People

Associate Professor, Immunobiology

Kristian Doyle earned his PhD from Oregon Health & Science University in 2007, developing novel therapeutics for stroke in the laboratory of Mary Stenzel-Poore. He then trained as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University under the mentorship of Marion Buckwalter, researching the role of TGFbeta signaling after stroke and developing a model of post-stroke dementia. Kristian Doyle started as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in 2013.


Assistant Professor, Neurology

Vivian Nguyen earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, in which she investigated neuroprotective mechanisms of sex steroid hormones against Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She then trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Buck Institute for Age Research and as a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University, investigating signaling pathways of neurodegeneration. Vivian Nguyen moved to the University of Arizona in 2013. In her spare time, she loves to read and explore nature and historical sites in Arizona with her husband and little girl.


Research Technician

Jen Frye received her Bachelor’s Degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from The University of Arizona. In the Doyle lab, Jen employs her extensive research background to investigate the inflammatory response to stroke in humans as well as different rodent models. In her spare time, Jen enjoys football, wakeboarding, and spending time with her family.


Research Specialist, Senior

Marco A. Tavera Garcia got his bachelor's degree in Biology in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He has extensive experience in conducting in vivo studies. Marco enjoys outdoor activities, basketball, football, and having time with his family.


Postdoctoral Research Associate II

Sanna received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of Kuopio in Finland, she then went on to complete a Master of Science degree in Pharmacy at the University of Eastern Finland. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Eastern Finland researching the regulation of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. She joined the lab in October 2019 and is investigating whether enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis can improve recovery after stroke, and if the presentation of lipid antigens plays a role in driving the chronic inflammatory response to stroke. In her downtime she loves exploring the great outdoors, cooking, and is an incurable dog lover. She also became an official Crazy cat lady of Doyle lab when she ended up adopting four cats who were in need of a forever home.


Graduate Student

Danielle Becktel received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Butler University in 2016. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Molecular Medicine – Immunobiology, with a minor in Cancer Biology, at the University of Arizona. In 2018, she joined the Doyle Lab to investigate the mechanism by which lipid debris in ischemic stroke infarcts contributes to chronic inflammation and secondary neurodegeneration. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys hiking, camping, and going to the park with her dog, Myla.


MD/PhD Student

Britt (she/her) graduated from Portland State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and completed an honors research thesis in extreme virology under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Stedman in the Center for Life in Extreme Environments. After graduation, she worked as the lab manager of Dr. David Ellison’s nephrology and hypertension laboratory at Oregon Health and Science University, studying mechanisms of kidney damage caused by organ transplant drugs that modulate the immune system. She entered the MD/PhD program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson in 2019 and joined the Doyle Lab in 2021 as a graduate student in Neuroscience. In the lab, Britt is researching the immune response to recurrent strokes that are characteristic of sickle cell disease. For fun, she likes hanging out with her strange cats (Hex, Wernicke, Broca, and Korsakoff), cycling, building blanket forts, and playing nerdy video/board games. Oh, and she screams in capital letters on Twitter a lot.


Research Technician

Rachel graduated from The University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences. She is pursuing a Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing while assisting with research in the Doyle Lab. Her interests are nutrition, mental health, addiction, neurological trauma, dementia, women’s health, sleep, and the microbiome. In her free time, Rachel enjoys gardening, cooking, running, and hiking with her husband and German Shepherd.


Research Technician

Erin got her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University. She is pursuing her Master’s degree in Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Arizona. She is working under the mentorship of Vivian Nguyen, researching the impact of stroke on Alzheimer’s Disease pathology. In her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, video games, and reading.


Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kristos is going into his third year at the University of Arizona, majoring in Neuroscience and pursuing a minor in biochemistry . He joined the Doyle lab in 2021 and absolutely loves medical research. With grit and determination, he plans on attending medical school once he graduates. For fun, he happily enjoys free weights, swimming, running with his dog Odi and drinking early morning cups of tea.


Undergraduate Research Assistant

Elizabeth is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiology and Medical Sciences with two minors in Biochemistry and Spanish at the University of Arizona and is also part of the Honors College. She joined the Doyle Lab in 2021 as a student in the UBRP program and is researching ischemic stroke therapies and neuroprotectants. Elizabeth enjoys playing video games and cooking in her free time.


Undergraduate Research Assistant

Boaz is an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona studying physiology. He joined the Doyle lab in the summer of 2021 through the SIMI research program. He is currently researching the effects of stroke on Alzheimer's disease. His hobbies include going out on an evening run and working out with his neighbor in his patio gym.


Alumni

Amanda Chung

Master's Student

Megan Irish Hayes

Research/Laboratory Assistant

Omar Hussein

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Maj Krumberger

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Justine Mona

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kristina Stepanovic

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alex Urzua

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kylie Elizabeth Calderon
Research Technician

Kylie started in the lab in May 2018 and worked to uncover the causes of post-stroke dementia. Kylie graduated with a degree in Neuroscience and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona in 2021. Kylie was then accepted as a medical student at Duke University School of Medicine where she will no doubt continue to do amazing things as a soon-to-be-physician in the class of 2025. 

 
Frankie Garcia
Volunteer

In the Summer of 2019, Frankie joined the Doyle lab as an Undergraduate Research Assistant to help with projects that focus on post-stroke mixed dementia and Alzheimer’s pathology. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience and Mathematics at the University of Arizona in 2021. When he has the chance, Frankie enjoys playing his instrument with the band, volunteering with his Fraternity, and playing tennis with his friends. In 2021, Frankie was accepted into Columbia University and began pursuing a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience.

Anna Jaison
Program Aide
Jacob Zbesko
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Jacob Zbesko went to the University of Redlands where he graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. In 2015, he joined the UA ABBS program. In the Doyle lab, Jacob investigated the mechanism by which the glial scar forms after stroke and its effectiveness at segregating the area of damage from the surrounding tissue, as well as determining the role B cells play in the development of post-stroke cognitive decline. When not in the lab, Jacob enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and soccer. After graduation in 2020, Jacob accepted a position as a postdoctoral researcher at University of California San Diego.