Andrés Aranda-Díaz is the first CZ Biohub Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow

The EPPIcenter at UCSF is pleased to announce that our postdoctoral scholar, Andrés Aranda-Díaz has been accepted as a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Aranda-Díaz will be supported to conduct research and training in the laboratories of Isabel Rodríguez Barraquer, Bryan Greenhouse, and Cristina Tato. The Fellowship is initially awarded for 2 years, with the potential to renew for up to 3 additional years.

In his new role as a CZ Biohub Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Aranda-Díaz will work with his mentors to develop, characterize and implement genomic surveillance tools for malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the aim of informing public health decision making. Using these tools, he will evaluate the spread of drug and diagnostic resistant parasites, as well as transmission intensity and rates of parasite migration. 

The CZ Biohub is an independent nonprofit research organization formed as a collaboration between UCSF, UC Berkeley and Stanford University with the goal of inventing new tools to accelerate transformative advances in the life sciences. CZ Biohub is the first philanthropic science investment made by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, funded by Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician Priscilla Chan.

Dr. Aranda-Díaz comes to UCSF and CZ Biohub from Stanford University, where he conducted his graduate research as a Bio-X Bowes Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellow and Siebel Scholar. In the Department of Bioengineering, he used high throughput growth measurements and imaging to study contributing factors of antibiotic tolerance in the gut microbiome. Dr. Aranda-Díaz uncovered new mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance in microbial communities, developed imaging techniques to visualize individual bacterial cells within live fruit flies, and used humanized mice and high-throughput liquid culturing and sequencing to model the human gut microbiota. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Aranda-Díaz supported the community as a Testing Coordinator in Latinx and Black communities in the San Francisco Bay area. In collaboration with UCSF and SFDPH, he also led the implementation of rapid testing in congregate shelters, focusing on highly vulnerable people experiencing homelessness.  Prior to his work at Stanford, Dr. Aranda-Díaz completed his undergraduate work at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. After graduating, he joined Hana El-Samad’s group at UCSF, where he developed tools to interrogate transcriptional regulation in yeast. 

The faculty, staff, and trainees who make up the EPPIcenter team are thrilled to have one of our members as the first recipient of this fellowship. There are many benefits to developing these strong collaborative links across institutions, and our relationship with the CZ Biohub has always been innovative and perspective changing.