A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE

Student Affairs

Student and Alumni Affairs
The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope places a strong emphasis on translational research: integrating discoveries in basic science with practical application to treatment of cancer and other degenerative diseases. Our campus provides a welcoming, collegial atmosphere where communication and collaboration thrive.

City of Hope has an excellent reputation for training both predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Our Ph.D. students routinely go on to prestigious postdoctoral fellowships and highly coveted positions in both academia and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Our students come from diverse backgrounds - the USA, France, Bulgary, Canada, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hongkong, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Iran, Korea, Japan, and China. This diversity brings to our campus a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and creative potential.

Current Students

City of Hope's graduate students reflect the diversity of our program. Find out more about them, their educational backgrounds and research interests by clicking on their photos below.


Graduates of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope have gone on to positions at National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Genentech, Harvard University, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, UC San Francisco, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Purdue University, Duke University, Scripps Research Institute, USC, among others.

Alumni lead research teams in the biotechnology industry at Genetech, Wyeth, Genaissance, ISIS, Allergan, and more.

Following is a listing of our alumni and what they are currently doing:
  • Vania Ashminova, Principal Investigator, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research
  • Thomas Bane, Senior Life Science Analyst, Program Manager at Lnx Research Inc./Arkani Global Inc.               
  • Nicole Bennardo, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco
  • Leticia Cano, President, Biomarker
  • Qing Chai, Sr. Research Scientist, Lilly Biotechnology Center - San Diego; Lilly & Company, Scripps Research Institute
  • Carmel Chan, Research Scientist, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Valerie Chavez, Biological Sciences Instructor, California State University, Fullerton
  • Cyndi Chen, Senior Research Scientist, Pall Medical, Covina, California
  • Zhaoxia Chen, Genome Scientist, MEDomics
  • Gregory Cherryholmes, Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Washington
  • Caroline Richard Clark, Scientist, Genoptix, Medical Laboratory - a Novartis company
  • Amy Cook, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Renzo Corzano, Medical Student at New York Medical College
  • Jiehui Deng, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School - Harvard University
  • Supriya Deshpande, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Kenneth Dery, Assistant Research Professor, City of Hope
  • Ali Ehsani, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Elizabeth Eng, Scientist, Allergan Pharmaceuticals
  • Geoffrey Frank, Instructor, California State University, Northridge
  • Richard Frank, Research and Development Research Scientist II, eBioscience
  • Angel Gu, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Shuo Gu, Investigator, National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute
  • Mausumee Guha, Senior Director, Toxicology at Medivation, San Francisco, California
  • Amanda Gunn, Adjunct Faculty - Biology at Seattle Central Community College, and Science Education Consultant at Museum of Glass
  • Cai Guo, Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology
  • Bret Heale, Adjunct Biology Professor, Salt Lake Community College
  • Michael Hedvat, Research Scientist II, Kyowa Hakko Kirin California, Inc.
  • Yanyan Hong, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, St. Joseph's Medical Center
  • Jie Huang, Senior Scientist, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
  • Michelle Hunter, Biology Teacher, St. Genevieve's High School
  • Donald Jhung, Scientist II, Thermo Fisher Scientific (Life Technologies)
  • Lan Jin, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute
  • Seung-Gi Jin, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Wen Jin, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego
  • Heather Johnston, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
  • Mahesh Jonnalagadda, Assistant University Veterinarian, University of Calgary, Alberta  CANADA
  • Swati Kadam, Scientific Liaison, Illumina Inc.
  • Julie Kanjanapangka, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Ikuko Kijima, Academic Program Coordinator, Cedars Sinai Medical Center
  • Daniel Kim, Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology
  • Julia Kirshner, President & CEO at Ixchel Scientific, Purdue University
  • Ching-Ying Kuo, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Dong-Hyun Lee, Assistant Professor, Chonnam National University, Biological Sciences Department, SOUTH KOREA
  • Min-Seob Lee, President, GenomeCare Inc.
  • Michael Lewis, Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia - Missouri
  • Jianren Li, Clinical Genetics and Molecular Biology Scientist, Kaiser Permanente, San Jose
  • Tracey Li, Physician, Kaiser Permanente
  • Shan Li, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, School of Medicine, University of California,  San Diego
  • Yan Li, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, School of Medicine, University of California,  San Diego
  • Wei Liang, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego
  • Lauren Liddell, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
  • Limin Liu, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia
  • Lucy (Xiangli) Liu, Part-time Professor, Cal Poly Pomona, Biological Science Department
  • Pingfang Liu, Application and Product Development Scientist, New England Biolabs, Inc.
  • Ren Liu, Sr. Research Scientist, Vasgene Therapeutics Inc.
  • Elizabeth Lobo, Full-Time Tenure-Track Biology Instructor, Cuesta College
  • Rongze Lu, Postdoctoral Fellow, Genentech
  • Yuelong Ma, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Armen Mardiros, Associate Scientist, Kite Pharma - a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company
  • Selma Masri, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Irvine
  • Zhipeng Meng, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego
  • Damon Meyer, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis
  • Meilen Chang Muñoz, Medical Student, University of California, Davis
  • Jennifer Murray, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Michelle Navarro, Assistant Professor, Cerritos College
  • Stephanie Nay, Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University
  • Sergey Nechaev, paid Intern at Illumina Inc., San Diego, California
  • Maria (Tina) Negritto, Director of Molecular Biology Department, Pomona College
  • Serina Ortiz, President, San Gabriel Valley Animal Advocates
  • Hao Pan, Field Application Specialist, Nexcelom Bioscience
  • Nicholas Pannunzio, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southern California
  • Patrick Perrigue, Teacher, ACI Institute
  • Megan Prosser, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry, Azusa Pacific University
  • Sumanth Putta, Clinical Veterinarian,University of Southern California
  • Ruiqing Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
  • Jeremy Racine, Postdoctoral Training Program/Award Scholar at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine
  • Robert H. Ring, Chief Scientific Officer, Autism Speaks
  • Saurabh Sahar, Technical Support Scientist, Quest Diagnostics, Cypress Research and Development Facility
  • Kumi Sakurai, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Sridhar Samineni, Scientific Director/Veterinarian, Valley Biosystems, Sacramento
  • Edward Silverman, Director of Operations and Chief Life Science Manager at Lnx Research, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Chapman University, California
  • Nicholas Snead, Research Scientist, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, Vancouver, CANADA
  • Jing Song, Group Leader/Principal Scientist, BioDuro Inc., CHINA
  • Richard Stewart, Director of Quality & Regulatory Affairs, Teco Diagnostics
  • Guihua Sun, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Diana Tran, Associate Consultant, PAREXEL Consulting
  • Khue Truong, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Yuqing Tu, Vice President, Citibank
  • Michael Valentine, Control Chemist, Department of Water and Power, California
  • Karina Vega, Research and Development Scientist at Best Formulations
  • Louisa Villeneuve, Teaching Faculty, California State University, Fullerton
  • Reena Vishwanath Thomas, Physician in Neuro-Oncology, Stanford University Hospital
  • Jun Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
  • Lin Wang, attending medical school; will obtain an MD degree besides her PhD degree
  • Ruiqing Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
  • Cynthie Wong, Research and Development Scientist, Clarient/GE Healthcare
  • Chen Wu, Co-assistant Director at Transgenic Core Facility, Boston Area Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center and Boston Nutrition
  • Juli Wu, Assistant Professor of Research at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
  • Jun Xie, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Peizhang Xu, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco
  • Su Yang, Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Research Institute
  • Tangsheng Yi, Scientist and Group Leader, Genentech
  • Jung-Hoon Yoon, Assistant Research Scientist, University of Texas Medical Branch, Sealy Center for Molecular Sciences
  • Young You, Project Scientist,University of California, San Diego
  • James Young, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago
  • Hui Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Jane Zhang, Research and Development Scientist, CalImmune, Inc.
  • Xizhe Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Ziming Zhang, Scientist, Burnham Institute
  • Lingwen Zhong, Postdoctoral Fellow, Roswell Park Cancer Center

Graduation Day

This year, the Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences marked its 20th anniversary. More than a dozen students received their Doctor of Philosophy degrees during the school’s 15th commencement ceremony on June 13.
For more on the event, read the post on our Breakthroughs blog.
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
The City of Hope Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences prepares students to become outstanding research scientists in chemical, molecular and cellular biology.

City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope offer a unique and challenging research and learning environment for graduate education. Find out more about our program.
From New Haven to Nanjing, our students come from diverse backgrounds, with the United States, Canada, Argentina, India, Iran, Korea, China, Russia and Taiwan all represented in our student population. This diversity brings to our campus a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and creative potential.
The housing handbook outlines everything from communication to mail service
Situated just northeast of Los Angeles, City of Hope combines the best science and the most innovative and highly compassionate patient care. Stretched across more than 100 acres in the City of Duarte, lushly landscaped gardens surround state-of-the-art facilities.
The Helix Blog gives voice to City of Hope graduate students and their research.
  • Christine Crews isn’t only a fitness enthusiast, she’s also a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Being active defines her life. So when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer at age 30, she decided she absolutely couldn’t let the disease interfere with that lifestyle. And it didn’t. For t...
  • Cancer treatment and the cancer itself can cause changes in your sense of taste or smell. These side effects typically subside after treatment ends, but there are ways to help alleviate those bitter and metallic tastes in your mouth. Here are tips from the National Cancer Institute to help keeps tastes and food...
  • Immunotherapy — using one’s immune system to treat a disease — has been long lauded as the “magic bullet” of cancer treatments, one that can be more effective than the conventional therapies of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. One specific type of immunotherapy, called adoptive T cell thera...
  • Today, when cancer spreads from its original site to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis, patients face an uphill battle. Treatments are poorly effective, and cures are nearly impossible. Further, incidence rates for these types of cancers are increasing – particularly for cancers that have s...
  • Thanks to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), high school students across the state gained valuable hands-on experience with stem cell research this summer. City of Hope hosted eight of those students. As part of the CIRM Creativity Awards program, the young scholars worked full time as m...
  • Radiation therapy can help cure many children facing Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. When the radiation is delivered to a girl’s chest, however, it can lead to a marked increase in breast cancer risk later in life. A recent multi-institutional study that included City of Hope’s Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., t...
  • A patient diagnosed with cancer – especially a rare, advanced or hard-to-treat cancer – needs specialized care from exceptionally skilled and highly trained experts. That kind of care saves lives, improves quality of life and keeps families whole. That kind of care is best found at comprehensive cancer centers ...
  • Appetite loss may be common during cancer treatment, lasting throughout your therapy or only occasionally, but it can be managed. Below are tips from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that can help you keep your weight up and, in doing so, keep your body well-nourished. (See the end of this article for a deli...
  • Myelodysplasia, sometimes referred to as myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, is a rare group of blood disorders caused by disrupted development of blood cells within the bone marrow, resulting in a decreased number of healthy blood cells. People diagnosed with the condition, considered a precancer, may be at great...
  • Twenty years ago, scientists discovered that a mutation in a gene now widely known as BRCA1 was linked to a sharply increased risk of breast cancer, paving the way for a new chapter in identifying women at risk of the disease and giving them options to potentially avoid an aggressive cancer. But experts have al...
  • The Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy at City of Hope turned 54 this year. Marking the occasion, the academy announced a new scholarship in honor of longtime director Paul Salvaterra, Ph.D. Salvaterra, a professor in City of Hope’s Department of Neurosciences, has led the summer student acade...
  • Stevee Rowe has a very personal connection to the research she’s conducting on neural stem cells: Her late father participated in a City of Hope clinical trial involving neural stem cells. Rowe — her full name is Alissa Stevee Rowe, but she prefers to use her middle name — will enter her senior year at the [...
  • Although multiple myeloma is classified as a blood cancer, patients with this disease often experience bone-related symptoms, too. This includes bone pain, frequent fractures and spots of low bone density or bone damage that show up during a skeletal scan. Here, Amrita Krishnan, M.D., director of City of Hope&#...
  • Women using some birth control pills, specifically those with high doses of estrogen and a few other formulations, may be at an increased risk of breast cancer, a new study has found. At first glance, the findings seem alarming, but a City of Hope breast cancer surgeon is warning against overreaction. The study...
  • Cancer is hard enough on the immune system, and chemotherapy takes an additional toll. This double blow to the immune system means cancer patients are more likely to develop infections than people not fighting cancer. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of every 10 cancer...