2021-2022 BEGS Leadership

Executive Board

Josh Mesfin

President

Josh is a 3rd year PhD student in the Christman and King Labs using transcriptomics to study the heart. He entertains himself by traveling, finding new food spots, and discovering new things he hasn’t tried yet.

Jason Wu

Vice President, Internal

Jason is a 1st year PhD student in the Kwon lab working on nanomaterials for targeted therapeutic delivery to modulate the immune response after traumatic brain injury. In his spare time he enjoys Latin dancing, eating birria tacos, and surfing with his friends.

Karl Wessendorf-Rodriguez

Vice President, External

Karl is a 3rd year PhD student in the Metallo lab working on the alterations in sphingolipid metabolism in several diseased states. He enjoys playing tennis, biking to far-away places and cooking/baking to refuel!

Internal Board

Michael Fitzgerald

Academic Chair

Fitz is a 2nd year PhD student in the Subramaniam Lab studying neurodegeneration and genetic engineering in brain organoids. He enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, apologetics, and adventuring around San Diego.

Tiffany Zhou

Bear Hug Chair, Communications Chair

Tiffany is a 4th year PhD student in the Hasty Lab working on bacteria-based therapeutics. She enjoys eating good food, playing video games, and obsessing over various TV shows and Broadway musicals.

Shalni Kumar

Community Development Chair

Shalni is a 3rd year PhD Student in the Hasty Lab interested in bacterial population heterogeneity. She loves eating fruit in all its forms, going on long walks, and being a potato with her best buds.

Clara Posner

Mentorship Chair

Clara is a 6th-year PhD student in the Jin Zhang lab. She enjoys hosting murder mystery parties and wine and paint nights, watching RuPaul's Drag Race, and playing tennis.

Patrick Kasl

Assistant Mentorship Chair

Patrick is a 2nd year PhD student in the Smarr lab doing data science with physiological time series data. When not staring at a computer screen, Patrick enjoys hiking, weightlifting and running, and cinema.

Nicole Félix-Vélez

Diversity Chair

Nicole is a 1st year PhD student in the Aguado Lab studying how patient-specific biochemical cues can affect heart valve disease progression. She loves salsa dancing, reading books by the shore, and a good cup of coffee.

External Board

Clara Posner

Alumni Chair

Clara is a 6th-year PhD student in the Jin Zhang lab. She enjoys hosting murder mystery parties and wine and paint nights, watching RuPaul's Drag Race, and playing tennis.

Shivani Shukla

Breakfast With Industry
Co-Chair

Shivani is a 2nd year PhD student interested in developing diagnostic tools using nanotechnology for studying and treating brain diseases. In her free time, she enjoys food, bachata, and beach days.

Anne Lyons

Breakfast With Industry
Co-Chair

Anne Lyons is a 2nd year PhD student. She is the Breakfast with Industry Co-Chair for the Bioengineering Graduate Society.

Zahra Mesrizadeh

Festival Outreach Chair

Zahra is a 2nd year MS student in the Subramaniam Lab working on Aging in Muscle Stem Cells. She is a foodie at heart and never gets tired of eating sushi. She loves to embrace her creativity through drawing and writing.

Abigail Teitgen

High School Outreach Co-Chair

Abby is a 4th year PhD student in the McCulloch lab studying cardiac biomechanics. She loves hiking, running, cooking, and exploring new things to do in San Diego.

Rayyan Gorashi

High School Outreach Co-Chair, Professional Development Chair

Rayyan is a 1st year PhD student developing patient-derived models of cardiovascular disease using biomaterials. She loves photography, video games, baking, surfing, and exploring San Diego through the lens of her camera.

Renxiang Tang

Industry Co-Chair

Ren is a 2nd year MS student in the McCulloch Lab studying congenital heart disease. She enjoys traveling, reading, and playing badminton.

Chris Khoury

Industry Co-Chair

Chris is a 2nd year MS student in the Shah lab working on pelvic floor nerves and recovery in neuropathy. He enjoys playing soccer, watching movies, cooking, playing games with friends, and eating yum food.

Gisselle Gonzalez

Recruitment Chair

Gisselle is a 3rd year PhD student in the Engler Lab working on conductive scaffolds for cardiomyocyte maturation. She enjoys exploring the food and breweries San Diego has to offer with her friends.

Yazmin Hernandez

Assistant Recruitment Chair

Yazmin is a 1st year PhD student rotating in the Kwon lab working on nanoformulations for brain abscess treatment. Outside of lab she enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, reading, going to concerts and trying new restaurants with friends.

GPSA Representatives

Laura Vasquez-Bolanos


Laura is a 3rd year PhD student.

TBD



TBD



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