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Miles F. Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, PI

Qing Liu
Laboratory Manager

Qing Liu joined the Wilkinson laboratory in 2019 as a Staff Research Associate (SRA) with over 15 years’ experience working on topics in neurobiology, molecular biology and cell biology.  In the Wilkinson laboratory, she is focused on studying the role of the RNA turnover pathway—nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD)—in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) differentiation and fate decisions.

Kun Tan, Ph.D.
Assistant Project Scientist 

Kun obtained his Ph.D. degree from China Agricultural University in 2016 and subsequently joined Dr. Miles Wilkinson laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow.  He was promoted to Assistant Project Scientist in 2021. He has worked on diverse projects in the Wilkinson laboratory, ranging from studies on stem cell biology to developmental biology.  His focus has been on transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms important for developmental decisions.

Fugui Zhu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Fugui was born in Hefei, Anhui, China.  She conducted her undergraduate studies in China and is currently doing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Wilkinson laboratory.  Her research focus is on developing ways to suppress the nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) pathway as a means to treat cystic fibrosis patients with nonsense mutations in the CFTR gene.

Christopher Smith

MS Student

Chris obtained his B.S. from CSU San Marcos.  He joined the Wilkinson laboratory as an San Diego State University-CIRM Intern for his Masters degree.  His work in the Wilkinson laboratory is focused on devising ways to identify human spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) towards the ultimate goal of using SSCs to treat male infertility.

Alexa Medica

MD Fellow

Alexa (“Lexi”) was born and raised in Orange, California. She is an MD who is currently completing her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship in Dr. Wilkinson’s laboratory.  Her research is primarily focused on (i) improving in vitro fertilization (IVF) efficacy though identification of predictive biomarkers expressed in granulosa cells, and (ii) identifying protein markers for spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) therapy to treat male infertility.

Renee Rivas

MD/PhD Fellow

Renee was born and raised near Dallas, Texas.  She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama, which is where she also got her first taste of biology research.  She was subsequently accepted in the MD/PhD program at the University of California at San Francisco where she conducted exciting research on cardiac development, and also fell in love with the Ob/Gyn field.  She subsequently did her residency in this clinical area at Yale, and then was accepted into the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) fellowship program at UCSD, where she is currently conducting research in the Wilkinson laboratory on the developmental origin of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs).  She loves cooking and reading and spending time with her family, including her two beautiful daughters.

Marton Molnar

Graduate student

Marton was born in Forchheim, Germany and raised in Hungary. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at John Wesley College (in Budapest, Hungary). He joined the Wilkinson laboratory for a 1-year internship through the CSU Channel Islands-CIRM program. His research in the Wilkinson laboratory will apply to his MSc in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics with an emphasis is Stem Cell Techniques and Laboratory Management. He is also enrolled in CSUCI’s Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics MBA program. His interests lie in: (i) stem cells and their potential to treat infertility, (ii) launching & managing start-up companies and (iii) reducing the environmental impact of our                                                               industrialized society.

Tanya Mehta

Undergraduate student

Tanya was born in New Dehli, India and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She is now an undergraduate student at UCSD who is working with Fugui on developing ways to suppress the nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) pathway as a means to treat cystic fibrosis patients with nonsense mutations in the CFTR gene.

Nandita Rangu

Undergraduate Student

Nandita Rangu was born in North Carolina and grew up in Orange County, California. She is currently an undergraduate student at UCSD, where she is double majoring in neurobiology and human developmental sciences. She just joined the Wilkinson laboratory, where she will soon identify a project to focus on.  In her free time, she loves experimenting with cooking new foods, exploring San Diego with her friends, and working out.

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