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MCB Leaders

Are you new a prospective UIUC student, new to campus or to the MCB major? Do you have questions to ask experienced MCB upperclassman? MCB Leaders are here for you. We’re a small group of accomplished students in MCB that want to help current and prospective students learn more about the University of Illinois, the College of LAS and the Molecular and Cellular Biology major. We know what it takes to succeed, what resources are available to you, and how to get involved on campus, so please contact us if you have any questions! Send an email to and feel free to request a specific person if someone stands out to you.

Academic Year '22 - '23

Angela CabreraName:Angela Cabrera - President
Year in School:Senior
Major(s):MCB Honors Concentration
Hobbies/Activities:I am a member of the International Medical Fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, a past board member of the Philippine Student Association, and a member of the Vietnamese Student Association. I work as a lab technician in the RIPE Lab at the Crop Transformation Facility. When I am not studying or sleeping, I usually stay up very late to hang out with my friends, skate around campus, and play video games!
Favorite Place to Study:Everitt Laboratory and UGL
Favorite Restaurant in Champaign/Urbana:KFT (for the Poke Bowls!) and Shawarma Joint
Why you chose the U of I:In addition to UIUC's excellent academic programs, UIUC has such a lively, diverse student body and there are endless opportunities in student RSO's, research, and other extracurriculars that bolster your professional and personal growth. I know that the friendships I have made on campus will last even after I graduate! UIUC is also the perfect distance away from home, where I can still feel independent and have my family visit occasionally.
Favorite things about MCB:As a pre-med student, the MCB curriculum covers many topics that are in the MCAT and prepares you for the rigorous workload of medical school. Additionally, as I take more MCB courses, I have grown to love the feeling of having a difficult concept finally "click" in your head; realizing the versatility of MCB and applying concepts to everyday life always amazes me. Most importantly, the MCB community is extremely driven and supportive!

Arman SandhuName:Armand Sandhu - Vice President
Year in School:Senior
Minor(s):Disability Studies
Hobbies/Activities:On campus, I am involved in Professor Pamela Martinez's lab, work as a personal assistant at Beckwith, and volunteer at Avicenna and Carle. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, spike ball, and lifting weights, as well as watching all sorts of Netflix shows and movies.
Favorite Place to Study:Quiet area in UGL
Favorite Restaurant in Champaign/Urbana:Seven Saints. My wallet hurts every time but its so worth it.
Why you chose the U of I:I chose UIUC because when I visited during spring break of my senior year, I loved it here. There is a diverse campus in a small college town, which was great to meet new people and grow as an individual. On the academic side, UIUC is known as a great school with many opportunities of Research, volunteering, and other experiences to help students with their future careers.
Favorite things about MCB:Some of my favorite things about MCB is its uniqueness, the students, and the staff. MCB is a unique major that helps prepare its students in all areas of their future careers. The students and staff in MCB are very helpful and nice. They offer good advice and just want to see everyone succeed by being the best version of themselves.

Will ReiserName:Will Reiser - Secretary
Year in School:Senior
Major(s):MCB Honors Concentration
Hobbies/Activities:On campus, I am a Block I Executive Chair and I am involved in research in Dr. Brooke's virology lab. In my free time, I enjoy working out, going to athletic events, and spending time with friends.
Favorite Place to Study:Burrill Hall
Favorite Restaurant in Champaign/Urbana:Wingin' Out
Why you chose the U of I:I chose UIUC because of the unparalleled opportunities. UIUC has a unique mixture of personalized instruction and the resources of a global research institution. The sheer size of the University of Illinois allows for a large amount of diversity and the chance to meet people from all walks of life. Furthermore, with the abundance of RSO's and other involvements, you are able to find your niche and truly feel at home.
Favorite things about MCB:My favorite thing about the MCB program is that it provides opportunities to delve deeply into any topic you wish. The MCB curriculum is great because it allows you to explore real-world applications for your education through things like research. MCB is unique because of the freedom of classes you can take that allow you to find the parts of biology about which you are truly passionate.

Faisal ZaidiName:Faisal Zaidi - Treasurer
Year in School:Senior
Hobbies/Activities:I am the Director of Philanthropy for the Illini Thaakat Foundation and a member of the McKinley Health Center Student Advisory Board. I am involved in research in Dr. Steven Blanke's microbiology lab. When on campus, I volunteer at the Carle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, participating in sports such as football and basketball, and watching Netflix.
Favorite Place to Study:Undergraduate Library (UGL)
Favorite Restaurant in Champaign/Urbana:Shawarma Joint
Why you chose the U of I:I chose the University of Illinois because of the plethora of opportunities and resources that are available to its students. With UIUC being such a diverse campus, students can learn from their peers who have different perspectives and experiences. Additionally, every student has the chance to be involved through numerous RSOs.
Favorite things about MCB:My favorite aspect about the MCB curriculum is how invested professors are in helping their students achieve success both inside and outside the classroom. Whichever career path the student chooses, the MCB's curriculum provides excellent preparation and opportunities to its students.

Amelia (Ji Ji) SteinleinName:Amelia (Ji Ji) Steinlein
Year in School:Senior
Major(s):MCB Honors Concentration
Minor (s):Psychology
Hobbies/Activities:I love trying new recipes to cook/bake and also enjoy eating out. My current obsession is anything with pesto! I also like shopping for clothes, watching movies/TV shows, and spending time with friends. On campus, I am an active member of Beta Psi Omega, a professional biology fraternity, and Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity. I am also involved with In Between, which is an organization for those that feel in between their Asian and American cultures. Finally, I am an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Whikater's Lab and work with bacteria and viruses!
Favorite Place to Study:I loved going to Noyes Library because I would always run into people I know!
Favorite Restaurant in Champaign/Urbana:Jipbap, Maize, Sakanaya, and Himalayan Chimney!
Why you chose the U of I:I chose UIUC because I truly believe that there is something for everyone here. When applying to colleges, I knew I loved biology but did not know what I wanted to do with it. I felt like UIUC offered a supportive atmosphere where I could explore my interests and grow as an individual. There is so much offered at this university, and while it can take a bit of trial and error, I am confident in saying everyone can find their niche here at UIUC.
Favorite things about MCB:My favorite thing about being an MCB major is how customizable it is. Being a large institution, there are countless research labs that want to work with you! We have a variety of RSOs ranging from sports to pre-professional organizations in addition to four great study abroad programs that blend nicely into your UIUC experience. And through every step of the way, there are advisors, professors, TAs, and peers all willing to help you succeed!

Anneliese PatonName:Anneliese Paton
Year in School:Senior
Major(s):MCB Honors Concentration
Minor(s):Music Performance
Hobbies/Activities:I am currently the President of a Social Sorority, on the Executive Board for Block I/Illini Pride, and a UIUC Wellness Ambassador. I am also involved in research in Dr. Spinella's Lab studying mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance. Off campus I work as a Patient Care Assistant for Carle Foundation Hospital and previously worked as a Clinical Laboratory Technician in the COVID-19 Testing Lab for IDPH.
Favorite Place to Study:Reading Room of the Main Library and Illini Union South Lounge
Favorite Restaurant in Champaign/Urbana:Crane Alley, Bangkok Thai, Mia Za's
Why you chose the U of I:I am a third-generation Illini and spent a lot of time growing up on the UIUC campus. When it came time to pick a college, I realized as I was touring other colleges that I was subconsciously comparing the others to UIUC. And in the end, UIUC was simply home for me. UIUC is where I felt the most welcomed and comfortable and was the campus that fit my needs of diversity and strong academics.
Favorite things about MCB:My favorite thing about the MCB program is the people I've met and the freedom to explore my interests. Everyone has been so encouraging and willing to help me work to achieve my goals. Although MCB is a rigorous program, I love how I'm consistently being challenged and expanding my knowledge. I have also been able to explore my interests and personalize my degree through the various concentrations and coursework options.