Director of Entrepreneurship & Commercialization
Nikki is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization for the CNSI, where she manages the Magnify Incubator. With over 18 years of experience in higher education, Nikki coordinates CNSI’s entrepreneurship activities and integrates partnerships to foster innovation and startup development within the Magnify ecosystem. She is responsible for overseeing Magnify’s operations, facilities management, business development, and implementing best practices. Nikki previously worked in bioengineering at UCLA Engineering and in education and social policy at Northwestern University. She holds a BA from Loyola University and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
Lab Manager for Magnify & Technology Centers
Anne received her BS in Microbiology and MS in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida. She worked for the UF in the Plant Diagnostic Lab in Gainesville, FL before transferring to California. She has worked in several fields, including environmental, health (diabetes) research, food microbiology, and plant pathology. In 2016 she began working with UCLA Environmental Health & Safety as an Assistant Biosafety Officer where she supported High Containment Labs (BSL3 facilities) as an Alternate Responsible Official (ARO).
Building & Incubator Specialist
Frank Alcala is the Building and Incubator Specialist at the California NanoSystems Institute, where he oversees facility management and administrative operations for the Magnify incubator. He has been with CNSI since its establishment in 2007, and is a founding member of Magnify. With over 20 years of experience at UCLA, Frank has previously served as a supervisor for research and chemical storerooms in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. He also brings expertise in inventory management and logistical support from his previous role at BioHorizon Medical, a supplier of compression therapy and wound care.
Business Operations Specialist
Emily recently graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB). Emily served as Magnify’s Business Operations intern for nearly 2 years before stepping into her full time position. Her goals include streamlining company metric analyses, promoting interdepartmental discourse, and optimizing Magnify’s intersectional accessibility. Emily’s passion for innovation can be traced back to her time as a molecular imaging assistant for CNSI’s Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines (EICN), where she spent significant time working on 3D protein structural studies and figure videography.
Business Operations Assistant
Sean is the Business Operations Assistant at the Magnify Incubator at CNSI and is a recent graduate from UCLA with a B.A. in Economics. Sean was also a Magnify Intern as an undergraduate student and has worked closely alongside the Magnify administrative team, now continuing in a full time capacity to support the day to day operations of the Magnify Incubator program and laboratory facilities. Sean has prior experience related to the Finance and Advisory field as an intern for LPL Financial. Contributing vast efforts to ensure the proper functioning and operational management of the many companies housed at CNSI Magnify is Sean’s primary commitment.
Leonard H. Rome
Associate Director of Facilities Management, CNSI
Dr. Leonard H. Rome is a cell biologist, biochemist and part-time dean involved in research, teaching and administration at the University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry and his graduate degrees in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He conducted postdoctoral research on lysosome biogenesis as a postdoc fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Since 1979, Dr. Rome has been a faculty member with UCLA Medicine, where he became a full Professor in 1988. He has been the Senior Associate Dean for Research since 1997 and the Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute since 2005. Dr. Rome has served as Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee with UCLA Medicine, and has also been actively involved in Graduate and Medical Education, where he was honored with a UCLA School of Medicine Award for Excellence in Education in 1991.
Sonia J. Luna
Senior Executive Director, CNSI
With 25 years of experience at UCLA, Sonia Luna is the Executive Director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. She manages the administrative and financial staff and collaborates with CNSI Director Jeff F. Miller on strategic planning for the institute. She holds an MBA from USC with a dual concentration in corporate finance and strategic management, and additionally completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Wharton School in 2014. Before her current position, Luna held roles such as Director of Planning and Program Analysis, Assistant Dean of the School of the Arts and Architecture, and Business Services Manager at the UCLA Library. She also has thirteen years of corporate experience, including overseeing NBC’s production budget in Burbank and serving as Director of Mergers and Acquisitions for Pinkerton Security.