Lab Members

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Professor Charles (Chuck) Knobler 

Professor Emeritus

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Ana Luisa (Anilú) Duran-Meza, PhD


Projects: Distribution of RNA Ends in Multiplet-Capsid Structures; In Vitro Synthesis of Enveloped Virus-Like Particles (EVLPs); RNA Compaction by Polyvalent Cations; Polyvalent-Cation-Mediated In Vitro Packaging of "Overlong" RNAs into CCMV and BMV Spherical Capsids; In Vitro Reconstitution of Heterologous RNA in Cylindrical versus Spherical Virus-Like Particles

Odisse Azizgolshani, PhD


Projects: In Cellulo Reconstituted Therapeutic-replicon-containing Sindbis Virus-like Particles for Targeted Gene Delivery; Persistent Sindbis Replicons and Persistent-Sindbis-replicon-expressing Cell Evolution

Jerrell Tisnado, PhD


Projects: Targeted Delivery of Gene Therapies through Protein Fusions and Chemical Conjugations of Ligands to Reconstituted Virus-Like Particles

David Silverio Moreno-Gutierrez, PhD


Projects: Quantification of In Cis versus In Trans RNA Replication; Targeted Delivery of Constitutively-active Cell-killing Peptides in Self-amplifying mRNA Form

Graduate Students

Zach Gvildys (2017 - present)


Projects: Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Studies of Protein-RNA Interactions

Nina Harpell (2020 - present)


Projects:  Targeted Delivery of Gene Therapies through Protein Fusions and Chemical Conjugation of Ligands to Reconstituted Virus-Like Particles; High Resolution cryoEM Reconstruction of the Ends of TMV Virions, In Relation to its Putative Cotranslational Delivery at its 5' End

Noé Rodríguez (2022 - present)


Projects:  In vivo T-Cell Therapy: Delivery of VLP-Protected CAR and TCR mRNA to Killer T Cells

Daniel Kyle Taylor (2023 - present)


Projects: Self-Amplifying Small-interfering and MicroRNAs for Gene Knockdown


Matthew Tsai (Class of 2023) 


Projects: In Cellulo Synthesis of Self-amplifying-RNA-specific TMV Virus-like Particles; Conjugation of Virus-like Particles to Targeting Antibodies

Selina Juang (Class of 2025) 


Projects: In vitro Synthesis of Enveloped Virus-Like Particles (EVLPs)

Helen Elmer (Class of 2025) 


Projects: Quantification of Relative In Vitro Packaging Efficiencies of Heterologous RNA by TMV Capsid Protein

Lab Technicians

Andreas Langenbacher

Group Alumni "in the virus era" (i.e. since 2000)

Sophie Porak (Visiting Student from ETH Zürich)

Abigail Chapman (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2023)

PhD Student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Chemistry)

Tracie Luu (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2023)

PhD Student at California Institute of Technology (Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics)

Emily Joyner (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. and M.S. Student 2020-2022)

PhD Student at Indiana University (Microbiology)

Cheylene Tanimoto (Graduate Student, 2017-2022)

Education Manager at California NanoSystems Institute

Adam Biddlecome (Graduate Student , Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-2021)

Scientist, RNA Engineering at Levatio Therapeutics

Vladimir Musatov (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2021) 

Associate at Abzena

Anish Nag (Boyer Cram Libby Teacher Scholar 2019-2021)

Process Development Scientist at Amgen 

Nina Le (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2021)

Graduate Student at CalTech (Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics)

Abby Thurm (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2020)

MSTP MD-PhD Student at Stanford University

Christian Beren (Graduate Student 2012-2018, and Boyer Cram Libby Teacher Scholar 2018-2020)

Teaching Assistant Professor at Colorado School of Mines Department of Chemistry, Golden, CO

Rich Sportsman (Graduate Student 2013 -2020)

Diego Castaneda (Lab Technician)

Pamchal Faroghi (Lab Technician)

Devin Brandt (Graduate Student 2012-2018,  and Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-2019)

Lucia Cabrales (Vising Student from Rio Hondo College, 2017-2019)

Undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara

Shriram Chennakesavalu (Amgen Scholar, Summer 2018)

Undergraduate at University of Chicago 

Liya Oster (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2018)

Graduate Student at UC Berkeley (Biophysics)

2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Recipient 

Yuxin Pan (UCLA Undergraduate B.S. 2018)

Graduate Student at University of Washington (Biochemistry)

Lisa Dreesens (Master's Rotation Student, 2017)

Graduate Student at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands (Bionanomaterials)

Ben Kartub (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2017)

Medical Student at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine

Katie Liu (Visiting Student from Scripps, 2016)

Graduate Student at Stanford University

Cho Ki Tam (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2016)

D.O. Program, Western University of Health Sciences

Walter Singaram (Graduate Student, 2011-2016 PhD)

Postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis University

Cathy (Yan) Jin (Graduate Student, 2015 PhD and Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016-2018)

Rees Garmann (Graduate Student, 2014 PhD)

Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University 

Irina Zhang (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2013)

Graduate Student at University of Michigan

Ruben Cadena-Nava (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2007-2013) 

Associate Professor, UNAM, Ensenada 

Mauricio Comas-Garcia (Graduate Student, PhD 2013)

Assistant Professor, UASLP, San Luis Potosi, Mexcio

Ajaykumar Gopal (Postdoc, 2006-2012)

Chanrith Siv (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2012)

Graduate Student at University of Michigan

Odisee Azizgolshani (Graduate Student 2004 - 2012) 

Li Tai Fang (Graduate Student 2004 - 2011) 

Jae Ho Kim (Master's Student, M.S. 2011)

Venus Vakhshori (UCLA Undergraduate, B.S. 2009)

Medical Student at University of Pennsylvania 

Aron Yoffe (Graduate Student 2002 - 2009)