Careen Khachatoorian graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology and a Minor in Chemistry. Part of her undergraduate work was understanding sea urchin development using different concentrations of carbohydrates. Later she attended the NSF-CEPCEB REU program in plant and plant-pathogen cell biology at UCR and worked in Dr. Howard Judelson's lab. Her research focused on identifying strong promoters from different species of Phytophthora and also designing miRNA to block expression of a target protein in Phytophthora infestans. Later she worked in Dr. Ernest Kwok's lab at Cal State Northridge to identify and characterize novel intracellular organelles in plant cells using GFP-tagged Arabidopsis lines.
Currently, Careen is a graduate student in the Cell, Molecular, Developmental PhD program working in Dr. Prue Talbot's lab. Her PhD research is focused on the investigation of Electronic Cigarette Exhaled Residue. She plans to identify the components of the residue as well as its toxic effects on different cell types. Identification of nicotine components will be done by GC/MS analysis and cell health endpoints will be examined using the Nikon BioStation CT for live imaging and CL Quant software for analysis.