About Us

Meet the Board


Luuli Tran

President (2021-2022)

Luuli is a Molecular Biology PhD student at the University of Colorado- Anschutz. She earned her B.S. in Neuroscience from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Luuli is in the lab of Dr. Santos Franco where she is interested in understanding the gene regulatory networks and molecular mechanisms that drive neural progenitors in the dorsal forebrain towards an oligodendrocyte fate. Luuli loves Colorado and living an active lifestyle. She goes hiking and mushroom hunting in the Rocky Mountains on most weekends, and she also loves to cook. Outside of lab, she enjoys mentoring high school and undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in STEM. Luuli identifies as Southeast Asian American and Vietnamese.


Amy Briggs

Vice President (2021-2022)

Amy is a PhD candidate in the Cell Biology, Stem Cells, and Development program. She is from sunny San Diego, CA and obtained her B.S. in Biotechnology from the California State University, San Marcos. She did an internship at Thermo Fisher Scientific before deciding to pursue her PhD. Her research in Dr. DeGregori’s lab is focused on establishing a relationship between autophagy and oncogenesis through the decline of tissue maintenance and increase in positive selection of potentially harmful clones in the changing microenvironment. In her free time you can find her hiking, going on walks, stargazing. Otherwise she is reading fantasy/sci-fi novels or visiting a new restaurant/brewery!


Arely Viridiana Diaz

Secretary (2021-2022)

Arely is a PhD candidate in the Molecular Biology Program. Arely completed her B.S in Microbiology at the University of Texas at El Paso. Currently, she is in the lab of Dr. Tânia Reis where she studies fat storage regulation by RNA-binding proteins using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. She is also interested in understanding the sexual dimorphism of these regulatory mechanisms. Outside of lab, Arely enjoys hanging out with her best friends, playing indoor and outdoor soccer, yoga, and trying out the best food spots in the Denver Metro. She is a native of the El Paso- Cd Juarez, US-MX border and identifies as Latina and Mexican-American.


Betzaida Maldonado

Treasurer (2021-2022)

Betzaida is a PhD student in the Human Medical Genetics & Genomics Program at the University of Colorado-Anschutz. Betzaida was born in Torreon, Mexico and lived there until she was 12 years old when her family immigrated to Greeley, CO. She obtained a B.S. and M.S. in Forensic Science and spent 5 years working as a Forensic DNA Analyst before deciding to pursue her PhD. Betzaida’s research interests are at the intersection of Population Genetics and Biostatistics. She is in the lab of Dr. Gignoux at the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine and is interested in precision medicine efforts that focus on underrepresented populations. Outside of research, Betzaida is passionate about teaching, mentoring, and supporting students interested in STEM careers. In her spare time, Betzaida loves being outdoors and exploring new campsites along the Colorado front-range. She also enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and trying out new coffee shops.


Meagan Chriswell

Native American Affairs Officer (2021-2022)

Meagan is a MD, PhD student in the Immunology Program. Meagan completed her B.S. in Biomedical Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Currently, she is in Dr. Kristi Kuhn’s lab studying the effects of specific microbial species on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Outside of lab, Meagan enjoys spending time with friends and family, rock climbing and mountaineering, and playing music. She is an enrolled tribal member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. 


Xander Bradeen

National Liaison (2021-2022)

Xander is a Professional Research Assistant in the Davila/ Haverkos Lab. His work is focused on identifying novel chemotherapeutic treatments for T-Cell lymphomas, and how they might augment their killing by cytotoxic T cells. He obtained a B.A. in both Neuroscience and Molecular Biology, from the University of Colorado – Boulder in 2020. His career goals are to obtain his MD/ PhD and enter the field of oncology. Besides science, Xander enjoys singing and is an alum of the CU Buffoons, the oldest a capella group on the Boulder campus. Xander identifies as Latino and Nicaraguan.


Katia Nino

Social Media Coordinator (2021-2022)

Katia is PhD student in the Molecular Biology Program. Katia completed her B.S. in Biology at California State University, Fullerton. She is currently in the lab of Dr. Eric Pietras where she studies the metabolic regulation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell fate. Outside of the lab, Katia enjoys venturing the latest pop-up art exhibits, spending time by the water, and trying out new cuisine. Katia identifies herself as a Mexican-American/Latina.


Brent Carrillo

Social Media Coordinator (2021-2022)

Brent is PhD student in the Pharmaceutical Science program and previously completed his B.S. in Chemical and Materials Engineering at New Mexico State University. Brent's research in Dr. Vanessa Phelan's lab is now focused on metabolite production of pathogenic microbes that occupy the cystic fibrosis lung. In his free time, Brent enjoys climbing, snowboarding, and playing games with friends.

Carlos Enrique Catalano, PharmD, PhD 

Chapter Advisor | Professor 

Carlos was born in Hollywood, California and grew up in Southern California. He eventually moved to San Francisco, where he graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Biochemistry. He then attended the University of California San Francisco, where he received his Pharm.D. in Clinical Pharmacy (1983) and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry (1987), studying under Dr. Paul Ortiz de Montellano. He next received an NIH post-doctoral fellowship and trained with Dr. Steve Benkovic at the Pennsylvania State University. Carlos started his independent research career as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1989; he moved to the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in 2006 ... and then returned to Colorado in 2016, where he is currently a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. His research program focuses on understanding how a virus "puts itself together" using biochemical, biophysical and structural approaches. Carlos has been a member of SACNAS since 1990 and is honored to be the SACNAS Anschutz Chapter Advisor. Biking, hiking and sailing are among the activities that keep him busy outside of the lab. 


Past Board Members

Taylor Mills, PhD Candidate
Native American Affairs Officer (2017-2019), Secretary (2019-2020)

Arely Diaz, PhD Candidate
Treasurer (2018-2019), President (2019-2020)

Raisa Bailon, PhD Candidate
National Liaison (2018-2020)

Elizabeth Aguilera, PhD 
​Post doctoral fellow
President (2021), Vice-President (2018-2019), Treasurer (2019-2020)

Kyetiil Vicenti, M.S. Student
Native American Affairs Officer (2019-2020)

Emmanuel Rosas, PhD 
Post doctoral fellow at The University of New Mexico
President (2018-2019)

Isabell Zoila, PhD, MS3
President (2017-2018), Secretary (2018-2019)

CMS Login