Leslie Grant ’12

IMG_2747Leslie Grant ’12 graduated from UCLA with a Biology degree. She is currently finishing up her second year in Teach for America, where she works in an Alliance charter school in Downtown Los Angeles. She currently teaches a 10th grade Anatomy & Physiology course at this school. The most recent project they have done was a dissection of rats and fetal pigs, which was funded through Donor’s Choose. Attached is an image of the students engaging in the dissection.

Peter Girguis ’94

Peter Girguis ’94 graduated from the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. He worked closely with David Chapman, Len Muscatine, and Bill Hamner.  This September (2013), he was promoted to full professor with tenure at Harvard University.  “I’m very grateful for being promoted, and I believe wholeheartedly that my training and experiences at UCLA made me the scientist that I am today.  I wanted to thank my mentors, of course, but also the many faculty, graduate students and my peers who took the time to teach me what they knew and encourage me to do my best.”

Lisa Gunn Adams ’93

Lisa Gunn AdamsLisa Gunn Adams PhD ’93 (Gordon) is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Biology Education in the Department of Biology and Physics at Kennesaw State University, located just north of Atlanta. Adams’ research program deals with establishing student monitoring programs using the Basic Observation Buoy (BOB).  BOB is a low cost, educationally friendly, monitoring device that is made primarily of PVC tubing. The buoy is assembled by students and serves as a platform for sensors that continuously sample the water. Students collect data on various parameters, like pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Salinity, and Temperature levels of protected waters, like tidal creeks, estuaries and lakes. BOB has been implemented in many users groups, ranging from middle school to university level students.   Students are able to share their data with their community and contribute to the coverage of our existing coastal monitoring efforts.  Adams is the Chair of the Education and Outreach Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), which is part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).

Francesco Chiappelli ’75

Francesco Chiappelli ’75 graduated with a BS from the Biology Department. But, as the department “evolved” over the years, from Department of Biology in the 1970s, to the departments of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)  and of Biology in the 1980’s, to MCDB and the dept of  Organismic Biology, Ecology, and Evolution in the 1990s, he kinda always “saw” himself as an alumnus of MCDB – “perhaps because eventually I ended up in Dr. Fahey’s lab for my post-doc in fundamental & clinical immunology. Be that as it may, I am happy and proud to be considered ‘one of yours’!”
“Well, a lot has happened over the past four decades, but I can say – equally proudly – that for me at least, everything noteworthy that happened to me professionally happened at UCLA:  MA (’81), PhD (’86), post-docs (’87-’90), research faculty first at Harbor-UCLA (’90-’92), then with my first NIH grant: set up my first lab on the grounds of the West LA VA with an appointment in what used to be Anatomy & Cell Biology (’92-’94), then recruitment by the UCLA School of Dentistry, where I have been ever since – now for several years  Full Professor, tenured.
Most recent developments and updates that you might be interested in are:  becoming AAAS Fellow in 2011, becoming a Fulbrightalumnus last year (2012), and presently being the President of the Fulbright Association, Greater Los Angeles Chapter.
UCLA has been good to me, starting with the Department of Biology that I loved!  Indeed, I came to UCLA (and to the US in fact) in September 1972, and have been associated directly with UCLA ever since:  this is my 41st academic year on our campus.
Three profs, while I was a student in your/our department, to whom I will for ever be thankful:
  • Dr. Crescitelli, who taught me about scientific rigor, the scientific process, and scientific writing (I now have written close to 200 papers & book chapters, and several books published by Springer-Verlag and other noteworthy publishing houses),
  • Dr. Fessler, who first understood my gargantuan difficulties as I had just arrived from Europe, with no or little understanding of English, of the US university system, and of anything academic really, and took the time to listen to me, to guide me and to mentor me – he, really, taught me HOW to be a mentor by his own example, and
  • Dr. Clark, in whose lab I did my first 199 in cellular immunology, which opened up my mind to the beauty of cell biology in general and of cellular immune surveillance mechanisms in the context systems biology in particular.
My dream was always to be able, one day, to serve my “mother department”, if I may refer to Biology by such affectionate terms.  The closest I ever came was to be on the Graduate Review.”

Victor Passy ’53

Victor PassyVictor Passy ’53, MD, at left,  is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at the UCI College of Medicine. He received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2005 for his contributions to otolaryngology (e.g.,development of the Passy-Muir Tracheostomy Speaking Valve, development of the ENT program at UCI, etc.). He was also awarded the”Golden Apple Award” by CCM (an undergraduate pre-med organization at UCI) in 1981, “Outstanding Teacher” by Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and White Memorial Hospital ENT Residents in1979, “Outstanding Teacher by UCI in 1978, elected into the AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha) Honorary Fraternity in 1976, President UCI Alumni in 1980 and UCI Alumni Physician of the Year in 1981.

Elizabeth (Hernandez) Caluag ’00

Elizabeth (Hernandez) Caluag ’00 is currently the Laboratory Manager for Biological Sciences and Chemistry programs at Coastline Community College. In this capacity, Elizabeth oversees daily laboratory operations, health and safety compliance, serves as a mentor for the department’s work-based learning program and designs/evaluates instructional materials. Elizabeth is also a lecturer for General Microbiology and has recently had a submission published in ASM’s Microbe Library (“Slide Catalase Test of Proteus vulgaris.”)