Short student spotlights

Get to know a little bit about our students. Check our Instagram at uwmoles, for more photos and fun.

Phuong Nguyen

Phuong Nguyen is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate working chemical engineering’s Nance Lab. She is investigating brain-derived exosomes as therapeutic vehicles and molecular probes in the neonatal brain. As a founding member of the MolES Graduate Student Association (formerly the DEI committee) she is helping to connecting student to resources both on and off campus, and building a community that promotes inclusivity and outreach. She is a first-generation student giving back communities that supported her while building bridges for others in their STEM careers. In terms of candy, Nguyen prefers fruity and gummy to chocolate and hard candies. Her favorite is Sour Patch Kids, particularly the red ones.

Mattias Tolhurst outside

Mattias Tolhurst is a second year Ph.D. student working in Jeff Nivala’s lab, which is part of the wider Molecular Information Systems Lab (MISL). His work focuses on using proteins to record information and at the moment, they are building a protein clock. Mattias enjoys running and skateboarding to burn off steam but says he’s running more often these days. He loves making his favorite dessert, tiramisu, but said pavlova gets an honorable mention as a classic New Zealand favorite.

Paul Kim

Paul Kim is a second year Ph.D student, working in the Baker Lab. He works on development of diffusion models for generating novel DNA binding proteins. When he’s not in the lab or studying you might find him eating olive oil ice cream from Salt and Straw or hiking in the Cascades – he says there are a lot of great day hikes within 60 to 90 minutes of the city.