Lab members

Dr. Karin Crowhurst
Principal investigator
About me: I grew up in western Canada (Calgary and Vancouver) but travelled east to pursue my university degrees. During undergrad (at Queen’s University) I met my future husband and entertained myself by making contact explosives. I continued my education at the University of Toronto where I completed my PhD in Biochemistry and Biomolecular Structure in the Forman-Kay lab before moving to Los Angeles in 2003 to join the Mayo lab at Caltech for my postdoc. I joined CSUN as an Assistant Professor in 2007. Since then my students and I have worked hard to move our research forward, and create a fun and inclusive lab environment.
Other interests: I have been a radio DJ in my past and in rare periods of spare time these days I like to make stuff and go exploring (locally and globally). I also have a garden and grow amazing tomatoes and berries and veggies in the summer.

Imex Aguirre-Cardenas 
Undergraduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: spring 2019 

About me: I was born in Los Angeles and am currently pursuing a Bachelors in Biochemistry. After completing my undergraduate studies I plan to attend graduate school and further my exploration of chemistry. My academic interests include organic synthesis, NMR analysis, and natural history.
Other interests: Outside of school I enjoy playing water polo and spending time with my dog.

Jonathon Benson 
Graduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: fall 2016 

About me: I was born in Southern California, and earned a B.S. in Biology from California Lutheran University. After my undergraduate education I worked for a few years as a hiking guide and a statistical technician in Juneau, Alaska. I then decided I wanted to further my education to meet my career goal of working in the biotech industry. My lab interests lie in both wet lab and computation and I am excited to study HdeA protein dynamics using NMR in the Crowhurst lab.
Other interests: I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, scuba diving, cooking, reading, and board games.


Dane Geddes-Buehre 
Graduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: fall 2017 

About me: I am a Southern California native that grew up in the Antelope Valley. I attended Antelope Valley College and transferred to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UCSD. Lab work has always been my interest so I knew a Master’s degree by thesis is what I wanted to pursue. I will be investigating the protein HdeA in varying pH values via protein NMR along with other experiments to examine conformation and dynamics. After I graduate I plan to either pursue a PhD or work in Biotechnology.
Other interests: 
I enjoy being outdoors and road trips to new places. My latest hobbies has been Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles. I enjoy learning and experiencing new things in both school and my free time.

Akemi Hinzer 
Student, Biochemistry
Joined: summer 2018 

About me: I am a second generation L.A. native, and though I have been lucky to travel, I’ve lived here my whole life. Through the past ten years, I have worked as an auto mechanic, rock climbing instructor, and as cake decorator among other things. I’m now returning to college to pursue biochemical research. I feel so fortunate to be taken in by such a capable and patient lab.
Other interests: I love gardening, hiking, and I’m trying to convince myself that I enjoy cooking. I rock climb and scuba dive, and always make time for crossword puzzles.

Narek Janikian 
Undergraduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: spring 2019 

About me: I was born and raised in California after my parents immigrated to the U.S. in the ‘90s. My interest in the sciences began when a former science teacher let me play with some materials left over from an experiment. The pieces of magnesium I burned that day were fascinating and made me realize that there is still so much to learn and discover. After many thoughtful (and sleepless) nights, I decided to major in biochemistry with the end goal of conducting research in a lab. Currently, I am in my fifth year at CSUN pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry and although I haven’t quite figured out what’s next, I know that my focus will be on diseases and potential cures.
Other interests: I occasionally play the piano whenever time and silence permit. I’m an avid gamer and movie lover who enjoys a good story in both mediums. Otherwise, I enjoy spending time either alone in peace and quiet, or with close friends & family.

Hiep Nguyen 
Graduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: summer 2019 

About me: 
Other interests:

Selin Rostami
Undergraduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: fall 2018 

About me: I grew up in LA, but travel regularly to England to visit family. My love for science started at the age of seven when I saw the massive Diplodocus carnegii at the Natural History Museum in London. Since then, I have been fascinated with all aspects of science. I have been fortunate to do research at the Natural History Museum of LA County where I worked with fish and mollusks, and have had the opportunity to travel to Baja California for a marine biology course where I swam with whale sharks, sea lions, and experienced the untouched habitat. I am extremely excited to be a part of this lab because I will be able to better understand and appreciate living organisms at the biochemical level.
Other interests: I enjoy spending time at the beach, going to orchestral concerts and musicals, traveling to tropical places and spending time with my loved ones.