Cassandra Reyes

Cassandra is a motivated and curious senior undergraduate in the Bioengineering department
at UC Berkeley with a specific focus on cell and tissue engineering. She has previously worked
in immunology and polymer labs where she formulated and evaluated antibody-conjugated lipid
nanoparticles as well as contributed to the standardization of nanoindentation as a modality for
retrieval analysis of total knee replacement polymer components respectively. Through her
coursework and research experiences, she has developed a strong interest in the field of
synthetic biology which she hopes to utilize to solve problems caused by the climate crisis.
Currently, she is working with Gwyneth Hutchinson and NASA CUBES to engineer Spirulina for
pharmaceutical and flavor production with applications for supporting human exploration of
space. In her free time, you can catch her at the roller rink, or on a hike in the Berkeley hills.

Female student on a white background, wearing a light green shirt and hair up in a bun

Katya Panchenko

Katya is a 4th year undergrad studying Molecular and Cell Biology and Computer Science. She is passionate about the ways in which we can harness biology for sustainability and medical solutions, and is really inspired by the innovative applications of bioengineering at CUBES. She is working within the FPSD division at the Arkin Lab, engineering E.Coli to produce biopolymers suitable for additive manufacturing for human space exploration.

Eliana Matos

Eliana Matos is a highly motivated student pursuing her studies in Bioengineering, with a specific focus on cell and tissue engineering. She has experience working and volunteering with a myriad of organizations, which range from nonprofit hospitals to YMCA Camp Campbell. Here, she effectively applies her optimistic outlook and critical thinking skills. Throughout her undergraduate career, Eliana has explored a broad range of classes and clubs, delving into fields such as neurotechnology, health care advocacy, as well as advanced mathematics and sciences related to engineering. While she expresses an interest in the path towards medical school, she remains fascinated by the multitude of opportunities that bioengineering could potentially offer her. For instance, during her first year of college, she co-authored a research paper on the potential for bioengineering in space exploration, an experience that utterly astounded her. The prospect of integrating her major with space exploration filled her with an exhilarating sense of anticipation. Eliana also enjoys going to the beach and hiking in her free time.

young man wearing a dark beanie, white t-shirt and mustard colored sweater. standing in a garage space with a rocket taller than him

Asa Garner

Asa Garner studied Mechanical Engineering at Cal. He was a member of the CUBES project and is working under Aaron Berliner to study offworld nuclear engineering & develop methods to additively manufacture fissile material. He was also a lead for the Cal liquid rocket propulsion group ‘Space Enterprise at Berkeley’

Skyler Chan

Skyler Chan undergraduate in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. He wanted to become an astronaut since he was 3. In high school, he learned how to fly gliders, and was involved in various student-led space organizations. One of his goals is to make humanity an interplanetary species within our lifetime, and he joined CUBES to advance this mission. Currently, he builds in the Systems Design and Integration Division of CUBES. He is interested in exploring sustainable design on Mars, such as, how to build the first self-sufficient Martian cities. To Skyler, the idea that the choices we make designing the first Martian habitats today will have an impact on the future of humanity never gets old. In his free time, he can be found flying drones, PR-ing at the gym, and filming videos with friends.

Snigdha Jagarlapudi

Snigdha is a freshman at UC Berkeley studying Genetics and Plant Biology. She is working with Dr.Sander on the CUBES project because of their work with the growth coupling of polyhydroxyalkanoate production in species of Cupriavidus for applications in space exploration. She is interested in studying the genetic engineering of metabolic pathways in bacteria and algae, especially in the broader context of sustainability.
Gwyneth Hutchinson, researcher, female, wearing glasses with long fair hair

Gwyneth Hutchinson

Gwyneth graduated from UC Berkeley in 2020 where she did nearly 3 years of research and a fellowship in reproductive neuroendocrinology, chronobiology, and cellular biology. She then transitioned to the UCSF-Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease where she pursued novel research into the contributions of cellular energy metabolism and bioenergetic failure to neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. Following this, she worked as a Senior Research Associate at Conception Biosciences where she focused on the development of biotechnologies to turn stem cells into viable eggs for individuals and couples to overcome physiological, age-based, and sexuality-based barriers to reproductive success. With NASA CUBES and the Arkin Lab, Gwyneth is developing innovative approaches to build on the Arkin Lab’s recent successes engineering Spirulina for nutrient, pharmaceutical, and flavor production with applications for supporting human exploration of space. She is devising innovative ways to further improve the efficiency of engineering this previously recalcitrant organism and determining the best routes for metabolic engineering of these critical products. She is also interested in pursuing questions surrounding human physiology and reproduction in space with the goal of improving health outcomes for astronauts and space travelers both during missions and upon return to Earth. When she’s not in the lab, Gwyneth loves to spend time with her puppies—Willow and Pandora—and enjoys playing guitar and reading novels. She also fancies herself an amateur shark diver and is on the Board of Directors for a literacy nonprofit.

Joyleen Abou Hamad

Joyleen an undergraduate in Aerospace Engineering Department (part of the inaugurating class) at UC Berkeley. She worked with Dr. Aaron Berliner a postdoc in the Arkin Lab on the development of Space Bioprocess Engineering metrics involving sustainability and supportability.

Rahil Shaik

Rahil Shaik, chemical engineering undergraduate at UC Berkeley with an interest in studying manufacturing automation, battery materials, and semiconductor design. He worked with Dr. Kyle Sander to develop process models and 3D design modeling.

Sophia Bertoldo

Sophia is a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Molecular & Cellular Biology and Economics. She was initially drawn to CUBES because of their work with In-situ Resource Utilization and is interested in studying different forms of life in strenuous environments. In her free time she enjoys surfing, playing soccer and reading novels.