Home-> Students Profiles-> Kaleb Asfaha
Kaleb Asfaha
Kaleb Asfaha
kasfaha@berkeley.edu
594 Minor Hall
Karsten Gronert Lab
I’M FROM: I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and grew up in Washington D.C., but I’ve called California my home for the past decade.
BEFORE VS: I studied Chemistry at University of California Santa Barbara for my undergraduate degree. In June 2013 I graduated from the Chemistry MS program at San Francisco State University. During that gap I enjoyed working for a number of pharmaceutical companies in the Bay Area.
WHY I’M HERE: I worked in the Drug Delivery department at Genentech, which focused on applications directed at treating ocular diseases. For the first time in my career I found something I loved! I came to UC Berkeley to explore how the ocular surface protects itself from pathogens and strengthen my background in mass spectrometry analysis.
MY RESEARCH: My research focuses on understanding the innate pathways activated during a conjunctival Chlamydia trachomatis infection and how lipid-derived mediators called eicosanoids are involved during an inflammatory response. The bacterial infection can lead to trachoma, an ocular surface condition with over 50 million visually impaired and 6 million irreversibly blind worldwide. I use primary human cells and clinical samples collected from global endemic regions to study trachoma.
MY DREAM: I’ve always envisioned my future as a researcher at an academic institution. After graduation I plan on securing a post-doc position in a lab that focuses on anterior ocular infections common in developing nations. Also, I am passionate about providing me services in the public health sector to create meaningful solutions to problems that plague marginalized members of our global community.
MY HOBBIES: On a sunny California day I enjoy riding my bike, playing pick-up basketball, learning how to play a musical instrument, or going hiking/camping.