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Current members


Cai Tong Ng, Co-President (External Affairs)

Cai is a biochemistry graduate student in the Dunphy lab where she studies how DNA replication is regulated. Outside of research work, she is keen on helping underprivileged students gain access to better resources so that they can reach their full potential. She has participated in various projects towards that objective, both locally and abroad. In her spare time, she likes to fuss over a Shiba fur ball and watch standup comedy.


Suchitra Dara, Co-President (Internal Affairs)

Suchitra is an undergraduate bioengineering student (c/o 2024) who currently works in the Mazmanian lab doing gut-brain axis research. She serves as an Editor-in-Chief for the Caltech Undergraduate Research Journal, a health and peer advocate, a co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and a Rise tutor. She is excited to help students in different communities have better and more scientific experiences through LEAP!


Jingjing Sun, Vice President for Campus Liaison

Jingjing is a postdoctoral fellow in Angela Stathopoulos's group. She enjoys hiking with her dog outside of the lab. She feels fortunate to be part of LEAP, hoping to bring more talented students into STEM fields.


Jesus Galeana, Strategic Development Associate

Jesus Marcelo Galeana is a first year graduate student perusing his PhD in chemistry. By studying chemical biology, he hopes to develop and improve chemotherapeutic delivery using both an inorganic and a molecular biology approach. He also studied both at College of the Sequoias and at the University of California, Irvine where he received his bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry. In his spare time he likes cooking, traveling, and playing Catan.

Inhoo Lee

Inhoo Lee, STEM Outreach Associate

Inhoo is a Junior studying computer science and is currently doing research with Professor Erik Winfree. He also spends time as a RISE tutor, a health advocate, and a volunteer at the Union Station. In his free time, Inhoo enjoys spending time outdoors and attending sporting events.

Sarah Balderston

Sarah Balderston, STEM Outreach Associate

Sarah is a bioengineering graduate student in the Pierce lab where she studies nucleic acid nanotechnology and conditional regulation of mammalian cells. When not in the lab, she enjoys the outdoors, cooking/baking, and hanging out with her dog. Sarah is passionate about equitable access to education for all and hopes that she can help students gain access to better STEM educational resources as a member of LEAP.


Liz Jackman

Associate Director of Student Programs, Caltech Y

Liz provides consultation and programming support to the LEAP project and offers valuable insights into educational landscape in the region.

Peiwei Chen

Founding President & Member-at-Large, LEAP

Peiwei was the founding president of LEAP from 2022-23 and continues to support LEAP's mission wherever possible.

Kitty Cahalan, Ph.D

Assistant Director for Educational Outreach, Caltech CTLO

Kitty brings a tremendous amount of expertise in educational outreach to the LEAP project and has been instrumental in every step of the project development.


Tomasz Gawda

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics grad student

Andres Rodriguez

Biology grad student, Alexei Aravin's lab

Natalie Wu-Woods

Bioengineering grad student, Rustem Ismagilov's lab

Xiaotian Bi

Chemistry grad student, Lu Wei's lab

You could be here!

We are currently recruiting LEAP affiliates who are interested in helping us campaign for lab equipment donations and/or serving as contact persons for different labs/buildings/groups at Caltech.

Learn how to get involved.


The Lab Equipment Access Program (LEAP) was co-founded by Peiwei Chen, Frank Macabenta, Jingjing Sun and Suchitra Dara - students and postdocs in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering (BBE) at Caltech - in early 2022. Originally as a project with Caltech Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CCID), LEAP continues its effort to make a real-life impact with the generous support from Caltech Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach (CTLO), Caltech Y and BBE. In May 2023, LEAP officially became a Caltech Y-affiliated program.