(AY 2020-21)

Spring 2021

Panel: Exploring Career in STEM, April 8, 2021

Panel in collaboration with AWiSE and the Science Policy Group at UCLA for the Women in STEM Conference

Debra Cooper, PhD

2014 CCST Policy Fellow

Principal Consultant, California State Senate Appropriations Committee

Chief Consultant, California State Assembly Human Services Committee

Deepna Devkar, PhD

Vice President, CNN Data Science & Engineering

Lead, Data Intelligence team

Liz Neely

Founder, Liminal Creations

AAAS Committee on Science and Technology Engagement with the Public (CoSTEP)

Lecturer, Yale University

Dahlia Sokolov, PhD

Staff Director, Research & Technology Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Amanda Stanley, PhD

Executive Director, COMPASS

Journal Club Presentations! April 27, 2021

Each student will present a relevant journal article to the group

6 minute presentations followed by Q&As and discussion

Keynote: Albert Carnesale, PhD, "Nuclear Terrorism" May 4, 2021

About Dr. Carnesale

Albert Carnesale is Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus at UCLA. He joined UCLA in 1997, and was Chancellor of the University through 2006 and Professor of Public Policy and of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering through 2015. His research and teaching continue to focus on public policy issues having substantial scientific and technological dimensions, and he is the author or co-author of six books and more than 100 articles on a wide range of subjects, including national security strategy, arms control, nuclear proliferation, domestic and international energy issues, and higher education.

Carnesale chaired the National Academies Committees on NASA’s Strategic Direction, on America’s Climate Choices, on Nuclear Forensics, and on U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike; and was a member of the Obama Administration’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and of the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Pacific Council on International Policy; and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, he serves on the Boards of Directors of the California Council for Science and Technology, Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Amicrobe, Inc.

Prior to joining UCLA, Carnesale was at Harvard for 23 years, serving as Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Public Policy and Administration, Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Provost of the University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (Cooper Union), a master’s degree in mechanical engineering (Drexel University), and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering (North Carolina State University).


Taylor Kuhn, PhD: "Artistic Representations of Human Connectome Project Data" May 25, 2021

About Dr. Kuhn

Dr. Taylor Kuhn is an Assistant Research Neuroscientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He is a clinical neuropsychologist with broad interest in sciences which bridge the gap between neuropsychology and neuroimaging to investigate relationships between brain structure and function across neurodegenerative disorders, neuromedical illnesses, healthy aging, and intellectual giftedness.

His experimental expertise includes structural and functional MRI, non-invasive neuromodulation techniques, machine learning analyses, and experimental as well as traditional neuropsychological approaches. He has a growing record of over 50 publications in the field of neuropsychology and neuroimaging, with an emphasis on exploring network connectivity (e.g. diffusion imaging) underlying cognitive and emotional functioning. He serves as the study coordinator for both Lifespan Human Connectome Projects at UCLA.

More recently, his independent research has expanded to include neuromodulation techniques, such as transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS), as a non-invasive method for improving cognitive performance and emotion regulation. His lab is the first to implement tFUS in humans for modulation of learning, memory and emotional regulation and has combined tFUS with multimodal MRI to validate its ability to increase regional brain perfusion, modulate functional connectivity and associated behavioral and psychophysiological outcomes.

Dr. Kuhn received his Doctoral Degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and completed his internship at the Boston Consortium for Clinical Psychology, with fellowships at Harvard and Boston University. He completed postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA where he was both chief research and assistant chief clinical fellow. Dr. Kuhn also spends part of his time providing neurocognitive and psychodiagnostic assessment along with managed care to adults with a broad array of neurological and psychiatric concerns. He also offers pre-surgical, rehabilitation, and geriatric psychological consultations as well as cognitive rehabilitation and psychotherapy. Dr. Kuhn is the recipient of the Greiffenstein-Kaplan Research Award from the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology and the Phillip M. Rennick Research Award from the International Neuropsychological Society.


Kushan Dasgupta, PhD, Title TBA, June 1, 2021

About Dr. Dasgupta

Kushan Dasgupta is a political and cultural sociologist who studies the roles that civil society actors play in the coordination and coproduction of scientific expertise and governmental authority. He has researched both grassroots bone marrow donation efforts and minimum wage policymaking.

As a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Society and Genetics, he is researching how far-right groups appropriate genetics and biology research and the ways that the enduring ‘nature vs. nurture’ debate is being rearticulated by laypersons on digital media venues

Winter 2021

Ryan Darby, MD: "Psychiatry, Law, and Ethics: Network Localization of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms" Jan. 12, 2021 [Rescheduled]

About Dr. Darby

Assistant Professor, Neurology

Director, Frontotemporal Dementia Clinic

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Panel: "Breaking into Science Writing" Jan. 26, 2021


Stephanie de Marco, PhD

AAAS Mass Media Fellow

Gwendolyn Price

Psych in Action

Caitlin Aamodt

Knowing Neurons


Beau Kilmer, PhD: "High Stakes: Fostering Innovation to Stem the Tide of America's Drug Problems" Feb. 9, 2021

About Dr. Kilmer

Director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center

Senior Policy Researcher, RAND

Professor, Pardee RAND

Workshop: Graphical Abstracts Feb. 23, 2021


Learn about how graphical abstracts can be useful in your own work and present your own to the group.

$100 prize for the winner!

Raven the Science Maven: "Inspiring Leadership and communication in Science" Mar. 9, 2021

About Raven

AKA Raven Baxter

PhD student, University of Buffalo

Founder of STEMbassy

Founder of Black in Science Communication

Abstract: The keynote address will explore the past, present and future of leadership and communication in science. As a solution, Raven will evaluate where the science community can improve and grow the newly minted inclusive science culture as a whole.

Fall 2020

Elizabeth Barnert, MD, MPH, MS: "Translating Science on Juvenile Justice to Policy Change" Oct. 13, 2020

About Dr. Barnert

Dr, Elizabeth Barnert, MD, MPH, MS is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She provides pediatric care to youth in the juvenile justice system. She is a board certified pediatrician whose clinical interests focus on adolescent health.

Through the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, Dr. Barnert received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and earned a Master's of Science degree from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Her public health Master's thesis used ethnography to examine the process of family reunification of the "disappeared" children of El Salvador. She then completed residency training in pediatrics at Stanford University Medical Center. She came to UCLA in 2012 as a Clinical Scholar in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. During fellowship, she also completed training in health policy and earned a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Barnert joined UCLA faculty upon completion of her fellowship training.

A Cuban-American born and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Barnert is passionate about improving health outcomes of vulnerable youth. Her research focuses on youth involved in the juvenile justice system, commercially sexually exploited youth, and youth undergoing family separation and reunification. Funded through an NIH-funded Career Development Award, Dr. Barnert is partnering with Los Angeles County to develop and test an intervention to link young people to mental health and substance use treatment services after incarceration.

Dr. Barnert serves as an advisor to the California state legislature and to US Congress on juvenile justice policy. Her research contributed to the passage of California SB 1322, which decriminalized child victims of commercial sexual exploitation; to AB 2992, which requires police officer training on commercial sexual exploitation of children; and to SB 439, which excludes children 11 and under from the juvenile justice system.

Resources from Talk

Rose Hendricks, PhD: "Communicating Science for Impact" Oct. 27, 2020

About Dr. Hendricks

Dr. Rose Hendricks is a cognitive scientist with expertise in how language shapes thought. She has applied this background as a researcher at the FrameWorks Institute, where she studied public thinking about a range of social and scientific issues to determine best practices for communicators.

Rose is also the vice-chair of the leadership team for ComSciCon, a science communication workshop series for graduate students, by graduate students. Through ComSciCon, she has led teams of workshop organizers and evaluators to make science communication training accessible to as many graduate students as possible. She is a graduate of Vassar College and earned a Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego.

Resources from Talk

Howard Padwa, PhD: "Addiction Treatment: Medicine, Politics, and Citizenship as Therapeutics" Nov. 10, 2020

About Dr. Padwa

Howard Padwa is a health services and qualitative researcher at UCLA's Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (UCLA-ISAP). He has led qualitative data collection and analyses for mixed-methods studies of mental health system transformation, behavioral health service integration, evidence-based practice implementation, and the creation of a full continuum of care for substance use disorder treatment under California's Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) Medicaid 1115 Waiver.

In addition, he has conducted historical research on drug policy in the United States and overseas, served as project director for an initiative to integrate adolescent substance use prevention and early intervention services into healthcare and school settings nationwide, and facilitated stakeholder engagement for several projects.

Currently, Dr. Padwa is leading several evaluations of initiatives to provide integrated services for homeless and other populations in Los Angeles, and he is co-investigator on a PCORI-funded study examining substance use disorder treatment assessment and decision-making.

Jon Kovach: "The What, the Why, the How: Reimagining Science Education" Nov. 24, 2020


Jon Kovach currently serves the Director of the UCLA Science Project at UCLA Center X. He has worked in education in Los Angeles for over 20 years as a classroom teacher, department chair, instructional coach, and a professional development creator and facilitator in science education. He currently supports over 15 School Districts in Los Angeles County with their vision of science instruction and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. Additionally, he is a Training Associate for Thinking Collaborative for Adaptive Schools Seminars where he helps develop the collective identity and capacity of organization members as collaborators, inquirers, and leaders. Director Kovach graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Biology and received his teaching credential from UCLA.

Tepring Piquado, PhD: "Designing Science Communication & Dissemination for Impact" Dec. 8, 2020

About Dr. Piquado

Tepring Piquado is a senior policy researcher at RAND Corporation, and professor and diversity, equity and inclusion advisor at Pardee RAND graduate school.

She leads complex, multi-site and multi-disciplinary projects to provide evidence-based guidance to federal, state and local decision-makers. She has published across a wide range of topics including traumatic brain injury, military blast injury emerging technologies, human-machine systems, the use of DNA sequencing in familial searches, and military-to-civilian workforce transitions. Piquado engages with diverse stakeholders to develop actionable solutions to pressing issues including economic recovery, workforce development, homelessness, housing and public health. Additionally, she has worked consistently with institutional leaders to provide outcome-based solutions that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Piquado earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in neuroscience from Brandeis University and B.S. in computer science from Georgetown University.