Welcome to our new SACNAS at UMICH website. We hope that you’ll find upcoming events accessible and you’ll learn a bit about us board members through this outlet. We welcome all suggestions so leave us a note under CONTACT. Thanks!

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Board Members

President: Carla Ramos (cjram@umich.edu)


Year: 6th year PhD Student
Major/Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology Program (CMB)
Research Interest/Project: During my 3rd year of undergraduate my mother was diagnosed with Diabetic retinopathy (DR), essentially an eye disease that occurs frequently in diabetics. At the time I had no idea what DR was so when I moved to MI I made some research on potential lab rotations and I found my current lab that focuses on mechanisms involved in diabetes that leads to DR.
About Me: Five quick facts:

  1. I was born and raised in Hollywood, California (so by default I went to Hollywood High).
  2. I am the first in my family to graduate high school, college, and pretty soon from a PhD program.
  3. I am a dual citizen because my parents are Salvadorean. So I consider myself a Salvadorean-pocha Latina scientist.
  4. I have a ball python pet named Hades because he has an attitude.
  5. I love my family, I love my friends, I love making new friends, and yes I love to talk and have fun in the company of friends and family.

Vice-President: Jacqueline Graniel (jgraniel@umich.edu)
Year: 1st year Medical Student
Major/Program: Medical Science Training Program (MSTP)
Research Interest/Project: Since undergrad, I’ve been fascinated with the biology of aging. I have experience studying aging in fruit flies, worms, and cells. During my PhD, I plan to work on understanding telomere biology better, especially the happenings at the ends of our chromosomes (shelterin complex, teeheehee). I plan on studying biology of aging research and train to become a geriatrician.
About Me: Five quick facts:

  1. I am originally from Los Angeles, California (oh, how I miss you hot sun).
  2. I am the first in my family to graduate high school, let alone attend college and pursue education.
  3. Soy mulata. My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Nicaragua and through my years of training I’ve totally embraced being a Latina Scientist.
  4. I am the oldest of three children. My siblings are like my own children. Family is incredibly important to me.
  5. SACNAS has been a part of my identity since 2011. It has helped me explore the kind of scientist I want to be and help me form communities near and far from home.

Treasurer: Kyle Ketchesin


Year: 6th year PhD Student
Major/Program: Neuroscience
Research Interest/Project: My research is focused on the role of stress and the corticotropin-releasing hormone system in mouse models of alcohol addiction.

About Me: Five quick facts:

  1. I was born and raised in Ohio.
  2. I am a first-generation college student.
  3. My first major trip outside the US was to El Salvador.
  4. I have a cat named Nemo.
  5. I love spending time with my friends and family.

Secretary: Yanay Alonso Caraballo




Year: 3rd year Neuroscience
Major/Program: Neuroscience
Research Interest/Project: My research is focused in understanding the neural mechanisms of obesity in selectively-bred obesity prone (OP) and obesity resistant (OR) rats. Specifically, I’m interested in elucidating the role of the estrous cycle and the gonadal hormones in motivated behaviors in the selectively-bred female OP and OR rats.

About Me: Five Facts

  1. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, the Island of Enchanment 
  2. I did my undergrad at the University of Puerto Rico at Ponce. 
  3. My favorite and main hobby is playing volleyball! 
  4. I always wanted to be a veterinarian.
  5. I love food… except french fries!

Fundraising Coordinator: Carlos Puentes


Year: 3rd year PhD Student
Major/Program: Neuroscience
Research Interest/Project: Sleep occurs nearly ubiquitously among animals, implying that it serves a basic and crucial function. However, the nature of this function remains a black box. My research is focused on interrogating the function of sleep and its relationship to  memory consolidation.

About Me: Five quick facts:

  1. I was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States at Age 5
  2. My favorite movie is raging bull.
  3. My favorite movie that I never want to watch again is melancholia.
  4. I had a cat named cat.
  5. My favorite book is Of Human Bondage

Outreach Coordinators: Nick Silva


Year: 5th year PhD
Major/Program: Neuroscience
Research Interest/Project: My research interest include inflammation following photoreceptor injury and the specific functions of mmp9 in Muller glia regeneration.  

About Me: Five quick facts:

  1. I am originally from California, Los Angeles.
  2. I did my undergrad and masters at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Thus, I left my ❤ in SF.
  3. I like to cook various types of food.
  4. I started OrangeTheory (Fitness Studio) and LOVE IT!
  5. I’m kinda obsessed with plants (any), nature, fish, and elephants.

Kelsey Hallinen (khalline@umich.edu)


Year: 3rd year PhD Student
Major/Program: Biophysics
Research Interest/Project: My research is focused on studying E. faecalis biofilm formation, spatial structure, and interaction dynamics. Biofilms of this species are known to cause many types of awful infections, such as medical device infections and bacterial endocarditis. The goal of my project is to better understand how these biofilms form and organize themselves, particularly if there is a resistant strain present. I’m personally interested in this project as I have congenital heart defects- bacterial endocarditis is a larger risk for patients like me who have extra scar tissue or artificial valves.
About Me: Five quick facts:

  1. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and went to undergrad at Carnegie Mellon.
  2. I’m an avid runner- I was a 400 m hurdler in high school and college and now have switched to running 5Ks. My goal is to run the Ann Arbor Marathon the year I graduate.
  3. I volunteer at a camp every summer for children with congenital heart defects. I went there as an 8 year old and this next summer will be my 18th consecutive year there.
  4. I love playing board games and am constantly looking for new suggestions.
  5. I foster cats for the Humane Society of Huron Valley. I’m currently cat-less, as my last foster cat Houdini was recently adopted.

Social Event Coordinator: Anabel Flores (anabelf@umich.edu)


Year: 4th year Ph.D. Student
Major/Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology Program (CMB)
Research Interest/Project: Obesity and its associated co-morbidities increase each year but the mechanisms underlying obesity is still not fully understood. Insight about molecular mechanisms underlying obesity can be gained by studying human mutations associated with obesity. Recently, human mutations in SH2B1 have been associated with obesity. I am using a mouse model encoding one of the human obesity mutations in SH2B1 as a tool to study cellular mechanisms underlying obesity.
About Me: Five quick facts:

  1. I was born in Mexico and I love Spanish! My second major in undergrad was Spanish Literature.
  2. I ran cross country and track in high school and college. I still love being a competitive long distance runner.
  3. I enjoy reading for fun. My favorite authors are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, and John Grisham.
  4. I have a big family (8 total) and my 4 sisters are my best friends.
  5. I love traveling!

Media Managers: Ashley Velez Delgado


Year: 2nd year PhD candidate
Major/Program: Cell and Developmental Biology
Research Interest/Project: : Since the first time I did research, I became fascinated about studying the molecular mechanisms of diseases. At the University of Michigan, I found the perfect fit for my interests  by studying tumor microenvironment. Specifically, I study the fibroinflammatory response during pancreatic cancer, meaning that I’m trying to elucidate what do fibroblasts and immune cells do during pancreatic cancer.

About me: Five quick facts:

  1. I’m a proud Puerto Rican whom after 22 years living in there decided to come to Michigan for her PhD. What a change!!
  2. I  enjoy meeting new people and making friends.
  3. For me listening music is like a therapy.
  4. I love salsa dancing. So, if you are planning to go, let me know!
  5. I really enjoy mentoring incoming student in the lab, I think is really cool passing your knowledge to others and see how they succeed.

Matthew Medina


Year: 2nd year M.S. Student
Major/Program: Earth and Environmental  Sciences, Geomicrobiology
Research Interest/Project: Broadly, I am interested in microbial ecology. I am currently researching microbial mats that live in a submerged sinkhole in Lake Huron, The Middle Island Sinkhole. This submerged sinkhole hosts phototrophic microbial mats that live under low-oxygen and sulfidic conditions; therefore, it is considered to be an analogue to Proterozoic microbial mat ecosystems. Using meta-genomic and meta-transcriptomic methods, I am uncovering the biogeochemical roles of sulfate-reducing bacteria in this unique microbial mat ecosystem. My work has implications for enhancing our understanding of early Earth geobiology.


National Liaison: Adam Banda


Year: 2nd year PhD Student
Major/Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology
Research Interest/Project: Metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming in pediatric high grade gliomas

About me:  Five facts about me

1.I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and as such the weather difference between Texas and Michigan has taken some getting used too.

2. I’ve gained a lot of weight and I’ve lost of a lot of weight since coming to Michigan (3 years!).

3. When I’m not in lab you can probably find me running or exercising.

4.  I was initially a nursing major before switching over to biochemistry to pursue research.

5.  I’ve never owned a car and I doubt I will anytime soon (Ann Arbor is really walkable)

Chapter Adviser: Dr. Bob Fuller



Program: Dr. Fuller is a professor in Biological Chemistry and the director of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program.
Research Interest/Project: My lab focuses in studying proteolytic processing and protein localization in the secretory pathway. In particular, our lab focuses on the specificity, efficiency, and location of protease Kex2 in yeast.

About me: Five quick facts:

  1. Born in the year that Watson and Crick published the double-helical model of DNA structure.
  2. Grew up on Army/Air Force bases in Virginia, New Mexico, Kansas, Iceland, Texas & Alabama but went to high school and college in New England.
  3. Went to college intending to major in American History but took a 3 year leave to play in rock bands (1972-1975) and came back to major in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.
  4. Lived in the San Francisco Bay area for 16 years and got hooked on backpacking in the Sierra Nevada.
  5. I play electric guitar in the CMB band “Embryonic Lethality”
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This is a contact page with some basic contact information and a contact form. You can also contact us on FB:SACNASUmich