Christine E. Boone, M.D., Ph.D.
Christine is an Interventional Radiology (Integrated IR/DR) Resident in the Clinician-Scientist training program at UCSD. She completed MD and PhD degrees in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she investigated in vivo perturbations of electrical activity in the hippocampus related to memory processing in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. Christine joined the Steinmetz Lab in 2019 as an NIH T32-pathway post-doctoral clinician-scientist trainee. Her current research focuses on developing plant virus-like particles (VLPs) as immunological adjuvants for cancer therapy. She aims to combine Interventional Radiology's strengths in minimally invasive imaging-guided disease targeting with the versatility of VLP nanotechnology to develop novel methods to treat cancer and other disorders. In her free time, Christine enjoys travel, Middle Eastern dance, surfing, and rock climbing.
Ted (Edward) Koellhoeffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Ted is a Diagnostic Radiology Resident in the Clinician-Scientist Scholarship Research Program (CSSRP) at UCSD. He completed his MD and PhD degrees from the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Texas at Houston, a joint dual-degree program at McGovern Medical School and MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Ted’s thesis research work investigated epigenetic molecular mechanisms of aging in microglia in the central nervous system. Ted joined the Steinmetz lab in 2020 during his first year at UCSD as part of the T32 CSSRP residency program. His current research interests include the utilization of plant viruses in immunotherapeutic treatment of cancer and other diseases. In his free time, Ted enjoys photography, going to the beach, and spending time with his family.
Mansur Ghani, MD
Mansur is an Interventional Radiology (Integrated IR/DR) Resident in the Clinician-Scientist training program at UCSD. He completed his MD at Yale School of Medicine where he investigated imaging biomarkers for treatment response in liver cancer treated with minimally-invasive, image-guided procedures. Mansur joined the Steinmetz lab in 2020 during his first year in the T32 Clinician-Scientist Radiology Residency Program through a collaborative effort with Dr. Isabel Newton to study the treatment of liver cancer with plant viruses in combination with cryoablation, an interventional radiology procedure that kills cancer cells by freezing them. Outside of the lab and his clinical work, Mansur enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking and tennis.
Krister Barkovich, M.D. Ph.D.
Krister is a Diagnostic Radiology resident in the NIH T32 clinician scientist training pathway at UCSD. He completed his MD at the UCSF School of Medicine and his PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology in Dr Kevan Shokat’s laboratory investigating novel chemical-genetic strategies for the inhibition of DEAD-box proteins and the mechanism of action of clinically approved CDK4/6 inhibitors. Krister joined the Steinmetz Lab in 2021. His research interests include molecular targeting of viral nanoparticles for cancer treatment and molecular imaging. Outside of the lab, Krister enjoys basketball, running, biking, and hiking.
Zhongchao (Kevin) Zhao, Ph.D.
Kevin joined the Steinmetz lab as a Postdoctoral Scholar in September of 2020. He obtained his bachelor and master degrees back in China from China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing from 2007 to 2014. In August 2014, he came to US and started his PhD study in Prof. Adam Zlotnick’s lab at Indiana University. His PhD work focused on the understanding and regulating of Hepatitis B virus capsid assembly and the re-design of capsid protein and assembly pathway to create holey capsids for engineering purposes. His current research focuses on the development and engineering of CPMV viral capsids for ovarian cancer treatment. Other than research, Kevin is a big fun of sports. He likes watching NBA and NFL, also he likes playing basketball, tennis and surfing.
Adam Caparco, Ph.D.
Adam joined the Steinmetz lab in January 2021, with research focused on using plant viruses and VLPs for precision agriculture and living materials applications. Adam completed his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (2020) in Atlanta, GA under Profs. Julie Champion and Andreas Bommarius. His thesis work focused on enzyme immobilization and protein-inorganic material assembly. After receiving a STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship (2019), Adam also worked for several months at Genoscope in Evry, France on an enzyme discovery and metagenomics project. Prior to his thesis work, Adam studied Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA (2015), where his undergraduate research focused on metabolic engineering. In his spare time, Adam enjoys ambitious cooking projects, video games, traveling, and volunteering with LGBTQ organizations.
Ivonne González Gamboa, Ph.D.
Ivonne began her postdoctoral research at Steinmetz Lab in January 2021. She has a bachelor degree in Biotechnology Engineering with a minor in Research and Innovation from Tecnológico de Monterrey (México). She later obtained a M.Sc. in Agrobiotechnology, as well as a Ph.D. in Plant Biotechnology, under the direction of Prof. Fernando Ponz at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain) in September 2017. Her graduate research involved the development of a plant viral platform for chemical and genetic functionalization of the TuMV coat protein. Then, she completed a postdoc appointment at the Álvarez-Trujillo Lab at Tecnológico de Monterrey, where she worked on developing chemically-modified viral nanoparticles (VNPs) as biomaterials for tissue regeneration. Her current project focuses on engineering VNPs for nanoAg applications and precision farming. Besides doing research, Ivonne loves teaching, singing and playing the guitar, as well as traveling and going to the movies with friends.
Jessica Fernanda Affonso de Oliveira, Ph.D.
Jessica Fernanda Affonso de Oliveira joined the Steinmetz lab as postdoctoral scholar in April of 2021. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos (UFSCar) in 2011. Then, she continued her Master and PhD degrees in Centro de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CMPEM - Brazil) under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Mateus Borba Cardoso where her research was focused at development of tailored functional nanomaterials against resistant bacteria strains (Master) and development of selective targeting nanomateriais for cancer treatment, where she worked with Hodgkin’s Lymphomas. During her PhD, she also spent one year as a Visiting Scholar at Prof. Vicent M. Rotello lab in Amherst (UMass-Amherst), where she collaborates in several different projects. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, travel, studying other languages and watching funny Netflix shows.
Eunkyeong Jung, Ph.D.
Eunkyeong joined the Steinmetz lab in April 2021. She completed M.S. and Ph.D. in Biotechnology & nanoengineering at Jeonbuk National University (South Korea) under the direction of Prof. Dongwon Lee (in February 2021). Her Ph.D. research focused on the development of pathological stimuli-responsive theranostic polymer nanoparticles for ROS-related diseases such as thrombosis, ischemic injury, and cancer. Out of the lab, she enjoys baking, hiking, watching K-dramas, and video chatting with her family.
Jorge Leganés, Ph.D.
Jorge Leganés joined the Steinmetz Lab as a postdoc scholar in November 2021. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM, Spain) in 2014, followed by his Master in organic chemistry in 2015. He then carried out his PhD at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM, Spain) under the supervision of Prof. Ester Vázquez, in the research topic of nanocomposite hydrogels based on carbon and inorganic nanoparticles for applications in smart drug delivery. During his PhD, he carried out his doctoral stay at the lab of Dr. Diez de Campo (University of Saarland, Germany) where he researched with light-responsive click-able hydrogels. Outside work, Jorge enjoys speaking German and English, playing the guitar, swimming, and hanging out with friends.
Sweta Karan, Ph.D.
Swetajoined the Steinmetz laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in November 2021. Shecompleted her Ph.D. in cellular andmolecular immunology in 2021 from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi,India. Her thesis is on immunological characterization and protectiveefficacy of recombinant curli and type 1 fimbrial adhesins against Vibrio parahaemolyticus and biotechnologicalapplication of pore-forming curli protein from V. parahaemolyticus as an enhanced recombinant protein expressiontool. Before her doctoral study she has worked as a research fellow at the Generegulation laboratory at the National Institute of Immunology, Delhi, India andhas worked on recombinant protein-based vaccines against bacterial pathogens.Her current interest is in nanomedicine-based vaccine and immunotherapies.Besides lab work, Sweta likes to travel, hike, do painting and gardening.
Debbie Ledezma, Ph.D.
Debbie is a CT2 Moores Cancer Center post-doctoral fellow and also received a prestigious Chancellor’s Post-doctoral Fellowship - she started her work on cancer immunotherapy in Jan 2023 in the Steinmetz Lab. Debbie completed her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry at the University of Virginia in 2017. She then obtained her PhD in Microbiology & Immunology from The George Washington University in 2022 under the direction of Prof. Rohan Fernandes. Her thesis work focused on the antitumor response and immunity in photothermal therapy. In her free time, she likes working out at the gym, snowboarding, dirt biking, entertaining her dog Huck, and watching NFL and NWSL.
Patrick Opdensteinen, Ph.D.
Patrick joinedthe Steinmetz Laboratory as a postdoctoral scholar in July 2023. His researchfocuses on the application of plant-made nanomaterials for human health andplant health. Patrickobtained his B.Sc (2014) and M.Sc (2017) in Molecular and Applied Biotechnologyin Germany at the RWTH Aachen University. After completing a research internshipin the Sinskey Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),Patrick returned to Germany to pursue a PhD at the RWTH Aachen and the FraunhoferInstitute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in the framework of theDFG Research Training Group Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery. Patrick completed hisPhD under the supervision of Prof. Buyel in April 2023 (summa cum laude) andworked at the University Clinic Aachen before starting his postdoctoralresearch in the Steinmetz Lab. A central concept during his PhD was toimplement modular tools on the DNA and protein level in plants, an approach thatPatrick now applies in the context of plant-made nanomaterials. When he is not in the lab,Patrick likes traveling, hiking, DIY projects and sports; in particular volleyball,soccer, badminton and biking.
Yvonne (Yifeng) Ma
Yvonne joined the Steinmetz lab in September 2019. Her current research focus is investigating the cancer cellular uptake of VLP and developing drug delivery system based on that. Yvonne received her B.S. in polymer science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University in 2019, where she worked on engineering polysaccharide derivatives for hemostasis augmentation. In her free time, she enjoy playing with her cats, listening to Kpop, and traveling.
Miguel joined as a fourth year Nanoengineering undergraduate at UCSD and transitioned to be a PhD student in NanoEngineering in the Fall 2020. Miguel has a particular interest in cancer and cardiovascular research. Outside of the lab he spends his time playing baseball, video games, and spending time with his friends.
Andrea Monroy Borrego
Andrea is a Ph.D. Student in NanoEngineering, she joined the Steinmetz lab in September 2020 and obtained her B.S. in Biotechnology Engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey, México, the same year. There she collaborated in multiple projects in the Alvarez & Trujillo Lab, specializing in the use of plant viral nanoparticles for bioprinting of dermal tissue. Andrea has collaborated in projects with Rice University on understanding autophagy of Arabidopsis thaliana, and with KAUST analyzing the effects of climate change on the red sea. Her current research focuses on engineering plant viral nanoparticles for agricultural applications. In addition, she loves rock climbing, hiking and reading batman comics.
Bryan is a NanoEngineering PhD student that joined the Steinmetz lab in the Fall of 2021. Prior to his work at UCSD, Bryan worked at Juno Therapeutics, a Bristol Myers Squibb company, where he was a lead technology development Process Engineer for the cell therapy Breyanzi. Bryan earned his M.S. in Cell, Molecular and Microbiology through a joint program between San Jose State University and Stanford University where he researched small molecule and cell therapies for skin fibrosis in the Longaker Lab. During his B.S. at Sonoma State, Bryan was an intern at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in the Kennedy lab where he studied the mTOR pathways and their relationship with longevity in collaboration with Alphabet's biotech arm Calico. In his free time Bryan enjoys playing sports (soccer, tennis, golf, hiking, swimming, surfing), spending time with his wife and two dogs, DIY projects, reading and woodworking.
Anthony received his bachelor's degree in Chemical Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. As an undergraduate researcher in Francis Research Group he worked with diblock copolymers to form micellar systems for biomedical and environmental applications. After graduating, he continued research at the National Cancer Institute as a Post Baccalaureate Fellow; where he studied proteases with activity-based probes and inhibitors, and their relationship to immunological problems and cancer. He joined the Steinmetz Research Group in September 2021, where he will be working on cancer immunotherapy using plant nanotechnology. Outside the lab he enjoys reading and writing realist fiction, afro dancing, portrait photography and geocaching.
Andrea is a M.S. student in NanoEngineering and joined the Steinmetz lab in September 2021. She earned her B.S. in chemistry from Arizona State University in 2019, and in the following two years worked in a quality control lab for compounded veterinary pharmaceuticals. She is interested in utilizing nanotechnology to improve drug targeting/delivery and is currently researching TMV as a delivery vehicle for chemotherapy to ovarian cancer. Andrea also enjoys hiking, oil painting, cooking, and exploring new places.
Zhuohong Wu is a Ph.D. Student in NanoEngineering who joined the Steinmetz lab in December 2021. Zhuohong completed his M.S. degree in the same department at UCSD. His prior work focused on the development of a multimodal platform based on phenolic materials for biomedical applications. When not in the lab, Zhuohong enjoys hiking and cooking with friends, listening to Cantonese songs, and reading sci-fi.
XinyiDeng is a PhD student in the Department of Nanoengineering. She joined the labin April 2022. She received her B.S. in Polymer Science from Beijing Universityof Chemical Technology. Her past research focused on cancer and she has a particular interest in immunology. Currently she’s working on plant virus-based vaccines and immunotherapy. In her free time, she loves rock music, J-pop,cooking for friends and hiking.
Calvin is a graduate student in biology who joined the Steinmetz lab in October 2022. His research focuses on hydrogel synthesis and its integration with plant-based viruses. In his free time, Calvin likes making music, dropping DJ sets at parties occasionally, working out with some friends, and grabbing food afterward.
Sabrina Chang Liao
Sabrina is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Supply Chain who joined the lab in February 2022. Her research focuses on developing nanomaterials for plant vaccine applications. In her free time, she loves thrifting, sunset watching, taking pictures, and cooking.
Lucas is an undergraduate student studying NanoEngineering. Lucas works on cancer immunotherapies using plant virus nanoparticles as biologics. He is also a member of the UCSD Surf Team. In his free time he enjoy surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, making music electronically, and playing piano, guitar and bass.
Sean is anundergraduate student in Molecular and Cell Biology who joined the SteinmetzLab in January 2023. He previously workedon recombinant expression of ABO blood group antigen cleaving glycosidehydrolases as a part of an International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM)team. As such, he is interested in the intersection between synthetic biologyand plant viruses for medical applications. In his free time, he enjoys playingbasketball, cooking, and baking.
Narek is an undergraduate student from Revelle College majoring in Neurobiology with a minor in Chemistry. He joined the lab in June 2023 and focuses on the use of plant virus nanoparticles for treating ovarian cancer. In his free time , he likes listening to music while going on evening drives, going to the gym, watching TV shows, and keeping up with the stock market.
Gautham is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering who joined the Steinmetz Lab in 2023. Their research focuses on utilizing plant viruses for cancer therapies and treatments. In their free time, they enjoy cooking food from different cuisines, singing, playing tennis, and going out to see new places.
Norma is an undergraduate student with a major in Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on developing hydrogels to deliver viral cargo for cancer treatments. She enjoys spending her free time swimming, crocheting, and doing henna art.
Jamie is an undergraduate student studying bioengineering with a focus in biotechnology, and she joined the Steinmetz lab in June 2023. Her research focuses on the applications of CPMV nanoparticles in cancer immunotherapy. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, surfing, and trying out new restaurants with friends.
Scientists and Post-docs
Alumni | CWRU
Residents and Lab Management
Craig D’Cruz (BME, Fall 2011, Spring 2012), Brian So (BME, Fall 2011, Spring 2012), Christine DeBaez (BME, Summer 2012), Josh Mealy (REU student from University of Pittsburgh, Summer 2011), Mary Ryan (Honors Student, University of Dayton,Summer 2011), Siji Oluwadara (REU student from Vanderbilt University, Summer2012), Sid (Sourav) Dey (BME, Spring 2011-Fall 2012), Samuel Alexander (BME,Spring 2011-Fall 2012), Nadia Ayat (BME, Fall 2010-Spring 2013), Kevin Chen (BME, Fall 2010-Spring 2013), Alice Yang (BME, Summer 2011-Spring 2013), Pooja Rambhia (Biochemistry, Summer 2012-Spring 2013, Co-mentor, Neil Greenspan, CWRU Pathology),
Matt Plecha (BME, Summer 2012-Spring 2013), Steven Hern (BME, Fall2011-Fall 2013), Mengzhi Wu (BME, Spring 2013-Spring 2014), John Kim (Biology,Summer 2014-Spring 2015), Nick DiFranco (BME, Spring 2014-Spring 2015), Lauren Randolph (BME, Fall 2011-Spring 2015), Paul Chariou (BME, Fall 2011-Spring 2015), Allen VanMeter (BME, Summer 2012-Spring 2015), Greg Hsu (Chemistry, Spring 2013-Spring 2015), Michael McBurney (BME, Spring 2013-Spring 2015), Diana Acosta (BME, Summer 2013-Spring2015), Adithy Nagarajan (BME, Fall 2013-Spring 2016), Katherine Krawiec (BME, Summer 2014-Spring 2016),
Slater Jameson (BME, Fall 2014-Spring 2016), Sarah Woods (BME, Summer 2014-Spring 2016), Jacob Schimelman (Macro, Summer 2012-Spring 2016), Bryce Stamp (BME, Fall 2014-Fall 2016), Jeffrey Shen (BME, Summer 2016-Fall 2016), Stephen Wang, (BME, Summer 2016-Fall 2016), Paul Lin (CSU, Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Ishan Singhal (Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Jing Pu (Fall 2016-Spring 2017), Xingjian (Jack) Gong (Fall 2015-Sprin 2018), Alan Dogan (Fall 2016-2018), Akshata Rudrapatna (Spring 2017-Spring 2018), Cian Desai (Fall 2017-Spring 2018), Alex Welsh (Fall 2017-Spring 2018).