Amanda Isabel Meriwether

Amanda was born, raised, and educated in Austin, Texas. She went to The University of Texas at Austin (UT), where she earned a BA in Plan II Honors and a BS in Biomedical Engineering. At UT, her work focused on exploring the relationship between motivation and stress in engineering undergraduate students. She also helped develop and validate targeted drug delivery systems.

A PhD candidate in the UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint PhD Program in Bioengineering, Amanda is now wrapping up her work in Professor Dan Fletcher’s lab at UC Berkeley. Her research is at the intersection of CRISPR-Cas and viruses: she is engineering new viral-based vectors to deliver gene editing tools and developing CRISPR-Cas-based assays to detect viruses.

When not in lab, Amanda can be found in her garden, observing the beauty of nature and deciding what to plant next.

Daryl Lawrence

I am a PhD candidate in the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Bioengineering Program. My lab and I develop personalized bioelectronic therapies for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients who are implanted with neurostimulators. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is such a rich and exciting field. Briefly, it involves supplying a specific part of the brain with current in a controlled manner to resolve underlying symptoms, such as tremor or dyskinesia in PD. I develop machine learning models that predict PD symptom severity using data recorded with wearables and implantable microelectrode arrays. These models are then used to administer customized treatments to each PD patient. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, playing the piano, hiking and playing racket games, such as badminton and pickleball.

Pooja Kathail

Pooja is a fourth year PhD student in Computational Biology advised by Dr. Nilah Ioannidis and Dr. Jimmie Ye (UCSF). Before coming to Berkeley, Pooja worked at Datavant, where she led a software engineering team building products to connect healthcare data. Pooja completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Columbia University. Pooja’s research involves developing and applying machine learning methods to predict the effect of genetic variants on molecular phenotypes and disease.

Lucas Lahann

Lucas is a graduate student in Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering Department advised by Professor Ana Arias. He is interested in scalable electronics processing to create ultra-low cost, networked sensor nodes to enable environmental monitoring and modeling. Particularly he hopes to use the technology developed in his graduate studies to help inform future sustainable agricultural practices. Before moving to California, he lived in Michigan, where he studied the feasibility of integrating transparent solar panels onto the windows for energy generation in cities. Lucas joined H2H8 in the Fall of 2023 to connect with a broad group of students seeking to make a positive and lasting impact on challenges facing humanity with their research. For fun, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, road and trail running around the bay with friends, and reading.

Caseysimone Ballestas

Caseysimone is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley. Under the guidance of Dr. Kosa Goucher-Lambert, she is member of the Co-Design Lab where her research is focused on designing multi-agent systems for ambient intelligent environments. Specifically, her work centers around addressing cybersecurity challenges within manufacturing environments. Additionally, she contributes to discussions and publications concerning the sociotechnical aspects of design engineering. She obtained her M.Sc. from the Technical University of Delft and B.A. from Bennington College.

Hussain Kadhem

Hussain is a Ph.D. student in applied mathematics at UC Berkeley, where he works in computational quantum physics. He previously worked as a software developer in the compilers group at IBM, and has broad interests in high-performance computing, computational science, and computer algebra. He grew up in Toronto, where he completed his
bachelor’s degree. After that, he attended the University of Cambridge for a year to do Part III of the Mathematical Tripos. He is blind from birth and is usually accompanied by his guide dog.

Francesca Giardine

Francesca is a fourth year graduate student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science advised by Dr. Robert Pilawa-Podgurski. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Francesca graduated with a B.S. in Engineering Science and B.A. in Mathematics from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Francesca’s work involves AC-DC conversion at the residential scale, working on hardware design and control techniques for an inverter topology for use in solar applications, and looking at parallelized switch design for medium-voltage converters. Outside of the lab, Francesca is the current Chair for the IEEE Power and Energy Society at Berkeley, which seeks to build enthusiasm and understanding for energy issues and technology through organized talks and social events.

Ruchir Rastogi

I am a Ph.D. student in EECS, co-advised by Nilah Ioannidis and Nir Yosef. My research is at the intersection of machine learning and computational biology. Specifically, I develop methods to predict the effects of human variants, to understand the role of noncoding DNA sequences, and to analyze data from single-cell technologies. During my undergrad, I primarily worked in computer vision, focusing on sustainability and healthcare applications. Outside of research, I enjoy playing pickleball and basketball and all things chess.

Erin Redwing

Erin Redwing is a sixth year PhD student and NSF graduate research fellow in Earth & Planetary Science at UC Berkeley, working on ground-based telescope observations of outer solar system moons with Dr. Imke de Pater. Erin is currently working on observations of Jupiter’s moon Io, which is the most volcanically active body in our solar system, and she hopes to be able to use these observations to understand the relationship between Io’s volcanism and its atmosphere. Erin is also working on developing new techniques for biosignature detection, focused on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. She is fascinated by the philosophy of science and metaphysics, and their implications for how we determine truth in our society.

Evan Robert

I’m a third year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley studying computer science with an interest in leveraging technology to address climate change challenges. I’m currently working in the Girotto lab where I run hydrological models to determine how restoring beaver populations could increase the water storage capacity of the Sierra Nevada mountains. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, playing tennis, and playing guitar.