Mark Ansel, PhD

Assoc Professor in Residence
Microbiology and Immunology

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
M_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
Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Ryan Hernandez, PhD


Dr. Ryan Hernandez’ research focuses on computational genomics and complements the department’s emerging strengths in quantitative sciences and genomics: First, he seeks to characterize the patterns of genetic variation within and between populations using large-scale genome resequencing data. A second branch of research in his lab focuses on developing novel population genetic simulation techniques.

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

Jennifer Seuferer

Education & Training Program Manager
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Odessa Yabut, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor

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.