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Sanaz Memarzadeh, M.D., Ph.D.


Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA & Director, G.O. Discovery Lab

Sanaz Memarzadeh is a gynecologic oncologist and molecular biologist. She gained an undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh. After medical school, also at the University of Pittsburgh, she moved to UCLA for her OB-GYN residency. She became passionate about caring for women with gynecologic cancers and realized that there was a vital need for basic science research in this field to help improve current therapies. She pursued a clinical fellowship in gynecologic oncology and at the same time began her training as a basic scientist. Within eight years, she earned a PhD and completed her fellowship training. She is passionate about being a woman clinician-scientist who works both at the bedside and the bench. She hopes to improve how women with gynecologic cancers are treated. She cares for patients with gynecologic cancers at UCLA and at the West Los Angeles VA hospital.


Christopher Ochoa, B.S.

Graduate Student

Christopher Ochoa is a graduate student in UCLA’s Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Doctoral Program (MBIDP) in the Cell & Developmental Biology home area. He graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. During his time at UC Davis, he worked in Dr. Joanna Chiu’s lab where he studied the circadian clock in Drosophila melanogaster and its role in maintaining organismal physiology. Inspired by the passion, dedication, and research focus of the lab, Christopher joined the Memarzadeh Lab with the hopes of contributing to the research that can impact the lives of women with cancer.

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Gabriella DiBernardo, B.S.

Laboratory Manager, Staff Research Associate III

Gabriella earned her degree in Biological Sciences at Union College in New York. After graduating, she began her research career at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Plastic Surgery where she investigated long gap peripheral nerve regeneration using acellular conduits and adipose stem cell therapies for soft tissue deformities. She then worked at a regenerative medicine biotechnology company manufacturing autologous muscle derived cells. Gabriella is passionate about making discoveries and advancing research in gynecologic oncology to better the lives of patients.

Laura James-Allan, Ph.D.

Project Scientist

Laura is a project scientist in the G.O. Discovery Lab. She completed her Ph.D. in Reproductive Sciences at St George’s University of London focusing on pre-eclampsia and the placenta in early pregnancy. Her research interests in the placenta continued during her postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado and University of California Los Angeles, including projects focused on the role of placental nutrient transport and extracellular vesicles in gestational diabetes mellitus. Laura is passionate about women’s health and is looking forward to applying her skills and knowledge to the field of gynecologic oncology in the hopes of improving the lives of women with cancer.  

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Lauryn Ruegg, B.S.

Staff Research Associate I

Lauryn graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.S. in Human Biology. While attending UCSD, she worked in the Jamieson Lab investigating the subcellular location of ADAR1 in Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia. After graduation, Lauryn joined the Yang Lab at Cedars-Sinai, studying RIPK2 in Prostate Cancer. She is excited to be a part of the G.O. Discovery Lab and the advancement of gynecologic oncology research.

Sofia Garza

Undergraduate Researcher

Sofia is a third-year Human Biology and Society major from Houston, Texas. As an aspiring physician-scientist, she is excited to join the G.O. Discovery Lab and contribute to its research efforts improving prognoses for women with gynecological cancers. She is currently participating in a research project characterizing endometrial cancer (EC) tumors, particularly of the carcinosarcoma subtype. She hopes to learn vital laboratory skills that will allow her to succeed in her future career as a physician-researcher.

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Jessica Gebraeel

Undergraduate Researcher

Jessica is a second-year undergraduate majoring in Human Biology and Society. She is passionate about biomedical research and women’s health. Jessica aims to contribute to the landmark research being done in the G.O. Discovery Lab, in hopes of finding better solutions for patients with ovarian cancer. In the future, she plans to pursue a career as a physician-scientist, continuing both her passion in medicine and research.

Former lab members


Kiana Zargari, B.S.

Undergraduate Researcher

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