Our Team


Dr. Mario Deng, M.D.

Principal Investigator, Cardiologist


 Mario C. Deng, MD, Professor of Medicine, Advanced Heart Failure/Mechanical Support/Heart Transplant, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.  Dr. Deng is the co-inventor of the first diagnostic leukocyte gene expression profiling biomarker test in transplantation medicine, AllomapTM, that gained FDA clearance and international guideline acceptance to rule-out heart transplant rejection without invasive endomyocardial biopsies. Dr. Deng maintains a core position at the intersection between clinical cardiology and bench-to-bedside translational research. Dr. Deng is now focusing on developing a genomic blood test to better predict outcomes in patients with various forms of heart failure (MyLeukoMAPTM). Linking systems biology back into the clinical framework of a humanistically sound high–tech modern medicine encounter is reflected in Dr. Deng’s most recent research collaboration with Prof. Federica Raia (UCLA DGSOM and GSEIS) in the “Relational Medicine” project and “The Science in the Making” project. 

UCLA Health Page I Email I NIH Bio Sketch


Dr. Galyna Bondar, Ph.D.

Lab Director


Galyna Bondar, PhD has over 30 years of biological research experience. She started her career as a lecturer and scientist at Dnepropetrovsk National University, Ukraine, where she earned her PhD in biology in 2002. Throughout her career, she gained extensive experience with analytical techniques in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology.

NIH Bio Sketch I Email

 UCLA Undergraduate Students





Diego Gonzalez, Psychobiology B.S.

Diego is a second year undergraduate student from Huntington Beach majoring in psychobiology. After college, he intends on joining the Army reserves and attending medical school at the same time. He joined this lab to learn and apply his efforts to the meaningful research area that is heart failure.

Erika Higuchi, Psychobiology B.S.

Erika is a third year undergraduate student majoring in psychobiology. She is from a small town south of San Francisco. After college she would like to pursue a career as a nurse practioner. Outside of lab, Erika swims with the UCLA club swim team, teaches English lessons in Mexico, and goes to the beach frequently.


Erin Oh, Psychobiology B.S.

Erin is a fourth year undergraduate at UCLA majoring in Psychobiology. Erin joined the lab during highschool and continued throughout her years at college. Outside of the lab, she works at a veterinary office and plays the haegeum, a Korean instrument. After college, Erin aspires to become a consistently motivated doctor. She wishes to give back to her family as much as they supported and trusted her.

Gabrielle Fadly, Psychobiology B.S.

Gabrielle is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in psychobiology. She grew up in a sunny neighbourhood in Los Angeles called Northridge. After college, she would like to pursue a career as a physician. As a physician, she would like to take her knowledge and resources abroad to provide medical care to countries that are less fortunate. Outside of the lab, Gabrielle loves snowboarding, weight training, having a relaxing day at the beach, and hanging out with kids!

Irina Solacheva


Karishma Shah, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics B.S.

Karishma is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. She is interested in translational research that involves gene expression and the immune system. Outside of the lab, she enjoys exercising, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. In the future, Karishma hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

Karissa Patel, Psychobiology B.S.

Karissa is a former UCLA student with a B.S. in Psychobiology. She would like to pursue a career in medicine in hopes of becoming a medical doctor. Outside of lab, Karissa works as a medical scribe. In her free time, Karissa enjoys exercising, watching basketball/football, hanging with friends and baking! What she likes most about lab is the people in it and being part of meaningful work!

Kishan Shah, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology B.S.

Kishan is a first-year undergraduate student at UCLA and plans to study Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. He is interested in applying scientific research to the clinic setting, and his goal is to become a physician. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis and basketball, building model airplanes, and spending time with his family.

Myra Kurani, Biology B.S.

Myra is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in biology and minoring in global health. She is from Dallas, Texas, but loves living in California! After college she would like to pursue a career in healthcare. Outside of lab, Myra teaches underserved elementary school students in Los Angeles and is involved in healthcare consulting on campus.

Stella Savvidou, Anthropology B.S.

Stella is a senior pre Med student. She grew up in Cambridge, UK and then moved to Australia. She also speaks Greek as she is originally from Cyprus. She was on the UCLA Gymnastics team for 4 years and part the 2018 NCAA Championship winning team. After college, Stella wishes to enter medical school in pursuits of becoming a surgeon.

Sophie Kupiec-Weglinski, Biology and Society B.S.

Sophie graduated from Cornell University in May 2019 majoring in Biology and Society. She is from Los Angeles. Sophie plans to attend medical school next year and is working at the Deng Lab during her gap year. During her free time she enjoys composing music, biking by the beach and hanging out with friends.




Recent Alumni

Ryan Togashi, Biochemistry B.S.
Jacqueline Do, Neuroscience B.S.
Dan Tran, Physiological Science B.S.
Tra-Mi Bao, Human Biology and Society B.S.
Amy Le, Psychobiology B.S.
Josephine Hai, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology B.S.
Desai Chu, Chemical Engineering B.S.





Collaboration Network

Martin Cadeiras, M.D.
Elaine Reed, Ph.D.
Peipei Ping, Ph.D.
David Elashoff, Ph.D.
Strand, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)