department of human genetics
evolutionary genetics & cell biology
Co-advised by James Gagnon
Mai grew up in northern California. She completed her BS at UCLA and later join the Biological Sciences PhD program at UCSD.
Mai did her graduate work under the mentorship of Dr. Kimberly Cooper. Mai's graduate work aims to understand how developmental programs are modified to generate limb diversity. Her research employs a unique species, the jerboa, which has naturally occurring muscle loss after birth leading to a complete lack of foot muscles in the adult. Mai's research centered on understanding normal muscle function and the cellular mechanisms of muscle loss and how these processes reshape the limb from an ancestral state, like that of the mouse, to the derived limb of the jerboa.
Mai is co-advised by Nels and Jamie Gagnon. Mai is building on her EvoDevo training to investigate questions in host pathogen interactions in zebrafish using a combination of lineage labeling and single cell sequencing technologies.
In her free time, Mai enjoys watching Netflix and listening to audiobooks. Mai also loves collecting all things origami and can make a few herself.