Sciences, Stanford University
    • M.D., University of Michigan
    • Ph.D. Student, Molecular Biology, UCLA

    Tasha is a Hematology/Oncology Fellow and a graduate student in the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Doctoral Program at UCLA, as part of the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program. She has previously worked with chimeric antigen receptors in the lab of Crystal Mackall and hopes to learn new approaches in the Chen Lab. In her free time, she likes to cook (and eat!), enjoy nature, and explore libraries and stationery stores.

    tllin at mednet dot ucla dot edu at ucla dot edu
  • Eugenia Zah Eugenia Zah
    • B.S.E., Chemical Engineering, Princeton University
    • Ph.D. Student, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA

    Eugenia is a PhD student in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at UCLA. As an undergraduate, she conducted protein engineering research where she used directed evolution and targeted mutagenesis techniques to engineer the antibacterial peptide microcin J25 towards improved activity and potency. She is currently working on engineering next-generation chimeric antigen receptors for adoptive T-cell therapy. During her time away from lab, Eugenia enjoys traveling and sightseeing.

    ezah at ucla dot edu

Research Assistants

  • Cristian Gruppi Cristian Gruppi
    • M.S., Biological Sciences, University of Milan, Italy
    • Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Pavia, Italy

    Cristian is a Laboratory Assistant in the Chen Lab. As research project collaborator at University of Pavia in Italy, he has previously studied the functional interactions between the bone marrow extracellular matrix proteins and megakaryocytes. He hopes to learn new techniques in the Chen Lab. In his free time, he likes to hike, explore cities, and cook.

  • Stan Gosliner Stan Gosliner
    • B.A., Biology, Occidental College

    Stan is a Laboratory Assistant in the Chen Laboratory. As an undergraduate student at Occidental College, he worked on vaccine development against C. pseudotuberculosis infection as well as conducted ecological field work in Costa Rica. While in Los Angeles, Stan hopes to visit all taco trucks in the LA metro area and to one day successfully land a kickflip.

Undergraduate Students

  • Uyen Tran Uyen Tran

    Biochemistry

  • Lingqi Kong Lingqi Kong

    Biochemistry

  • Matthew Lim Matthew Lim

    Bioengineering

  • Sabah Rahman Sabah Rahman

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • Minsoo Kim Minsoo Kim

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • Vinya Bhuvan Vinya Bhuvan

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • Jamie Chen Jamie Chen

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • Yunfeng (Bill) Ding Yunfeng (Bill) Ding

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • Anya Alag Anya Alag

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Alumni

Postdoctoral Alumni

  • Christopher Ede (Fulgent Diagnostics)

Graduate Alumni

  • ZeNan Chang (Ph.D., Molecular Biology, 2017)
  • Michael H. Lorenzini (MS, Bioengineering, 2016)

Undergraduate Alumni

  • Van C. Tran (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2015)
  • Ryan Smolkin (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2016)
  • Haixing Kehoe (Bioengineering, 2015)
  • Samee Siddiqui (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2015)
  • George Wang (Bioengineering, 2016)
  • Raman Bedekar (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • Margaret Botka (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • Hang Ho (Bioengineering)
  • Arthur Thai (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • YoungGeun Choi (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2017)
  • Niraj Mehta (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)