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Scientists and Technicians

Soo Hyeon Lee Ph.D.

Soo Hyeon joined the lab in 2020. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2005 and Ph.D. in 2011 in the Department of Biological Sciences from KAIST (formerly the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), Republic of Korea. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. From 2017 to 2019, she was a research professor in the Department of Chemistry at KAIST. Soo Hyeon’s research interests include gene therapy using CRISPR and RNAi technology, drug formulation, and development of rare disease therapies. She is working on the development of a gene/drug delivery system for the treatment of eye diseases. She is a Mahajan Lab group leader.

Aarushi Kumar B.S.

Aarushi joined the lab in 2020 as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Houston in 2019. She worked as a nursing assistant and medical scribe and has research experience in NMR, gene screening, and cardiovascular diseases. Her research interests include gene therapy, proteomics, and the genetics of eye disease.

MaryAnn Mahajan B.A.

MaryAnn joined the lab in 2008. She earned her B.A. in English at the University of California, Berkeley and attended graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles where she earned a secondary teaching credential. She is a writer and editor and also performs histological phenotyping of mouse eyes.

Diana Colgan Ph.D.

Diana has been a scientist and editor in the lab since 2014 with expertise in molecular biology and gene transcription. She earned a Ph.D. in Biology from Columbia University and completed post-doctoral work at Rockefeller University. 

Joel Franco B.S.

Joel joined the lab in 2022. He is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine. He is working on mouse models of human eye disease.

Shiloh Kluding B.S.

Shiloh joined the Mahajan lab in 2023. She earned her B.S. in biological sciences at UC Santa Barbara where she gained experience in cellular and molecular biology research while studying regeneration in tunicates. She plans to pursue a PhD and is interested in cellular therapeutics and accessible scientific communication. Her current research focuses on investigating therapeutic targets in uveal melanoma using cytotoxicity assays and in vitro models of the disease.

Gia Han (Hazel) Ngo B.S.

Gia Han Hazel Ngo joined the lab in 2023. She earned her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois-Chicago and plans to pursue a Ph.D. Prior to joining the lab, she studied the MED1 subunit using CRISPR and cell biology. Her research interests include biochemistry and gene therapy.

Elena Wang B.S.

Elena joined the lab in 2021 as a Life Science Research Professional. Prior to the Mahajan Lab, she was a research associate in Genentech's Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology group where she developed ELISAs and mass spectrometry assays for pharmacokinetic analysis of preclinical samples. She earned her BS in biochemistry from UCLA in 2020 and plans to pursue a Ph.D. Her research focus is investigating retinal disease pathways through in vitro assays.

Ray Yip B.S.

Ray joined the lab in 2023. He earned his Bachelor of Biomedicine Degree in molecular biology from the University of Melbourne in 2022. Prior to joining the lab, he studied CRIPSR base editing in stem cells and kidney Organoids. His current research focuses on gene therapy, while also exploring the intersection of biology and artificial intelligence.