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Summer STUDENT Research Program
Advisory Members

Frank Bayliss, PhD
Professor; Director of the Student Enrichment Opportunities Office
San Francisco State University



Frank Bayliss is Professor of Biology and Director of the Student Enrichment Opportunities (SEO) Office at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Dr. Bayliss has served as the Program Director of numerous NSF, NIH, DoD, USDA, USDEd, Beckman Foundation and Genentech Foundation training grants focused on inclusion of underrepresented minority, low-income and disabled students in preparation for PhD degree programs and careers in science. Dr. Bayliss continues as Director of SEO and is also currently the Director for Diversity in the NSF Science & Technology Center based at UCSF in partnership with SFSU, UC Berkeley, IBM, Stanford U and the Exploratorium. The “Center for Cellular Construction” is focused on the education and training of a diverse workforce to embrace engineering cells.
Ellen Fung, PhD, RD
Co-Director, Summer Student Research Program
Principle Investigator
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
Dr. Fung received her doctorate degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She has a long-standing curiosity in the impact of nutrition on children with chronic disease. Particular areas of concentration have included the assessment of bone health and trace mineral metabolism (zinc, iron), dietary intake, growth and body composition in a variety of chronic pediatric disorders including thalassemia, sickle cell disease, cerebral palsy, Rett syndrome, mucopolysaccaridosis and vitamin D deficiency rickets. She has over 70 peer reviewed publications and has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Agriculture, the National Dairy Council, the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine and the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. She is currently the Director of the Bone Density Clinic at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (BCHO). She is the Program Director of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), LIGHT-a-SPARK grant, as well as the PD for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation High school to College programs at CHORI, both with similar goals to the NIH program. Dr. Fung has been an active research mentor at BCHO since 2000 and the Co-Director of the CHORI summer research program since 2014.

Gino Galvez, PhD
Summer Student Program External Evaluator
Assistant Professor
California State University, Long Beach

For the past decade, Dr. Galvez has conducted program evaluation research for several health, education, STEM training and mentoring programs for underrepresented minority (URM) groups. Dr. Galvez has served as the lead program evaluator of a five-year USDE-funded Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) / STEM program. The project aimed to increase the number and success of Hispanic students in STEM through peer-mentoring, summer and winter research programs, and faculty development. In addition, he developed the program evaluation plan for the 27.2M NIH BUILD grant awarded to California State University Long Beach (CSULB). The overall goal of this five-year program is to strengthen and develop a sustainable pipeline for advanced research degrees for URM students. Furthermore, he is also an investigator on a NSF-funded project that examines perceptions of culture, science career interest and motivation among freshmen URM STEM students. Since 2012, Dr. Galvez has evaluated the CHORI Summer Research Program. Dr. Galvez earned a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology and M.S. from Portland State University and is a faculty member in the Industrial-Psychology program at CSULB.
Beate Illek Beate Illek, PhD
Student Liason – Summer program
Assistant Scientist
Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute
Dr. Illek is an Assistant Scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) and serves as the Student Liaison of the CHORI Summer Research Program. Dr. Illek has extensive expertise in one-on-one research mentoring and has regularly served as a mentor for the summer student program since 1998. She later established the Elizabeth Nash Summer Student Research Award to provide a research opportunity for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that is caused by mutations in the CFTR chloride channel protein. Over the years, Dr. Illek has trained more than twenty-five summer students. This summer, students will focus on precision medicine for cystic fibrosis by developing a patient-in-a-dish model. The airway cell culture models will be used for personalized chloride transport measurements to identify CFTR-directed therapeutics based on genotype.
David Killilea David Killilea, PhD
Enrichment Director – Summer Student Research Program
Director, Elemental Analysis Facility
Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute
Dr. Killilea is a Staff Scientist in the Nutrition & Metabolism Center at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) and Specialist at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Killilea is a nutritional biochemist with a particular interest in the mineral micronutrients, working with renowned National Academy of Science members Dr. Bruce Ames and Dr. Janet King. Funding for Dr. Killilea’s research has come from the National Institute of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and HarvestPlus, resulting in more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 90 conference abstracts, and several cited interviews including the Wall Street Journal & New York Times Magazine on nutrition and good health. Dr. Killilea is provides regular lectures in nutrition and pre-medical courses held at UC San Francisco, City College of San Francisco, and California State University. Dr. Killilea has been the research supervisor for over 20 undergraduate students from UC Berkeley, Mills College, and other colleges, including 4 in the Honors program, and serves as a doctoral committee member for 2 graduate students at Washington State University and the University of Melbourne. For the last 10 years, Dr. Killilea has been a volunteer instructor for the Community in the Classroom Program for the Berkeley and Oakland Unified School District. And for the last 12 years, Dr. Killilea has been a mentor and lecturer for the CHORI Summer Student Program.

Jolene Kokroko
Medical Student- Prime Program
University of California, San Francisco

Jolene Kokroko is a medical student at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Ms. Kokroko first became interested in the intersections between health, wellness, and the human experience during college. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Biology with a concentration in Children’s International Health and Health Policy from Stanford University in 2010. After completing a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Bryn Mawr College in 2013, she worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the Division of Hematology. Her experience sparked an interest in clinical and translation research and she continues to explore the various ways in which research directly impacts clinical care. Since beginning her medical career at UCSF in 2014, she has endeavored to stayed connected to underserved and underrepresented communities. As a Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US) student, she participates in seminars and engages with youth and community members to increase access to healthcare as well as the wellbeing of San Francisco’s urban underserved. In 2015, she was accepted into the American Society of Hematology’s Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP) and completed a research project with Dr. Carolyn Hoppe on the genetic predictors of disease severity in Sickle Cell Disease at Children’s Hospital Oakland. Since then, she has been enjoying being in clinics and hospitals around the Bay Area during her third year of medical school. She will be pursuing a Masters in Public Health in 2017 and, in the meantime, will be contemplating which direction to take her medical career. She is honored to serve on the External Advisory Committee and support the research endeavors of youth in the area.

Bertram Lubin, MD
Co-Director, Summer Student Research Program
Associate Dean of Children's Health
University of California San Francisco

Dr. Lubin, MD joined Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland in 1973 as Chief of Hematology/Oncology. In 1984 he became the Director of Medical Research. Under his leadership, basic, clinical and translational research activities expanded. He transformed the small research program into a highly successful enterprise called Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). Dr. Lubin has served on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees, community based health consortia, and university panels across the United States. He has secured and directed NIH grants for over 40 years in a variety of areas. His research has focused on studies of red cell membrane structure in normal and pathologic states, clinical and basic research related to sickle cell anemia, public health initiatives related to newborn screening for hemoglobin disorders and national cord blood banking programs. In addition to his clinical, teaching and research interests, he is devoted to STEM and workforce development and has had an extensive history of teaching and mentoring at many levels. He founded the now 36-year old CHORI Summer Research Program, which has provided mentored basic and clinical research opportunities for over 1,000 mostly underrepresented minority high school, college and post baccalaureate students. He has served as both PI and a mentor within this program throughout its history, which has been supported primarily by NIH. In 2009 Dr. Lubin was chosen to serve as the President & Chief Executive Officer of what became UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, until his appointment by the University of California San Francisco as Associate Dean of Children’s Health in 2016.
John Matsui, PhD
Director, Co-Founder
Biology Scholars Program
Assistant Dean, Biological Sciences
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Matsui is the Assistant Dean of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, is the Founder and Director of the Biology Scholars Program at UCB and the 2013 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He has continued to run and direct the Biology Scholars Program at UC Berkeley since it’s inception, and is a well-known expert in STEM, writer and speaker on undergraduate research training programs.
Vas Narayanaswami, PhD
Associate Scientist
Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute
California State University Long Beach
Dr. Narayanaswami is a basic scientist with a joint appointment as an Associate Scientist at CHORI and a tenured Associate Professor (9 mo. appt.) at California State University Long Beach (CSULB), a Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI). She has been a mentor to summer research program participants since 2002 and has served as the program’s Co-Director or PI since 2005. In addition to her role with the Bay Area Summer Research Program, she is also the Program Director for the NIH-funded CSULB MARC U*STAR program. The program aims to increase diversity in biomedical research; it runs during the academic year and does not overlap with the CHORI summer program.

Dr. Narayanaswami’s research focus is lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, with direct medical relevance in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Her research lab is focused on understanding the role of apolipoprotein E in regulating plasma cholesterol homeostasis and in maintaining the integrity of the blood brain barrier in normal and in neurodegenerative disease states. She currently has long-term funding through research grants from the NIH/NIGMS, and has had funding from the American Heart Association (AHA), Alzheimer’s Association, International HDL Research Pfizer Inc., Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and the Tobacco Disease Related Disease Research Program. She has more than 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, several of which include undergraduate and graduate students as co-authors. She serves on the AHA scientific review committee and is currently the Chair of the AHA ATVB Women’s Leadership Committee and member of the ATVB Diversity Committee.
Seti Sidharta, PhD
Director, Center for Science Excellence Program
Contra Costa College
Dr. Sidharta has over 24 years of experience teaching chemistry at Contra Costa College (CCC) and over eleven years of being the Director of the Center for Science Excellence program (CSE). As CSE Director, Seti provides vision and leadership for a diverse, energetic, and innovative community of STEM faculty mentors, staff, and students at CCC.  Her responsibilities span from providing year-round program management and comprehensive student services to bringing a host of federal funding to the college including grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, and MESA UCOP.  She also builds synergistic partnerships with UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science, USDA, Children Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), UCSF General Hospital, National Action Council for Minority in Engineering (NACME), and industries in order to develop internship opportunities for STEM students at the college. Besides her work and participating in the NIH R25 Advisory Committee, she serves as a Board Member in the Girl's Inc of West Contra Costa County and the Richmond Groundwork.
Barbara Staggers, MD
Director, Center for Community Health & Engagement
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
Dr. Staggers is the Retired Division Chief of Adolescent medicine at CHRCO, and now serves as Director for the Center for Community Engagement for BCHO. She is an authority on the medical, psychosocial, and psychobiological needs of minority adolescents. She has trained high school, undergraduate, and medical students, residents, and fellows. Dr. Staggers is the founder of the award-winning CHAMPS program at CHRCO, which provides multi-year experiences for at-risk high school students who are interested in working in the healthcare field. She will serve as a liaison between the clinical scientists and students, serve on the selection committee, and help recruit clinical mentors. As an African-American woman in medicine, she has been an exemplary mentor and role model for the summer students for many years and will be a valuable voice on the advisory committee.
Tram Vo-Kumamoto , PhD
Vice President
Berkeley City College
Tram has over 20 years of experience increasing access, equity and student completion in the California community colleges. Her experiences span both academic and student support services. During her tenure at Chabot College, she helped to bring the college up to date with technology solutions in student services and piloted a successful Bridge to Engineering (B2E) Program that led to the successful creation of a Math, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Program that supports more than 100 students per year towards the completion of their science transfer requirements. In her current role as Vice-President of Berkeley City College, she strives to connect with other systems that are working towards the same mission by aligning efforts and connecting programs and people with purpose to increase student success.



Revised: Friday, February 23, 2018 3:41 PM

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