MCB Student Directory

Matriculated September 2015
Student Undergrad Degree Undergrad Institution Lab Affiliation/Research Project
Lab Extension

Brett Baggett



B.S. Rice University  L. Lapierre
Abigail Brown B.S., M.S. University of Central Florida  A. Webb

Sean Gillis

B.S. University of Massachusetts, Amherst  
Megan Gura B.S. University of Albany, SUNY R. Freiman
Diego Jaime B.S., M.S. California State Polytechnic University J. Fallon
Sarah Kaptur B.S. Worcester Polytechnic University K. Mowry
Arjun Mathur B.S. Worcester Polytechnic University R. Reenan
Anastasia Murthy B.S. Suffolk University N. Fawzi
Liam O'Connell B.A.  University of California, Berkeley K. Mowry
Lauren Olinski B.S. Rensselaer Polytechnic University E. Oancea
Nathaniel Ponvert B.S. University of Arizona M. Johnson
Angela Tata B.S. University of Richmond L. Brossay
Gregory Thomson B.S. University of Connecticut R. Bennett
Shawn Williams B.S. City University of New York L. Lapierre
 Matriculated September 2014
Student Undergrad Degree Undergrad Institution Lab Affiliation/Research Project Lab Extension
William Jordan B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute

E. Larschan

Sun Kim B.S. Boston College

A. Webb

Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) retain their proliferative potential in a state of quiescence in special niches of the brain, and can become activated for differentiation with extrinsic neurogenic stimuli. However, adult NSCs' ability to exit quiescence for  differentiation declines with aging, subsequently affecting adult neurogenesis overall. My research focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of the adult NSC population that give rise to new neurons in the mammalian adult brain.

Alexandra Mascaro B.A. Rutgers University

K. Wharton


Anna Petrashen B.S. University of California, Davis J. Sedivy
Christy Rhine B.S. University of Chicago W. Fairbrother
Amy Sinclair-Davis B.S. University of Kansas

C. De Graffenried

 I study the novel cytokinetic mechanism in the parasite  Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of the devastating disease African sleeping sickness.  T. brucei do not use the conventional actin-based contractile ring system to divide during cellular replication. By discovering how these unique parasites divide, I will be able to identify novel proteins and pathways for therapeutic development. 

Yee Voan Teo B.S. Pennsylvania State University N. Neretti
Xinru Wang B.S. SUNY Center Albany R. Page
Trenton Woodham B.S. University of Massachusetts Boston J. Sedivy
Matriculated September 2013
Student Undergrad Degree Undergrad Institution Lab Affiliation Lab extension
Chapman Beekman BA, Biological Sciences Wheaton College

R. Bennett

My thesis research is focused on identifying molecular factors which contribute to virulence in the fungal pathogen

Pseudogymnoascus destructans. P. destructans is the causal agent of White-nose Syndrome, a deadly disease which has caused unprecedented losses to North American bat species and is threatening at least one species (the Little Brown bat, Myotis lucifugus) with extinction. I am particularly interested in studying secreted enzymes produced by this fungus which may interact directly with host tissue to promote infection.

Alger Fredericks BS, Biology American University, Washington, DC

W. Fairbrother

The Fairbrother lab uses a combination of computational biology and high throughput genomics techniques to better understand mechanisms of gene expression. Pre-mRNA splicing is of particular interest as aberrant splicing contributes to 1/3 of all genetic disorders, yet there is strong evidence of positive selection for alternative splicing events throughout evolution. My work focuses on investigating this balance. By identifying the molecular mechanisms of variants that are associated with genetic disorders I aim to develop 1) novel approaches to model the evolution of gene expression patterns 2) refine predictive algorithms that identify casual variants from exome and whole genome sequencing experiments and 3) more successful gene therapy strategies.

Erin Kennedy BS, Biological Sciences Lehigh University S. Delaney
Jenna Kotak BS, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology Muhlenberg College J. Bender
Matriculated September 2012
Student Undergrad Degree Undergrad Institution Lab Affiliation Lab extension
Judson Belmont
BS, Molecular Genetics
University of Rochester
A. Salomon
Alexander Conicella BA, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry Rutgers University N. Fawzi 3-6127
Jennifer Forcina BS, MS, Animal Science University of New Hampshire M. Johnson 3-6122
Aaron Held BA, MA, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology Boston University K. Wharton 3-7365
Emily Kaye BA, Chemistry, Biochemistry Colby College

E. Larschan

I study how transcription factors selectively target their binding sites in the genome and how this impacts their function. I specifically focus on CLAMP and GAF, two zinc finger proteins in Drosophila that bind to a similar GA-repeat sequence.

Rosa Martinez-Garcia BS, Chemistry University of Puerto Rico B. Connors 3-7597
Kevin Murphy BS, Biology Providence College

G. Koren

In the Koren Laboratory I study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiomyocyte arrhythmogenicity in the aging heart

Stephanie Post BS, Biochemistry, Biology/ Biotechnology Worcester Polytechnic Institute

M. Tatar

Dilp2 and dilp5, two Drosophila melanogaster insulin-like peptides, are homologous to insulin and IGF in mammals and are proposed to have different physiological roles in adult flies. However, it is unclear how two insulin-like hormones may signal to cells uniquely when dilp2 and dilp5 activate a single receptor (the Drosophila insulin/IGF receptor). Using molecular biology and biochemical techniques, I am determining the similar and distinct effects on cells by dilp2 and dilp5, which may give rise to their unique proposed functions in aging, nutrient sensing and metabolism in the adult fly.techniques 

John Santiago BS, MS, Cell and Molecular Biology Florida Institute of Technology

D. Rand

The nuclear and mitochondrial genomes work together to regulate mitochondrial function in response to varying nutrient conditions. My project is testing how this intergenomic relationship regulates TOR kinase, a major component of cellular metabolic signaling.  

Allison Taggart BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chemical-Biological Engineering

W. Fairbrother

I study RNA splicing, specifically the mechanisms and consequences of branch site usage on splice site selection.  In my research I use computational strategies and develop algorithms to interrogate splicing intermediates within RNAseq data.

Robert Thorn BA, Biochemistry, Neuroscience and Behavior Columbia University R. Creton 3-6512
Matriculated September 2011
Student Undergrad Degree Undergrad Insitution Lab Affiliation Lab extension
Edward Anderson BA, Biology Oberlin College K. Wharton 3-7365
Steven Criscione BS, Biochemistry Northeastern University

N. Neretti

Replicative senescence, or the irreversible arrest of proliferation, is a fundamentally important biological process with roles in tumor suppression, embryonic development, tissue repair, wound healing, and aging.  Senescent cells exhibit global alterations to chromatin regulation that are not well understood.  My research goal is to characterize the consequences of altered chromatin regulation in senescent cells by examining the effects on the silencing of transposable elements and the 3D organization of chromosomes.

Timothy Erick BS, Biology SUNY Stonybrook L. Brossay 3-9645
Abbie Frederick Maguire BA, Chemistry, Biology Colby College E. Morrow 3-9766
Tara Fresques BS, Genetics University of California, Davis G. Wessel 3-3164
Jennifer Urban BS, Biology William Paterson University E. Larschan 3-1069
Brian Jones BS, Biology Fairfield University

S. Helfand

My research examines the role of the piRNA pathway in the fat body of Drosophila melanogaster. The piRNA pathway is traditionally associated with the gonads where it is known to maintain genomic integrity via the suppression of transposable  elements. However, we have recently identified the presence of this pathway in the fat body and have begun to characterize its role in maintaining genomic integrity, fat body function, and organismal health

Christine Scaduto BS, Biology College of New Jersey R. Bennett 3-6342
Matriculated September 2010
Student Undergrad Degree Undergrad Institution Lab Affiliation Lab extension
Daniel BergDan BergDan Berg
BA, Biology, Chemistry
Lawrence University
D. Berson
Matthew Booker
BS, Plant Science           MS, Biology
Purdue University         University of Michigan

A. DeLong

Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a critical regulator of cell signaling in eukaryotes and forms a heterotrimeric complex. In both plants and animals, PP2A subunit isoforms have diversified into multi-isoform gene families, and I am interested in the evolutionary forces that drove this diversification.

Takahiro Ito BS, Biological Sciences         MS, Biology University of Maryland         Rutgers University

J. Sedivy

I am investigating the role of Polycomb group proteins in cellular senescence and in organismal aging

Samantha JeschonekSam JeschonekSam Jeschonek BA, Biology, Chemistry New College of Florida

K. Mowry

My research uses Xenopus laevis oocytes as a model for studying cytoplasmic RNA localization.  Once localized to its final destination RNA must be retained, or anchored, at that location until required later in embryogenesis. My research seeks to identify novel proteins involved in anchoring RNA to the actin cytoskeleton.

Christopher Neil BA, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry Colby College K. Mowry 3-2439
John Urban BS, Biology William Paterson University

S. Gerbi

My research projects span from the bench to bioinformatics, and are primarily in the area of genomics, with a focus on DNA Replication in metazoans, using and developing novel methods with 2nd and 3rd generation sequencing technologies. In one project, former post-doc Mike Foulk and I mapped origins of replication genome-wide in a human breast cancer cell line and found that there was a relationship between G-quadruplex structures and nucleosomes at a subset of them. For another project, I have been collecting DNA and RNA sequencing data (including Illumina, PacBio, BioNano Irys, and Oxford Nanopore MinION) for the fungus fly (Sciara coprophila) to assemble its genome and transcriptome as well as identify the sites of developmentally regulated DNA re-replication therein.