Entered Program: 2019
Thesis Advisor: Tejal Desai, PhD
Graduate Advisor: Ralph Marcucio, PhD
Darnell Cuylear (pronounced "ky-ler") was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He graduated with a BS in biology with minors in chemistry and management from the University of New Mexico in 2019. As an undergraduate, Darnell was a Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) scholar and conducted research in the lab of Prof. Heather Canavan at the Center for Biomedical Engineering. His work focused on fabricating pH responsive hydrogels for alternative colonoscopy preparation and investigating the effects of Polyethylene glycol on gastrointestinal tract cell lines. Darnell’s research experiences and interest in dentistry led him to pursue opportunities to bridge the two. As a result, he earned an internship in Prof. David Mooney’s laboratory at Harvard where he characterized tough adhesive hydrogels for their application in the oral cavity. His experiences in Prof. Mooney’s lab confirmed his passion for oral and craniofacial research and motivated his desire to pursue research and dentistry in the University of California, San Francisco’s dual-degree DDS/PhD program. Darnell’s current research interests focus on how biomaterials can be used to encourage differentiation of musculoskeletal tissues. Darnell’s hobbies are playing basketball, hiking, and enjoying the company of family and friends.