Elena is a Ph.D candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, conducting her thesis research in Dr. Sanjay Kumar’s laboratory. Her work focuses on understanding how cell geometry, actin network architecture, and myosin-related pathways contribute to tension generation of stress fibers. To answer these questions, Elena uses a plethora of techniques including subcellular laser ablation, single cell micropatterning, and molecular tools. She has previously been awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Student fellowship. Within the graduate department, she has served on the prospective graduate student visit weekend committee, helped plan the UC Berkeley-UCSF annual Bioengineering Conference, and served as her department’s graduate student co-president. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Elena graduated from Stanford University with a B.S in biomechanical engineering and was awarded a CASP Fulbright fellowship to study in the USA. Outside of lab, Elena enjoys cooking, visiting her home in Cyprus, and skiing.