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Graduating Class of 2018

Yu-Jui (Ray) Ho, Ph.D.
Computational Biologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Dr. Yu-Jui (Ray) Ho conducted his thesis research in Dr. Molly Hammell’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Single-cell sequencing to understand resistance mechanism in melanoma.” Ray is a Computational Biologist in Dr. Scott Lowe’s laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Daniel Kepple, Ph.D.
Graduate Student, Post
Dr. Daniel Kepple conducted his thesis research in Dr. Alexei Koulakov’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “A exploration of olfactory spaces.” Daniel is currently a Graduate Student, Post, at CSHL.
Fred Marbach, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UK
Dr. Fred Marbach conducted his thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Projection-neuron activity in auditory cortex during perceptual decisions.” Fred is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Marcus Stephenson-Jones’ laboratory at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre.
Paul Masset, Ph.D.
Graduate Student, Post
Dr. Paul Masset conducted his thesis research in Dr. Adam Kepec’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Building confidence: behavioral and neural signatures for metacognition.” Paul is currently a Graduate Student, Post, at CSHL.
Onyekachi Odoemene, Ph.D.
Data Scientist, Booz Allen Hamilton, Maryland
Dr. Onyekachi (Kachi) Odoemene conducted his thesis research in Dr. Anne Churchland’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Accumulation of visual evidence for decision making in mice.” Kachi was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Chou Hung’s laboratory at the Army Research Laboratory. He is now a Data Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Graduating Class of 2017

Brittany Cazakoff, Ph.D.
Student, Stanford Law School
Dr. Brittany Cazakoff conducted her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Shea. Her thesis was entitled “State and learning dependent activity in olfactory granule cells.” Brittany is currently a student at Stanford Law School.
M. Joaquina Delas Vives, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Francis Crick Institute
Dr. Joaqunia Delas Vives conducted her thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Role of long noncoding RNAs in hematopoiesis.” Joaquina is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. James Briscoe’s laboratory at The Francis Crick Institute.
Justus Kebschull, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
Dr. Justus Kebschull conducted his thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Exploiting DNA sequencing technology for high-throughput neuroanatomy.” Justus is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Liqun Luo’s laboratory at Stanford University.
Matthew Koh, Ph.D.
NLP Research Scientist, Bloomberg LP
Dr. Matthew Koh conducted his thesis research in Dr. Florin Albeanu’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “A novel optical method for controlling and recording from neural circuits.” After graduation, he completed the Insight Data Science program and is now a Natural Language Processing Research Scientist at Bloomberg LP in New York.
Maria Nattestad, Ph.D.
Scientific Visualization Lead, DNA Nexus and Founder, OMGenomics
Dr. Maria Nattestad conducted her thesis research in Dr. Michael Schatz’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Computational methods for analysis and visualization of long-read sequencing data in cancer genomics.” She is currently the Scientific Visualizaiton Lead at DNA Nexus in California. Additionally, Maria founded a company, OMGenomics, to create powerful data visualization and analytical exploration tools for genomics.
Annabel Romero Hernandez, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Dr. Annabel Romero Hernandez conducted her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Hiro Furukawa. Her thesis was entitled “ Molecular mechanisms of inhibition and subtype specificity in NMDA receptors.” Annabel is now an Associate Scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. in New York.
Abram Santana, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Dr. Abram Handly-Santana conducted his thesis research in Dr. David Tuveson’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Distinct populations of fibroblasts in pancreatic cancer.” Abram is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Joan Brugge’s laboratory at Harvard University.
Charles Underwood, Ph.D.
Scientist, KeyGene
Dr. Charles Underwood conducted his thesis research in Dr. Robert Martienssen’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Epigenetic and genetic control of transposon silencing and meiotic crossover in Arabidopsis thaliana.” Charlie continues to work on plant reproduction and genomics as a Scientist at KeyGene in the Netherlands.

Graduating Class of 2016

Robert Aboukhalil

Robert Aboukhalil, Ph.D.
Senior Bioinformatics Software Engineer, Genapsys
Dr. Robert Aboukhalil conducted his thesis research in the laboratories of Drs. Michael Wigler and Mickey Atwal. His thesis was entitled “Elucidating cancer evolution using single-cell sequencing and comparative genomics.” Upon graduation Robert joined Fluidigm as a senior computational biologist. He is now a Senior Bioinformatics Software Engineer at Genapsys in California.

Arkarup Bandyopadhyay

Arkarup Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University
Dr. Arkarup Bandyopadhyay conducted his thesis research in Dr. Florin Albeanu’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Identity and intensity encoding in the olfactory bulb.” Arka is now a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Long’s laboratory at NYU.

Colleen Carlston

Colleen Carlston, Ph.D.
Medical Student, University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Colleen Carlston conducted her thesis research in Dr. Christopher Hammell’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Prion-like pqn-59 affects C. elegans developmental timing through microRNAs.” After graduation, Colleen completed a clinical molecular genetics fellowship at the University of Utah. She is now a medical student at the University of California, San Francisco.

Silvia Fenoglio

Silvia Fenoglio, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT
Dr. Silvia Fenoglio conducted her thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Context-specific dependencies in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.” Silvia is now a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Hemann’s laboratory at MIT.

Tyler Garvin

Tyler Garvin, Ph.D.
Head of Operations, Stockwell AI Inc.
Dr. Tyler Garvin conducted his thesis research in Dr. Michael Schatz’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Algorithms for the analysis of cancer genomics with advanced sequencing technologies.” Tyler was a senior software engineer at Pict in California, before starting his current position as Head of Operations at Stockwell AI, Inc. in California.

Anja Hohmann

Anja Hohmann, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, KSQ Therapeutics
Dr. Anja Hohmann conducted her thesis research in Dr. Christopher Vakoc’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Function and inhibition of BRD9 in acute myeloid leukemia cells.” Anja is now a senior scientist at KSQ Therapeutics in Massachusetts.

Lisa Krug

Lisa Krug, Ph.D.
Scientist, Kallyope
Dr. Lisa Krug conducted her thesis research in Dr. Josh Dubnau’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Retrotransposon activation contributes to neurodegeneration in a Drosophila TDP-43 model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.” Lisa is now a scientist at Kalloype in New York.

Graduating Class of 2015

Ozlem Aksoy
Özlem Aksoy (née Mert), Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Özlem Aksoy performed her thesis research in Dr. Scott Lowe’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “The biological role of an atypical E2f family member, E2F7.” Özlem is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. William A. Weiss’s lab at University of California, San Francisco, where she studies mouse models of neuroblastoma.
Mitchell Bekritsky
Mitchell A. Bekritsky, Ph.D.
Bioinformatics Scientist, Illumina
Dr. Mitchell Bekritsky conducted his thesis research in Dr. Michael Wigler’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Detecting de novo microsatellite mutations in a population of families with sporadic autism.” Mitch is now a bioinformatics scientist at Illumina in Cambridge, UK.
Stephane Castel
Stephane E. Castel, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, New York Genome Center
Dr. Stephane Castel conducted his thesis research in Dr. Rob Martienssen’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Transcriptional regulation in the context of DNA replication by RNA interference in fission yeast.” Stephane is now a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Tuuli Lappalainen at the New York Genome Center, where he studies how the genome regulates transcription to generate phenotypic diversity.
Kristen Delevich
Kristen Marie Delevich, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Kristen Delevich conducted her thesis research in Dr. Bo Li’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Synaptic effects of Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 loss-of-function in the medial prefrontal cortex and thalamofrontal feedforward inhibitory circuit.” She is doing postdoctoral research in the lab of Dr. Linda Wilbrecht at the University of California, Berkeley. Kristen is interested in the functional changes in the nervous system that accompany adolescence.
Wee Siong Sho Goh
Wee Siong Sho Goh, Ph.D.
GIS Fellow, Genome Institute Singapore (SG)
Dr. Wee Siong Sho Goh performed his thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Biogenesis and function of piRNAs.” He conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. William F. Burkholder at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of A*STAR in Singapore. Sho is now an independent GIS Fellow at the Genome Institute of Singapore.
Sang-geol Koh, Ph.D.
Scientist, {mind}
Dr. Sang-geol Koh performed his thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “The role of callosal projections in auditory coding.” Following graduation, Sang-geol moved to South Korea to develop a biotechnology start-up company, {mind}
Ian Peikon
Ian D. Peikon, Ph.D.
Lead Scientist, Kallyope, Inc.
Dr. Ian Peikon conducted his thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Encoding of neural circuit information into DNA” and was awarded the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award for this work. In 2016, Ian was named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in science for his graduate work on the connectome. Ian worked shortly with GoogleX as a product engineer before joining the biotech start-up Kallyope in New York City. Kallyope focuses on applications of understanding how the gut communicates with and controls the brain and other organs.
Nilgun Tasdemir
Nilgün Tasdemir, Ph.D.
Research Fellow, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Nilgün Tasdemir performed her thesis research in Dr. Scott Lowe’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Investigating the role of Brd4 in cellular senescence and normal tissue homeostasis.” Nilgün is conducting postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburg. She studies the effects of hormonal signaling on gene expression in breast cancer in the lab of Dr. Nancy Davidson.
Elvin Wagenblast
Elvin Wagenblast, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto (CA)
Dr. Elvin Wagenblast conducted his thesis research with Dr. Gregory Hannon. His thesis was entitled “A molecular characterization of breast cancer progression, including onset, tumor growth and metastasis.” Elvin is performing postdoctoral research with Dr. John Dick at the University of Toronto, studying hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia.
Jack Walleshauser
Jack G. Walleshauser III, Ph.D.
Research Scientist at Plexxikon Inc.
Dr. Jack Walleshauser performed his thesis research in Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Insights into the molecular interactions within the Lin28-let-7 pathway.” Jack conducted research with Dr. Anna Pyle at Yale University, where he studied the structure and function of large RNAs. He is currently a Research Scientist at Plexxikon Inc., in California.
Susann Weissmueller
Susann Isolde Weissmueller, Ph.D.
Strategic Partnering Associate, Roche
Dr. Susann Weissmueller conducted her thesis research with Dr. Scott Lowe. Her thesis was entitled “The impact of chromosome 17p alterations on cancer.” Susann was a healthcare equity research associate with Roth Capital Partners and is now a Strategic Partnering Associate at Roche, Switzerland.
Cinthya Mendoza
Cinthya J. Zepeda Mendoza, Ph.D.
Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellow, Mayo Clinic
Dr. Cinthya Zepeda Mendoza conducted her thesis research in Dr. David Spector’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Impact of copy number variation on chromatin interactions at the mouse 4qE2 chromosome region.” After graduation, Cinthya moved to Harvard and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital for postdoctoral work with Dr. Cynthia Morton. She is now a Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellow at the Mayo Clinic.

Graduating Class of 2014

Katie Liberatore
Katie Liberatore, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Calyxt
Dr. Katie Liberatore conducted her thesis research in Dr. Zachary Lippman’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Investigating the roles of gene dosage and stem cell maintenance in the regulation of plant shoot and inflorescence architecture.” Katie did a postdoctoral fellowship at the USDA Cereal Disease Laboratory before starting her current position as a Research Scientist at Calyxt, a biotechnology company in Minneapolis.
Philippe Batut
Philippe Batut, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University
Dr. Philippe Batut conducted his thesis research in the lab of Dr. Thomas Gingeras. His thesis was entitled “Promoter evolution in Drosophila: non-coding transcription and transposon-driven innovation.” Philippe is conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Mike Levine at Princeton University.
Kaja Wasik
Kaja Wasik, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, Gencove
Dr. Kaja Wasik conducted her thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Unusual aspects of piRNA pathways in mice and flatworms.” Kaja was an intern at Topspin Partners and Accelerate Long Island, which together help fund innovative, early stage biotech start-up companies. Kaja joined the biotech start-up, EpiBone, where she was a research scientist. Kaja was then a postdoctoral research associate with Dr. Joe Pickrell at the New York Genome Center. She co-founded Gencove, a genomics company located in New York, where she is now the Chief Scientific Officer.
Joshua Sanders
Joshua Sanders, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, Sanworks, LLC

Dr. Joshua Sanders conducted his thesis research in the lab of Dr. Adam Kepecs. His thesis was entitled “A computational framework for understanding decision confidence.” Josh conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Duda Kvitsiani at the Danish Research Institute for Translational Neuroscience and Århus University, where he studied the brain circuits that underlie foraging behavior. He recently started his own company Sanworks, which develops automated systems for Neuroscience research, and streamlines access to them through an online assembly service.
Dario Bressan
Dario Bressan, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Dr. Dario Bressan conducted his thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “A novel technology for the space-specific recovery of biological molecules.” Dario is continuing his work as a research associate at Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Institute and the University of Cambridge.
Yevgeniy Plavskin
Yevgeniy Plavskin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University
Dr. Yevgeniy Plavskin conducted his thesis research in Dr. Marja Timmermans’ laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Regulation of the auxin response by an ancient small RNA pathway.” Eugene is currently a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Mark Siegel at New York University’s Department of Genomics and Systems Biology. He studies the genetic networks underlying phenotypic evolution.
Hassana Oyibo
Hassan Oyibo, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Friedriech Miescher Institute (CH)
Dr. Hassana Oyibo conducted her thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “A high throughput sequencing approach to mapping synaptic connectivity in the brain.” Hassana is a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland. She studies sensory processing in the visual cortex, working in the lab of Dr. Georg Keller.
Michael Pautler
Michael Paulter, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Vineland Research and Innovation Center (CA)
Dr. Michael Pautler conducted his thesis research in Dr. David Jackson’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Meristem size and determinacy in maize.” Mike is now a research associate at Vineland Research and Innovation Center in Canada, an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to horticultural science and crop improvement.
Melanie Eckersley-Maslin

Melanie Eckersley-Maslin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge (UK)
Dr. Melanie Eckersley-Maslin conducted her thesis research in Dr. David Spector’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Characteristics of random monoallelic gene expression during embryonic stem cell differentiation.” Mélanie is a postdoctoral fellow at the Babraham Institute at the University of Cambridge with Dr. Wolf Reick. She studies epigenetic reprogramming in stem cells.

Zinaida Perova
Zinaida Perova, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (UK)
Dr. Zinaida Perova conducted her thesis research in Dr. Bo Li’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Synaptic changes in the medial prefrontal cortex in susceptibility and resilience to stress.” Zina is a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the University of Cambridge. She works in the lab of Dr. Tiago Branco studying how neurons integrate synaptic signals.
Marek Kudla
Marek Kudla, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Marek Kudla conducted his thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Quantitative description of microRNA target site occupancy in mouse embryonic stem cells and derived cells of neuronal lineage.” Marek is performing postdoctoral research in the lab of Nick Ingolia at UC Berkeley studying the regulation of gene expression.

Graduating Class of 2013

Eyal Gruntman
Eyal Gruntman, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, HHMI Janelia Farm
Dr. Eyal Gruntman conducted his thesis research in Dr. Glenn Turner’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Integration Properties of Kenyon Cells in the Drosophila melanogaster Mushroom Bodies.” Eyal is currently conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Michael Reiser at HHMI Janelia Farm. He studies the organization of neural circuits that control innate behaviors in Drosophila.
Maria Pineda
Maria Pineda, Ph.D.
Co-founder and CEO, Envisagenics, Inc.
Dr. Maria Luisa Pineda conducted her thesis research in Dr. Raffaella Sordella Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Substrate specificity of receptor tyrosine kinases is critical for selective signaling.” She has been consulting for private equity investment firms in Long Island and NYC, Canrock Ventures and Golden Seeds. Maria established the first bioinformatics solutions company in New York, Envisagenics, Inc.
Felix Schlesinger
Felix Schlesinger, Ph.D.
Bioinformatics Scientist, Illumina
Dr. Felix Schlesinger conducted his thesis research in Dr. Thomas Gingeras’ laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Discovery and Analysis of Transcription at Regulatory Elements.” Felix is currently a Bioinformatics Scientist at Illumina in San Diego.
Megan Bodnar
Megan Bodnar, Ph.D.
Senoir Research Scientist, NYU Langone Medical Center
Dr. Megan (Bodnar) Hogan conducted her thesis research in Dr. David Spector’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “The dynamics of pluripotency genes upon differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells.” Megan conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Thomas Zwaka at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she studied the regulation of pluripotency in embryonic stem cells. Megan is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Systems Genetics at the NYU Langone Medical Center.
Paloma Guzzardo
Paloma Guzzardo, Ph.D.
Scientist, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Paloma Guzzardo conducted her thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Identification and characterization of novel components of the Drosophila piRNA pathway.” Paloma worked as a Program Evaluation Consultant at the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. She then joined Horizon Genomics in Vienna, Austria as a team leader. She is now a Scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in New York.
Saya Ebbesen
Saya Ebbesen, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Medical and Scientific Strategy, BluPrint Oncology
Dr. Saya Ebbesen performed her thesis research in Dr. Scott Lowe’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “RNAi Mouse Models of Breast Cancer Tumor Suppressor Genes.” Saya conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. David Lyden at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. Saya then joined BGB Group, a medical communications agency in New York City, as a medical writer. She is now the Associate Director of Medical and Scientific Strategy at BluPrint Oncology in London.
Petr Znamenskiy
Petr Znamenskiy, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
Dr. Petr Znamenskiy conducted his thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Role of corticostriatal projections in auditory discrimination.” Petr is currently conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Thomas Mrsic-Flogel. The lab recently moved to the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre where they are studying the circuit mechanisms by which neural networks encode sensory information in the visual system.
Joseph Calarco
Joseph Calarco, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
Dr. Joseph Calarco conducted his thesis research in Dr. Robert Martienssen’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “A System to Study Chromatin Dynamics Through Pollen Development.” Joe is now conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Gerald Crabtree at Stanford University. He investigates the roles of chormatin remodeling during mammalian development. Joe sadly passed away in 2016.

Graduating Class of 2012

Frederick Rollins
Frederick Rollins, Ph.D., MBA
Consultant, L.E.K. Consulting
Dr. Frederick Rollins conducted his thesis research in Gregory Hannon’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “The genetics and epigenetics of erlotinib resistance in non-small cell lung cancer”. Fred then graduated from the accelerated MBA program at The Johnson School of Graduate Management at Cornell University. He now works with L.E.K. Consulting.
Patrick Finigan
Patrick Finigan, Ph.D.
Senior Specialist, Regulatory Affairs CMC Biologics, Merck
Dr. Patrick Finigan conducted his thesis research in Dr. Rob Martienssen’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “The origin of novel phenotypic variation in Arabidopsis allopolyploids.” Patrick was an intern at Bayer Healthcare and a regulatory affairs associate at Sanofi. He is now a Senior Specialist in Regulatory Affairs at Merck..
Elizabeth Nakasone
Elizabeth Nakasone, M.D., Ph.D.
Resident Physician, UCLA
Dr. Elizabeth Nakasone conducted her thesis research in Dr. Mikala Egeblad’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled, “A stromal CCL2/CCR2 signaling axis regulates chemotherapeutic response in a mouse model of breast cancer.” Beth graduated from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii and is now a Resident Physician at UCLA Health in California.
Kyle Honnegger
Kyle Honnegger, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Dr. Kyle Honegger conducted his thesis research in Dr. Glenn Turner’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Neural Coding in the Drosophila Mushroom Body.” Kyle is a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Benjamin de Bivort at Harvard University. He continues to study how odors are represented in the Drosophila brain using genetics and imaging.
Zhenxun Wang
Zhenxun Wang, Ph.D.
Research Fellow, Genome Institute of Singapore
Dr. Zhenxun Wang conducted his thesis research in Dr. Adrian Krainer ‘s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled ” The mechanism and manipulation of pk-m alternative splicing. Wang is a research fellow with Dr. Bing Lim at the Genome Institute of Singapore where he studies embryonic stem cell pluripotency and reprogramming.

Graduating Class of 2011

Amy Rappaport
Amy Rappaport, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Gristone Oncology
Dr. Amy Rappaport conducted her thesis research in Dr. Scott Lowe’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Dissecting tumor suppressor and tumor maintenance genes in poor prognosis acute myeloid leukemia.” Amy conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Leisa Johnson at Genentech in San Francisco, where she developed mouse models of cancers to identify and validate therapeutic targets. She then joined a highly publicized biotech start-up company in Palo Alto as an assay development scientist. She is currently a Senior Scientist at Gristone Oncology in California.
Claudio Scuoppo
Claudio Scuoppo, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University
Dr. Claudio Scuoppo conducted his thesis research in Dr. Scott Lowe’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Architectural Models of Tumor Suppression in Lymphoma.” Claudio is conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Riccardo Dalla-Favera at the Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University studying B cell lymphomas. He aims to identify genetic lesions and the mechanism by which they contribute to tumors.

Graduating Class of 2010

Shradda Pai
Shraddha Pai, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto (CA)
Dr. Shraddha Pai conducted her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Carlos Brody. Her thesis was entitled “Neuroanatomical localization of timing-specific brain loci in the rat”. Shraddha is currently conducting postdoctoral research with Dr.Gary Bader at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Canada, investigateing epigenetic impacts on human psychiatric diseases. In 2014, she was awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship and a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant to support her research.
Colin Malone
Colin Malone, Ph.D.
Director of Genomic Analysis & Technical Operations, and Assistant Professor, Columbia University
Dr. Colin Malone conducted his thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Gregory Hannon where he was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. His thesis was entitled “Evolution, inheritance and specialization of transposon control pathways in Drosophila.” Colin conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Ruth Lehmann at The Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, supported by a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation fellowship. He studied how the endosymbiont Wolbachia infects Drosophila germ cells. In 2015, Colin moved to Columbia University Medical Center, where he is Director of Genomic Analysis and Technical Operations at the Institute for Genomic Medicine and an Assistant Proffesor in the Department of Medicine.
Oliver Fregoso
Oliver Fregoso, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Oliver Fregoso conducted his thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Adrian Krainer. His thesis was entitled “Elucidating the functions of splicing regulatory proteins through the use of high-throughput proteomics.” Oliver conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Michael Emerman at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, investigating the replication and pathogenesis of HIV and related viruses. Oliver continues to study viral evolution in his own research lab at UCLA and the David Geffen School of Medicine. He is in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics.
Oliver Tam
Oliver Tam, Ph.D.
Computational Scientific Analyst, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Dr. Oliver Tam conducted his thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Characterization of small RNA populations and DNA methylation in mammalian development.” Oliver was awarded a Human Frontiers in Science fellowship for his postdoctoral research, which her performed with Dr. Janet Rossant at The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto and then with Dr. Molly Hammell at CSHL. Oliver joined ARUP Laboratories, a non-profit enterprise of the University of Utah that offers complex medical diagnostic tests as a sequencing analyst. He is now a Computational Scientific Analyst at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Amy Leung, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor, City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute
Dr. Amy Leung conducted her thesis research in Dr. William Tansey’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Regulation of chromatin by histone H2B ubiquitylation.” Amy conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Rama Natarajan at the City of Hope, Beckman Research Institute, California, where she is now an Assistant Research Professor. She studies the cellular and molecular mechanims involved in diabetic vascular complications. Amy recently received an NIH K01 award to study the role of long non-coding RNAs in diabetes.
Hiroshi Makino
Hiroshi Makino, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Nayand Technological University Singapore
Dr. Hiroshi Makino conducted his thesis research in Dr. Roberto Malinow’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “AMPA receptor dynamics and synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses”. Hiroshi conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Takaki Komiyama at the University of California, San Diego, where he was looking at the activity of neuronal circuits in behaving animals. He is currently an Assistant Professor, Nayand Technological University Singapor.
Galen Collins
Galen Collins, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Galen Collins conducted his thesis research in Dr. William Tansey’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Activator turnover and proteolysis in transcriptional activation”. Galen is currently conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Fred Goldberg at Harvard Medical School studying protein degradation and quality control.
David Simpson
David Simpson, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
Dr. David Simpson conducted his research in Dr. William Tansey’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Regulation of Myc-induced apoptosis in the mammary epithelia”. David was the recipient of a US Army Medical Research and Material Command Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship. David is conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Alejandro Sweet-Cordero at Stanford University identifying therapeutic targets for lung cancers.
Katherine McJunkin
Katherine McJunkin, Ph.D.
Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator, National Institutes of Health
Dr. Katherine McJunkin conducted her thesis research in Dr. Scott Lowe’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Inducible RNAi targeting essential genes”. Katie conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Victor Ambros at UMass Medical Center. Where she studied the post-translational regulation of microRNAs in C. elegans development. In 2015, Katie was awarded an NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award. She is currently a Tenure Track Investigator and Acting Section Chief, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH.
Yaniv Erlich
Yaniv Erlich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Columbia University
Chief Scientific Officer, MyHeritage (IL)

Dr. Yaniv Erlich conducted his thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Compressed sensing”. Yaniv was the recipient of the IEEE-CS/ACM High Performance Computing Ph.D. Fellowship and the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award. He then moved to the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research as the Andria and Paul Heafy Family Fellow. In 2015, he moved to the New York Genome Center and the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University. He is now an Associate Professor at Columbia University and the Chief Scientific Officer at MyHeritage, Or Yehuda, Israel.

Graduating Class of 2009

Allison Blum
Allison Blum, Ph.D.
Director, Scientific and Research Strategy, Columbia University
Dr. Allison Blum conducted her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Josh Dubnau. Her thesis was entitled “rutabaga signaling in distinct circuits supports short versus long-term memory in Drosophila.” Allison worked as the laboratory manager for Dr. Ruth Lehmann’s laboratory at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, for several years. She then moved to Columbia University as Science Operations Managers for HHMI investigators. Her current position at Columbia University is Director, Scientific and Research Strategy.
Shu-Ling Chiu
Shu-Ling Chiu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Dr. Shu-Ling Chiu conducted her thesis research in Dr. Hollis Cline’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “The role of insulin receptor in the development of neuronal structure and function.” Shu-Ling is currently conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Richard Huganir at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she studies the function and regulation of neurotransmitter receptors.
Daniel Chitwood
Daniel Chitwood, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
Dr. Daniel Chitwood conducted his thesis research in Dr. Marja Timmermans’ Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Patterning in leaves via a cascade of small RNAs.” He conducted postdoctoral research with Drs. Neelima Sinha and Julin Maloof at the University of California, Davis. He then joined the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis as an assistant Member. He is now an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University. His lab investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying the diversity of plant morphologies, including leaf shapes and shoot architectures.
Keisha John
Keisha John, Ph.D.
Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Virginia
Dr. Keisha John conducted her thesis research in Dr. Linda Van Aelst’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Characterization of the role of DOCK7 in neuronal development.” She was a recipient of the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. Keisha conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Mary Beth Hatten at The Rockefeller University. She then moved to Florida State University’s Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards. She is now Director of Diversity Programs at the University of Virginia’s Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs.
Jeremy Wilusz
Jeremy Wilusz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Jeremy Wilusz conducted his thesis research in Dr. David Spector’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “3’ end processing of long nuclear-retained non-coding RNAs yields tRNA-like small RNAs.” Jeremy was the recipient of the 2009 RNA Society/Scaringe Graduate Student Award and a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society postdoctoral fellowship for his research with Dr. Phil Sharp at MIT. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania where his group studies how non-coding RNAs are generated and regulated.

Graduating Class of 2008

Hiroki Asari
Hiroki Asari, Ph.D.
Research Group Leader, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, IT)
Dr. Hiroki Asari conducted his thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Auditory System Characterization.” Hiro conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Markus Meister at Harvard University and CalTech, supported by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2016, he joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) at Monterotondo, Italy, as a group leader in neurobiology. His group investigates the neural circuits of the early visual system in mice, specifically how the retina participates in brain-wide feedback.
François Bolduc
François Bolduc, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Alberta (CA)
Dr. François Bolduc conducted his thesis research in Dr. Tim Tully’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Role of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein and the RNAi Pathway in Drosophila Learning and Memory.” Prior to joining the Watson School, he had completed his medical degree in Sherbrook, Quebec and had practiced pediatric neurology at the Université de Montreal and McGill University’s Montreal Children’s Hospital and Montreal Neurological Institute. François is currently a clinician scientist and associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Neurology and an adjunct associate professor of medical genetics at the University of Alberta, Canada. His lab uses Drosophila to understand the molecular basis of memory in relation to human diseases, such as intellectual disability and autism.
Wei Wei
Wei Wei, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, The University of Chicago
Dr. Wei Wei conducted her thesis research in Dr. Roberto Malinow’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “The Interplay between Amyloid-beta and Neural Activity.” Wei conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Marla Feller at the University of California, Berkeley. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago and a recipient of a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship. Wei’s lab studies the synaptic basis of neuronal computation in the retina and the development of synaptic connections.
Rebecca Bish
Rebecca Bish-Cornelissen, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, Mark Foundation for Cancer Research
Dr. Rebecca Bish conducted her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Myers. Her thesis was entitled “The Function of the Ubiquitin-Binding Zinc Finger Domain in DNA Repair.” Becky was the recipient of a predoctoral fellowship from the American Foundation for Aging Research. She conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Eric Holland at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and then with Dr. Christine Vogel at New York University. She also founded an independent company that provided editorial services to academic researchers. After completing her postdoc, Becky was a scientific editor at D. E. Shaw Research. She is now the Scientific Director for the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research.
Christopher Harvey
Christopher Harvey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Christopher Harvey conducted his thesis research in Dr. Karel Svoboda’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Dynamics of Plasticity and Signaling at Individual Synapses.” Chris conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. David Tank at Princeton University, supported by a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation fellowship. He is now an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and the recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award. Chris’s lab aims to understand how neural circuits in the cortex implement decision-making.
Angelique Girard
Angelique Girard, Ph.D.
Director of Finance and Administration, Amplitude Studios
Dr. Angelique Girard conducted her thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Mammalian Piwi proteins and transposon silencing in the male germline.” She conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Kevin Eggan at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University. Angelique is now the Director of Finance and Administration at Amplitude Studios in Paris, France.
Monica Dus
Monica Dus, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
Dr. Monica Dus conducted her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Greg Hannon. Her thesis was entitled “Beyond Classical RNAi: towards an understanding of germ cell development and transposon control in the fruitfly D. melanogaster.” Monica then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Greg Suh at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, where she was awarded a Hilda and Preston Davis Postdoctoral Fellowship in Eating Disorders. She now has her own lab in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan, studying the molecular basis or sppetitive behavior in Drosophila.

Graduating Class of 2007

Elizabeth Murchison
Elizabeth Murchison, Ph.D.
Reader, University of Cambridge (UK)
Dr. Elizabeth Murchison conducted her thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Genetic Studies of Mammalian Dicer.” Liz completed postdoctoral research at the Australian National University and then the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, supported by an Australian Government NHMRC Overseas Biomedical Fellowship. She has received the Eppendorf Young Investigator Award, the Genetics Society Balfour Prize, and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship. Liz is now a Reader in Comparative Oncology and Genetics and a Wellcome Trust Investigator at the University of Cambridge. Her lab studies the genetics and evolution of contagious cancers in dogs and Tasmanian devils.

Catherine Seiler (née Cormier), Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Biosample Operations, Kaleido Biosciences
Dr. Catherine Cormier conducted her thesis research in Dr. Yuri Lazebnik’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Caspase activation in unidentified apoptotic pathways.” During her time at the Watson School, Catherine received a PEO Scholar’s award and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. After completing her studies, she joined the Harvard Institute of Proteomics and then Dr. Josh LaBaer’s group at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University as the scientific liaison for the DNASU Plasmid Repository. She is now a Senior Manager for Biosample Operations at Kaleido Biosciences.

Gowan Tervo
Gowan Tervo, Ph.D.
Research Specialist, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus
Dr. Gowan Tervo conducted his thesis research in Dr. Karel Svoboda’s Laboratory wherehe was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship. His thesis was entitled “Development of Molecular Systems for the Inactivation of Synaptic Transmission.” Gowan is currently a Research Specialist with Dr. Alla Karpova at the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus. He studies learning in an adaptive environment as it applies to social interactions.
Darren Burgess
Darren Burgess, Ph.D.
Senior Editor, Nature Reviews Genetics
Dr. Darren Burgess conducted his thesis research in Dr. Scott Lowe’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “RNAi Genetic Screens for Chemotherapy Response Modifier Genes.” Darren then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Alan Ashworth at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK, before taking a position as an editor at Nature Reviews. He is currently Senior Editor at Nature Reviews Genetics.
Claudia Feierstein
Claudia Feierstein, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme (PT)
Dr. Claudia Feierstein conducted her thesis research in Dr. Zachary Mainen’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Representation of Goals, Actions, and Outcomes in Rat Orbitifrontal Cortex.” Claudia was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Pierre-Marie Lledo at the Pasteur Institute. She is now conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Michael Orger at the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme in Portugal where she studies sensory integration in the neural circuits that guide behavior.
Tomas Hromadka
Tomas Hromadka, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Institute of Experimental Medicine (CZ)
Dr. Tomas Hromadka conducted his thesis research in Dr. Anthony Zador’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Representation of Sounds in Auditory Cortex of Awake Rats.” Tomas is now a research scientist in the Laboratory of Auditory Physiology and Pathology in the Institute of Experimental Medicine, an EU Center of Excellence in Prague, Czech Republic.

Graduating Class of 2006

Marco Mangone
Marco Mangone, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Arizona State University
Dr. Marco Mangone conducted his thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Winship Herr. His thesis was entitled “Analysis of the HCF-1 basic region and its role in sustaining cell proliferation.” Marco conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Fabio Piano at the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University. He is currently an associate professor at Arizona State University. His lab is interested in the regulation of gene expression by mRNA processing in C. elegans and human cells.
Charles Kopec
Charles Kopec, Ph.D.
Associate Professional Specialist, Princeton University
Dr. Chuck Kopec conducted his thesis research in Dr. Roberto Malinow’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “AMPA receptor trafficking and their effect on spine enlargement during long-term potentiation.” Chuck was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health, NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship to support his research at the Watson School. He conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Carlos Brody studying the processing of temporal information in sensory perception at Princeton University where he is an Associate Professional Specialist.
Rebecca Ewald
Rebecca Ewald, Ph.D.
International Business Leader Roche AG
Dr. Rebecca Ewald conducted her thesis research with Dr. Hollis Cline. Her thesis was entitled “NMDA receptor subtypes and dendritic arbor morphology.” After completing her studies, Rebecca was accepted into the Management Trainee program at Roche Diagnostics, Europe, where she spent two years in training. She is currently an International Business Leader for Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. within the Roche Group.

Graduating Class of 2005

Elena Ezhkova
Elena Ezhkova, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Dr. Elena Ezhkova conducted her thesis research in Dr. William Tansey’s laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Role of the proteasome in gene control.” Elena then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Elaine Fuchs at The Rockefeller University. She is currently an associate professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine where her lab is identifying epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation in the skin.
Michelle Cilia
Michelle Cilia, Ph.D.
Research Molecular Biologist, USDA-ARS and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Cornell University
Dr. Michelle Cilia conducted her thesis research in Dr. David Jackson’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Mechanisms of intercellular communication in Arabodopsis thaliana.” Michelle conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Stewart Gray at Cornell University, Ithaca. She is currently a Research Molecular Biologist in the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Michelle holds adjunct faculty appointments with The Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell University. Michelle’s research focuses on insect vector-virus-plant host interactions in agricultural systems. In 2014, she was honored with the Herbert L. Rothbart ARS Early Career Scientist of the Year Award.
Ji-Joon Song

Ji-Joon Song, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Dr. Ji-Joon Song conducted his thesis research in Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Structural and biochemical studies of Argonaute reveal the slicing mechanism of RISC-RNAi effector complex.” Ji-Joon conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Robert E. Kingston at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University. He is currently an associate professor at the KAIST in Korea, where his group is working on determining the atomic structure of chromatin modifying complexes in order to understand mechanisms of epigenetic regulation.

Zachary Lippman
Zachary B. Lippman, Ph.D.
Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Zachary Lippman conducted his thesis research in Dr. Robert Martienssen’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Transposons, heterochromatin, and epigenetic landscapes in Arabidopsis thaliana.” Zach was the recipient of the prestigious Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award. He then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Dani Zamir at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2008, Zach returned to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he is now a professor and HHMI Investigator. Zach’s lab studies meristem development, especially in relation to crop improvement in tomatoes. His lab is also interested in the genetic basis of hybrid vigor.
Ahmet Denli
Ahmet Denli, Ph.D
Associate Editor, Genome Research, CSHL Press
Dr. Ahmet Denli conducted his thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Processing of pri-microRNAs by the Microprocessor Complex.” He then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Fred Gage at the Salk Institute in California. Ahmet is now an Associate Editor of the journal, Genome Research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Masafumi Muratani, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Tsukuba (JP)
Dr. Masafumi Muratani conducted his thesis research in Dr. William Tansey’s laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Regulation of gene expression by the ubiquitin-proteasome system.” Masafumi conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Richard Treisman at the London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK. He then worked as a Research Associate at the Genome Institute of Singapore within Dr. Hui Ng’s group studying cancer cell death. Masafumi now leads his own group at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, with a focus on genomics and epigenomics of clinical samples.

Graduating Class of 2004

Patrick Paddison
Patrick J. Paddison, Ph.D.
Associate Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Dr. Patrick Paddison conducted his thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “RNA interference in mammals: the quest for illuminating gene function.” During his time at the Watson School, Patrick was the recipient of a US Army Medical Research and Material Comment Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship. After completing his studies, Patrick became an independent fellow at CSHL. He is now an associate in the Human Biology Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he uses functional genomics to understand mammalian stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency.
Niraj Tolia
Niraj Tolia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis
Dr. Niraj Tolia conducted his thesis research in Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “Structural and biochemical studies of the malaria parasite Plasmodim falciparum protein EBA-175 involved in erythrocyte invasion.” Niraj is currently an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. His lab continues to use structural biology and biochemistry to understand how Plasmodium invades red blood cells. In 2014, Niraj received an Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and in 2015, an NIH R01 to support his lab’s work on malaria.
Ira M. Hall, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Associate Director, Department of Genetics, The Genome Institute
Dr. Ira Hall conducted his research in Dr. Shiv Grewal’s Laboratory. His thesis was entitled “A Role for RNA Interfence in Heterochromatic Silencing and Chromosome Dynamics.” Ira’s research contributed to the prestigious AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize during his time at the Watson School. After completing his studies, Ira was appointed as a Cold Spring Harbor Fellow. Ira then established his independent lab at the University of Virginia, studying genome variations in humans. In 2014, Ira’s lab is moving to the Department of Medicine Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, where Ira is an associate professor and associate director of The Genome Institute.
Amy Caudy
Amy A. Caudy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Toronto (CA)
Dr. Amy Caudy conducted her thesis research in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s Laboratory. Her thesis was entitled “Mechanism and applications of RNAi.” Amy was awarded the prestigious Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award and was also the recipient of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship. After completing postdoctoral research with Dr. John Atkinson at Washington University, St. Louis, Amy joined the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University as a research fellow. In 2011, Amy joined the faculty at the University of Toronto, where she studies the chemical reactions catalyzed by metabolic enzymes.
Elizabeth Bartom
Elizabeth E. Bartom (née Thomas), Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
Dr. Elizabeth Thomas conducted her thesis research in Dr. Michael Wigler’s Laboratory where she was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Medical Predoctoral Institute Fellowship. Her thesis was entitled “Exploring repetitive sequences in the human genome.” Elizabeth, conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Aviv Regev at Harvard University’s Center for Genomic Research. She worked as a computational biologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center and then at Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, before taking up her current position in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University.
Emiliano Rial Verde
Emiliano Rial Verde, Ph.D.
Director, Corporate Development, Bunge Limited
Dr. Emiliano Rial Verde conducted his thesis research in Dr. Holly Cline’s Laboratory, where he was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Medical Predoctoral Institute Fellowship. His thesis was entitled “The role of the immediate-early gene arc in synaptic transmission.” Emilano conducted his postdoctoral research with Dr. Yuste at Columbia University. He served as associate principle at McKinsey & Co. Inc., in Geneva, Switzerland, and New York, focusing on strategy and productivity in pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and public sector research. In 2015, Emiliano accepted a position as Director of Corporate Development at Bunge, a major international agrobusiness and food company that aims to ensure food security for the world’s growing population.