Jacob S. Kopp ’10

Jacob S. KoppJacob S. Kopp ’10 served as an Army Ranger, Special Operations Combat Medic, and member of the Joint Special Operations Task Force during two combat tours before attending UCLA. While here, he continued his service as Acting First Sergeant and Battalion Medical Officer for the 445th Civil Affairs Battalion in Mountain View, Ca. He is now halfway through a master’s degree at Columbia University and is currently a principal and Vice President of Marketing for a fast-growing manufacturing company in the mining and minerals sector.

Bridgett vonHoldt ’10 PhD

Bridgett von HoldtBridgett vonHoldt ’10 PhD (Wayne) writes, “I am a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Brandon Gaut’s lab, in the Ecology and Evolutionary Department at UCI. My research interests broadly include evolutionary/population genetic analysis of domesticated species, as well as exploring how genetic variation is shaped by selection. My dissertation research focused on understanding genetic structure among the endangered gray wolf populations, and exploring how genome variation among wild and domesticated canids was shaped by the domestication process. For my post- doc, I am exploring the dynamics of transposable elements (TEs) through comparative analyses of domesticated plant genomes. Methylated TEs are transcriptionally deactivated, but there is likely an impact on nearby gene expression. By intersecting the genome, methylome and transcriptome of two domesticated rice subspecies (Oryza sativa), I am investigating how TE insertion and deactivation is acted upon by selection to maintain genome stability.”

Michael Ahdoot ’07

Michael AhdootMichael Ahdoot ’07 is a medical student at Stanford University. He writes, “At UCLA I was an American Lit and Bio double major. I graduated with college honors. I got accepted to Stanford Med School and deferred for a year. During that year I traveled extensively to the Middle East, all over Africa and S. America. At Stanford I engaged in research in tumor immunology and reconstructive surgery. I plan to become a surgeon and begin residency in 2012.”

Keane Lai ’93

Keane Lai ’93, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at USC. His most recently published paper is “Extracellular Matrix Dynamics in Hepatocarcinogenesis: a Comparative Proteomics Study of PDGFC Transgenic and Pten Null Mouse Models.” (PLoS Genet. 2011 Jun; 7(6):e1002147. Epub 2011 Jun 23.)

Saengdao Philavane ’02

Saengdao PhilavaneSaengdao Philavane ’02, EdM’04, writes: “After graduating from UCLA, I taught science at Hawthorne High School in the Centinela Valley Union High School District for five years. I then moved to Singapore and have been teaching at the Overseas Family School in Singapore ever since. I’m starting my fourth year teaching IB Biology, IB Environmental Systems & Societies, and grades 9 and 10 Middle Years Programme/ IGCSE in Science. I love living in Singapore and I travel every chance I get. I got married this year and I’m expecting our first son to be born in November! Life is very good right now. . . . My education at UCLA has definitely opened up many doors for me and I am so grateful. I still keep a UCLA pennant hung up in my classroom and have ever since I became a teacher. I’m an extremely proud Bruin! Go Bruins!!!” The picture shows Saengdao at a triathlon in Bintan, Indonesia.