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Class Notes

Part of the motivation for launching the annual Plant & Microbial Biology newsletter is to bring our community together. We hope you will enjoy reading the notes from these PMB alumni and students, and even consider making a new connection with the contact information listed in each entry. To submit your update for a future issue of the newsletter, please use this form

Bassem Al-Sady (PhD ’06 Plant light signaling )

Contact: bassem.alsady@ucsf.edu
After working with Peter Quail on phytochrome signaling, Al-Sady became increasingly interested in chromatin and mechanisms of gene regulation. He did his Postdoc on biochemical and biophysical mechanisms of heterochromatin assembly and then joined the faculty at UCSF. Al-Sady’s lab works on the dynamics of repressed chromatin domains with an interest in differentiation. The lab uses a biochemical and single-cell biology lens to study these problems. A fun fact about Al-Sady is that he has lived in El Cerrito for 20 years throughout his career journey!

Ian Anderson (BS ’18 Genetics & Plant Biology)

Contact: iananderson@berkeley.edu
Anderson is an incoming Ph.D. student UC Davis.

Alex Chang (BA ’15 Integrative Biology)

Contact: alex.chang9000@gmail.com
Chang is a general dentist, as well as a hedge fund manager.

Victor Chen (BS ’17 Microbial Biology)

Contact: LinkedIn
Chen is currently a 5th year PhD Student at Rockefeller University in New York City studying bacterial genetics. He hopes to finish his PhD in the coming year and move into Biotech after graduation.

Chloe Cho (BS ’21 Genetics and Plant Biology, Data Science, minor in Food Systems)

Contact: ​​chloecho@berkeley.edu
Since graduating in May 2021, Cho has been working at The Lexicon, a US-based NGO that uses evidence-based storytelling, strategy, and mobilization to build movements tackling our food systems' greatest challenges. There, Cho supported many projects, including ones on regenerative agriculture, sustainable aquaculture, and the tradeoffs of food loss and waste reduction policies with partners ranging from UN agencies, food companies, international NGOs, farmers, ranchers, researchers, to entrepreneurs. Each of these projects results in engaging and interactive tools that can be used to inspire, educate, and mobilize people to create a food system they want to see. This fall, Cho will be attending Cornell to begin a PhD in Entomology with the Poveda Lab, funded by the NSF GRFP and the Presidential Life Science Fellowship. There, Cho will be continuing to build on her undergraduate honors thesis research topics in ecological pest management systems and how habitat diversification and surrounding land use impact pests and their natural enemies in agricultural systems.

Nick Hassas (BS ’23)

Contact: nickhassas@berkeley.edu
As a third-year undergraduate in Microbial Biology, Hassas has had the wonderful opportunity of pursuing many of his interests in his research and selected courses. As such he conducts clinical prostate cancer research at the UCI Medical Center under Dr. Ahlering, he is excited to present his work at the RCNR Poster Session/Research Showcase. Hassas has also been honored to represent RCNR as a PAL Advisor. 

Joel Headley (BS ’01 Genetics and Plant Biology)

Contact: joel.h@berkeley.edu
Headley co-founded Leadferno.com, a SaaS company helping local businesses connect with their customers through text messaging. Previously, Headley was a product leader at PatientPop, the leading practice growth platform for healthcare, working on key products including the content management system, insights and dashboards, websites, online scheduling, and reputation. Headley also formerly worked at Google on key search projects, including Google Maps, local search, and knowledge initiatives.

Mike Henry (MA ’83 Botany)

Contact: LinkedIn or mhenrybiotech@gmail.com
After 30 years in the biotech industry and at academic medical centers in Toronto, Philadelphia, and Boston, Henry moved back to Berkeley in 2015. He is CBO at Aldatu Biosciences in Boston, a member of Berkeley Angel Network, an advisor with biotech startups, and a volunteer at Berkeley SkyDeck and other startup mentoring programs. Go Bears!

William Horn (BS ’80 Bioenergetics)

Contact: bibliophiletwo@gmail.com
Horn is recently retired after 30 years of human nutrition clinical research with USDA. He currently works with startups in the areas of gastrointestinal disease, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and hydrogen metabolism. Horn volunteers at the Davis Makerspace (Davis, CA) and Counter Culture Laboratories (Oakland, CA) and locally focuses on gas sensors, air quality, and breath analysis.

Gillian Jacobsen (BS ’15 Microbial Biology)

Contact: Twitter or gjacobsen15@gmail.com
Jacobsen is currently an MD/PhD student at the University of Miami studying the role of the microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease. Jacobsen hopes to continue with microbiome research throughout a career as a physician-scientist.

Jake Landers (BS ’62)

Contact: jakelanders.tx@gmail.com
Landers received his degree in 1962 under professors H.G. Baker and Harold Heady. He moved from his first job at Iowa State to Texas A&M in 1979. With forester Herbert H. Biswell, Landers learned the science of prescribed burning, which he used to manage prairie in Iowa and rangeland in Texas. Landers has received the Sustained Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award from the Society of Range Management and the Outstanding Alumni Award from Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He lives in Iowa with his daughter's family, which includes three grandchildren, their spouses, and 10 great-grandchildren. Still writing and burning.

James Schnable (PhD ’12 Plant Biology)

Contact: LinkedIn
Schnable is Associate Professor and the Dr. Charles O. Gardner Professor of Agronomy in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

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