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OPALS Summer of 2023


With support from the Beckman Laser Institute Foundation, the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, and the BTC






Highlight of the Summer 2023 OPALS Program

Chief Scientists

Chief Scientists


Veronica Gomez

Institute of Engineering in Medicine, UCSD


Linda Shi

Institute of Engineering in Medicine, UCSD


Chengbiao Wu

Department of Neurosciences, UCSD


Program Faculty

Program Faculty


Kevin King

Department of Bioengineering & Department of Cardiology, UCSD


Zhaowei Liu

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, UCSD


Daniel Ju

Department of Ophthalmology, Hamilton Glaucoma Center and Shiley Eye Institute, UCSD


Wallace Marshall

Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF


Joseph D. Powers

Department of Lab Medicine & Pathology & Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington


Xiaohua Wu

Department of Molecular Medicine, Scripps Research


Daryl Preese

Department of Biomedical Engineering, UCI


Arthur Forer

Department of Biology, York University


Management Team

Management Team


Andrew D. McCulloch

Director, Institute of Engineering in Medicine, UCSD


Philip Godfrey

Management Services Officer, Institute of Engineering in Medicine, UCSD


Justina Houston

Administrative Assistant, Institute of Engineering in Medicine, UCSD


Tom Liu

OPALS Program Coordinator, Institute of Engineering in Medicine, UCSD


Mentor Team

Mentor Team


Katelyn Lee

School of Biological Sciences - Biology, UCSD


Anai De La Rosa

School of Biological Sciences - Biology, UCSD


Iman Malhi

School of Physical Sciences - Physics, UCSD


Advit Gupta

School of Biological Sciences - Biology, UCSD


Sze-Sze Chan

School of Biological Sciences - Neurobiology, UCSD


Mimi Tanglertsampan

Jacobs School of Engineering - Nanoengineering, UCSD


Ethan Chen

School of Biological Sciences - Molecular and Cell Biology, UCSD


Sriram Selvakumaran

School of Biological Sciences - Biology, UCSD


Timothy Guo

School of Biological Sciences - Biology, UCSD


Max Weng

Jacobs School of Engineering - Computer Science, UCSD


Reflection from our OPALS Summer of 2023


The projects, lab tours, and collaborative spirit among fellow students have all contributed to an unforgettable learning experience. I am excited to continue exploring this field and am confident that the skills and insights I’ve acquired will serve me well in my future endeavors.


OPALS has been extremely fulfilling and helpful for my future goals in STEM. I am now more excited than ever to pursue a career in this field thanks to you.


I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for the great OPALS experience I had over the summer. I know you put a lot of hard work and heart into making it a fruitful experience for me and all the students and it was very much appreciated.


I have started my school year for 2023-2024, but the fun memories of the summer program have not left me. I just want to express my deepest gratitude for your time and effort for making the OPALS program available to so many students and providing me with a unique and lasting experience at UCSD. This was the most time that I have ever spent away from my family and I’m grateful it has been under your guidance. Your program has taught me so much, not just on the scientific aspects of biophotonics, but also on the core values of communication and leadership.


First of all, I wanted to thank you for your leadership and dedication to the OPALS program. And for finding us great opportunities to talk with professionals in the scientific field and organizing lab visits so that spirited students like me can find our passions. OPALS was a great learning experience for me not only in terms of research but also learning soft skills that will help me in my future career. I thoroughly enjoyed this program, thank you once again!



The OPALS program is a large part of what made this last summer before I apply to college such a memorable time. Through it, I learned so much, had so many unique experiences, and made so many connections to peers and mentors that I otherwise would have never had. In no small part, I believe the success of this program can be credited to your enthusiasm for creating learning experiences for everyone, regardless of previous experiences.


I am writing to express my appreciation for all of your hard work and the opportunities you provided me with. I learned so much, starting with teamwork and networking, all the way to expanding my STEM field knowledge through my project and hearing from great professionals. This is the best experience I could have ever asked for.


Words cannot fully express my appreciation for all that you've done for me. Your patience and determination are truly admirable, and you have given me the confidence to pursue my dreams with enthusiasm.Thank you for being an extraordinary director and for investing your time and energy into this program. I will forever cherish the experiences and knowledge gained under your guidance.


I wanted to formally say thank you for all the effort you put into the OPALS program. I don’t think I can really describe how beneficial this was for me, with all the lab visits and hands-on practice, it really gave me a push in the right direction.


Click the links below to meet OPALS Summer of 2023!