Dr. Zachery Lewis

Zac is a postdoctoral fellow at UC Davis, and is the leader of the BABE project. He works in the lab of Prof. David Mills. Zac specializes in microbial ecology and studies the microbial communities in the gut of breast-fed infants and in the built environment. Zac was first interested in ecology while witnessing the biodiversity of the jungles of Costa Rica (where he lived for two years), and consequently minored in Spanish as an undergraduate. On a personal level, Zac is a sports enthusiast, politics watcher, and economics hobbyist.

Dr. David Mills

David Mills is a Professor in the Departments of Food Science & Technology at the University of California at Davis, and a faculty advisor of the BABE project. Dr. Mills studies the molecular biology and ecology of bacteria that play an active role in gut health or fermented foods and beverages. In the last 20 years Dr. Mills has mentored over 30 graduate students and postdocs and published more than 100 papers, including seminal work on lactic acid bacterial and bifidobacterial genomics. At UC Davis, Dr. Mills co-founded the Milk Bioactives Program—a successful multidisciplinary effort to define, investigate and translate the beneficial aspects of human milk and its role in human health. In 2012 he was named the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science and in 2015 he was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Mills also serves on the Science/Research Advisory Boards of several food and health-focused companies and his research has helped launch two start up companies.

Claudia Tang

Claudia is currently in her first year at UCD and became a part of the BABE Squad after taking the accelerated BIS2A course offered here. She is interested in one day becoming a geneticist and works on the DNA analysis team and marketing team at BABE. She spends her free time fighting in the UC Davis Boxing Club and was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of her favorite things are Snapple Peach Tea, mangoes, sloths, and Quokkas.

Samir Akre

Samir is a first year at UC Davis majoring in Biomedical Engineering but plans to attend medical school and bring an engineers perspective to the medical field. Outside of the project he is also part of the Bhangra team for UC Davis (Bhangre Di Jaan), is a Coordinator for the UCD Pre-Health Student Alliance, and a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. Samir was born in Leipzig, Germany but has lived in Ireland, Canada, and India. He enjoys coding on his free time with a light roast black coffee.

Danelyn Bagasol

Danelyn Bagasol is a senior majoring in Biological Sciences with a Medical Microbiology emphasis. She is interested in anti-viral drug therapy and plans to work in the pharmaceutical industry. Danelyn loves dancing, traveling, and meeting new people. :)

Valerie Fates

Valerie is an Animal Science major pursuing veterinary school. She is interested in veterinary research and how veterinarians can serve as a link between human and animal medicine. Outside of her studies, Valerie is a violinist in the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and enjoys cuddling with her Siamese cat named Legolas.

Johana Meza

Johana Meza is a second year Global Disease Biology Major and Religious Studies double major. They are interested in universal healthcare and human rights and plan on pursuing a career in healthcare research. Outside of class they enjoy spending time with their dogs and gardening.

Melanie Shojinaga

Melanie is a first year student studying to earn a major in Neurology, Physiology, and Behavior. Due to her own allergy, she is passionate about learning more about immunology. In her spare time she a point guard on the women's club basketball team.

Alexis Faria

Alexis is a second year student studying Biological Sciences and Managerial Economics. She hopes to combine her two interests through a career in public health or working for a biotechnology company. Alexis is passionate about traveling and giving back to the community and is going to Nicaragua this summer to volunteer at a medical clinic. Alexis enjoys reading, being outdoors, and spending time with her friends and family.

Jothika T. Tamizharasu

Jothika is a second-year Aggie studying Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior (NPB) and aspires to one day become a medical doctor. She is a student in the University Honors Program and is the Publicity officer of the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) club on campus. Jothika loves to travel and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

Radhika Iyer

Radhika is a freshman majoring in Biological Sciences. She is interested in pursuing immunological or virological research. She loves to travel and, in her spare time, enjoys sketching and listening to music.

Priyanka Bapat

Priya is a first-year Genetics major planning to pursue medical school. She is particularly interested in the effect of the infant gut microbiome on allergy development. Outside of class, Priya enjoys reading, singing, and learning about languages.

Leela Dixit

Leela is a first year biological science major pursuing graduate school and research. She is particularly interested in how/why the microbiota of babies from different parts of the world vary, inspired partly from her travels to countries such as India, Costa Rica, and Panama. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, playing cello, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.

Pavitra Ravishankar

Pavitra is a first year Microbiology major pursuing a career in infectious disease. She is currently torn between pursuing medical school or microbiological research. She is particularly interested pathology and the various techniques microbes have developed to combat our innate immune system. In her free time, Pavitra enjoys reading, listening to music and learning how to do nail art.