Celebrate the New PhDs of SACNAS




3 min read 



Andrew Pati Ah Young, PhD

Ethnicity: Samoan

Degree Conferred: PhD in biological chemistry

Institution: Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California Los Angeles

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Pascal Egea

Dissertation Title: Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Eukaryotic Protein Complexes Involved in Interorganelle Tethering and Protein Quality Control

Research Interests: How proteins interact with each other influences cell fate. Therefore, miscommunication underlies disease. I am committed to learning the language of proteins, so I'll know exactly how to cure human diseases. 

Current Position: Postdoctoral research fellow in early discovery biochemistry at Genentech

How SACNAS Helped: I would like to give a big shout out to Dr. Maggie Werner-Washburne, Dr. Stephen Phillips, Lupe Atencio, and the amazing Initiatives to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) program at the University of New Mexico for believing I am destined for greatness and to do good things for the world. I feel this same energy and love whenever I go to SACNAS. For most of us, as minorities, this is all we need to overcome barriers in college, graduate school, at work, and in life. How has SACNAS helped me? It is a safe haven: a space where culture, community, and science are one and the same, a cloud for sharing not just our triumphs in STEM but our struggles in life, and a family away from home. 



Austin J. Shelton III, PhD

Ethnicity: Chamorro (Guamanian)

Degree Conferred: PhD in zoology with a specialization in marine biology

Institution: Department of Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Robert H. Richmond

Dissertation Title: Building Island Resilience Against Climate Change: Integrating Science Into a Community-Based Initiative Reviving Watersheds, Coral Reefs, and Fisheries in Guam

Research Interests: Coral reef ecology, conservation biology

Current Position: Assistant professor of extension and outreach, University of Guam Sea-Grant Program

How SACNAS Helped: As a SACNISTA, I serve as a student member on the national SACNAS Board of Directors and as past-president of the Ilima SACNAS Chapter at the University of Hawaii. SACNAS provides me with an incredible network of STEM professionals around the country and access to countless opportunities. The organization has greatly helped me develop culturally, scientifically, and professionally.



Paule Valery Joseph, PhD, MSN, CRNP, RN, CTN-B 

Ethnicity: AfroLatina - Venezuelan/Haitian

Degree Conferred: PhD in philosophy with a specialization in nursing and genomics

Institution: School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Charlene W Compher, RD, CNSC, LDN, FADA and Dr. Danielle R. Reed

Dissertation Title: Sucrose Thresholds and Genetic Polymorphisms of Sweet and Bitter Taste Receptor Genes in Children

Research Interests: My research interests involve eating behavior, obesity, diabetes, taste, genomics, microbiome, and health. I am also interested in science communication. I strongly believe in making science findings understandable and available to the public.

Current Position: Clinical and translational postdoctoral fellow, National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research

How SACNAS Helped: I was introduced to SACNAS while I was a summer intern at the National Institutes of Health. I immediately joined. SACNAS helped me network with many other scientists and underrepresented minorities in science. SACNAS is a strong community. I am very grateful to have been part of such a great community throughout my scientific and educational career.

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