A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE

Student Affairs

Student and Alumni Affairs
The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope places a strong emphasis on translational research: integrating discoveries in basic science with practical application to treatment of cancer and other degenerative diseases. Our campus provides a welcoming, collegial atmosphere where communication and collaboration thrive.

City of Hope has an excellent reputation for training both predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Our Ph.D. students routinely go on to prestigious postdoctoral fellowships and highly coveted positions in both academia and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Our students come from diverse backgrounds - the USA, France, Bulgary, Canada, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hongkong, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Iran, Korea, Japan, and China. This diversity brings to our campus a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and creative potential.

Current Students

City of Hope's graduate students reflect the diversity of our program. Find out more about them, their educational backgrounds and research interests by clicking on their photos below.


Graduates of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope have gone on to positions at National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute, Harvard University, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, UC San Francisco, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Purdue University, Duke University, Scripps Research Institute, USC, among others.

Alumni lead research teams in the biotechnology industry at Genetech, Wyeth, Ganaissance, ISIS, Allergan, and more.

Following is a listing of our alumni and what they are currently doing:
  • Vania Ashminova, Principal Investigator, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research
  • Thomas Bane, Senior Life Science Analyst, Program Manager at Lnx Research Inc./Arkani Global Inc.               
  • Victoria Bane, Research Facilities Technical Coordinator, City of Hope
  • Nicole Bennardo, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Francisco
  • Leticia Cano, President, Biomarker
  • Qing Chai, Sr. Research Scientist, Lilly Biotechnology Center - San Diego; Lilly & Company, Scripps Research Institute
  • Carmel Chan, Research Scientist, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Valerie Chavez, Teacher, St. Genevieve School, Panorama City, California
  • Cyndi Chen, Senior Research Scientist, Pall Medical, Covina, California
  • Zhaoxia Chen, Genome Scientist, MEDomics
  • Gregory Cherryholmes, Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Washington
  • Caroline Richard Clark, Scientist, Genoptix, Medical Laboratory - a Novartis company
  • Amy Cook, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Jiehui Deng, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Supriya Deshpande, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Kenneth Dery, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Ali Ehsani, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Elizabeth Eng, Scientist, Allergan Pharmaceuticals
  • Geoffrey Frank, Instructor, California State University, Northridge
  • Richard Frank, Research and Development Research Scientist II, eBioscience
  • Angel Gu, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Shuo Gu, Investigator, National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute
  • Mausumee Guha, Senior Director, Toxicology at Medivation, San Francisco, California
  • Amanda Gunn, Adjunct Faculty - Biology at Seattle Central Community College
  • Cai Guo, Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology
  • Bret Heale, Adjunct Biology Professor, Salt Lake Community College
  • Michael Hedvat, Research Scientist II, Kyowa Hakko Kirin California, Inc.
  • Yanyan Hong, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, St. Joseph's Medical Center
  • Jie Huang, Senior Scientist, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
  • Michelle Hunter, Biology Teacher, St. Genevieve's High School
  • Lan Jin, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute
  • Seung-Gi Jin, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Wen Jin, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Diego
  • Mahesh Jonnalagadda, Assistant University Veterinarian, University of Calgary, Alberta  CANADA
  • Swati Kadam, Scientific Liaison, Illumina Inc.
  • Julie Kanjanapangka, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA
  • Ikuko Kijima, Academic Program Coordinator, Cedars Sinai Medical Center
  • Daniel Kim, Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology
  • Julia Kirshner, President & CEO at Ixchel Scientific, Purdue University
  • Ching-Ying Kuo, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Dong-Hyun Lee, Assistant Professor, Chonnam National University, Biological Sciences Department, SOUTH KOREA
  • Min-Seob Lee, President, GenomeCare Inc.
  • Michael Lewis, Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia - Missouri
  • Jianren Li, Clinical Genetics and Molecular Biology Scientist, Kaiser Permanente, San Jose
  • Tracey Li, Physician, Kaiser Permanente
  • Shan Li, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, School of Medicine, UC San Diego
  • Yan Li, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, School of Medicine, UC San Diego
  • Wei Liang, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Diego
  • Limin Liu, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia
  • Lucy (Xiangli) Liu, Part-time Professor, Cal Poly Pomona, Biological Science Department
  • Pingfang Liu, Application and Product Development Scientist, New England Biolabs, Inc.
  • Ren Liu, Sr. Research Scientist, Vasgene Therapeutics Inc.
  • Elizabeth Lobo, Full-Time Tenure-Track Biology Instructor, Cuesta College
  • Rongze Lu, Postdoctoral Fellow, Genentech
  • Yuelong Ma, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Selma Masri, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Irvine
  • Zhipeng Meng, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Diego
  • Damon Meyer, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis
  • Jennifer Murray, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Michelle Navarro, Assistant Professor, Cerritos College
  • Stephanie Nay, Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University
  • Maria (Tina) Negritto, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology Department, Pomona College
  • Hao Pan, Field Application Specialist, Nexcelom Bioscience
  • Nicholas Pannunzio, Postdoctoral Fellow, USC
  • Patrick Perrigue, Teacher, ACI Institute
  • Megan Prosser, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry, Azusa Pacific University
  • Sumanth Putta, Clinical Veterinarian, USC
  • Jeremy Racine, Postdoctoral Training Program/Award Scholar at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine
  • Robert H. Ring, Chief Scientific Officer, Autism Speaks
  • Saurabh Sahar, Technical Support Scientist, Quest Diagnostics, Cypress Research and Development Facility
  • Kumi Sakurai, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA
  • Sridhar Samineni, Scientific Director/Veterinarian, Valley Biosystems, Sacramento
  • Edward Silverman, Director of Operations and Chief Life Science Manager at Lnx Research, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Chapman University, California
  • Nicholas Snead, Research Scientist, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, Vancouver, CANADA
  • Jing Song, Group Leader/Principal Scientist, BioDuro Inc., CHINA
  • Richard Stewart, Director of Quality & Regulatory Affairs, Teco Diagnostics
  • Guihua Sun, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Diana Tran, Associate Consultant, PAREXEL Consulting
  • Khue Truong, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA
  • Yuqing Tu, Vice President, Citibank
  • Michael Valentine, Control Chemist, Department of Water and Power, California
  • Karina Vega, Research and Development Scientist at Best Formulations
  • Louisa Villeneuve, Teaching Faculty, California State University, Fullerton
  • Reena Vishwanath Thomas, Physician in Neuro-Oncology, Stanford University Hospital
  • Jun Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
  • Lin Wang, attending medical school; will obtain an MD degree besides her PhD degree
  • Cynthie Wong, Research and Development Scientist, Clarient/GE Healthcare
  • Chen Wu, Staff PhD / Lab manager at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Juli Wu, Assistant Professor of Research at Keck School of Medicine, USC
  • Jun Xie, Staff Scientist, City of Hope
  • Peizhang Xu, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco
  • Su Yang, Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Research Institute
  • Tangsheng Yi, Postdoctoral Researcher, UC San Francisco
  • Jung-Hoon Yoon, Assistant Research Scientist, University of Texas Medical Branch, Sealy Center for Molecular Sciences
  • Young You, Project Scientist, UC San Diego
  • James Young, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago
  • Hui Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Jane Zhang, Research and Development Scientist, CalImmune, Inc.
  • Xizhe Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow, City of Hope
  • Ziming Zhang, Scientist, Burnham Institute
  • Lingwen Zhong, Postdoctoral Fellow, Roswell Park Cancer Center

Graduation Day

This year, the Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences marked its 20th anniversary. More than a dozen students received their Doctor of Philosophy degrees during the school’s 15th commencement ceremony on June 13.
For more on the event, read the post on our Breakthroughs blog.
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
The City of Hope Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences prepares students to become outstanding research scientists in chemical, molecular and cellular biology.

City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope offer a unique and challenging research and learning environment for graduate education. Find out more about our program.
From New Haven to Nanjing, our students come from diverse backgrounds, with the United States, Canada, Argentina, India, Iran, Korea, China, Russia and Taiwan all represented in our student population. This diversity brings to our campus a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and creative potential.
Download the Housing Handbook which outlines everything from communication to mail service.
Situated just northeast of Los Angeles, City of Hope combines the best science and the most innovative and highly compassionate patient care. Stretched across more than 100 acres in the City of Duarte, lushly landscaped gardens surround state-of-the-art facilities.
The Helix Blog gives voice to City of Hope graduate students and their research.
  • Cancer cells may be known for their uncontrollable growth and spread, but they also differ from normal tissue in another manner: how they produce energy. In healthy cells, energy is derived primarily from aerobic respiration, an oxygen-requiring process that extracts the maximum possible energy from glucose, or...
  • Clinical trials are expensive and complex, but they’re essential for bringing new therapies to patients. Edward Newman, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular pharmacology, just boosted City of Hope’s ability to conduct those studies with a five-year, $4.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute...
  • Meet City of Hope’s new chair of the Department of Surgery – esteemed pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgeon, researcher and author Yuman Fong, M.D. As one of today’s most respected and recognizable physicians in the treatment of cancers of the liver, bile duct, gallbladder and pancreas, Fong has pioneered and en...
  • For most of her life, Southern California teenager Kayla Saikaly described herself as healthy, even very healthy. She played basketball. She never missed school with as much as a fever. Her worst childhood illness was nothing more than a cold. Then, when she was 13, her nose started bleeding after a basketball ...
  • Neuroblastoma is one of the deadliest childhood cancers, accounting for 15 percent of pediatric cancer deaths. For patients with high-risk neuroblastomas, the five-year survival rate is 40 to 50 percent even with the most rigorous treatments available today. But those odds may improve soon, thanks to a new comp...
  • For breast cancer survivors, a common worry is a recurrence of their cancer. Currently, these patients are screened with regular mammograms, but there’s no way to tell who is more likely to have a recurrence and who is fully cleared of her cancer. A new blood test – reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the...
  • Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substa...
  • Deodorant, plastic bottles, grilled foods, artificial sweeteners, soy products … Do any of these products really cause cancer? With so many cancer myths and urban legends out there, why not ask the experts? They can debunk cancer myths while sharing cancer facts that matter, such as risk factors, preventi...
  • Cancer risk varies by ethnicity, as does the risk of cancer-related death. But the size of those differences can be surprising, highlighting the health disparities that exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. Both cancer incidence and death rates for men are highest among African-Americans, acco...
  • George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages other than English. There’s one German phrase he’s determined to perfect, however: danke schön. Winston thinks h...
  • Few decisions are more important than those involving health care, and few decisions can have such lasting impact, not only on oneself but on relatives and loved ones. Those choices, especially, should be made in advance – carefully, deliberately, free of pain and stress, and with much weighing of values and pr...
  • Using a card game to make decisions about health care, especially as those decisions relate to the end of life, would seem to be a poor idea. It isn’t. The GoWish Game makes those overwhelming, but all-important decisions not just easy, but natural. On each card of the 36-card deck is listed what seriously ill,...
  • Young adults and adolescents with cancer face unique challenges both during their treatment and afterward. Not only are therapies for children and older adults not always appropriate for them, they also must come to terms with the disease and treatment’s impact on their relationships, finances, school or ...
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among women in the United States. It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. In the past several years, various task force recommendations and studies have questioned the benefits of broad screening guidelines fo...
  • Paternal age and the health effects it has on potential offspring have been the focus of many studies, but few have examined the effect parental age has on the risk of adult-onset hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer). A team of City of Hope researchers, lead by Yani Lu,...