Yoshi Unno – Undergraduate Researcher

Yoshi Unno

Yoshi is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UCSD with a major in General Biology. He is interested in pursuing a career in medicine, especially fascinated by the field of ophthalmology. He is eager to learn and gain exposure to clinical and research experience in this field. 

He is currently working with Dr. Borooah to explore new applications of Multicolor imaging in identifying ischemic and non-ischemic BRVO.

Yasmin Yacoubian

Yasmin Yacoubian – Undergraduate Researcher

Yasmin is a third-year undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. She is interested in gaining basic research and clinical exposure in ophthalmology and understanding the clinical translation of scientific findings. The ultimate aim is to develop skills and gain knowledge, which will enable her to pursue a career in medicine.

Currently, she is working to optimize CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in retinal pigment epithelium cells in order to develop novel gene editing treatments for an autosomal dominant inherited retinal disease (IRD). Yasmin received a Ledell Family Research Scholarship for Science and Engineering to support her work in the Borooah lab. 

Outside of the lab, Yasmin enjoys surfing, relaxing at the beach, and spending time with her sisters.

Sabrina Tuano – Undergraduate Researcher

Sabrina Tuano

Sabrina is currently a third-year undergraduate student at UCSD, majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. She has an interest in ophthalmic research and aims to pursue a career in optometry with a specialization in pediatric care. She is currently a laboratory assistant in the Borooah lab and is using her time in the lab to explore translational research and better understand clinical practices in the field. 

Outside of school, she enjoys dancing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Asha Kumari

Asha Kumari, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Researcher

Asha obtained her Ph.D. degree in Biotechnology from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India in 2018, before joining Dr. Borooah’s lab as a post-doctoral researcher in 2019.

Her research interest includes understanding the immunological aspects of Inherited Retinal Disease (IRDs) using genetic mouse models. Currently, she is investigating the contribution of microglial cells in IRDs using advanced transcriptomics techniques combined with molecular and immunological validations.

Her aim is to identify the missing link between microglial activation and photoreceptors degeneration. Identification of molecular signatures of activated microglia can reveal much more than we know currently about IRDs mechanisms

Besides research work, she loves cooking, bird watching and observing quiet sunsets on beaches.  

Currently: Post-doctoral researcher, University of Alabama

Leonardo Lando

Leonardo Lando, MD

Visiting ophthalmologist, research fellow

Leonardo is a research fellow from Central Brazil with a special interest in retinal inherited eye diseases and ocular oncology. He obtained his medical degree from the Federal University of Uberlandia, followed by a residency in ophthalmology and a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery both at the Federal University of Goias, Brazil. 

Leo joined our lab at UCSD in 2019, when he was awarded the Tim and Judith Sear scholarship by the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. In partnership with teams in the United Kingdom, he has been working on different projects focusing on late-onset retinal degeneration (L-ORD), a genetic eye disease so far poorly understood.

He has looked into the natural history and imaging features of L-ORD, aiming to clarify its clinical manifestations and identify progression markers. He has also participated in our lab collaboration with Dr.Richard Maude from Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand for studies on malarial retinopathy.

In 2020, Leo will join the ocular oncology fellowship program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto. Outside the hospital setting, Leo is a great fan of biking around the Californian coast, hiking national parks, and exploring different cultural backgrounds by traveling and learning languages.

Currently: Ophthalmology oncology fellow, University of Toronto

Qais Zawaydeh

Qais Zawaydeh, MBBcH

Qais has recently earned his medical degree including clinical training and has joined Dr.Borooah’s team as a lab assistant. He is aiming to gain experience and develop research skills before applying to residency.

He is striving to practice excellence in both research and clinical fields. Joining Dr. Borooah gave Qais the opportunity to apply his medical knowledge in the research field as knowing more about diseases in a scientific manner is his interest.

Outside the lab, Qais enjoys San Diego’s beautiful hiking trails, biking at the beach, he also enjoys playing guitar with a group of other guitarists, spending time with family and friends.

Currently: Internal medicine resident, Eisenhower Health, Palm Springs, CA