UAW 5810 leaders at the October 2018 Annual Membership Meeting

President – Anke Schennink, UC Davis📧

I’m a Postdoc in the department of Animal Science at UC Davis, and I study mammary gland biology: how do hormones work together in mammary gland development during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. My interests include (but are not limited to) animal biology and physiology, cancer epidemiology, complex traits and diseases, personal genomics, science policy, social justice, camping, soccer, and good music.

Vice President – Neal Sweeney, UC Santa Cruz📧

I’m a Postdoc at UC Santa Cruz studying stem cell therapies for eye disease. I have been involved in political activism for many years and I also enjoy hiking, going to the beach and playing with my two kids.

Financial Secretary

Recording Secretary – Alex Blacutt, UC Riverside📧

Trustee (PD) – Amanda McLaughlin, UC Berkeley📧

I’m a Postdoc in the School of Optometry, using electrophysiology and molecular techniques to study the output neurons of the primate retina. The ultimate goal of my research is to comprehensively outline the diversity of cell types that make up the human eye. Before coming to Berkeley, I was a PhD student in Neuroscience at the University of Victoria in BC. When I’m not working I like to go climbing, biking or hiking… I also love tv dramas and wine.

Trustee (AR) – Gerard Ariño-Estrada, UC Davis📧

I am an assistant project scientist in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis and my research is on developing imaging systems to improve current diagnostic and dosimetry capabilities in healthcare. I was also a bargaining team member of the Academic Researchers (AR) unit in the 2019 campaign, the nation’s first contract for AR positions. I believe we all can contribute to improving the research environment at the University of California by establishing policies that benefit Postdocs, ARs, and the university.

Trustee – Lydia Majure, UC Berkeley📧

I am a Postdoc in Neuroscience at UC Berkeley. My Ph.D. is in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I study the representation of linguistic structure in the human brain using fMRI. I believe that the strength of the scientific community is directly connected to the working conditions of those who do research. In my free time I am a dancer with a samba bloco.


Sargeant At Arms – Charisse Winston, UC San Diego📧

I am a Postdoctoral scholar at UCSD where I study Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis and identify blood-based biomarkers for early AD diagnosis. In addition to my research interests, I am passionate about community outreach, mentorship, increasing STEM education to under-represented and minority youth, and effectively communicating science to the public. Outside of the lab, I love to travel, visit winerys, listening to live music and watching movies.

Member At Large (PD) – Stephany Chacon, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

I’m a Postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Ecology department within Climate and Ecosystem Sciences (EESA). I work on microbial feedbacks to soil organic matter under fluctuating drought conditions in humid tropical forests. I am conducting fieldwork in Panama and laboratory work in Berkeley. My research interests include understanding soil organic matter in a changing world. I love corgis (~all dogs really), camping, nature, knitting, trivia and playing Mario Kart.

Member At Large (AR) – Elliott Peterson, UCSF

I am a Junior Specialist at UC San Francisco working toward developing new therapies for HER2-positive breast cancers. Since joining UCSF, I have been involved with the development and ratification of the AR union. I am excited to serve on the Executive Board and look forward to strengthening our union and advocating for scientists working at UC. Outside of the lab, I enjoy composing music, reading about economics and world history, and developing my Modernist cooking skills.



Campus Chair – Meredith Weck

Recording Secretary – Stephanie Postar

Head Steward – Mehmet Doğan

I’m a computational physicist studying technologically relevant materials at the sub-nanometer scale using fundamental physical equations. During my PhD, I worked on materials that may allow us to make faster and smaller transistors and increase the energy efficiency of our everyday devices. I’m currently working on graphene-like materials with fascinating properties, and high-pressure/high-temperature superconductivity. When I’m not doing these things, I’m probably daydreaming about getting back to drumming and playing in bands.

Head Steward – Tess Branon

I am a Postdoc in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, where I am currently studying the molecular mechanisms by which our bodies communicate and cooperate with the microbes that inhabit our gut. Before coming to Berkeley, I carried out my graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. In addition to science and research, I am passionate about community outreach and mentorship of minority youth, advocating for reform in environmental policy, fighting for housing as a human right, and empowering women and other underrepresented groups. Outside of the lab and advocacy, I love spending time with friends and family, listening to podcasts, eating good food, and drinking fine wines.

Head Steward – Ambika Kamath

I’m a behavioral ecologist studying movement patterns in lizards, spiders, and caterpillars, paying attention to the ecological and social interactions that movement brings about and the consequences of these interactions for how populations evolve. I also enjoy dancing, long walks, and Twitter.

Head Steward – Abdoulaye Ndao

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Joshua Carlson

I’m a Project Scientist in the Human Evolution Research Center at UC Berkeley and I study hominid origins and morphological evolution. I’ve been on campus at UC Berkeley since 2007 in a variety of roles, beginning as an undergraduate, continuing as a graduate student, then as a postdoc, and now in my current position. I have many interests related to my work – the history of science and scientific thought, material culture, population dynamics – but I also enjoy challenging literature, unusual music, and cooking.

Recording Secretary – Stacey S. Frederick

Head Steward – Bo Tan



Campus Chair – Maryia Halubok

I am a postdoc in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. I work on developing new methods for accurate quantification of plant canopy structure using LiDAR data, which would ultimately help to improve the performance of ecosystem and wildfire models. Before coming to Davis, I was a PhD student in Geological Sciences at UT Austin. In my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, and dancing flamenco.

Recording Secretary – Emma Skoog

I’m a Postdoc at the Center for Comparative Medicine, studying virulence and pathogenesis of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. I earned my PhD in the same subject from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, music, hiking and meeting old and new friends.

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Paul Lott

I am an Assistant Project Researcher at UC Davis Genome Center. I’m a bioinformatician studying cancer biology and cancer health disparities in Latinos. In my free time, I enjoy spending it with three kids and heading up the Laguna Creek Makers – a STEAM group for kids.

Head Steward – Sandipan Datta

Head Steward – Tobias Mueller

I’m a Junior Specialist and Lab Manager at UC Davis in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. My research focuses on insect and plant associated microbes, especially yeast and bacterial communities in flower nectar. My other interests include building things out of wood, printmaking, pinning dead insects, and going to all the Sacramento Republic soccer games.



Campus Chair – Chris Butler

Recording Secretary – Grace Icenogle

I am a Postdoc working with Dr. Beth Cauffman in the department of Psychological Science. My work has focused on the intersection of the psychological development of adolescents and young adults and the law. My current work involves studying justice-involved young adults. I can’t think of anything clever to tell you, but sometimes I’m funny.

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Angelo Demuro

Recording Secretary – Christian Salazar

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory📧


Campus Chair – Ligia Diana P. A. Amorim

I am a postdoc in the Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics department of LBNL. My goal is to contribute to building a future machine that can accelerate particles for medical, industrial and research applications. Together with my team, I am developing computational tools to study all the extreme and complex physical interactions that might take place in that machine. I wish to understand better and help to improve the health care and education systems as well as to reduce the social gap. I am originally from Portugal and I love to play the piano, to do synchronized swimming and to eat delicious food!

Recording Secretary – Christin Buechner

Head Steward – Stephany Chacon

Los Angeles📧


Recording Secretary – Shannon Garland

I’m a Postdoc in Ethnomusicology, studying how Brazilian and Chilean indie music participants produce and value music amidst major shifts in the economic organization of popular music industries. I also study global music start-ups and the consolidation of cultural entrepreneurship models. I like biking around LA, playing capoeira, and sitting on my balcony watching the hummingbirds.

Head Steward – Vikas Pandey

I’m a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California Los Angeles studying cardiac computational models for the heart diseases. I like to contribute to society with my research as well as with activism skills. I also like to read and write on social issues and love to listen music in free time.

Head Steward – Mohamed Soliman

Head Steward – George Aninwene

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Christina Priest

I joined the UCLA research community in 2013 as a Postdoctoral Scholar and transitioned to the role of Project Scientist in the Department of Pathology in the David Geffen School of Medicine 2016. My research focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of metabolism using in vitro and in vivo models. I have been working to organize ARU / UAW 5810 since 2017, and I continue to be dedicated to making changes that improve the lives of Academic Researchers in the UC system. As a researcher, I know that the work we do, whatever the discipline, is important both for the mission of the university and for the betterment of humanity. I firmly believe that by exercising our collective power, we will create an environment where we can do the best possible work.



Recording Secretary – Bradford A. Barker



Campus Chair – Lotus Lofgren

I’m a postdoc in the department of Microbiology and Plant Biology at UC Riverside. I study fungal genome evolution, fungal-host interactions, and ecological theory, with a special interest in host specificity and host switching, guild fluidity, context dependency, and fungal trait evolution. I address these topics using comparative genomics, population genetics, and computational biology. I’m passionate about science communication, inclusive pedagogy, diversifying STEAM, and improving academic accessibility. Outside of the lab, I work on several outreach initiatives, garden, make art and ferments, power lift, and hunt for mushrooms.

Recording Secretary – Alex Blacutt

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Irma T. De Ley

I am a scientist seeking to develop novel, safe, effective, human and environment-friendly approach to mitigate and manage invasive pest gastropods that impact horticulture and high-value crops. My work has wider implications and relevance to food safety, organic farming, and biodiversity conservation. I started supporting myself through state and federal research grants since 2012 as an academic researcher. I have lived and worked in 3 countries and now consider Southern California as my home, trying to be holistic in my approach to life with my 2 dogs, gardening, and meditation. I joined the union to ensure that our voices are heard, and because together we are better and stronger.

Recording Secretary – Paul Thomas Markley

San Diego📧


Recording Secretary – Zhen Li

I am a postdoc in Dr. Joseph Gleeson’s lab at the Department of Neurosciences, UCSD. I am trying to understand how our brain is built starting from just a tiny piece of tissue and how errors in this process lead to diseases in young children. I love road trips. The longest one I have done so far is an 7-day trip from Connecticut all the way to California.

Head Steward – Joydeep De

I am a Postdoctoral researcher at the School of Medicine/Dept. of Pharmacology at UCSD. I study molecules and neurons that are important for sleep. I joined UCSD as a post doc in January 2019. Before that, I earned a PhD from Université Paris-Sud/CNRS in Paris, France. Outside my research, I love spending time doing a bit of reading and writing, cooking and, if time and money permit, traveling.

Head Steward – Vikas Dhiman

I received my PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in Jan 2019 and moved to UCSD in March 2019. My research interests are in the fields of machine learning and robotics with a specialization in mapping, localization and probabilistic graphical models. I like to read and talk about politics, economics, sociology, and social movements.

Head Steward – Susanne Benz

I’m a postdoc in the Big Pixel Initiative at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, UCSD. Using satellite data I study the link between urbanization, climate, and economic activities. Before coming to San Diego I completed my PhD in Karlsruhe,Germany and spend some time as a PostDoc fellow in Kyoto, Japan. In my free time I love gardening, creative writing and board games and have been active in university politics since the beginning of my academic career.

Head Steward – Carlisle Bascom

I am a Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSD in the Division of Biological Sciences. Here, I study plant hormone signaling in the context of cell identity specification and development. I grew up in Massachusetts, did my undergrad at the University of Rhode Island and my Ph.D. work at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I am a firm believer in the right for employees to collectively bargain for their own working conditions, and in the power of our combined voice. Outside of lab, I enjoy homebrewing, playing with my pets, and caring for my tropical plants.

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Samantha Hurst

I am a Project Scientist in the UCSD Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. As a social scientist, trained in Bio-Cultural and Medical Anthropology, the research context I work within centers on cross-cultural medicine practices and competencies with vulnerable populations. As an expert in the use of qualitative methodology, I am most interested in the lived experiences of people managing challenges they face when affected by socio-cultural disparities in health and healthcare access, intersected as well as gender-equity issues. I teach qualitative methods and mixed methods research design in both the Masters of Public Health program and the Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health.

Recording Secretary – Daniel Roston

I am a project scientist in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCSD. Prior to moving to San Diego I received my PhD in chemistry from the University of Iowa and I was a post-doc at the University of Wisconsin. My research uses computer simulations to understand biological processes—particularly enzyme reactions—in atomic detail. Outside of work I play rugby with the San Diego Old Aztecs rugby club.

San Francisco📧


Campus Chair – Leila Mohammadi

I’m a Postdoc in cardiovascular research institute. I study the effects of tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosol on cardiovascular system. I also enjoy traveling, music and meeting new people. As an union steward, I’m advocating for science and defending the rights of immigrant scientists.

Recording Secretary – Taman Updhaya

I am a postdoctoral researcher working in the department of radiation oncology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center and Quantitative Imaging (QI) Laboratory. I do healthcare data science. My research is focused on prognostic/predictive models for oncology using heterogeneous healthcare data ( Histopathology (H&E and SHG images), PET/CT/MRI, genomics, radiomics, clinical and demographic information, …) and “classical machine/deep learning” algorithms using HPC (High-Performance Computing). I am a passionate advocate for democratizing AI by inspiring the next generation of leaders in AI.

Head Steward – Neil Sircar

I’m a human rights lawyer specializing in global and public health, global governance, and health in humanitarian crises. With the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education I’m exploring the intersection for human rights and tobacco control, as well as rights-based approaches to tobacco control. Prior to joining UCSF I was a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship with the National Institutes for Health through the Northern Pacific Global Health Consortium at the University of Washington. With NPGH I was principal investigator on a study for assessing the implementation of human rights-based approaches to HIV testing and notification in Kenya with the prominent Kenyan non-governmental organization Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network. Outside of work I volunteer with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings and enjoy baking the world’s best banana bread.

Head Steward – Oliver Reiners

I am a PostDoc in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCSF. I study the effects of TGFβ in radiotherapy of glioblastoma and brain metastasis models to identify new treatment options. After earning my PhD at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany I joined the Barcellos-Hoff lab in June 2019. Besides research I like to travel, cook and talk about politics and science.

Head Steward – Jade Moore

I am a postdoc in the department of Radiation Oncology at UC San Francisco. I study mechanisms to biologically augment radiotherapy in combination with immunotherapy in breast cancer using systems biology approaches. I enjoy playing sports recreationally, hiking, going to concerts and exploring new restaurants!

Head Steward – Li Zhou

I’m a Postdoc in cardiovascular research institute. I study the effects of tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosol on cardiovascular system. I also enjoy traveling, music and meeting new people. As an union steward, I’m advocating for science and defending the rights of immigrant scientists.

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Theo Tarver

I am a research specialist studying the mechanisms of response and resistance to targeted drug therapy for acute myeloid leukemia. As a union member, I want to ensure that being an academic researcher is a viable career option and advocate for social justice. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, watching the 49ers/Giants/Warriors, golf, and taking in the local cuisine of the Bay Area.

Recording Secretary – Nicole Nasholm

I’m a Research Specialist in Pediatric Oncology at UC San Francisco, in a lab focused on finding novel drugs to treat pediatric cancers such as neuroblastoma and glioblastoma. This is done through testing of murine and human models of these cancers, as well as invitro assays. As lab manager and social hour coordinator for my building, I am excited to see the changes the ARU unit will make during its first year in contract. Other than being a mouse whisperer, i love my two fur babies and enjoy scrapbooking and other arts ‘n crafts.

Head Steward – Dora Barbosa Rabago

I’m a Research Associate in the department of Medicine at UCSF, who studies the development of resistance to targeted therapies in non-small cell lung cancer. I am most interested in the development of patient derived 3D cancer organoids and their application as drug resistance models in personalized medicine. Outside of the lab, I enjoy traveling and anything to do with the Harry Potter universe.

Head Steward – Luke Russell Bonser

I’m an Associate Professional Researcher in the Department of Medicine at UCSF. My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying airway epithelial dysfunction in asthma. Outside of research, I like to spend time with my young family, watching Chelsea, and homebrewing.

Santa Barbara📧


Campus Chair – Caitlin Taylor

I am a Postdoctoral fellow in Psychological & Brain Sciences at UCSB. I use MRI to investigate the effects of sex hormones on the brain, specifically using oral contraceptive use as a lens through which to study the effects of hormonal perturbation on brain structure and function. Prior to coming to California, I was a PhD student in Neuroscience at Georgetown University. Outside of the lab, I try to share my love of science through education and outreach.

Recording Secretary – Jonathan H. Schultz

I am a comparative immunologist and Postdoctoral scholar in the department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology at UC Santa Barbara. Using a combination of bioinformatic and traditional molecular biology tools, I am investigating the evolution and mechanisms of allorecognition in the marine chordate Botryllus schlosseri. I have a broad interest in how animals achieve immunity and how millions of years of evolution have shaped the mosaic of immune phenomena across phylogeny. I earned my PhD from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where I developed my skills as a comparative immunologist studying the host-parasite interactions of snails and trematodes. In addition to science, I am an advocate for animal welfare, in particular rescue and education of pitbulls. I am also a drummer and big fan of live music.

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Ryan McGreal

Recording Secretary – Claire Zedelius

Santa Cruz📧

Academic Researchers

Campus Chair – Lisa Schwarz

As a statistician, I develop models to determine how small changes in physiology and behavior of marine mammals can ultimately create population-level declines. Such models are particularly important as increased man-made ocean noise has the potential to disrupt important behaviors, such as foraging, for a large proportion of marine mammal populations. I started at UCSC as a Postdoc just as the Postdoc Union was being formed. I was able to see firsthand the fair practices and protections the union brought to my job. I believe that together, Academic Researchers can fight to ensure that we have fair working conditions as well.

Recording Secretary – Margherita Zavatta

I’m an assistant specialist in the field of agroecology. My research focuses on non-chemical alternatives to fumigation using integrated disease suppression approaches. I also study nutrient management in organic farming systems. The economic impact of the systems studied is also part of my research. I’d love to spend as much free time as possible with my family, gardening, climbing, biking or being in the ocean.

Howard Isaacson, UC Berkeley
Megan Willis, Lawrence Berkeley Lab
Elsa Abs, UC Irvine
Agustina De Francesco, UC Riverside
Izel Tekin, UC Santa Barbara
Mohammed Salah El Hadri, UC San Diego
Mariana Gómez-Schiavon, UC San Francisco
Follow @UAW5810

UC Researcher & UAW 5810 member Miranda Dietz weighed in on the looming childcare crisis facing UC workers: “I need real action and support so that I can make sure that my kids are safe and that I can focus on my research.”

SIGN THE PETITION! Tell UC Davis to help essential workers stay safe by suspending parking enforcement until the state of emergency is lifted and restoring all goClub programs. Add your name here:

Read the letter UAW 5810 sent jointly with @uaw2865 and other unions that calls on UC campuses to stay closed for fall instruction and lays out specific conditions for reopening. http://uaw5810.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/7.28.20-UC-Gradual-Reopening-Letter.pdf

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