Towers lab members

Christina Towers, PhD

Assistant Professor
Richard Heyman and Anne Daigle Endowed Developmental Chair

Favorite quote: The task is not to see what has never been seen…but to think what has never been thought…about what you see everyday.
Science Passion: Asking questions!
Non-science passion: Teaching my boys how to ski, hike, bike, camp, and enjoy the outdoors

Twitter: @ChristieTowers
Google Scholar:

Suzanne Dufresne, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Favorite quote/Life motto : “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
Science passion: Western Blots!
Non-science passion: Gymnastics, surfing & traveling

Payel Mondal, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Favorite quote: “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
Science passion: Gene-editing and cancer therapeutics
Non-science passion: Travel, Reading

Louis Parham, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Favorite quote: “Forget about it”
Science passion: Answering big picture questions about fundamental biology
Non-science passion: Everything music
PhD Students

Adelaida Estrada-Cardenas, MS

PhD Student, UCSD Biosciences Program
T32 Fellow, Pathways in Biological Sciences Training Program

Favorite quote: A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
Science Passion: Cancer cell metabolism
Non-Science Passion: Spending time with family and powerlifting

Anvita Komarla, MS

PhD Student, UCSD Bioengineering Program
T32 Fellow, Genetics Training Program

Favorite quote/Life motto: “She believed she could so she did.”
Science passion: Developing better ways to model disease in vitro and using them to understand how cells adapt to stressors in their environment (but also staying curious to explore more cool ideas!)
Non-science passion: Reading aka adding books to my to-read list, trying new restaurants, listening to true crime podcasts, hanging out at the beach, collecting earrings

Roopal Rawani

Administrative Assistant

Favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Science passion: Continuing discoveries to improve human health
Non-science passion: Cooking, dancing, traveling

Kirthi Reddy, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist

Science Passion: Working with C. elegans
Non-Science Passion: Spending time with my kids

Angelica Rock, BS

Research Technician

Favorite quote: If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.
Science Passion: learning about how the immune microenvironment responds to pancreatic cancer
Non-science Passion: Running, skiing, swimming, hiking, and traveling

Celina Shen, BS

Research Technician

Favorite quote: “If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” –Charles Darwin
Science passion: Mitochondrial quality control and drug resistance in cancer cells
Non-science passion: Language learning, reading, needlework

Amanda Cyril

Undergraduate, UCSD

Favorite quote: Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today
Science Passion: Understanding how different processes connect to the big picture
Non-science Passion: Swimming, Dancing, and Reading

Kristiana Wong

Undergraduate at UCSD

Favorite quote: Y.O.L.O.
Science passion: Oncology/microbes/virology/genetics/pathology
Non-science passion: Art! Specifically animation and Asian artists (Japanese retro/sci-fi)

Towers Lab Alumni


Sienna Rocha, BS

Currently a PhD student at City of Hope