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Sherry Yennello (she, her)

Texas A&M Cyclotron Institute Director

Regents Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D., Indiana University, Nuclear Chemistry, November 1990

B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Physics, May 1986

B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Chemistry, December 1985


Accelerator produced isotopes for medical applications – particularly the production, purification and application of alpha emitting isotopes for targeted alpha therapy. Involved in producing astatine-211 at the Texas A&M University Cyclotron Institute, and is interested in developing production capability of other interesting radioisotopes using heavy ions.

Accelerator based heavy-ion reactions to study the dynamics and thermodynamics of excited nuclear matter and elucidate the nuclear equation of state – particularly the density dependence of the symmetry term – which has implications for the formation of elements and other astrophysical processes.


Equity and access to education and professional advancement for all, including both creating opportunities and motivating students to take advantage of opportunities that are available. Interests include motivating the current stakeholders to be agents of change.


Lauren McIntosh

Executive Director of TREND

Assistant Research Scientist at Texas A&M University Cyclotron Institute

McIntosh facilitates collaboration between institutions and manages activities and meetings for the program. She manages a couple of workforce development collaborations and works closely with the Cyclotron Institute REU program. McIntosh is involved in producing astatine-211 at the Texas A&M University Cyclotron Institute, and is interested in developing production capability of other interesting radioisotopes using heavy ions. Her graduate work in Chemistry at Texas A&M University was focused on nuclear reactions.


Jorge A. Lopez

Physics Professor at The University of Texas at El Paso

Jorge Alberto Lopez studied physics at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) earning BS and MS degrees studies, continuing with PhD studies at Texas A&M University (TAMU). Jorge postdoc’ed for two years at the Niels Bohr Institute, and for two more years at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. After one year as Assistant Professor at CalPoly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, he moved to UTEP where he has been Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, and has also served as Assistant Dean of the College of Science for two years, and Chair of the Department of Physics for eight years. His area of research is in nuclear reactions at intermediate energies, and in the field of materials science doing electron spectroscopy of materials. He has also performed research on gravity waves, has participated in science education at the pre-K, K, high school and university levels. Jorge is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and has received several awards from APS, the University of Texas Regents, the Academy of Distinguished Former Students of Texas A&M University, the White House and the National Science Foundation, the journal Nature, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2019, and the Mexican Academy of Sciences.

More information can be found here.


Justin Mabiala

Lecturer of Physics at Prairie View A&M University

Dr. Mabiala is a lecturer of Physics at Prairie View A&M University. He completed his undergraduate studies in 2004 at the Marien Ngouabi University in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) where he received his Bachelor of Science in Physics. In 2007, he was accepted at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in South Africa where he completed his postgraduate diploma in Mathematical Sciences and then joined the Department of Physics at Stellenbosch University the same year for his doctoral studies. There he studied under Prof. A.A. Cowley as part of the nuclear physics group affiliated to the iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (LABS). After receiving his PhD in experimental nuclear physics in 2010, he spent one year as a joint postdoctoral fellow between Stellenbosch University and iThemba LABS. In 2011, he joined the Yennello Research Group at the Texas A&M University cyclotron institute for a postdoctoral research associate position where he spent three years and from 2014 to 2016 he worked at the INFN - Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro (Italy) as a postdosctoral researcher. Dr. Mabiala joined the Chemistry and Physics department at Prairie View A&M University since 2017. His research focuses in Fermi-energy heavy-ion collisions, investigation of the nuclear phase transition, and the studies of nuclear structure of the nuclei.


Larry W. May (he/him)

Physics Lecturer
Texas A&M University


Research interests include Fermi energy heavy-ion collisions and reactions with emphasis on nuclear equation of state and asymmetry energy parameterization. Computational chemistry and physics specifically for building educational simulations to facilitate undergraduate student learning. Also interested in physics education research, pedagogy and undergraduate research projects in order to provide a better understanding of physics principles to a broader and more diverse student population.


Jorge Munoz

Assistant Professor of Physics at The University of Texas at El Paso

Jorge Munoz studies how atomic vibrations and their interactions with the electronic structure, magnetism, etc. affect the thermodynamic stability of the materials they form. In his research he uses techniques that require specific isotopes, like Fe-57 and B-11, to probe atomic vibrations. The Munoz group has expertise in machine learning and data science and collaborates with domain experts in other fields, including in nuclear physics, helping in the development of machine learning models and pipelines for efficient data reduction and analysis. Jorge strongly believes that undergraduate research and effective mentoring are critical to achieve the educational and professional goals of students. As such, he is committed to create and provide these opportunities to students at UTEP and elsewhere.



Diana Carrasco-Rojas

Undergraduate Student at The University of Texas at El Paso, Physics

Diana Carrasco-Rojas is a Senior majoring in Physics with a concentration in Medical Physics at The University of Texas at El Paso. She started doing research with Dr. Jorge Lopez in 2019 on X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, and her current project is about the search for Na states above the proton threshold with Dr. P Adsley from Texas A&M University as her mentor. Her goal is to complete her Ph.D. and residency in Medical Physics, be certified by the American Board of Radiotherapy, and get a fulfilling job she enjoys.

In her free time, Diana enjoys doing outside activities, listening to music, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.


Njeri Edwards

Undergraduate Student at Prairie View A&M University, Chemistry

Research Interests

I am Njeri Edwards a junior at Prairie View A&M University majoring in chemistry. Originally working as a student assistant for the school’s physics department, I was presented with the opportunity to participate in the TREND program. My time at the Cyclotron Institute this past summer was my first time participating in research and my first time being exposed to the field of nuclear physics. My favorite part about TREND so far is being able to build a muon detector. Ever since working with TREND I have gained a strong interest in programming and would like to learn more programming languages so I can do more programming in the future.


Alexander M. Pantoja (he/him)

Undergraduate Student at Texas Lutheran University, Applied Physics

Research Interests

I spent the summer of 2022 at College Station assisting Ethan Henderson with exploring the behavior of Electron Cyclotron Resonance Ion Sources through the construction of a microwave camera. I developed a software that allows the user to create or update configuration files that will be used to communicate with electronic devices utilized in this project. I designed a Digital Delay Generator (DDG) that will be used to send signals to certain digital components. The 2022 – 2023 academic year I am designing newer models for the DDG that fits the specifications Ethan has set for his research.


Daniel Rascon Romo

Undergraduate Student at University of Texas at El Paso, Physics

My name is Daniel Rascon Romo, I am a junior physics student with a concentration in applied physics at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). I have acted as a physics tutor and TA during one year at UTEP. I also have research experience as a volunteer in the field of nanomagnetic materials at UTEP, where I have gained valuable knowledge that is preparing me to conduct a research project and present my results. During this time, I was presented with the opportunity of participating in the TREND program. I am currently getting familiar with the field of nuclear physics and the research techniques and projects that the team lead by Dr. Grigory Rogachev is conducting. I am excited for learning as much as I can from the project I will be participating and being able to help the team to achieve their research goals. As for my personal goals, I would like to continue with graduate education until I get a PhD in nuclear physics and be able to participate in the development of this field.


Sebastian Regener

Undergraduate Student at Texas A&M University, Engineering

Sebastian Regener is an Engineering Undergraduate student at Texas A&M, Class of 2025. He is currently working in Dr. Sherry Yennello’s Group, and his research includes the study of the dead layer and quantifying the energy loss from the dead layer in the DADL. His research interests/reading interests include the study of magnetic fields, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. His goal following his undergraduate is to continue studying at the graduate level in physics.


Irving Silva

Undergraduate Student at The University of Texas at El Paso, Physics

Irving Silva is an Undergraduate Physics student at UTEP. He is working in Dr. Jeremy Holt’s research team. His research consists in the development of a machine learning algorithm capable of analyze different nuclear potentials from nucleon to nucleon interactions. The algorithm is expected to learn from the already existing potentials and be able to generate new values for nuclear potentials that haven’t been seen before. This will be achieved through generative modeling.


Daniela Ramirez Chavez

Master student at the University of Texas at El Paso, Physics

Daniela Ramirez studied engineering physics at the Universidad Autonóma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) and MS in physics at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), concluding on December 2022. During her undergraduate in the fall of 2019, she participated in an exchange program and studied at Texas State University - San Marcos. She will join Texas A&M Cyclotron Institute in January 2023.

She has researched gravitational lensing, nuclear matter with molecular dynamics, and the experimental detection of e+e- pairs in nuclear collisions. Her interests are cosmology and nuclear astrophysics. She expects to begin her Ph.D. in Physics in the fall of the same year.

Sophia Sauceda

Undergraduate Student at Texas Lutheran University, Applied Physics and Mathematics

Sophia Sauceda is a Sophomore at Texas Lutheran University, where she is a double major in applied physics and mathematics along with minoring in Mexican American Studies. This is her 2nd summer participating in research. She is also an active member of on and off-campus life by being a part of the Society of Physics Students (SPS), the Mexican American Student Association (MASA), 1st gen students, Xi Tau (sorority), and Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin. In the future, she plans to go on to grad school to pursue a Ph.D. in Engineering.


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