Current Members

Luis Carvajal-Carmona

Principal Investigator

Luis is primarily interested in the genetics of common human diseases, in particular cancer. He also has interests in population genetics, genetic demography of minority groups and functional genomics. Before joining UC Davis, Luis was a Senior Research Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in the University of Oxford. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at the London Research Institute and his PhD at University College London.

Luis enjoys cycling, hiking and other outdoor activities that are possible with the fantastic Californian weather. He also enjoys watching classic and silent movies and likes reading about the world's history and the history of art.

For more details on Luis's research and education, please see his CV here. You can also find him on twitter!

Ruta Sahasrabudhe

Postdoctoral Scholar

Ruta completed her M.B.B.S from University of Mumbai and received her PhD in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from University of Pittsburgh. She joined Carvajal-Carmona lab in Feb 2013. She is primarily interested in genetics of colon, gastric and thyroid cancer. She is developing high throughput screening methods to identify germline mutations in cancer patients as well as to select mutation negative cases for further analysis. She is using whole exome sequencing approaches to identify novel susceptibility genes in familial gastric cancer cases as well to profile somatic mutations in gastric cancer.

On her free time she loves to talk, eat, watch TV and go for long walks.

For more details about Ruta's academic and research activities, please see her CV here.

Paul Lott

Postdoctoral Scholar

Paul is primarily interested in using big data and computer algorithms to aid genetic analysis of human disease. He completed his PhD in Genetics at the University of California, Davis. His graduate work focused on the design and application of hidden Markov models to identify pluripotent cell methylation state, R-loops, and additional gene finding applications. In the Carvajal lab, Paul is involved in the bioinformatic analysis of next-generation sequencing datasets, Genome-Wide Association Studies, system administration, and bioinformatics training.

Paul enjoys development of bioinformatics applications that help wet-lab biologist to be able to more easily do bioinformatics. (See StochHMM) In his free time, he's generally fiddling around with computer systems (PC, Raspberry Pi), electronics (Arduino), or chasing his two kids.

For more details about Paul's academic and research activities, please see his CV here.

Ted Toal

Postdoctoral Scholar

Ted's area of interest is in analysis of genomic data to understand the genetic causes of tumorigenesis and to predict tumor vulnerabilities. He completed his Ph.D. in Integrative Genetics and Genomics at the University of California, Davis. His graduate research topic was inference of gene regulatory networks controlling aspects of root architecture in tomato, with a focus on root growth angle.

In the Carvajal lab, Ted is using genome data from gastric cancer tumor and normal tissue from Hispanic patients to search for tumor driver genes, mutational signatures, and clonal structure. He also assists with system administration and bioinformatics training. You can find Ted's CV here.


Anna Marie Tuazon

Graduate Researcher

Anna Marie is primarily interested in studying genetics and genomics of human disease and how findings can be rapidly integrated into the clinic. She completed her BS in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UC Santa Cruz and went to complete her MS at San Francisco State University. She is currently a third year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology graduate group at UC Davis, with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology and Translational Research. She is a former NIH IMSD Fellow and Howard Hughes Medical Institute IMBS Scholar. She is currently funded by the NIH T32 Biotechnology fellowship. Anna Marie's project in the lab involves the identification of novel breast cancer risk genes using microfluidics, next generation sequencing, and bioinformatic approaches.

She enjoys training in martial arts, eating sushi, and teaching her Shiba Inu new tricks. You can also find her on twitter!


Nicole Coggins

Graduate Researcher

Nicole is a native of Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Denison University with a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology, where she was also a student athlete on the Denison women's basketball team. At Davis, she is part of the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology graduate group with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology and an MCB T32 Training Grant Fellow. Nicole's project in the lab focuses on the identification of functional Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms associated with increased risk for Colorectal Cancer that may play a role in the onset or progression of the disease. Her project utilizes both bioinformatic tools as well as CRISPR genome editing technology.

Nicole continues to enjoy playing basketball while in Davis as well as developing her skills as a kick boxer. When she's not in the lab, Nicole can usually be found hiking trails around the bay area with her enthusiastic four-legged companion or discovering local culinary gems.


Lupe Carvajal-Carmona

Associate Research Specialist

Coming Soon!


Elisha Garcia

Associate Research Specialist

Elisha is the LCC lab manager. She is the primary coordinator of the lab's logistic efforts and provides technical support for the lab's projects. Elisha graduated with a degree in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, Davis. Her academic interests involve evolutionary genetics and developmental biology.

When Elisha is not in the lab you can find her cheese mongering, drawing or hiking.


Jacob Stultz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jacob is an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis. He is studying human physiology in hopes of going to graduate school or medical school to further his education. He is interested in the clinical aspects of human genetics and the possibilities that lie ahead for treatment of cancer through gene therapy.

Jacob enjoys helping out around Davis through community service and is a member of Imani Clinic in Sacramento. His favorite activities include playing soccer, watching baseball, and relaxing with fellow colleagues.


Cathy Wang

Undergraduate Researcher

Cathy is a senior majoring in statistics at the University of California, Davis. After graduating from college, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in biostatistics. Her research interests involve longitudinal data analysis and statistical genomics, among others. In the Carvajal-Carmona lab, Cathy works with the PI and graduate students to analyze and interpret data from cancer studies. Projects that she has worked on involve performing gene-associated power analysis and finding the time duration until breast cancer diagnosis using survival analysis.

Outside of lab, Cathy enjoys hiking, watching movies, and learning new instruments.


Ivan Olaya

Undergraduate Researcher

Coming Soon!


Tavneer Gill

Undergraduate Researcher

Tavneet is an undergraduate studying at UC Davis. Her major is biochemistry and she hopes to advance her education further in graduate school. She is interested in combining areas of research with biomedical innovations and creating technologies that will allow us to further establish treatments for diseases and conditions. She is the Vice President of the Molecular and Cellular Biology club here at Davis and enjoys making people more aware of this advancing area of study.

Tavneet free lances in graphic design and enjoys watching movies, traveling and photography in her free time.


Erika Estrada

Undergraduate Researcher

Erika is an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis. She is studying Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Medical Microbiology. She would like to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in Microbiology. She hopes to become a professor and researcher.

Erika enjoys watching motivational movies, and videos about puppies.

Visiting Researchers

Angel Alexandro Criollo Rayo

Doctorate student from Colombia

Genome-wide association (GWA) studies are one of the most interesting tools for geneticist who are looking for new genetic variants involved in complex diseases such as colorectal cancer (CRC). In his project he will be investigating the discovered SNPs in recent GWAS studies, which are involved in CRC risk in European populations and looking into the risk for Colombian populations by comparing the haplotype blocks between both populations. He will also be studying the relationship between ancestry and the CRC risk by using Native American genetic data and comparing the risk regions between cases, controls and natives. Presently, he is attending UC-Davis and learning about bioinformatics tools in order to analyze the CRC genotypic data for Colombian population.


Ana Estrada-Florez

Master student from Colombia

Ana is a member of the of the Cytogenetics Group and is a visiting researcher who is currently working towards a Masters of Science in Biology degree from the University of Tolima, Ibague, Colombia. While in Davis, she is working on a project involving analysis of the genetics of thyroid cancer in Colombian patients. Ana is a biologist with experience in population genetics, evolution, plant pathology and microbiology. She likes scientific research and has done work in microbiological testing methods, statistics, morphometric, and basic molecular biology. Also, she has experience in designing and implementing research projects. She's creative, committed, and a great member of our team.

Past Members

Paari Kandappan - Undergraduate Assistant
Dylan Hampton - Undergraduate Assistant
Natalia Belter - Assistant Specialist
John Williamson - Graduate Researcher