Current Laboratory Staff and Personnel

Laboratory Supervisor I

C.PivettiChris Pivetti, M.S. (cdpivetti@ucdavis.edu)

Christopher Pivetti is a scientist for the Department of Surgery, University of California, Davis Health in Sacramento, CA. He received both his bachelor’s degree (2001) and his master’s degree (2004) in general biology from the University of California, San Diego. He serves as the laboratory supervisor and he oversees the daily operations of five principle investigators. His research interests include using stem cell therapy to treat congenital anomalies such as spina bifida, and diaphragmatic hernia.  He also specializes in small animal microsurgery and serves as a microsurgery instructor for the department. 

 

Associate Project Scientist

Priyadarsini Kumar, Ph.D. (pkumar@ucdavis.edu)

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

K.GaoKewa Gao, M.D., Ph.D. (kwgao@ucdavis.edu)

Kewa is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at University of California, Davis. She trained as a general and plastic surgeon. Her research focuses on genetic disease treatment such as hemophilia A and sickle cell disease by stem cell transplantation and gene editing. She is also interested in development biomaterial and stem cell based treatment for wound healing. In her spare time, Kewa enjoys skiing, scuba diving, and photography.

 

D.HaoDake Hao, Ph.D. (dkhao@ucdavis.edu)

Dake is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at University of California, Davis. His research focuses on developing innovative technologies, integrin-based functional and therapeutic molecules and stem cells, biomaterial and extracellular vesicle engineering for tissue regeneration, such as vascular regeneration, bone regeneration and fetal regeneration. Besides research, Dake likes sports, especially soccer.

 

Visiting Scholars

S.HeSiqi He, M.D. (siqhe@ucdavis.edu)

Siqi is a visiting scholar and a Ph.D. candidate in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at University of California, Davis. She has an established background in plastic surgery. Her research focuses on using functionalized extracellular matrices with stem cells to promote diabetic wound healing. In her free time, she loves dancing and hiking.

 

 

LL.Luu Lu, M.S. (ilulu@mail.sdu.edu.cn)

Lu Lu is a visiting scholar and a Ph.D. candidate. Her research interest is in the study of nanomaterials and drug delivery for tissue regeneration. Her hobbies are listening to music, playing badminton and traveling.

 

 

H.SongHengyue Song, M.D. (hyusong@ucdavis.edu)

Hengyue Song is a visiting scholar, a Ph.D. candidate in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at University of California, Davis, and a plastic surgeon in China. She is now focusing on burn wound healing, tissue engineering, and gene editing research projects. Out of the lab, Hengyue is a photographer, a music aficionado, and a museum lover. 

 

 

Graduate Students

K.ClarkKaitlin Clark, M.A. (kcclark@ucdavis.edu)

Kasey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Program, at UC Davis, and is emphasizing in translational research. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and her master’s degree in Stem Cell biology from CSU Sacramento. Kasey started her research career at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 focusing on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatments for animals. She is currently investigating the use of placenta derived MSCs (PMSCs) for the treatment of spina bifida in English Bulldogs. Kasey’s main research focus is the immunoregulatory properties of PMSCs and is also investigating the use of PMSC derived extracellular vesicles for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In her free time Kasey enjoys playing sports, riding her horses and spending time with her rescue dogs.

 

L.Goldbloom-HelznerLeora Goldbloom-Helzner, M.S. (legoldbloom@ucdavis.edu)

Leora is a Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student at UC Davis. She is working on increasing the yield of extracellular vesicles (EVs) through the use of different culture systems, as well as on the immobilization of EVs on scaffolds using membrane protein-specific aptamers. In her free time, Leora loves to take voice lessons and play volleyball. 

 

 

Lalitha R. pictureLalithasri Ramasubramanian, B.S. (lram@ucdavis.edu)

Lalitha is a Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering at the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at University of California, Davis. She is developing Extracellular Vesicle (EV) mimicking technologies for vascular repair and regeneration. Outside of lab, she enjoys watching TV, reading, trying new foods, and hiking.

 

CIRM Bridges Master’s Students

James E. Gomez, B.S. (bjgomez@ucdavis.edu)

 

ryan stagnaroRyan Stagnaro, B.S. (restagnaro@ucdavis.edu)

Ryan is a CIRM Bridges Master’s Student in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from California State University, Sacramento. His research focuses primarily on the potential treatment of Multiple Sclerosis symptoms in mice utilizing placenta derived mesenchymal stromal cell extracellular vesicles. His interests outside of lab include telling puns and cooking.

 

tyler sickler picTyler Sickler, B.A. (tjsickler@ucdavis.edu)

Tyler is a CIRM Bridges Master’s Student in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from CSU Sacramento. His research focuses on the targeting efficiency and neuroprotective capability of surface-modified extracellular vesicles (EVs) for the treatment of Myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida. Outside of research, Tyler participates in competitive running and enjoys spending time with his dog, Kylo.

 

Junior Specialists

A.IavorovschiAlexandra Maria Iavorovschi, B.S. (amiavorovschi@ucdavis.edu)

Alex is a Junior Specialist in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at University of California, Davis. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology from University of California, San Diego. She also has a background in Marine Biology. Alex is involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on basic science research and provides high-level technical writing support to the Principal Investigators in the Department of Surgery. Alex enjoys snowboarding, playing tennis, and exploring nature.

 

Sabrina pictureSabrina V. Lazar, B.S. (svlazar@ucdavis.edu) 

Sabrina is a Junior Specialist in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Cell Biology and minor in Professional Writing from the University of California, Davis. Sabrina is involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on basic science research and provides high-level technical writing support to the Principal Investigators in the Department of Surgery. She also plays a critical role in composing and editing the quarterly Department of Surgery research newsletter. In her free time, she enjoys Assyrian and Arab cultural dance and plays volleyball and water polo. 

 

samantha avalloneSamantha Avallone, B.S. (snavalllone@ucdavis.edu)

Samantha is a Junior Specialist in the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Anthropology from the University of California, Davis. She assists with general lab operations, as well as performs histology and cell culture work. In her spare time, she likes to play flute and alto saxophone, crochet, and bike.

 


Surgical Residents

J.JacksonJordan Elizabeth Jackson, M.D. (jorjack@ucdavis.edu)

Jordan is a General Surgery Resident at University of California, SF East Bay and she is interested in Pediatric Surgery.  Therefore, she is taking 2 years away from clinical life to do research with Dr. Farmer and Dr. Wang at UC Davis.  She is working with lab members on projects involving MMC animal models. She is also working on a spinal cord injury rodent model, among many other exciting clinical studies.  

 

Sarah Calcott Stokes, M.D. (scstokes@ucdavis.edu)

Sarah is a Surgery Resident spending 2 years doing research at the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory. She is currently working on a fetal sheep surgical model for spina bifida and a project investigating the properties of stem cells at different gestational ages. In her free time, Sarah likes hiking with her dog and skiing.

 

Christina T photoChristina Mae Theodorou, M.D. (ctheodorou@ucdavis.edu)

Christina is a General Surgery Resident at UC Davis interested in Pediatric Surgery. She is spending two years in the Surgical Bioengineering Lab studying a variety of cellular based therapies for diseases such as myelomeningocele and neuroblastoma. She is also studying interventions to reduce maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality from peripartum hemorrhage. In her free time, Christina enjoys visiting restaurants and wineries around Sacramento and going camping.