Our People

The Spitzer Lab is a group of scientists passionate about improving lives through harnessing the immune system. We take pride in our constantly collaborative approach to science, inclusive lab culture, and diversity.

Matthew (Matt) Spitzer, PhD

Associate Professor

Matt completed his training in Immunology at Stanford University in the laboratories of Dr. Garry Nolan and Dr. Ed Engleman. There, he developed experimental and analytical methods to model the state of the immune system using high dimensional single-cell data. This led Matt to develop the first reference map of the immune system, providing a framework into which new data can be integrated and compared for system-wide analysis. At Stanford, he also developed new strategies for inducing powerful immune responses against cancer. Matt moved to UCSF in the summer of 2016 as a UCSF Parker Fellow and a Sandler Faculty Fellow and is now an Associate Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Microbiology & Immunology and an investigator of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.


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Janice Hoyt-Arakawa

Staff Research Associate II

Naa Ashitey

Assistant Specialist, PROPEL Scholar

Brittany Davidson

Junior Specialist

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Andrae (Dodge) Ladores

Research Assistant

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Xingjia Zhang

Junior Specialist


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Minna Apostolova

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

Cassandra (Casey) Burnett

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

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Jing-Yi Chung

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

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McKenzie Daanen

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

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Rachel DeBarge

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

Sophia Guldberg

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

Maya Lopez-Ichikawa

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

Demi Sandel

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

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Zachary Stensland

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

Jacqueline (Jackie) Yee

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences

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Connie Zhou

Medical Student

Postdoctoral Fellows

Nam Woo Cho, MD PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Radiation Oncology Resident

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Rhodes Ford, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Jane Lee, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Trine Line Hauge Okholm, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Camilla Valente, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Katherine (Kathy) Wai, MD

Medical Fellow


Breanna Allen, PhD

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences, 2017-2020

Joël Babdor, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Kamir Hiam-Galvez, PhD

PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences, 2017-2020

Meng-Yao (Rita) Huang, MS

Bioinformatics Programmer, 2020-2022

Lauren Levine, MD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Oncologist (Melanoma)

Diana Marquez

Junior Specialist, 2018-2020

Elizabeth McCarthy

PhD Student, Biological and Medical Informatics and MSTP

Maha Rahim, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sid Raju

Bioinformatics Programmer, 2017-2019

Avneet Shaheed

Junior Specialist, 2020-2021

Iliana Tenvooren, MS

Lab Manager, 2016-2022

Interested in joining the Spitzer Lab?

Prospective graduate students interested in joining the Spitzer lab should apply to UCSF for admission into either the Biomedical Sciences or the Biological and Medical Informatics PhD programs.


We are always seeking postdoctoral fellows with strong backgrounds in cellular immunology, cancer biology, computational biology/bioinformatics, bioengineering, or a mix of these disciplines. If you are interested in applying to the lab, please send your current CV and a list of three references to Matt.