Katrina K. Hoyer – Ph.D. Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor
Molecular Cell Biology Group
Quantitative and Systems Biology Graduate Group
UC Merced

Katrina Hoyer and her research team study the mechanisms and cell interactions leading to immune dysfunction. Our immune system has an amazing ability to protect us from the myriad of pathogens in our environment. Unfortunately, this intrinsic system can sometime go awry, resulting in an attack on the host or the inability to eliminate an infection. This can lead to chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease which results in cell destruction, and impairs the quality of life of patients. The lab has several ongoing projects detailed under Research.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Pathology, UCSF 1994-2011 (Mentor: Abul K. Abbas, M.D.)
Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Pathology, UCLA 2003 (Mentor: Michael A. Teitell, M.D., Ph.D.)
B.S. in Biochemistry, UC Davis 1996 (Research mentor: Stuart J. Soeldner, M.D.)
Phone: 209-228-4229 Office: SE Bldg., Room 348

Kristen M. Valentine – Graduate Student

PhD Candidate (4th year)
Quantitative and Systems Biology Graduate Group

I am a magician, I mix clear liquids into other clear liquids then I answer questions. Also, I study the role of a CD8 T cell subset during autoimmune disease. We have identified a CD8 T cell population that transcriptionally and phenotypically resembles CD4 T follicular helper cells. We have shown that these CD8 T follicular cells promote antibody class switching.

B.S. in Human Biology, UC Merced 2014

Genevieve N. Mullins – Graduate Student

PhD Student (2nd year)
Quantitative and Systems Biology Graduate Group

I investigate the signaling pathways in a population of CD8 T cells in autoimmune disease that appear to share the phenotype and function of CD4 T follicular helper cells. My aim is to determine what signaling pathways make these cells unique from other CD8 T cell populations and from CD4 T follicular helpers.

B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology, UC Merced 2016
B.A. in Psychology, UC Merced 2016

Jonathon Anzules – Graduate Student

PhD Student (2nd year)
Quantitative and Systems Biology Graduate Group

My research is focused on understanding the dynamics of homeostasis in our immune system. In a data driven approach I seek to encapsulate the balance between immune activation, suppression, and growth in a mathematical model, with the hope that this will give us a simulation that can evince the multi-point failures necessary that lead to the self-sustained phenomenon of autoimmune disease.

B.S. in Biology, Brooklyn College 2014

Anh Diep – Graduate Student

PhD Student (1st year)
Quantitative and Systems Biology Graduate Group

Hello! My name is Anh Diep, and I am studying the host immune response to Coccidioides spp., the fungus responsible for coccidioidomycosis, colloquially known as “Valley Fever” here in the San Joaquin Valley. I am most interested in what separates individuals that are able to clear a fungal infection versus those that fail and go on to develop chronic disease. To examine this question, I am looking at both the innate and adaptive immunity against fungal pathogens. My hope is that in the years to come, we’ll be able to use these findings to improve our understanding of Valley Fever and improve diagnostic methods and treatment plans.
B.S. Microbiology and Immunology, UC Merced 2017

Former Lab Members

David Gravano – Postdoctoral Fellow

Assistant Project Scientist
Stem Cell Instrumentation Foundry
UC Merced

David is currently an Assistant Project Scientist in the UC Merced Stem Cell Instrumentation Foundry and an ongoing collaborator.

Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Merced, 2012-2014 (Mentor: Katrina Hoyer)
Postdoctoral Fellow, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 2010-2012 (Mentor: Dario Vignali)
Ph.D. in Quantitative Systems Biology, UC Merced 2010 (Mentor: Jennifer Manilay, Ph.D.)
B.S. in Neuroscience/Italian, UCLA 2004

Undergraduate Student Reseachers

Karelly Barajas
Kendrick Nguyen
Nicole Quiroz