Mr. Gregory Alvarado

Greg is a California native, who spent much of his undergraduate studies split between several institutions. From Pasadena, to Fullerton, to San Diego and eventually settling into Los Angeles, one factor has remained constant in his educational career: a deep interest in the biological sciences. While finishing his undergraduate degree at California State University-Los Angeles, Greg pursued undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Robert Nissen. The Nissen lab studies the regulatory roles of the scaffolding protein WDR68. This protein has been implicated in several metabolic pathways involved in biological development; one such pathway being craniofacial development. Greg spent his time with the lab characterizing the protein’s function with respect to Zebrafish craniofacial development. During his graduate program, Greg will continue to do research in the Nissen lab, striving to further characterize the role of WDR68 in zebrafish craniofacial development. Greg’s interest in science started early on, during his high school education at Don Bosco Technical Institute. His teacher’s emphasized the importance and excitement of the sciences, and created a setting in which science was fun. Now as an Impact LA fellow, Greg hopes to recreate some of that excitement and fun for younger students. Having grown up with a mother who is an educator herself, Greg knows the impact an educator can have on students. Greg hopes to leave a lasting impression on students; dissolving any false misconceptions they may have about the sciences. In this way, he hopes to inspire young minds to embrace the sciences as lifelong interests.

Email: greg.alvarado@gmail.com
Research Mentor: Dr.Robert Nissen
Partner Teacher: Mr.John Cerezo

Ms. Tzitlaly Barajas

Email: tzitlaly.barajas@gmail.com
Partner Teacher: Mr.Baron You

Mr. Sevak Ghazaryan

Sevak Ghazaryan received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from C.S.U. LA in June 2012. Parallel to earning B.S. degree he has also participated in research project in which he assisted in design and manufacturing of cooling modulus of invisible heat wave detector device. Sevak is currently enrolled in Master's program in Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles with emphasis on heat transfer and thermodynamics. He is currently cooperating with Dr. Sharif as his mentor, for his Master's thesis involving study of Carbon Nanotube Based Composite Materials. He chose to study Carbon Nanotube base composite materials because they could have positive effect on our environment. In this research project he tends to find possible composite based material candidate to substitute metal alloy chassis of transport cars in order to reduce the weight of the car and hence decrease full consumption by the engine.

Email: sevak.ghazaryan@gmail.com
Research Mentor: Dr.Adel Sharif
Partner Teacher: Mr.Jerardo Martin

Mr. Nelson Gonzalez

Beginning his educational path at East Los Angeles College and Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Nelson received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, San Diego in 2010. He began his M.S. in Biological Sciences at California State University, Los Angeles in 2012 under the advisement of Dr. Katrina Yamazaki’s cardiovascular metabolism lab. His research will aim at identifying the effect of epicatechin, a cacao bean extract, on key proteins involved in the pathway of glucose uptake. Ultimately, his research will increase the understanding of the pathways at work that can potentially be used for the development of new treatments in the control of diabetes.

With the support of IMPACT LA, Nelson aspires to be an influential figure to minority students in inner-city Los Angeles schools by sparking an interest in the sciences by providing creative, interactive and stimulating activities.     

Email: n6gonzal@gmail.com
Research Mentor: Dr.Katrina Yamazaki
Partner Teacher: Mr.Tony Semaan

Ms. Janel Ortiz

 Janel received her B.S. in Animal Science with specializations in Companion and Captive Animals and Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis in 2009. She will begin her M.S. program in the fall of 2012 in the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University, Los Angeles. Under the supervision of Dr. Alan Muchlinski, Janel will study the behavioral ecology of the native Western Gray Squirrel whose population health has not been deeply studied in urban Los Angeles. She hopes to learn how the introduced Eastern Fox Squirrel is impacting the native Gray Squirrel in their behavior and reproduction. Through this research, Dr. Muchlinski and Janel hope to develop management plans that will assist in reintroducing Gray Squirrel populations into suitable habitats where they can thrive and alter the existing habitats of Gray Squirrel populations to make them more supportive of the species.

Through IMPACT LA, Janel hopes to stimulate an interest in the field of science among minority students by providing exciting and interesting ecological activities. In addition, Janel will introduce students to the concepts of animal behavior studies and ecology as ways to interact with and learn from their surrounding environment.

Email: ortizjanel@gmail.com
Research Mentor: Dr.Alan Muchlinski
Partner Teacher: Mr.Christine Rosser

Ms. Patricia Sanchez


Patricia Sanchez received her B.A. degree in Psychology from UC Berkeley, worked in education for a few years and then decided to peruse a career in biomedical engineering. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s program at California State University, Los Angeles in the electrical engineering department with an emphasis in biomedical engineering.

She is currently working in Dr. Won’s NetLab studying the benefits of Robotic Treadmill Training and Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on spinal cord injuries. The ultimate goal of the research is to develop rehabilitative protocols that will improve walking ability in spinal cord injured patients. As an IMPACT LA Fellow she hopes to combine her passions for education and engineering to enhance the classroom experience and encourage students to pursue careers in math and science. 


Email: sanchez.patti@gmail.com
Research Mentor: Dr.Deborah Won
Partner Teacher: Ms.Cynthia Godoy