Yalda Afshar, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor In-Residence
UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
Dr. Afshar is a physician-scientist with clinical and research interests that intersect and include high-risk pregnancy, prenatal ultrasound, genetic testing, and congenital heart disease, either affecting the mother or fetus. Dr. Afshar is a recipient of a National Institute of Health Reproductive Scientist Development Award. Her research is focused on congenital heart disease and placentation, among other translational pregnancy related topics.
Irina Gontschar, MD, PhD, CCRP
Staff Research Associate
Irina Gontschar graduated from the Belarusian State Medical University with an MD degree. She completed a residency in neurology and physiotherapy and has trained throughout Europe in diverse academic centers -- Utrecht (Netherlands), Berlin, Weimar, and Erlangen (Germany). She comes to the Afshar lab with a background in research related to pregnancy and neurological disease and has worked to understand EEG and evoked potentials in pregnancy associated stroke and preeclampsia. Her work in the lab is focused on fetal-maternal translational projects.
Marie Altendahl is a medical student (Class of 2023) at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine who plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology upon graduation. She grew up in Minnesota, majored in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, and worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center before attending medical school. Marie currently works on the PRIORITY study, investigating the effect of COVID-19 on maternal-neonatal health. Marie hopes to continue researching the impact of infectious disease on maternal health and neonatal development.
Lauren Bass, a first generation student, graduated from LMU in 2015 as a psychology major. Post college, Lauren worked for a manufacturing company where she spearheaded, designed and developed a sustainable, North-American made, direct-to-consumer furniture brand. Lauren’s longtime dream of becoming a doctor never escaped her and her desire to have an even greater personal impact on people’s lives was only becoming more and more apparent. Not wanting to spend more time shying away from by her dream, Lauren immediately applied to USC’s Pre Medical Post-Baccalaureate Program, where she recently completed her premed pre-requisites. She plans to apply to medical school and hopes to become an OBGYN in the near future. Her hobbies include skiing, photography, sculpting and learning to fly planes!
Helia Imany is a recent graduate from George Washington University and is originally from Northern Virginia. She recently moved to Los Angeles to join the David Geffen School of Medicine Class of 2023. Her research interests are in congenital heart disease and genetics, with a clinical interest in pediatric cardiology. She will be joining the lab in the Summer of 2020.
Anhyo is a a third year Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics major from Santa Barbara! He was born in South Korea but raised in the U.S., and some of his favorite hobbies include playing soccer and piano. His current focus of research is on the altered endothelial cell response to flow in congenital heart disease patients, but also loves learning about other areas of research like kidney cancer. Anhyo hopes to attend medical school and eventually set up a lab in the future in order to continue biomedical research.
Guadalupe was born and raised in Koreatown and is currently in her third year at UCLA. She is a first-generation student majoring in Physiological Science with a minor in Global Health. In addition to being a student researcher, she is also greatly involved in community and global health work that will help her be a better physician. In the future she plans to apply to medical school and hopes to become a Pediatrician or Family Medicine physician who works in underserved communities and advocates for health and equity for all.
Jenny Mei, MD
Jenny Mei is currently an OBGYN resident at UCLA with plans to pursue fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine upon graduation. She is greatly interested in research involving high-risk pregnancies and is currently working on twin vaginal delivery outcomes with associated cost-effectiveness, as well as pregnancy outcomes in transplant patients. She hopes to pursue these passions further in fellowship and beyond and is excited for what lies ahead!
Sarah is a third-year at UCLA majoring in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. After graduating, she hopes to continue her education to become a physician-scientist and further pursue a passion for biomedical research. In addition to exploring her interest in maternal-fetal medicine, Sarah is a member of UCLA’s Stroke Team and Persian Medical Association. In her free time she enjoys creative writing and staying active!
Sarah is a third-year medical student at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Throughout medical school, she has been involved in several projects exploring maternal hemodynamics and the association with various fetal parameters. I am hoping to pursue an anesthesiology residency after medical school. In the future, she would love to practice in the field of obstetric anesthesiology.
Ophelia Yin, MD
Ophelia Yin is originally from Southern California and did her undergraduate studies at Princeton University, majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology completing an epidemiology thesis on co-infection of macro and microparasites. She attended medical school at Johns Hopkins and researched mechanical signaling and activation of primordial follicles of the ovary. She is currently an OBGYN resident at UCLA with an interest in maternal fetal medicine, with current projects aimed at increasing specificity of diagnostic modalities for preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and placenta accreta spectrum.