Dynamic Nucleic Acid Systems lab

Elisa Franco, Associate professor

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Bioengineering (2018-present)

Molecular Biology Institute at UCLA

2011-2018 UC Riverside, Assistant Professor

2012 Ph.D. Caltech; 2008 Ph.D. University of Trieste; 2002 Laurea Degree: Power systems engineering, University of Trieste.

Email: efranco at seas dot ucla dot edu

Office: 48-121 Engineering IV


We are always looking for motivated UCLA undergraduate and graduate students with background in engineering, biology, biochemistry and chemistry.

Current lab members

Postdoctoral scholars / research scientists

Dr. Christian Cuba Samaniego, Ph.D. UC Riverside
Personal website

Dr. Siddharth Agarwal, Ph.D. UCLA

Dr. Dino Osmanovic, Ph.D. University College London

Dr. Annie Tang, Ph.D.
Arizona State University

Dr. Melissa Klocke, Ph.D. UC Riverside

Graduate students

Shiyi Li, Ph.D. Student, Bioengineering, UCLA

Eiji Nakamura, Ph.D. Student, MAE, UCLA

Heather Mercieca Romero, Bioengineering, UCLA

Tonie Butler, Ph.D. Student, MAE, UCLA

Mahdi Dizani, Ph.D. Student, MAE, UCLA

Undergraduate students

Passa Pungchai, Bioengineering

Judith Landau, CSULA Mathematics

Alumni, with position after leaving our lab

Leopold N. Green,
Assistant Professor at Purdue
Personal website

Vahid Mardanlou, Ph.D. UCR ECE

Jaimie M. Stewart, Ph.D. UCR, BIEN
Postdoctoral Scholar at Caltech, Assistant Professor in Bioengineering, UCLA - 2023
Personal website

Hari K. K. Subramanian, Project Scientist, ME
Omniome, Inc.

Xun Tang,
Postdoctoral Scholar, ME, UCR
Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University
Personal website

Raffaele Baggi, Ph.D. Student, ME, UCR Lockheed Martin

Vivienne Gunadhi, Bioengineering, UCLA

Dr. Jenny Vi Le, Ph.D.
Ohio State University
  • Sydelle Davis, undergraduate student, Howard University, Chemical Engineering
  • Saron Yoseph, undergraduate student, Howard University, Chemical Engineering
  • Aria Harris, undergraduate student, Howard University, Chemical Engineering
  • Katelyn Carleton, undergraduate student, UCLA MAE
  • Sonia Gomez, undergraduate student, UCR BIEN
  • Krishen Wadhwani, undergraduate and MS student, UCR BIEN
  • Kimia Yaghoubi, undergraduate student, UCR Neuroscience -> MS student, UCR Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Jonathan N. Lloyd, undergraduate and MS student, UCR BIEN -> CelGene, San Diego.
  • Claire H. Tran, undergraduate student, UCR BIEN -> Biomolecular Science Ph.D. program at UCSB.
  • John Reed, undergraduate and M.S. student, UCR ME -> Epic Systems Corporation.
  • Andrew Reimer, M.S. student, UCR BIEN -> Roche Molecular systems.
  • Stewart Contreras, M.S. student, UCR ME -> Systems engineer at Northrop Grumman.
  • Rex Lu, undergraduate student, UCR ME -> MAE M.S. program at UCLA.
  • Manuel Bedrossian, undergraduate student, UCR ME -> Research engineer at Caltech.
  • Danyia Ashhad, undergraduate and M.S. student, UCR BIEN.
  • Sho Kitada, undergraduate student, UCR Biochemistry.
  • Christopher Galley, undergraduate student, UCR Biology.

Former visitors

  • Daniela Sorrentino, Ph.D. Student, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
  • Chiara Favaretto, Ph.D. Student, University of Padua, Italy
  • Andrea Carron , M.S. student, University of Padua.
  • Maximilian Weitz, Ph.D. student, Technical University Munich. Joined Beltos GmbH.

"Honorary" lab members