Xuecai Ge, PhD
Associate Professor 

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
School of Natural Sciences
Email: xge2@ucmerced.edu

Xuecai studied Drosophila neurobiology at Tsinghua University (Beijing) before migrating to the US to complete her doctorate at Harvard University. With supervision under Dr. Li-Huei Tsai, Dr. Ge’s thesis entailed embryonic neurogenesis in the neocortex. This work revealed how microcephaly- and schizophrenia- related proteins dictate the production of neurons in the developing brain. Her interest in developmental brain diseases was further piqued during her postdoctoral training with Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne at Genentech and Dr. Matthew Scott at Stanford University. She discovered a new regulator of the Hedgehog pathway in cerebellar development, which may make the traditional treatment for pediatric brain tumor obsolete.

Xuecai joined UC Merced in January 2017. She is interested in exploring how primary cilia integrate cell signaling in the developing brain and how the signaling errors are translated into developmental disorders. In her spare time, she enjoys handcrafting with her daughter.

Xiaoliang Liu, PhD
postdoctoral fellow
Email: xliu49@ucmerced.edu
Xiaoliang received his PhD in neural development in Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is interested in deciphering signaling pathways that regulate radial glia biology in the developing brain.

Emily Skates, PhD
postdoctoral fellow
Email: eskates@ucmerced.edu
Emily received her PhD from the Life Sciences Department at University Warwick, UK. She is interested in applying live cell imaging to elucidate the dynamics of primary cilia and cellular metabolism.

Jingyi Zhang
graduate student
Email: jzhang244@ucmerced.edu

Jingyi is interested in exploring the fundamental mechanism of the Hedgehog signal transduction in the developing brain and in pediatric brain tumor.

Eva Cai
graduate student
Email: ecai@ucmerced.edu

Eva is interested in deciphering how protein kinase A  controls the transduction of Hedgehog signaling in the primary cilium and at the centrosome.

Oscar Torres Gutierrez
graduate student
Email: otorresgutierrez@ucmerced.edu

Oscar is fascinated by the primary cilia in neural progenitors in the developing cortex and how defects in cilium function lead to neurological diseases.

Gurleen Kaur
graduate student
Email: gkaur50@ucmerced.edu

Gurleen is interested in exploring how new ciliary proteins regulate cell signaling in the developing brain and its related developmental disorders.

Yazan Al-Issa
graduate student
Email: yal-issa@ucmerced.edu

Yaz is interested in deciphering the multiplex roles of new ciliary proteins in cell signaling and metabolic control.

Maximiliano Gonzalez Barba
Undergraduate student
Email: mgonzalezbarba@ucmerced.edu

Erin Luna
Undergraduate student
Email: eluna33@ucmerced.edu

Rose Rudresh
Undergraduate student
Email: rrudresh@ucmerced.edu

Shaun Li
Undergraduate student
Email: sli167@ucmerced.edu


Flavio De La Torre
Undergraduate student (2021-2022)
Email: fdelatorre@ucmerced.edu

Alexandria Wallen
Undergraduate student (2021-2022)
Email: awallen2@ucmerced.edu
Current position: America University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Hualing Peng
visiting graduate student (2018-2020)
Email: hpeng5@ucmerced.edu

Michelle Perez-Arreola
undergraduate student (2018-2019)
Email: mperez-arreola@ucmerced.edu

Jesse Francisco-Ambrosio
Undergraduate student (2019-2020)
Email: jfrancisco-ambrosi@ucmerced.edu

Amanda Ya
Undergraduate student (2017-2019)
Email: aya2@ucmerced.edu
Current position: Graduate student, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Aaron Lin
Undergraduate student (2018-2019)
Email: alin65@ucmerced.edu
Current position: Undergraduate student, UCLA

Whitney Williams
Undergraduate student (2018-2019)

Dora Mendez
Undergraduate student (2018-2019)


Alexander Del Bosque
Undergraduate student (2017-2018)

Winston Ma
Undergraduate student (2017-2018)


Paul Chavez
Undergraduate student (2017-2018)