Welcome New CNAS Faculty 2019

By CNAS Communications |

A warm welcome to our new CNAS Faculty!


Polly Campbell, assistant professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, earned her Ph.D. in ecology and evolution at Boston University. She is an evolutionary biologist whose areas of interest include the process of speciation, sex chromosome evolution, and the genetic and epigenetic basis of behavior.

Heyrim Cho, assistant professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, earned her Ph.D. in applied mathematics at Brown University. Her research interests and activities are in the areas of mathematical biology, scientific computing, and uncertainty quantification. The application of her work includes modeling problems in mathematical oncology to improve anticancer treatment and overcome drug resistance. She is interested in modeling multi-scale biological systems driven from genetic data to medical images, and characterizing effects of the underlying uncertainty for comprehensive mathematical modeling and a better understanding of biological mechanisms. 

Ashraf El-Kereamy is a cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside. He is hosted by the University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources (UCANR) at Lindcove Research and Extension Center (LREC). His primary responsibility is citrus horticulture and to develop a comprehensive local, as well as statewide, research and extension educational program. This program will help the citrus industry in maximizing its production and improving its efficiency while facing ongoing and emerging challenges. During the past four years, before joining the UCR, El-Kereamy worked as a Viticulture Advisor serving Kern County. El-kereamy majored in Horticulture at Ain Shams University, Egypt, obtained a Master of Science in Pomology from the same university, and later acquired a Ph.D. in Agriculture with an emphasis in Grapevine Physiology and Molecular Biology from Toulouse University, France. He earned his Ph.D. at one of the most remarkable plant hormone laboratories in Europe and became a well-known author of ethylene and anthocyanin production in grapes. He has extensive post-doctoral research experience in several commodities revolving around plant hormones, fruit ripening, plant nutrition and the responses of different plant species to Abiotic stress conditions.

Yingzhuo Fu, assistant professor of teaching in the Department of Statistics, earned her Ph.D. in statistics at University of California, Riverside. She previously worked as a data scientist in MarketShare, LA then taught in NYU Shanghai. Her core teaching philosophy is that intrinsic motivation brings out the best learning experience. Her research interests are in the areas of data mining, change-point detection for discrete data with various applications in network surveillance, digital marketing, consumer behavior analysis with big data. 

Natalie Holt, assistant professor of physiology in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, earned their Ph.D. at the University of Leeds. Their work takes a comparative, multi-scale approach to understanding the basic mechanisms of muscle contraction, and role that they have in shaping animal morphology, physiology and behaviour.


Chow-Yang Lee, professor and Endowed Presidential Chair in Urban Entomology at the Department of Entomology, received his Ph.D. in Entomology from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1996. His research interests center around the behavioral, ecological, and physiological adaptations of urban insect pests, especially understanding how these adaptations help the pests to thrive in the urban environment and their biological trade-offs. He is also interested in the roles of human activities and propagule pressure in invasion history of urban insect pests. Using the research findings obtained, his research team design, evaluate, and integrate multiple management tactics to provide a system-level approach towards urban pest management.

Danelle Seymour, assistant professor of genetics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, earned her Ph.D. in biology at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany. Her research interests include understanding how plant genome evolution shapes the genetic basis of complex traits with a focus on the genetic improvement of citrus. She utilizes modern genetic and statistical genomic tools to ensure that citrus varieties will withstand future shifts in environmental conditions while maintaining desirable agronomic and consumer fruit quality traits.

Timothy Su, assistant professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, received his B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley, where he worked in Prof. Jean Fréchet's laboratory developing soft materials for hydrogels and solar cells. Su ventured out to New York City and obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University with Prof. Colin Nuckolls in 2016 as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. In his graduate work, he leveraged principles from synthetic and physical organosilicon chemistry to devise new forms and concepts for single-molecule wires, insulators, and conductance switches. Su returned to UC Berkeley as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Chris Chang's laboratory, where he developed optical sensors and metal delivery agents for interrogating copper biology. In his independent career, Su aims to synthesize atomically-defined silicon, germanium, and tin nanoclusters and nanoribbons for quantum electronic applications, as well as soft materials and chemical probes for expansion microscopy-based super-resolution bioimaging.

Linlin Zhao, assistant professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Jilin University in 2005 and Ph.D. in Bioanalytical Chemistry from University of Connecticut in 2010. His research focuses on understanding the chemical and molecular mechanisms of DNA-protein interactions in the context of DNA replication and repair. He seeks to apply the fundamental principles of human genomic maintenance to the development of novel therapeutics for human diseases.


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