Alumni

As these staff members venue on into the next stages of academic life, they bring with them their trusty goggles, and a vow to wear them in the name of science!

nick

Dr. Nick Mordwinkin

Host

Nick is a licensed and registered drug dealer (fine, a pharmacist) with a Pharm.D. from Nova Southeastern University and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California. He is currently a postdoc in the Stanford University School of Medicine researching induced pluripotent stem cells. When he isn’t curing diabetes in the lab, he spends his spare time as President of the Bay Area chapter of the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable. Nick also enjoys fishing and challenging his liver with various types of whiskey. [episodes] founder

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Graham Anderson

Writer

Graham Anderson is a PhD student in Stanford’s Department of Chemical and Systems Biology. He studies why frog embryos divide synchronously, with plans to explain the miracle of life to everyone. He was born in Tennessee, grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York, and now as a California resident he has lived in every timezone of the lower 48. In his free time he likes to make food and drink. [episodes]

alisa

Alisa Mueller

Writer

Alisa Mueller is an MD/PhD student in the Cancer Biology program at Stanford University where she studies molecular mechanisms regulating a stem cell population of muscle. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University. It’s not clear what factor played the most pivotal role in cementing Alisa’s destiny as a physician-scientist— her curiosity about the world around her, an early interest in scab formation, her sense of fashion, or the fact that as a child she briefly sported taped glasses. Regardless, she’s a firm believer that everyone is a scientist at heart and is excited to share her love of research and medicine with you here on Goggles Optional. [episodes]

alex

Alex Dainis

Host

Alex is a Genetics PhD student at Stanford University. She received degrees in Biology and Film, Television, and Interactive Media from Brandeis University in 2011. With her science educational channel “Bite Sci-zed” on Youtube, Alex already has plenty of experience making fun of herself in the name of science, and is excited to add podcasting to her science-communication toolbag. [episodes] founder

anon

Dr. J.T. Neal

Writer

J.T. is a postdoctoral scholar and American Cancer Society fellow in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington, and his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Oregon. His current work is focused on the development of 3-dimensional culture systems for the study of human tumors. Outside of the lab, J.T. is a columnist/blogger for the journal Nature, an award-winning homebrewer, and a non-award-winning marathon runner. [episodes] founder

angela

Angela Yeung

Sound

Angela received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Stanford. She is now finishing up her last class for her master’s degree, also in Computer Science. She enjoys recording and mixing music for her many musical friends, and has also done sound design and tech for several plays at Stanford[episodes] joined 6/2014

alicia

Alicia Shiu

Writer

Alicia is a Neuroscience PhD student at Stanford University. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering, but decided she really didn’t like math all that much. Now she studies microglia, which are by far the most interesting cells in the brain, and their role in neurodegenerative diseases like frontotemporal dementia. When not doing science, hobbies include eating, finding & making dessert recipes from food blogs, and running around San Francisco (finding good food). Alicia also writes for the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable Review.
[episodes] joined 2/2014

rachel

Rachel Hagey

Writer

Rachel is a PhD candidate in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University. She graduated from St. Edward’s University with dual bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and philosophy, and has since worked as a philosophy journal editing assistant, a power plant chemist, a research fellow for a National Institutes of Health biodefense laboratory, and a scientific legal consultant, thus proving her love of buffets extends far beyond food. Rachel’s current projects focus on characterizing RNA virus structure-function relationships in an effort to uncover new classes of antiviral targets and therapies. When she isn’t actively trying to prevent the next pandemic, avoiding becoming the Outbreak monkey or worrying about a zombie apocalypse, Rachel can be found getting her run on, dancing her socks off, and putting the whiskey in.[episodes] joined 2/2014

gabrielle

Gabrielle Dublet

Writer

Gabrielle is an earth scientist who is passionate about interactions between human activities and ecosystems, During her Ph.D, Gabrielle studied interactions between metals (Ni, Co, Mn, Fe) and minerals during the weathering of rocks in tropical climates. She is now a postdoc studying the trapping of uranium pollutions by iron oxide. She has synchronized with synchrotron facilities at Stanford, Trieste (Italy), Paris and Grenoble (France). Although she loves working in the lab or sampling in the field, she is particularly excited about making data tell a story to other curious explorers of science.[episodes] joined 7/2014

megan

Megan Conlon

Writer

Megan is a PhD student in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Stanford University. She received her bachelor’s in physiology from Michigan State University (Go Green!) and researched pancreatic development at the University of Michigan for three years before moving to the “best coast” for grad school. In those rare moments spent outside of lab, Megan enjoys exploring beautiful California, amateur photography, knitting (poorly), football, and drinking tasty beers (none of which are mutually exclusive).[episodes] joined 4/2014

davidcircle

Dr. David W. Zhang

Host

David is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University. He received both his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. David was inspired to become a scientist because of his desire to improve human health… and to clone a dinosaur. His current projects focus on characterization of the immune system during aging and understanding the molecular mechanisms that trigger rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately, he is still no closer to that dinosaur. [episodes] founder

chippiecircle

Dr. Verl (Chippie) Siththanandan

Writer

Chippie is a native of the UK and has a bachelor’s in biochemistry from King’s College London, and a PhD in biophysics from Imperial College London. He moved to the US largely on a whim, and then got accustomed to it not raining and decided to stay. He’s currently a lab manager in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and pursues research into the regulatory role of microRNA’s in neuronal survival following spinal cord injuries. He has an interest in the communication of science to the general public, and is frequently annoyed by how the Daily Mail does it. [episodes] founder

archanacircle

Archana Madhavan

Social Media

Archana is a third year PhD student in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. She graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and she now studies molecular mechanisms of calcium signaling through store-operated calcium channels. She first became interested in science research after trying on her very first pair of lab goggles back in high school chemistry class; then she realized that figuring out new things about how cells work was pretty darn exciting too. When she’s not in the lab, Archana enjoys learning languages, watching scary movies, and coming up with witty Facebook statuses. [episodes] founder

greg

Greg Bentsen

Host

Greg is a third-year PhD student in the physics department at Stanford. He is currently using lasers and cold rubidium atoms to develop technologies for next-generation quantum metrology, quantum control, and quantum information processing. He has earned degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Rochester and the University of Cambridge and has worked on projects in theoretical condensed matter, high energy physics, and quantum information theory. His dream is to someday take his research into space aboard the ISS or even on a mission to Mars.[episodes] joined 6/2014

steven1

Steven Ryckbosch

Writer

Steven is a Ph.D. student studying chemistry. He likes organic chemistry, which to some people makes him weird, but that’s okay because organic chemistry is awesome. He graduated from Georgetown University as the only science person in a sea of politicians and was happy to find more of his own kind at Stanford. For fun he likes to sing karaoke and make a fool of himself dancing. joined 1/2015

Dr. Carlos Eduardo (Cadu) Lima da Cunha

Writer

When Cadu was 7 years old, he figured that the world needed a chocolate bubble gum and it was upon him to science it. Fast forward a few years and he finished his bachelor in biochemistry in the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He then moved to Germany, where got his PhD in protein synthesis at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. He recently came to Stanford University to work on protein folding – and perhaps get a step closer to that amazing chocolate bubble gum idea (why aren’t we funding this?). [episodes] joined 8/2015

 diego

Diego Calderon

Host

<– This guy is a first year PhD student in the Biomedical Informatics program at Stanford University. He graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s in biology and computer science. He thinks science is cool. Check out this video of two iPhones attached to a rocket. While not in lab you’ll find Diego biking around doing things. If you see him biking around doing stuff say “hi” and maybe you guys can do fun things together. [twitter] [episodes] founder

vcircle

Vanessa V. Sochat

Web Developer

Vanessa is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Informatics, and gets excited by image processing, coding, human brains (no mice, please!), and learning about methods. When not scripting or doing research, she enjoys designing websites, going to farmer’s markets, and flying around Stanford on her bike. [episodes] founder

lisl

Lisl Esherick

Host

Lisl Esherick is a PhD student in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Vassar College. She studies the molecular and cellular biology of the symbiosis between Cnidarians (such as corals and sea anemones) and dinoflagellate algae. When not science-ing, Lisl enjoys the eating of snacks, the watching of sports, and sitting on couches. [twitter][episodes] founder

 trisha

Dr. Trisha Stan

Host

Trisha completed her Ph.D. in 2014 in Immunology at Stanford University. She likes to study brains and immune cells and what goes wrong with both of them in dementia. When she’s not in the lab (and let’s be honest, most of the time while she’s in it), Trisha is usually singing something. She claims this is the reason her cells grow so well. Her favorite hobby is “improving” popular songs by switching up the lyrics to make them science-y. [episodes] founder

kat2

Katharine Ng

Writer

Katharine “Kat” Ng is a PhD candidate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. Kat studies the interaction between the gut microbiota (the awesome community of bacteria that live in our intestines) and disease-causing pathogens. She has unintentionally studied this interaction on a personal level when traveling. After being interviewed by Goggles Optional in December 2013, Kat had so much fun that she had to join the team! When not taking naps or sampling poop, Kat enjoys drawing scienc-y things and hurting people with terrible puns.
[episodes] joined 3/2014

hana

Hana Shin

Sound

Hana is a Masters student at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Music from Princeton University. She is passionate about filling the world with interesting sounds, whether that means composing, singing and pianoing, orchestrating laptop ensembles, practicing various accents, or making random noise. She also gets easily excited about burritos and tikka masala, tango, and yellow minions.[episodes] joined 5/2014

ted

Ted Sanders

Writer

Ted is earning a PhD in Applied Physics, where he gets paid to play with lasers, liquid helium, superconducting magnets, x-rays, and smelly whiteboard markers. At the moment, Ted’s research efforts are aimed at creating a new magnetic material whose magnetism can be switched on and off. In his spare time, Ted enjoys simulating old age by playing bridge and accumulating knee injuries.[episodes] joined 5/2014

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Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell

Writer

Koshlan is a PhD Candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He studies the possibility of cleaning up polluted groundwater with bacteria that can “breath” chlorinated solvents and even some microbes that seem to “eat” electricity. A native of Utah, Koshlan thinks a lot about the hydrology and ecology of the fragile but stunning deserts of the American Southwest. If Koshlan had a time machine, he’d go back and “pre-invent” the two greatest engineering feats of the 20th century: Velcro and Glass Elevators. [episodes] joined 6/2014

greg

Greg Bentsen

Host

Greg is a third-year PhD student in the physics department at Stanford. He is currently using lasers and cold rubidium atoms to develop technologies for next-generation quantum metrology, quantum control, and quantum information processing. He has earned degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Rochester and the University of Cambridge and has worked on projects in theoretical condensed matter, high energy physics, and quantum information theory. His dream is to someday take his research into space aboard the ISS or even on a mission to Mars.[episodes] joined 6/2014

shuyu

Shu Yu Lin

Sound

Shu Yu is a composer, pianist and flutist and currently a graduate student at Stanford University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Music, Science and Technology. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theory Composition from National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan. Besides striving for the degree at Stanford, she continues to study composition with Giancarlo Aquilanti, a composer and Stanford Wind Ensemble director. She has also taught piano, flute, and vocal ensemble to children, which makes her a perfect fit to deal with the children of Goggles Optional.[episodes] joined 8/2014

Tyler Stukenbroeker

Writer

Tyler is a fifth-year chemistry PhD student hailing from Virginia. His research looks at organic catalysts for ring opening polymerization and various materials applications of those products. In addition to actual experiments, he’s found inventing handshakes with the glovebox gloves and playing with liquid nitrogen never gets old. Tyer is a fan of stanford sports and mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.
[episodes] joined 1/2015

steven1

Steven Ryckbosch

Writer

Steven is a Ph.D. student studying chemistry. He likes organic chemistry, which to some people makes him weird, but that’s okay because organic chemistry is awesome. He graduated from Georgetown University as the only science person in a sea of politicians and was happy to find more of his own kind at Stanford. For fun he likes to sing karaoke and make a fool of himself dancing. joined 1/2015

kaila1

Kaila

Sound

Kaila is currently a high school senior who attends St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco. Her fascination with science, specifically studying the nature of organisms at a molecular level, spiked after watching a mind-blowing TedTalk in her biology class about how bacteria’s ability to “communicate” as one unit may lead to advancements in the field of medicine. In college, she hopes to further explore her interests in biology and perhaps apply them to a major in cognitive science with a concentration in human-computer interaction. School aside, she plays tennis, piano, and has a blast writing poetry. She always enjoys uploading weekly shorts because there isn’t a time when she doesn’t learn about something exciting and new emerging in the vast world of science. joined 2/2015

Scott

Scott Kravitz

Writer

Scott is a PhD student in particle physics trying to figure out what the deal is with neutrinos, the weirdest of the known building blocks of matter. So far, this quest has involved firing lasers a bunch (see: ultra-nerd safety glasses), a lot of head scratching, and going to a mine a half mile deep to escape the meddlesome influences of cosmic rays and human social interaction. His curiosity about the rules nature plays by are what got him into this mess, and he hopes to drag some listeners into the fray with Goggles Optional. When not doing physics, he’s been known to go rock climbing and has a weakness for unnecessarily complex board games.[episodes] joined 3/2015

bing

Bing Wu

Sound Editor

Bing is a PhD student in the Department of Biology at Stanford University. She is interested in understanding the development of the nervous system (by manipulating genetic materials in fruit flies, for both practical reasons and the pure curiosity into how nature works). While not in the lab, she would like to explore how science is studied and/or interpreted. What she really wants to do is reading and writing. She may write a novel in the future.[episodes] joined 6/2015

Dr. Laure Fresard

Writer

Laure is a postdoctoral fellow in the Pathology Department at Stanford University. Amazed by genetics since she discovered Mendel peas in high school, she decided to pursue a PhD in France, where she tried to figure out what chickens were made of… genomically. She has now switched from feeding the world to healing the world by understanding the genetic differences between people and their impact on gene expression. When not at work, you can find Laure walking around, smiling because … do we need a single reason to smile? [episodes] joined 8/2015

Bana Hatzey

Sound Editor

Bana graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Science, Technology, and Society. She grew up in Seattle and her family is from Eritrea. She loves human beings and would love to hear about anything that interests you. You can usually find her writing, singing, or talking about music. If you can’t find her, she’s traveling! [episodes] joined 8/2015

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