Alexandra Balcer

Class of 2016

Photo of Alexandra Balcer
Education: BS in Biology at CSULB, MS in Biology at Cal Poly
 

Biography

What interests Alex most about regenerative medicine is the diversity that the entire field provides. Through stem cell research one can tackle nearly the entire spectrum of human disease and injury, as well as address a variety of clinical and drug development issues. Of all the areas of stem cell research currently available she is most interested in studying neuron related diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease and Traumatic Brain Injury. After completing this program she hopes to pursue a career in medicine or public health where she can employ the knowledge and research experience she has acquired.

Alex is split between two labs at UCSD, the first being the neuromuscular bioengineering lab of Dr. Sameer B. Shah (PI) under the department of orthopedic surgery and the second being the regenerative medicine lab of Dr. Larry Goldstein where she is supervised by Dr. Angels Almenar-Queralt (PI). Her project aims to measure the effects of mechanical stress on cultured neurons as a means to gain insight into the relationship between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer's Disease. She is assisting both Dr. Shah and Dr. Almenar-Queralt as an intern by producing both the previously designed devices and cells necessary to perform the mechanical stress experiments, performing said experiments, and running various analysis to discern the effects.

After graduating, Alex obtained a position as a Research Associate in the in vitro group at Crown Bioscience, focusing on oncology.