Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program

PREP Class of 2016

Nick Schott graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelors in Biomedical Engineering. His research interests are within tissue regenerative therapies, using novel biomaterials and cell sources to recapitulate or augment physiological infection. He is now a Master’s student in the University of Michigan Biomedical Engineering Department, where he hopes to ultimately complete his PhD.



Cipriano Zuluaga was raised is Vista, California. He graduated from Cal State San Marcos in 2016 and decided to join the University of Michigan PREP program to strengthen his application for graduate school. He is now working on his masters degree at Cal State Los Angeles in Microbiology. After receiving his Masters, he plans to apply to PhD programs.


Cara He received her degree in Integrative Biology in 2016 at the University of California, Berkeley. During her PREP year, she conducted research in two different laboratories. In Dr. Deneen Wellik’s laboratory, she worked to understand the role of Hox genes in organogenesis, specifically the role of Hox6 in pancreas development. She then transitioned to Dr. Robert Denver’s laboratory. There, she worked on the effect of KLF9, a direct thyroid hormone target, on the development of Xenopus tropicalis. Thyroid hormone is not only critical for metamorphosis in amphibians, but is also necessary for proper brain development in all species. These two research experiences helped reinforce her interests in developmental biology. She was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) during her PREP year. Cara is very thankful for the PREP program and the University of Michigan SACNAS chapter for providing guidance, mentorship and a strong support network during her time at the University of Michigan. She will be returning to California for warmer weather and her PhD in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley.


Luis Rivera is from Villalba, Puerto Rico. In Fall of 2017, he began his graduate studies as part of the PIBS Neuroscience cohort. His research interests involve the development and function of the circuitry in the central nervous system. His hobbies include running and playing table tennis. 

Selina Teh was born in San Francisco and lived in a beautiful valley city in Malaysia for 16 years before transferring to Iowa State University for college. With a newfound interest in genetics and a deep fascination with how genetic deregulations cause human diseases especially cancer, Selina switched her major from Biology to Genetics in her junior year while continuing two undergraduate research projects in the agronomy and biochemistry fields. As she had no biomedical research experience during college, she applied to Michigan PREP to decide whether biomedical research is the right path for her. Selina had the invaluable opportunity to join Dr. Elizabeth Lawlor’s laboratory to study the epigenetic regulations of the serine synthesis pathway in Ewing sarcoma. During her PREP year, Selina enjoyed hanging out with the wonderful PREP cohort as much as working on her research project. The supportive and conducive learning environment provided by PREP and the Lawlor Lab solidified her ambition to become a biomedical research scientist. In Fall 2017, Selina started her graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to pursue a Ph.D. in translational research under the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program.