Xander was born and raised in the Greater Los Angeles Area and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2013 to pursue his undergraduate degree at Portland State University (PSU). After a 2-year gap working in the outdoor apparel/bike industry and racing bicycles throughout the country, he returned to PSU in 2016. During that time, he was a student lab aid at Oregon Health and Science University for the DNA Sequencing Core and Tissue Culture Core at the Vollum Institute. In 2017 he became a student lab aid to the Freeman Lab where he assisted with fly stock maintenance and while helping with the forward genetic screens of Drosophila astrocytes for TRAP analysis, he fell in love with confocal microscopy. After completing his B.S. in Biology at the end of 2018, he was introduced to Dr. James Frank and became the first member of the Frank Lab where he is now a Senior Research Assistant and Lab Manager. Outside the lab he enjoys running on the roads and trails, cooking, cheering for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Portland Trailblazers, and listening to all kinds of hip-hop.