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Ricardo F

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)


Biology (cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, genetics)


With 20+ years of academic biomedical research experience, I am ready to provide you with a view into the real-world of academic research. Academic success in science is more than just about grades, it's also about how you apply your knowledge to a scientific problem. To that end, many of the students I have mentored in the laboratory have gone on to publish their own work, either as co-authors or first authors. I have published over 40 research articles in fields ranging from cancer to neuroimmunology to corneal biology. Many of the students I have mentored were pre-med and have gone on to gain acceptance to medical school. I am a first-generation college grad and graduate student. My passion for mentoring comes from, in part, a desire to help students from undeserved communities gain access to knowledge important for 1) navigating the complexity of college admissions and 2) gaining a deep understanding of concepts central to biomedical science. I am currently a graduate student in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology PhD program at UCLA, and am working on elucidating the neural basis of CO2 response in the model organism, C. elegans. This organism was introduced to the fields of genetics and developmental biology by the Nobel Laureate, Professor Sydney Brenner.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Bulk RNA-Sequencing Data Analysis and Manuscript Preparation

This project will help you develop skills in computational biology and bioinformatics. In addition, the results obtained from the analysis may be inlcluded in a peer-reviewed publication. You will also develop skills in preparing a manuscript and going through the process of peer-review. I will provide the biological expertise and you will contribute computational know-how. This is a highly collaborative project. 1. Strong computer skills required (knowledge of Unix is sufficient, but other languages - Python, Pearl, R - will be useful) 2. Strong interest in computational biology 3. Ability to maintain regular communication with progress and troubleshooting. 4. Access to 500GB+ of unused hard drive space highly preferred.

Preparing a Review Article

This project will help you develop skills for preparing an article that reviews the current knowledge and challenges in a specific topic in corneal biology. You will learn the following: 1) how to access and use publication databases, (e.g., Pubmed), 2) create and maintain a bibliography (using Endnote), 3) how to read and interpret research articles. Successful completion of this project may earn you co-authorship on a peer-reviewed review article.

Languages I know


Teaching experience

College adjunct instructor primarily for directing course labs. Have mentored/directed over 20 undergraduate students in academic research.


Work experience

David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA (2019 - 2011)
Research Scientist/Lab Manager
University of Sydney (2007 - 2010)
Posgraduate Researcher
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla (2000 - 2007)
Research Assistant


Point Loma Nazarene University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2000)
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology

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