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Trainees

The following lists represents graduate students and post-doctoral fellows within departmental laboratories. For students in our graduate programs please see:

Students in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program

Students in the Biophysics, Structural and Computational Biology Ph.D. Program

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Post-Doctoral Fellows and Graduate Students

Kadijah Abston, M.S.
Kadijah Abston, M.S.

Graduate Student
Li Lab


Research Interest: Define the information carriers in semen underlying Pb-induced transgenerational behavioral alterations.
Mohammed Ali,
Mohammed Ali

Graduate Student
First Year

Sara Ali,
Sara Ali

Graduate Student
Mathews Lab


Research Interest: Identifying Distant Homologs of the ncRNA Lep5
Viktoriya  Anokhina, M.S.
Viktoriya  Anokhina, M.S.

Graduate Student
Benjamin Miller Lab

Research Interest: Methods for the improvement of bioavailability of RNA-Targeting Compounds: Application to HIV

Gloria Asantewaa,
Gloria Asantewaa

Graduate Student
Harris Lab


Research Interest: Interplay of Glutathione and Lipid Metabolism
Chen Bao,
Chen Bao

Graduate Student
Ermolenko Lab

Research Interest: How do mRNA Stem-Loops Induce Ribosome Pausing?

Lauren Benoodt, M.S.
Lauren Benoodt, M.S.

Graduate Student
Thakar Lab

Research Interest: Extending Pathways for Mechanistic Predictions from Large Scale Data

Javeed Bhat, Ph.D.
Javeed Bhat, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Hayes Lab


Rachel Bonn-Breach,
Rachel Bonn-Breach

Graduate Student
Wedekind Lab

Research Interest: Structure and specificity of cyclic peptides in complex with HIV TAR provides insight into inhibitor development

Michael Bryan, M.S.
Michael Bryan, M.S.

Graduate Student
Benjamin Miller Lab


Research Interest: Integration of Silicon Nitride Photonic Microring Resonators for Sensing with On-chip Spectrometry to Detect Biologically Relevant Protein Targets in Serum
Joseph Bucukovski,
Joseph Bucukovski

Graduate Student
Benjamin Miller Lab

Research Interest: Developing a tendon-on-a-chip model with integrated photonic biosensors to detect inflammatory biomarkers in situ

Chapin Cavender, M.S.
Chapin Cavender, M.S.

Graduate Student
Mathews Lab


Research Interest: Capturing the influence of solvent and local structure in a fixed-charge force field for RNA
Sai Chavali, M.S.
Sai Chavali, M.S.

Graduate Student
Wedekind Lab

Research Interest: Arginine Forks Are a Widespread Motif to Recognize Phosphate Backbones and Guanine Nucleobases in the RNA Major Groove

Wesley Chiang,
Wesley Chiang

Graduate Student
Krauss Lab


Research Interest: Using STORM to Track the Neuroinvasive Potential of SARS-CoV-2 Through the Blood-Brain Barrier Mediated by a Bradykinin Storm
Hana Cho, Ph.D.
Hana Cho, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Maquat Lab

Jessica Ciesla,
Jessica Ciesla

Graduate Student
Munger Lab


Research Interest: TNFα Induces Metabolic Reprogramming that is Essential for its Anti-Viral Activity
Brandon Davis,
Brandon Davis

Graduate Student
O'Connell Lab

Research Interest: Understanding Rules for Cas13 Mediated RNA Targeting in Human Cells

Thareendra (Teddy) De Zoysa, M.S.
Thareendra (Teddy) De Zoysa, M.S.

Graduate Student
Phizicky Lab


Research Interest: Similarities and differences in tRNA quality control decay pathways in evolutionarily distant yeast species
Diana Dunn, Ph.D.
Diana Dunn, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Munger Lab

Justin Galardi,
Justin Galardi

Graduate Student
Kielkopf Lab


Research Interest: Distinguishing the role of a putative U2AF65 - SF3B1 complex in pre-mRNA splicing
Fanfan Hao, M.S.
Fanfan Hao, M.S.

Graduate Student
Hayes Lab

Research Interest: Acetylation-modulated communication between the H3 N-terminal tail and the intrinsically disordered H1 C-terminal domain

Leon Harvey,
Leon Harvey

Graduate Student
First Year


Xueyang He,
Xueyang He

Graduate Student
Boutz Lab

Research Interest: Modeling the Effects of Cancer-Associated Spliceosome Mutations and Identifying Driving Intronic Features Using Deep-Learning Neural Networks

Omar Hedaya,
Omar Hedaya

Graduate Student
Yao Lab


Research Interest: Understanding the role of the RNA secondary structure context in regulating upstream open reading frames
Eric Hillpot,
Eric Hillpot

Graduate Student
Gorbunova & Seluanov Laboratory

Research Interest: Identifying and Characterizing SIRT6 Interaction Partners

Lisa Houston, M.S.
Lisa Houston, M.S.

Graduate Student
Grayhack Lab


Research Interest: A reading frame quality control system acts during ribosome collisions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Molly Hulver,
Molly Hulver

Graduate Student
Boutz Lab

Research Interest: Identification of intron-encoded neoantigens upregulated by cancer-associated CDK12/13 mutations

Nazish Jeffery, M.S.
Nazish Jeffery, M.S.

Graduate Student
Bulger Lab


Research Interest: Histone H2A.X Phosphorylation Activates Caspase-Induced Chromatin Condensation in Late Stage Erythropoiesis
Feng Jiang,
Feng Jiang

Graduate Student
Yao Lab

Research Interest: Cracking the Function of PRRC2B in Translation Initiation

Gabrielle Kosoy,
Gabrielle Kosoy

Graduate Student
Benjamin Miller Lab


Research Interest: Whole virus versus surface protein, what is the antigenicity?
Ashok Kumar, Ph.D.
Ashok Kumar, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Hayes Lab

Ashwin Kumar,
Ashwin Kumar

Graduate Student
Topham Lab
Program for Advanced Immune Bioimaging


Research Interest: Biological factors and genetic programs that drive differentiation and maintenance of Lung CD8+ Tissue Resident Memory cells
Lingfeng Luo, M.S.
Lingfeng Luo, M.S.

Graduate Student
Yan Lab

Research Interest: Role of PDE10A in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Hyperplasia and Pathological Vascular Remodeling

Nicholas Macoretta,
Nicholas Macoretta

Graduate Student
Gorbunova & Seluanov Laboratory


Research Interest: The Role Histone Modifications and Variants in Longevity of Rodent Species
Debanjana Maji,
Debanjana Maji

Graduate Student
Kielkopf Lab

Research Interest: Structure and Function of the Disease-Relevant Pre-mRNA Splicing Factor U2AF2

Luke Marr, M.S.
Luke Marr, M.S.

Graduate Student
Hayes Lab


Research Interest: Probing Chromatin Structure Through Accessible Histone Surfaces
James McSally, Ph.D.
James McSally, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Mathews Lab

Abhinav Mittal,
Abhinav Mittal

Graduate Student
Mathews Lab


Research Interest: Inferring RNA Secondary Structure from Multiple Sequence Alignment
Adrian Moises Molina Vargas,
Adrian Moises Molina Vargas

Graduate Student
O'Connell Lab

Research Interest: RNA biology, CRISPR-Cas systems. Understanding gRNA design rules for efficient and specific Cas13 RNA-binding in human cells.

Isreal Moreno, M.S.
Isreal Moreno, M.S.

Graduate Student
Munger Lab


Research Interest: The Role of Enolase 2 During Human Cytomegalovirus Infection
Rina Nagao, Ph.D.
Rina Nagao, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Maquat Lab

Julia Nicosia,
Julia Nicosia

Graduate Student
O'Connell Lab


Research Interest: The role of the Type VI CRISPR-Cas accessory protein Csx27 in the regulation of CRISPR-Cas13 mediated anti-viral immunity
Mukta Palshikar,
Mukta Palshikar

Graduate Student
Thakar Lab

Research Interest: Executable models of pathways built using single-cell RNA-seq data reveal atherosclerosis-associated signaling dysregulations

Yi Pan,
Yi Pan

Graduate Student
Yu Lab


Research Interest: Exploring the potential role of U2 m6Am modification in branch site recognition during pre-mRNA splicing
Ashlin Poruthoor,
Ashlin Poruthoor

Graduate Student
Grossfield Lab

Research Interest: Estimating free energy landscape of phase separation in the lipid bilayer

Xavier Rambout, Ph.D.
Xavier Rambout, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Maquat Lab


Matthew Raymonda,
Matthew Raymonda

Graduate Student
Munger Lab

Research Interest: Identifying vulnerabilities of β-coronaviruses using high-throughput drug screening

Emily Robinson,
Emily Robinson

Graduate Student
Grossfield Lab


Research Interest: Cysteine Thioesters as a Potential Treatment for Opioid Overdose: Insights from Molecular Dynamics
Nicholas Rugelis,
Nicholas Rugelis

Graduate Student
First Year

Griffin Schroeder,
Griffin Schroeder

Graduate Student
Wedekind Lab

Research Interest: Discovery of a PreQ1 Riboswitch with a Fundamentally Different Mode of Effector Recognition and Gene Regulation

James Seuch,
James Seuch

Graduate Student
First Year


Lucas Simpson,
Lucas Simpson

Graduate Student
First Year

Zachary Smith,
Zachary Smith

Graduate Student
First Year


Yoshita Srivastava,
Yoshita Srivastava

Graduate Student
Wedekind Lab

Research Interest: Two riboswitches with identical binding pockets show different tolerances to equivalent mutations and varied promiscuities for cognate effector binding

Daniel Steiner, M.S.
Daniel Steiner, M.S.

Graduate Student
Benjamin Miller Lab


Research Interest: Antigen Microarrays: Entering the COVID Fray
Monika Tasak,
Monika Tasak

Graduate Student
Phizicky Lab

Research Interest: tRNA modifications and quality control decay pathways in evolutionarily distant yeast species

Jennifer Twardowski,
Jennifer Twardowski

Graduate Student
Mello Lab


Research Interest: Evaluating the Potential of Tumor Suppressor p53 to Preserve Pancreatic Acinar Cell Identity
Arica VanderWal,
Arica VanderWal

Graduate Student
O'Connell Lab

Research Interest: The Role of Csx28 in CRISPR-Cas13b Anti-Bacteriophage Defense

Elinore Vangraafeiland,
Elinore Vangraafeiland

Graduate Student
Benjamin Miller Lab


Research Interest: Targeting Programmed Ribosomal Frameshifting in SARS-CoV-2 with a Resin-Bound Dynamic Combinatorial Library
Nicole Waild,
Nicole Waild

Graduate Student
First Year

Ethan Walker,
Ethan Walker

Graduate Student
Ghaemmaghami Lab


Research Interest: Proteome-wide Analysis of Temperature-Dependent Stability in Thermophilic Versus Mesophilic Bacteria
Li Xie,
Li Xie

Graduate Student
Pröschel Lab
Li Lab

Research Interest: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms that Control Tissue Homeostasis and Somatic Stem Cells.