Who we are

Support the Forsberg Lab

Stephanie has 20+ years of experience with hematopoietic, neural and cancer stem cells. She is the lab's research specialist and lab manager, studying the role of hematopoietic and vascular Robo4 in the location, homing, mobilization and maintenance of HSCs. She has a Masters of Science degree in Molecular/Microbiology from San Jose State University.  While working under the direction of Dr. Irving Weissman at Stanford University, she discovered her passion for Stem Cell Research. Outside of stem cell research, Stephanie is an avid home wine-maker and has produced award winning wines with her co-op.   
Connor joined the Forsberg Lab in 2021 as a junior specialist. I received my Bachelors of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2021. While attending UCSC I was an undergraduate researcher in the Yilidiz Lab, studying biofilm formation of Vibrio Cholerae. I became interested in stem cell biology from a high school biotechnology class and after taking the stem cell biology class at UCSC I wanted to pursue it more. Since joining the Forsberg lab, I have had the opportunity to work on multiple projects including nicotine exposure, CRISPRi, and Aging. Looking forward, I will be attending UCSC as a graduate student in the BME department.  
Elmira is a Jr. Specialist with a degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. She's interested in studying stem cell and developmental biology and its potential in treating congenital heart disease. She worked as an ACE tutor and hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a career in research. In her spare time, she enjoys going on hikes, walking on the beach, and playing Animal Crossing.  

Postdoctoral Fellows


Bryce joined the Forsberg lab as a postdoc in 2020. He received his B.Sc. degree in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University and subsequently worked for several years in HIV vaccine research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Bryce then pursued his Ph.D. in Immunology at the Mayo Clinic where he studied the effects that bone marrow infiltrating leukemia cells (CLL) have on human hematopoietic stem cell biology. Continuing his interests in aging and inflammation, Bryce joined the Forsberg lab to study how aging-associated inflammation modulates steady-state hematopoiesis. After joining the lab, Bryce was selected as an NIH IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellow, one of the inaugural cohort, and is currently receiving pedagogy training at California State University, Monterey Bay. Bryce is also involved with the UC Santa Cruz Postdocs Association (USPA), where he currently serves as treasurer and symposium co-chair.


UC Santa Cruz Postdocs Association (USPA):

Saran Joined the Forsberg Lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his M.Sc. degree in Life Science and Biotechnology from Jadavpur University. As a PhD student in Subrata Banerjee`s lab at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics he studied the involvement of DNA methylation and nucleolus shape/size in the development and maturation of megakaryocytes. Continuing his interest in the development of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, he is currently investigating the cause and consequences of expansion capacity of age specific megakaryocyte progenitors. He has recently received a NIH T32 fellowship.


Graduate students





Atesh is a fifth-year Ph.D. student. She completed her B.S. in Molecular, Cell and Developmental (MCD) Biology at UC Santa Cruz in 2013. After graduation, she pursued research in Dr. Cagla Eroglu's lab at Duke University, studying synapse development in Hungtinton's disease. In 2016, she returned to UCSC to begin her doctorate studies. Her research focuses on understanding how differences in regenerative capacity between fetal and adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are regulated at the transcriptional and chromatin level. She is currently supported by an NRSA F31 predoctoral fellowship through the NHLBI. She was previously supported by a California TRDRP predoctoral fellowship and the MCD department's NIH T32 Training grant. In addition to research, Atesh is passionate about pedagogy and developing equitable and inclusive teaching practice to make higher education more accessible to a diversity of students. She is the MCD student representative on the PBSE Grad Council and was a fellow in the 2019 Graduate Pedagogy Fellows program at UCSC's CITL . Atesh has been awarded the following fellowships:

Tobacco Related Disease Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship - 2019-2020
Center for Innovative Learning and Teaching Graduate Pedagogy Fellowship
Summer Graduate Pedagogy Mentor


Donna is a PhD candidate in the Forsberg lab. She went to college at the University of Hawaii where she studied coral pathogens in the Callahan Lab. She also participated in summer research programs at UCSF and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During this time, she became very excited about stem cell biology and later did research at UCSF as a Master’s CIRM fellow at the San Francisco State University. Her Master's research focused on understanding mechanisms of skeletal regeneration under the mentorship of Dr. Ralph Marcucio and Dr. Chelsea Bahney. 
Donna is currently defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms of age-specific platelet specification from hematopoietic stem cells. In addition to research, Donna is also committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the sciences. Donna has been awarded the following fellowships: 
American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship





Alessandra is our newest member of the Forsberg Lab. 
Alessandra is a third year MCD PhD student. She moved from Italy to pursue a BS degree in Molecular Biology at San Jose State University, where she graduated in 2015. After graduation, she worked at AbbVie in the Bay Area before pursuing her MS degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Regenerative Medicine, a program supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. For her master thesis work, she completed a year-long internship at UC San Diego. Then, in 2018, she started her PhD at UCSC where she is currently working on understanding inflammation-induced platelet differentiation and determining targets for reversing or delaying hematopoietic aging.
Alessandra has been awarded the following fellowships:
Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship (https://www.trdrp.org/)
Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning Graduate Pedagogy Fellowship (https://citl.ucsc.edu/programs/graduate-pedagogy-fellows/)
Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning Summer Graduate Pedagogy Mentor Fellowship (https://citl.ucsc.edu/programs/summer-graduate-pedagogy-mentors/)
Stephanie is a second year MCD PhD student. She is co-mentored by the Forsberg Lab, and is a member of the Chamorro-Garcia Lab in the METX department. She received both her BS and MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology at California State University, Chico. Her research interests include immunology, developmental biology, and genome-environment interactions.

Undergraduate Researchers

Malvi is a third year Human Biology major interested in clinical research with hopes of one day attending medical school. In addition to working in the Forsberg Lab, she is the co-Director of the Student Advocates Office and an intern at the South Asian Heart Center. In her free time, she enjoys winding down with hot yoga and meditation



Fernando was the first post doc in the Forsberg Lab.  His work focused on the Progressive Chromatin Condensation and H3K9 Methylation Regulate the Differentiation of Embryonic and Hematopoietic Stem Cells.  He is currently working at Merck.


Scott was a graduate student and post in the Forsberg Lab.  His work focused on the development of all hematopoietic cells through the Flk2/Flt3 cell surface marker.  His work demonstrated that HSC specification and maintenance are Flk2-independent, and that hematopoietic lineage separation occurs downstream of Flk2 upregulation.  He is currently working at Two Pore Guys.




Andy was a graduate student in the Forsberg Lab. His work focused on HSC trafficking.  He is currently working at NantOmics, LLC as a Bioinformatic Scientist.


Anna completed her B.A. in psychology and her Ph.D. in nutritional science, both at Cornell University. As a PhD student in Patrick Stover’s lab, she studied metabolic mechanisms underlying folate-responsive developmental anomalies, and her work identified impaired thymidylate biosynthesis as a critical folate-dependent metabolic pathway implicated in NTD pathogenesis. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Forsberg lab, Anna’s work focused on hematopoietic and immune development. Dr. Anna Beaudin is a currently an Assistant Professor at UC Merced studying both developmental mechanisms specifying tissue-resident macrophage, the influence of maternal inflammation on fetal hematopoietic and immune development and translation of maternal inflammation by the fetal immune system.

Jana was born and raised in Germany. She carried out her undergraduate studies in biology at the Freie Universität Berlin in collaboration with the German Rheumatism Research Center (DRFZ). She then moved to Québec city, Canada where she conducted her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology in the labs of Dr. Guy G. Poirier and Dr. Jean-Yves Masson. During that time, she studied the PAPR-1 associated DNA damage response to DNA double-strand breaks and added the French language to her repertoire. Jana joined Dr. Camilla Forsberg's lab in 2014 as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Cruz. While in the lab, she received a CIRM postdoctoral fellowship and an ASH fellow award for her project on the influence of higher order chromatin structure on hematopoietic stem cell fate decisions.  She is currently working as a Senior Research Assistant chez the University of Zurich IMCR.  


Riva was a postdoc in the Forsberg Lab.  Her worked focused on the effects of hormones on HSC mobilization.  She is currently working at Cepheid as a Biomedical Scientist for Regulatory Affairs.



Mark was a fourth year Biomolecular Engineering undergraduate interested in immunology and its applications in translational medicine. He studies the development of infant leukemias and the hematopoietic system. He is currently enrolled in the CIRM program at SLO.



Gloria was a junior specialist and her main project focuses on investigating how developmental insult affects developmental hematopoiesis and immune function into adulthood. She graduated from UCSC with a B.S. in bioengineering in 2014 and during her free time she likes to play soccer and participate in outdoor activities. Gloria is currently working on her PhD at UCLA.



Susan as a maste's student she was interested in understanding disease mechanisms and discovering novel ways in which we can detect and treat diseases. Her current research involves trying to understand the molecular factors that regulate the directionality of hematopoietic stem cell trafficking. She is a former CIRM scholar and has since completed her masters degree in the Forsbergh Lab.  She is currently working in Biotech.



Jessica was a graduate student in the Forsberg interested in immunology, translational medicine, and cancer immunotherapy. She has founded the Cancer Research Club at UCSC and is the department representative for the Graduate Student Association. She is currently supported by a HHMI Gilliam fellowship which she is using to explore fetal hematopoitic development as well as mechanisms of oncogenesis in infant leukemias.



Rebekah was a masters student while in the Forsberg Lab.  She worked on the chromatin project with Fernando.  She is currently working at Open Innovations, LLC.




Matthew worked as a Jr. Specialist in the Forsberg Lab.  He has since moved on and is the director of Flow Cytometry at the New York Stem Cell Institute.



Herman was an undergraduate in the Forsberg Lab.  He worked both with on the Flk2 development and HSC trafficking projects.  He is currently a Quality Engineer in the New Product Development Team at Abbott.




Jackson is a junior specialist and mainly works on a project designing an inducible, fluorescent cell line to be used as a model for further study in the lab. He graduated in 2018 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. In his free time he likes to surf, mountain bike, snowboard and play with his puppy. He is attending medical school in August and hopes to specialize in Emergency Medicine.



Alyssa was a Human Biology undergraduate at UCSC and a Koret Scholar with the Forsberg Lab. In the lab, she studied HSC trafficking in the Robo 4 model. She also worked as an ACE tutor and was on the path to applying to medical school. When she was not studying or working, she is probably dancing at the local ballet studio or in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes.



Tuan was a Human Bio major at UCSC. He was interested in tumor cell angiogenesis and metastasis. He is in the progress of either applying to medical school or continuing research. In his free time, he will sleep or sometimes eat. He enjoys caffeine, water-related activities, and working out with the boys.



Joselyn was a Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology/Economics undergraduate at UCSC and a Koret Scholar with the Forsberg Lab. In the lab, she studied the effects of hormones on HSC trafficking. She also worked as an ACE tutor and is working toward applying to medical school. When she wasn't in lab, studying, or working, she enjoys volunteering at the hospital, watching her favorite shows on Netflix, playing with her dog Stella, and supporting the Golden State Warriors!



Steven graduated in 2020 with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is working towards applying to graduate school and getting into a Ph.D program. He enjoys video games, hiking, and playing with his gecko in his free time.

Jessica was a biomolecular engineering undergraduate. In the lab, she worked to characterize HSCs throughout fetal development. She's really passionate about stem cell research/regenerative medicine and is currently applying to master's programs throughout California (and hopes to one day get her PhD. too!) When she isn't helping Taylor run samples on the Aria, she's watching netflix or spending time with her pals and their dog, Empanada.  


Jess rgraduated in 2020 with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.  I plan on going to medical school to become an OBGYN or to graduate school to become a researcher in biology.  My hobbies include going to the gym, doing makeup, and spending time with my family and dogs.

Adeel graduated in 2020 with a degree in MCD Biology. He has worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with cDNA analysis of Landoltia Punctata but has since changed his interests to developmental stem cell biology. He hopes to pursue graduate studies in the field of molecular biology after some time working in industry. In his free time when he's not studying, he likes to workout at the gym and tend to his cat. 
Smrithi began her journey in Life Sciences when she decided to obtain a degree in Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology from a University in Southern India. She moved to Texas, after spending 22 years in Bangalore, in pursuit of a doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences at UNTHSC. Her graduate research focused on understanding the basic mechanisms of cancer progression, with emphasis on aberrant gene regulatory mechanisms at the DNA methylation, transcription and post-transcriptional levels in prostate cancer. A small portion of her work also led her to develop clinical collaborations, leading to potential biomarker discovery. Her post-doctoral work in the Forsberg Lab is focused on determining the role of niches and specific cues in HSC trafficking using transgenic mouse model systems.

Eric graduated in 2022 as MCD PhD student in the PBSE program. His journey started when he received my B.S. in MCD Biology here at UC Santa Cruz then moved to San Jose to work in industry developing and executing purifications of bacterial toxins from their native organisms. After a few years of working he enrolled in the Master's of Biotechnology (MBT) program at San Jose State University and subsequently enrolled in the CIRM training program to learn more about stem cell biology while at SJSU. His journey came full circle when he came back to Santa Cruz and joined the Forsberg Lab. His current research focus is how chromatin dynamics affect differentiation during hematopoiesis.

Taylor graduated in 2022 as a MCD PhD student. She obtained her B.S. in molecular biology from San Jose State University in 2015. She then completed her M.A. in 2017 through the Stem Cell Internships in Laboratory-based Learning (SCILL) Program, supported by a Bridges to Stem Cell Research Grant from The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Her interests include immunology, development, and immunotherapies. Her current research is focused on understanding how perinatal immune insult influences the immune system for life.  As of September 2019, Taylor will be awarded the
TRDRP fellowship: "Understanding how perinatal nicotine exposure influences immune establishment and function for life."
https://forsberglab.soe.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/Tobin.png Tobin graduated in 2022 with a BS in Human Biology. He is interested in studying stem cell biology and its potential for clinical use. He hopes to one day attend medical school and to pursue a career as a clinical scientist. In his free time he enjoys scuba diving, volunteering as an EMT, and spending time with family.   
https://forsberglab.soe.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/67F08341-B239-4A19-BE1E-B6C7CF7C06ED.jpeg Shane graduated in 2022 with a BS in Biology and the History of Art and Visual Culture. He is interested in studying stem cell biology and it’s applications to respiratory illness. He hopes to pursue a career in the scientific community following medical school and/or graduate school. When he isn’t working or studying he is either surfing, painting, or playing music.