Meet your Academic Researchers United / UAW 5810 bargaining team! The bargaining team takes on the responsibility (and challenge) of negotiating with UC administration, with the feedback, input, and help of all ARs. Please learn more about the team below:
Andrea Anzalone, Project Scientist, UC Irvine
I work in the Anderson laboratory in the field of regenerative medicine and stem cells. Prior to becoming a Project Scientist, I started at UCI as a Junior Specialist and then became a Postdoc. I saw how working conditions for Postdocs improved dramatically after they formed a union, which lead me to join the bargaining team so that ARs can also make improvements. I am originally from Italy, and prior to coming to the US I was involved in the formation of student unions there. I strongly believe that improving working conditions for ARs is important, and that the only way to do it is through a union.
Gerard Ariño Estrada, Assistant Project Scientist, UC Davis
I am a physicist and my research is on developing medical imaging systems to improve the accuracy in the diagnosis of major diseases. I have been working as a researcher in Spain and Germany before starting my appointment in California. As an international scholar, I deeply value the experience and diversity that we, the Academic Researchers, provide to the university. I am excited to be a member of the bargaining team because I strongly believe that forming a union and negotiating a union contract will allow us to protect these values and will improve the quality of life of many ARs, as well as to keep promoting the excellence of the UC system.
Angelo Demuro, Researcher, UC Irvine
I am an Associate Researcher in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. The focus of my research is to further the understanding of the physiological regulation of calcium signaling and its disruption in pathological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. I have been working at UCI for the past 23 years and experienced firsthand how difficult and uncertain that a career in science is as an Academic Researcher. I joined the bargaining team because I believe that many improvements can be made and that a union could effectively provide a clearer and more regulated path for a more successful and productive scientific career.
Silvia Diaz-Perez, Associate Project Scientist, UCLA
I am thrilled to be part of the bargaining team for a number of reasons. Firstly, I bring nine years of previous work experience as a Postdoc and fourteen as an Academic Researcher. I was part of the successful effort to form the Postdoc Union and saw firsthand how much Postdocs benefited from unionizing. Secondly, I have witnessed first hand many examples of mistreatment in the workplace that I want to ensure no other ARs have to experience. Lastly, as an immigrant woman in a male dominated discipline, I bring an important perspective to the bargaining team.
Patrick Drake, Specialist, UC Santa Cruz
I am a physical oceanographer studying the circulation of the California Current System using numerical models. I have been with the university for 17 years and have found that a career as a researcher has become more difficult during that time. I believe a strong union will afford Academic Researchers the power to negotiate a contract that greatly improves our working conditions and properly reflects our value to the University of California.
Jocelyne Fadiga, Junior Specialist, UC San Francisco – Parnassus Campus
I work as a lab manager in the Nystul lab (Anatomy Department and Center for Reproductive Sciences at UCSF) characterizing follicle stem cell lineage in Drosophila Melanogaster. I am originally from the sunny Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, west Africa, and I have now been living in the United States for the past ten (10) years. My reason for joining the bargaining team is somewhat simple: collective bargaining for better Academic Researcher working conditions is worth my time and energy. As is commonly believed where I am from, “to go fast, go alone; to go far, go together”. I am happy to answer questions, listen to my fellow researchers, and to share more about my own involvement. Feel free to stop me if you ever see me around!
Mateusz Gola, Associate Researcher, UC San Diego
I am an Assistant Research Scientist at UCSD and Associate Professor of Psychology at Polish Academy of Science. As a clinical psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist I am interested in studies on addiction (especially behavioral, such as problematic porongraphy use or gaming) and development of new methods of addiction treatment using non-invasive brain stimulation. Since 2012 I have been a PI of several research projects funded by European and US agencies. I’ve experienced first hand how tremendously unstable AR positions can be, and hope that through collective bargaining we can improve our situation.
Royce Harner, Assistant Specialist, UC San Francisco – Parnassus Campus
I work as a lab manager in the Rinaudo Lab where we study epigenetics and IVF technology. I was born and raised in Northern California and currently reside in San Francisco. After some difficult work experiences, I realized that the precarity of my employment had pushed me toward collective organization. I have joined the bargaining team to ensure more and fair working conditions for all Academic Researchers. There is no reason that we should be struggling when we provide the backbone for research at UC.
Leah Hartman, Junior Specialist, UC Davis
When I started as a Junior Specialist, I didn’t expect to get involved in union organizing. While I’m excited to have a job in a Plant Sciences research lab, I also believe that we deserve better. Every AR should have their most important needs met to ensure our wellbeing and improve research at UC. It’s clear that there are significant improvements to be made, and I think we can make them together.
Christian Hofmann, Assistant Project Scientist, UCLA
I am originally from Nuremberg, Germany and currently l am working in the Department of Medicine/Infectious Diseases at UCLA. Our work is focused on gene therapy and how we can strengthen the immune system against HIV. As a Postdoc, I was an active member of our union, and I saw what we were able to accomplish together and how important a union can be. Together we are stronger, and as a group, Academic Researchers can reach our goals. I look forward to helping to improve our working conditions as a member of the bargaining team.
Benjamin Lynch, Associate Researcher, UC Berkeley
I am an Associate Research Physicist at the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley. I work on numerical MHD simulations of solar flares and coronal mass ejections and how the Sun’s “space weather” affects the solar system and near-Earth space environment. I am a long-time civil rights and immigrant rights activist and have been involved in the student and community protest movements to defend public education, to increase underrepresented minority enrollment in the UC system, and for immigrant rights including sanctuary policies, the DREAM Act, and in support of refugees and asylum seekers. Science and its independence as the method for getting at objective truth and understanding the world we live in is critical in this time of increasing polarization and political uncertainty. Defending the rights of Academic Researchers and the integrity of our scientific research will require the bold and collective mass action of our researchers’ union.
Siyan Ma, Associate Specialist, UC Berkeley
I started as an Associate Specialist at UC Berkeley in 2004 after I got my Ph.D. in 2003. My research is focused on ecosystem science for better understanding interactions between vegetation and climate variability and assessing the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. I am proud of being in my position for almost 15 years. This position allows me to do science that I love. Meanwhile, the experience also makes me realize that fair working conditions are essential for researchers. By joining the bargaining team, I hope to have a chance to help to build a work environment that is fair to all academic workers.
Manash Paul, Assistant Researcher, UCLA
I joined the UCLA research community in 2010 as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar, transitioned to the role of Project Scientist in 2016 and became an Assistant Researcher in 2018 in the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine. My research focuses on various signaling process involved in maintaining lung stem cell homeostasis during injury and repair, regenerative medicine and lung cancer. Currently, I am working on deciphering the mechanisms of premalignant metastatic disease in non-small cell lung cancer. For my postdoctoral research work, I received the prestigious UCLA Vice Chancellor’s Award (Honorable Mention) in 2015 and was nominated for Paul Boyer’s award. I have been working to organize ARU / UAW 5810 since 2017 because I strongly believe that improving working conditions for ARs will increase the excellence of the UC system and the scientific culture of the nation.
Christina Priest, Assistant Project Scientist, UCLA
I joined the UCLA research community in 2013 as a Postdoctoral Scholar and transitioned to the role of Project Scientist in the Department of Pathology in the David Geffen School of Medicine 2016. My research focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of metabolism using in vitro and in vivo models. I have been working to organize ARU / UAW 5810 since 2017, and I continue to be dedicated to making changes that improve the lives of Academic Researchers in the UC system. As a researcher, I know that the work we do, whatever the discipline, is important both for the mission of the university and for the betterment of humanity. I firmly believe that by exercising our collective power, we will create an environment where we can do the best possible work.
David Quint, Associate Project Scientist, UC Merced
I work in the Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines (CCBM) at UC Merced. I obtained my undergraduate degree in physics from UCSC and my PhD in physics from Syracuse University. I have worked on modeling a wide range of systems in biology and bio-inspired problems from the actin cytoskeleton, plant root tissue growth to animal swarming and flocking. I have been working at UC Merced since 2011, first as a Postdoc and now as an Academic Researcher. I chose to be part of the bargaining team because I believe that ARs need to be recognized as an integral part of the UC system. The future of research at UC depends on the support that ARs provide and thus we need to have a secure future.
Maike Roth, Assistant Specialist, UC San Francisco – Mission Bay Campus
I am the lab manager in the Altschuler and Wu lab (Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF) working on ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. I am originally from Zurich, Switzerland and have spent the last 4 years in San Francisco. I joined the bargaining team because I think that no one with our education should have to live from paycheck to paycheck doing the work that we do. We are an integral part of the university and therefore should be part of a community and union in which we have the power to protect and advocates for our rights.
Pascal Saint-Hilaire, Assistant Researcher, UC Berkeley
I came to UCB’s Space Sciences Laboratory as a Postdoc from Switzerland in 2005, and have been at SSL ever since. With over 90 Academic Researchers, SSL is involved in a large fraction of NASA scientific spacecrafts. I’m a solar astrophysicist, doing observations and data analysis, as well as spaceborne instrument development, particularly at X-rays and radio wavelengths. I’m PI of the Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter for Solar flares (GRIPS), a NASA high altitude balloon payload that first flew from Antarctica in January 2016. I joined the bargaining team because ameliorations must be made in various areas to improve AR quality of life, our creativity, and our productivity.
Lisa Schwarz, Assistant Researcher, UC Santa Cruz
As a statistician, I develop models to determine how small changes in physiology and behavior of marine mammals can ultimately create population-level declines. Such models are particularly important as increased man-made ocean noise has the potential to disrupt important behaviors, such as foraging, for a large proportion of marine mammal populations. I started at UCSC as a Postdoc just as the Postdoc Union was being formed. I was able to see firsthand the fair practices and protections the union brought to my job. I joined the bargaining team because I believe that together, Academic Researchers can fight to ensure that we have fair working conditions as well.
Theo Tarver, Assistant Specialist, UC San Francisco – Parnassus Campus
I work as a lab manager in the Smith Lab (Hematology/Oncology Division of the Department of Medicine at UCSF), and we study mechanisms of response and resistance to targeted therapy for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. I joined the bargaining team because I believe that as researchers who drive our engine of knowledge and discovery, we should not have to sacrifice our standard of living nor our desire for a safe and secure workplace to pursue careers in science. I hope that we can bring equity to our relationship to the UC system, and improvements will help keep talent here to contribute to our mission.
Fenfen Wu, Associate Project Scientist, UCLA
My name is Fenfen Wu and I am currently an Associate Project Scientist at UCLA. I am a biomedical scientist specializing in ion channel disorders in skeletal muscle, nervous system, and heart. When I have free time, I like to read, learn new skills (i.e. Python programming, Japanese, financial planning), and go jogging. I joined the Academic Researchers United / UAW 5810 bargaining team because I would like to address the workplace concerns of Academic Researchers across UC and I believe that a union is our best opportunity to achieve that goal. I am also excited to see our union facilitate the exchange of ideas between researchers with different ethnicities, nationalities, genders, and experiences.