• Executive Leadership Team

    Carlo Maley, PhD, Director, Arizona Cancer Evolution Center

    Prof. Maley is a cancer biologist, evolutionary biologist and computational biologist, working at the intersection of those fields. His lab uses genomic data mining, phylogenetics, computational modeling, as well as wet-lab techniques to develop better methods to prevent cancer and improve cancer management. For more information, please visit Dr. Maley's profile here.

    Cristina Baciu, Co-Founder & Co-Director, ACE Scholars Program

    Cristina is a research program manager working with interdisciplinary teams at the intersection of cooperation and cancer evolution research at Arizona State University. She holds two bachelor's degrees (economics and psychology), a master’s in higher education, and is currently pursuing a doctorate focused on educational leadership in higher education. Both practice and research-wise, Cristina is interested in mentoring undergraduate college students, barriers to students’ success, and the intersection between technology and higher education. For more information, visit Cristina's website here.

    Zach Compton, Co-Founder & Co-Director, ACE Scholars Program

    Zach received his undergraduate degree in Genetics, Cell, and Developmental Biology and is currently a doctoral candidate in Evolutionary Biology at Arizona State University. He is interested in all of the intersections that cancer biology makes with evolutionary theory, particularly comparative oncology - the study of cancer across the tree of life. Zach is passionate about bringing evolution into the cancer clinic, as well as the community.

  • Undergraduate Leadership Team

    Erica Williams

    I am a Biomedical Sciences major with one semester left in my degree, after which I will be applying to medical school. I am a member of Barrett, the Honors College at ASU, and a Team Lead for the ACE Scholars program. My research with ACE focuses on supporting and educating recently diagnosed cancer patients. The intention of this research, titled the Patient Guidance Project, is to deliver information to patients in a way that is easy to understand and provide them with resources to aid them through their journey with cancer. When I’m not working or studying, I enjoy being outdoors, working out, and spending time with my family and dogs.

    LaShaunta Anderson

    Shauna is a post-bachelor student who went to Law School and then realized her passion is in biology. Now she majors in Neuroscience and plans to attend Medical School next Fall. Shauna also is a veteran of the Armed Forces and has focused her research on the co-morbidity between PTSD and TBI.

    Clarissa Chang

    Clarissa is studying Biochemistry at Arizona State University. She is an ACE Scholar and team lead for the modeling team at the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center. Along with her team, she is using agent-based models to investigate the development of cancer suppression mechanisms that have evolved from the beginnings of multicellularity and cooperation. She also works as a research assistant at the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation at ASU Polytechnic. After graduating in 2022, she will be pursuing further education and a career in regulatory science.

    Lindsay Gann

    Lindsay Gann is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University, majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in anthropology. She holds a previous bachelor's degree in English and looks forward to putting her experience in publications to use in her future career in science. Lindsay is interested in cancer research as it relates to the rise in non-infectious disease and uncovering the links between metabolic dysfunction and cancer. She is a military spouse and a mom, and enjoys reading, gardening, and hiking in her free time.

    Harley Richker

    Harley recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences and is now pursuing a masters degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology as part of the 4+1 program at Arizona State University. He joined the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center in the Fall of 2021 and became team leader for the Expression team in January 2022. With the help of his team, Harley uses gene expression data to understand the evolutionary mechanisms behind adaptive cancer therapy.

    Ashley Peraza

    My name is Ashley Peraza. I was born an raised in Los Angeles and I am a first-generation college graduate. In May 2021, I was awarded my Bachelor's of Science in Biomedical Sciences. I couldn't be more exhausted and proud! I am currently working on achieving my goal of becoming a physician. My favorite thing to do outside of academia is cooking.

    Walker Mellon

    Sophomore at ASU studying Computer Information Systems and Economics. Currently team lead for the Phylogenetics team, which aims to understand the evolutionary rate of cancer across the phylogenetic tree.

    Aliyah Jenkins

    I am majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Data Science. My career goals are to obtain my Masters in Material Science and Engineering with a focus on Nanotechnology. I wish to create nano materials to help improve the medical field. Mainly in the areas of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Manasa Iyer

    Manasa is a student at Arizona State University studying Biomedical Sciences, Evolutionary Medicine, and Business. She is a member of the Maley Lab's undergraduate research team at ASU where she currently pursues research in comparative oncology, as well as outreach endeavors alongside ACE. After she graduates, she plans to earn her Master's in Biology and ultimately aspires to attend medical school. Manasa was responsible for website design and development.

  • ACE Scholars Team Members

    Ryan Kilinski

    Ryan is currently pursuing his dream career in physics/astronomy while running his beekeeping business. Utilizing his past work experience and degree(s) to focus on continuing education with a strong emphasis on coding, data science, mathematics, and physics in research or applied science within astronomy, aerospace, or environmental protection industries. His goal will be to become a well-rounded data scientist for support roles in ongoing, and up-and-coming projects that will change how we view ourselves, the Earth, and the Universe.

    HD Cross

    I have a previous degree in Forensic Biology and have worked as a Genetic Data Analyst for 8 years. I have also been in multiple research and clinical genetics labs over the past 15 years. I am getting a second degree in Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology with the hope of going to graduate school for Computational Biology/ Bioinformatics.

    Ethan Michael

    Hello! My name is Ethan Michael. I am originally from the small town of Italy, TX. I graduated from Angelo State University in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science. I recently joined an online program at Arizona State University to pursue another bachelor's degree in Biochemistry (Medicinal Chemistry) in May of 2021. I work on the cancer across vertebrates team researching the correlation of life-history traits with the prevalence of cancer. I am loving being part of such an amazing research group and am eager to see what the future holds for me within ACE!

    Alexandra Perazzo

    My name is Alexandra Perazzo and I'm currently a junior living in New York City, attending Staten Island Technical High School. I've had the privilege of being a part of the ACE scholars team since June of 2021. As part of the Cancer by Type team, studying patterns in tissue-specific cancers across species, I've learned about scientific writing, statistical coding, data analysis, presenting skills, teamwork and more. Currently, I'm interested in evolutionary biology and oncology. In the long term, I want to pursue medicine, possibly becoming an oncologist and doing research.

    Brian Martins

    A Sophomore Student diligently studying BioMedical Sciences and Psychology to better understand the Human condition. Using novel research in the field of comparative oncology, I hope to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of animals and human beings, as well as the development, proliferation, and phylogenetic history of cancer in order to apply the findings to improve translational medicine and evolutionary medicine.

    Nellisabel Coira

    Nellisabel Coira is in her last semester as an undergraduate student at Arizona State University - Tempe, studying Biological Sciences and Spanish. She is a Student Office Assistant for the Admin Support Operations team at The Biodesign Institute, and an ACE Scholar/ Research Assistant, working on the Cancer by Type project. Academically, Nellisabel is a recipient of the Chicanos Por La Causa Tomas Espinoza - Banner Health scholarship.

    Mané Sargsyan

    I am majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Data Science. My career goals are to obtain my Masters in Material Science and Engineering with a focus on Nanotechnology. I wish to create nano materials to help improve the medical field. Mainly in the areas of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Nadia Wright

    Nadia has a bachelors in biological sciences from ASU. She is working on prostate cancer research with Dr. John Nagy and learning wet lab procedures in Dr. Xiaojun Tian’s lab at ASU while also being an ACE Scholars. She is aiming to get accepted into a PhD program in Cell and Molecular Biology to achieve her goal of practicing pathophysiology discovery research. She is also a US Navy veteran who worked as an avionics technician.

    Sushil Sudhakar

    I'm currently a junior pursuing a double major in biochemistry and Spanish, and I will be applying to medical school in the spring. I am part of the aging team as a part of the ACE Scholars Program, and I am also part of an A Capella group at ASU called the TEMPEtations.

    William Levi Shelton

    I’m a senior at ASU majoring in biochemistry with a minor in spanish and I plan to apply to medical school in 2022. I’m also a LEAP scholar and an ACE scholar, completing research through both programs. Through ACE, I help with comparative oncology research centered in reproductive and mammary cancer.

    Shivangi Sarkar

    Hello, I am an undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical engineering. I am very passionate about oncology and cancer research. Currently, my peers and I are focusing on reproductive cancers with respect to life-history traits. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my dog and exploring new restaurants.

    Cameron Chew

    I am originally from Seattle, WA and am currently a senior at ASU studying Biomedical Sciences. I am employed as a dental assistant at Loop 101 Endodontics in Scottsdale, AZ, and have the goal of attending dental school in the fall of 2023.

    Nicholas Howell

    Nick is a junior studying Biological Sciences (Cell, Genetics, and Developmental Biology) and Computational Mathematics in his first semester as an ACE Scholar.

    Kaley Norris

    Kaley is from Chandler, Arizona, and is seeking a degree in Biological Sciences. She is a returning member of the ACE Scholars Program as part of the reproductive cancers team. Kaley has studied previously at Grand Canyon University where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. After graduating in December of this year, she hopes to combine her love of writing and science by beginning a career in research.