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Jose D

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Dartmouth College


Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Mechanisms, Microbiology, Immunology, Microbiome


I received my Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of California, Merced. I have a scientific background in microbes, host-pathogen interactions, and immunology. I received my PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. I study how human cells perform autophagy, a cellular recycling process to replenish fundamental components or get rid of unwanted content. I utilize microscopy, genetic (e.g. CRISPR), and biochemical techniques to dissect autophagy. Outside of the lab, I enjoy the outdoors. You can find me hiking, kayaking, or road biking in warmer temperatures. In the winter, I partake in cross country skiing. I enjoy strength training all year round. All these activities leave me constantly hungry. So I like cooking meals, specifically Mexican dishes, and sharing with my friends. I am strongly committed to increasing diversity in STEM. All are welcome, underrepresented minorities are encouraged.

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.

Scientific Review of CRISPR-Cas9 vs RNA editing

CRISPR gain wide popularity for allowing researchers to permanently edit genomes. However, there is growing interest in using RNA based editing methods. What are the advantages/disadvantages, clinical applications, and broad future implications? Let's write a review to address these questions.

Science Communication on Twitter

The social platform Twitter has increasingly become a place where scientists can communicate their science to their community and the general public. In this project, we can create a sciencecomm account to share information on a topic in biology or chemistry. You'll gain skills in reading scientific literature, summarizing major findings, and communicating science to the general public.

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Physiological Benefits of Fasting-induced Autophagy

Autophagy, meaning "self-eating", is a cellular process where damaged or unwanted components are disposed. Autophagy has been linked to various diseased pathologies, including cancer and heart disease. Fasting or specific dietary lifestyles may induce levels of autophagy in the human body. In this project, we will perform and systematic review and meta-analysis of fasting or diet-induced autophagy and its benefits on the body. You will gain skills in 1) searching and reviewing primary literature, 2) computational skills for performing data analysis (R language), and 3) writing your scientific findings.

Coding skills


Languages I know


Teaching experience

Teaching assistant for Introduction to Physiology for undergraduate students. Mentored several undergraduate and junior graduate students in a research laboratory setting.



University of California Merced (UCM)
BS Bachelor of Science (2018)
Biological Sciences
Dartmouth College
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Completed Projects

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