Leadership Team, Alumni and Founders

UT Southwestern Biotechnology Club

Current Leadership

Lindsay Johnson

Executive Vice-President



Lindsay is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Engineering Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Her research in Dr. Daniel Siegwart's lab focuses on investigating the interactions of RNA-loaded dendrimer lipid nanoparticles with specific cell populations of the liver. Outside of research, Lindsay is passionate about fitness and nutrition. She enjoys long-distance running and is currently training for her third marathon. Lindsay is excited to be involved in the Biotech Club leadership this year and is interested in the pharmaceutical industry and cell-specific nanomedicine.

James Raynard Dizon

Director of Marketing and Media Relations



James is a second-year graduate student in Dr. Ian Corbin lab in the Advanced Imaging Research Center department at UT Southwestern. He is studying macrophage polarization using a lipoprotein-docosahexaenoic acid-based nanoparticle platform in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Using this platform, he also wants to understand the underlying role of cholesterol in cancer development and treatment. Beyond the lab, James enjoys hiking/camping and making coffee in the woods. In the future, James wants to work at the intersection of science and the clinic as a medical science liaison. 

Austin Marckx

Director of Programming



Austin is a first-year PhD student in the Computational Biology Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He is interested in developing Neural Networks for registration, classification, and segmentation of medical image data. Outside of the lab, Austin enjoys bouldering and all manifestations of caffeine.  

Colton Davis




Colton is a Ph.D. candidate in the Organic Chemistry Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. His research in Professor Joseph Ready's lab focuses on enantioselective, catalytic reactions involving 1,2-metallate rearrangements triggered by electrophilic activation of olefins. Colton is interested in synthetic and process chemistry, as well as the pharmaceutical industry. 

Akansha Shah




Akansha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Genetics, Development, and Disease Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Her research in Dr. Eric Olson's lab focuses on investigating the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that repress skeletal muscle differentiation and promote tumor growth in Rhabdomyosarcoma. Akansha is interested in collaborating with KOLs and decision makers to translate scientific discoveries into successful therapeutic interventions.  

Maggie Wang

Director of External Affairs



Maggie is a second-year graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering program. She works in Dr. Jinming Gao's lab, investigating the mechanism in which polySTING, a novel nanoparticle-based STING agonist developed in the Gao lab, fire up non-immunogenic tumors. Outside of school, she enjoy outdoor activities and exploring new restaurants/food. Maggie's ultimate career goal is to start my own biotech company, focusing on nanotechnology; or continue my research career at a cancer institution.  

Abbas Zaki

Director of External Affairs



Abbas is a first-year PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering program at UTSW. He is interested in innovating at the intersection of imaging, nanotechnology and theranostics. When not in the lab, Abbas enjoys running, making coffee and listening to podcasts.


Founding Members and Alumni

Jackson Gartman

Co-Founder, Alumni



Jackson co-founded the Biotechnology Club with Tyler Piazza in summer 2018, serving as both vice president and president during his tenure through early 2020. He completed his Ph.D. in the Organic Chemistry Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center with Professor Uttam Tambar in August of 2020. His research in Dr. Uttam Tambar's lab encompassed the total synthesis of bioactive natural products, reaction development, and medicinal chemistry. Jackson is now developing small molecule therapeutics as a Senior Scientist in Chemistry at AbbVie in Northern Chicago, Illinois. Jackson is dedicated to studying new chemical reactivity and the actions of molecules in living systems.

John "Tyler" Piazza

Founder, Alumni



Tyler founded the Biotechnology Club in summer 2018 to provide an industry-focused campus organization to the UT Southwestern student body. Tyler graduated in November 2018 with his M.S. in Genetics, Development, and Disease and is currently an active member of the Dallas healthcare startup community.  He is passionate about transforming big ideas in healthcare into successful companies that deliver products that save lives.

Jordan Baumhardt 




Jordan completed his Ph.D. at UT Southwestern Medical Center focused on Biophysics in early 2020. He studied how a prominent mutation in the major nuclear export machinery contributes to cancer pathogenesis in Yuh Min Chook's lab. During his time at UT Southwestern, Jordan led market analysis projects for promising early-stage technologies at the UTSW Office of Technology Development. He then stepped away from his Ph.D. studies for a summer to join the Flagship Pioneering Venture Fellowship in Boston. Soon after the Flagship fellowship, he spent six months interning with the Strategy Department at Reata Pharmaceuticals. Outside of biotech, Jordan is a coffee enthusiast and is developing manufacturing methods to substantially improve the quality of coffee. Jordan joined LifeSci Capital as a Biotech Equity Research Associate mid-2020.

Aman Kumar




Aman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular Microbiology program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He works in the lab of Prof. Vanessa Sperandio where he studies the small molecule signals of gut in regulating the virulence of intestinal pathogens. Aman is interested in synthetic biology and translating basic scientific findings into therapeutic interventions. 

Madeline Milligan

Previous Exec Member



Madeline is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biological Chemistry program at UT Southwestern. Her research in Ben Tu's lab focuses on investigating the effects of nutrient availability and metabolic state on gene expression and epigenetics. Madeline is interested in the pharmaceutical industry.

Minghao Li




Minghao is a Ph.D. candidate in the Immunology Program at UT Southwestern. His work in the Chen lab focuses on understanding how innate immune signaling pathways can be modulated to adapt to different diseases. Minghao is interested in understanding how scientific discoveries can be developed into profitable drugs and devices.

Yongbin Choi

Previous Exec Member



Yongbin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Immunology Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. His research in Dr. Andrew Koh's lab focuses on understanding the effects of resident bacteria (microbiota) in the gastrointestinal tract on cancer immunotherapy. Outside of research, Yongbin is interested in how the current macroeconomic situation can influence the biopharmaceutical industry and individual companies.