Mark Ansel, PhD


MicroRNAs, transcription factors, and epigenetic regulation shape the gene expression programs that determine cell identity and function. The Ansel lab studies how these molecular mechanisms work together to control lymphocyte development, differentiation, and function in immunity.

We use in vitro cell differentiation systems, mouse genetics, disease models, and high dimensional cellular and molecular analyses in human biospecimens to unravel the regulatory networks that underlie immunity and immune pathology, especially allergy and asthma.

Paola Betancur, PhD

Assistant Professor In RES
Radiation Oncology

We are interested in understanding the mechanisms encoded in the DNA by which cancerous cells avoid being detected and destroyed by the host’s immune system. Toward this goal, we examine the interactions between epigenetic modifiers, transcription factors and the genomic enhancers of target genes that in response to inflammation abnormally activate the immune escape program within tumor or damaged cells during aging, after radiation and in response to infectious diseases.

Yazmin Carrasco, PhD

Associate Director, SF BUILD at UCSF

Ryan Hernandez, PhD

Vice Dean & Professor

Dr. Ryan Hernandez co-leads the Torgerson-Hernandez Lab (THeLab) along with Dr. Dara Torgerson at UCSF. THeLab is a highly collaborative group that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to unravel the complex interplay of how genes and the environment contribute to complex traits across the continuum of human populations. Our work is centered on the importance of involving diverse populations, empowering us to pave the way toward innovative, equitable advancements in human health.

Todd Nystul, PhD



The follicular epithelium in the Drosophila ovary is an ideal model for the study of epithelial biology. It possesses many classical epithelial features, such as a columnar cell shape, apical/basal polarity, and canonical cell adhesion complexes, and yet is a relatively simple tissue and is highly tractable for molecular and cell biological analysis. Combined with the powerful genetic tools available in Drosophila, this allows us to address questions in epithelial stem cell and tissue biology with single-cell resolution in the natural, in vivo context.

Sam Pleasure, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology

Dr. Samuel J. Pleasure is a neurologist who specializes in caring for patients with multiple sclerosis. He also has expertise in caring for patients with epilepsy as well as years of experience in managing a variety of neurological conditions in both clinic and hospital settings.

Pleasure has two main areas of inquiry for his research. He studies processes that regulate early brain development in both normal and diseased situations. He also studies autoimmune forms of meningoencephalitis, where inflammation in specific brain areas causes severe neurologic dysfunction.

Jennifer Seuferer

Education & Training Program Manager
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Odessa Yabut, PhD


Dr. Yabut's primary research interest is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms regulating neural stem cell behavior in stem cell niches of the developing and postnatal brain using rational mouse models. The ultimate goal of Dr. Yabut's research program is to advance our knowledge on how distinct and functional neural cell lineages are produced and facilitate the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools to treat neurodevelopmental and neuro-oncological diseases.