Meet Our Team
Alakananda Das, Ph.D.
Ph.D.: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Year started in lab: 2016
Project Title: Studying the relationship between integrins, ion channels and extracellular matrix in C. elegans touch sensation.
Expertise: Worm genome editing, protein structure and function.
I am interested in studying the molecular basis of how cells sense and interact with their environment. In particular I am studying the process of mechanosensation in worms. I want to work out the molecular details of whether there is a cross-talk between different kinds of cellular mechanoreceptors and the degree of their interdependence.
Sylvia Fechner, Ph.D.
Ph.D.: Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University
Year started in lab: 2014
Project Title: Investigating the stoichiometry of the ion channel pore units underlying touch sensation with structural-functional studies
Expertise: Patch-Clamp experiments with tiny cells from sperm to neurons
As I became really fond of ion channels, I decided to do my PostDoc in the lab of Dr. Miriam Goodman at Stanford. Here, I study the role of ion channels and their stoichiometry in touch receptor neurons of the nematode C. elegans. I use piezoresistive cantilevers to apply controlled mechanical loads combined with the patch-clamp technique to record the neuronsâ€™ response (setup name: FALCON). From whole brain recordings, via patch-clamping zebrafish sperm to mechanosensitive neurons in C. elegans, I am curious what the future targets will be.
The importance of touch is evident in our everyday lives, eating and typing are two simple tasks that depend on tactile feedback, yet the physics of touch sensation is not properly understood. To Study the touch sensation C. elegans with only 6 touch receptor neurons can be an excellent model. Using this animal as model, applying Finite Element (FE) as computational approach, and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) as measurement technique we expect to understand sense of touch in more details.
Sammy is studying how membrane composition and mechanoreceptor channel structure govern touch sensitivity. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 with a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. At Stanford, Sammy helped found the scicomm group NeuWrite West for students who wanted science to be understandable to the public (www.neuwritewest.org). In her spare time, she is also president of the Stanford Jujitsu Club.
I'm a PhD student co-mentored by Beth Pruitt and Miriam Goodman. My background is in mechanical engineering, but I am venturing into the world of biological research. My research interests focus on understanding how the mechanical properties of the worm's tissues affect its ability to sense touch stimuli. Outside the lab, I enjoy spending time biking, hiking, skiing, and running in the California sunshine.
BS Degree: San José State University
Year started in the lab: 2017
Project title: Simultaneous calcium imaging and atomic force microscopy of cultured touch receptor neurons
Expertise: Cell culture, biofabrication, fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy, classical mechanics and dynamics, biomechanics, and mechanobiology.
Joy is a self-proclaimed neuro-nerd and mechanobiologist who is obsessed with mechanically gated ion channels. Although her formal training is in Mechanical Engineering, Joy’s journey from community college to the PhD has always been driven by a desire to engineer solutions to human mobility challenges and movement disorders. Her current work in the lab aims at developing a cell culture system that will improve their ability to probe the biophysical and biological underpinnings of mechanosensation. Upon completing her PhD, Joy plans on further exploring the role of mechanosensation in movement disorders as a post-doctoral scholar, and hopefully one day as a principal investigator. Outside of lab work, she spends her time racing bicycles and playing with her dog Einstein.
Zhiwen (Carmen) Liao
Year started in the lab: 2002
Expertise: Oocyte isolation, C. elegans husbandry, freezing/thawing worms, TEVC of oocytes, C. elegans genetics, C. elegans transgenesis, measuring surface expression of membrane proteins expressed in oocytes, cRNA synthesis, plasmid propagation and maintenance.
Born and grew up in Guangzhou, China. Came to the Golden State in 2000. Became a worm sensorian soon after till now.
I began my academic career as a marine biologist working on algae, but switched to cell and molecular biology for my PhD. I completed my thesis work in 1986 on mammalian rod photoreceptor development, examining disc development. After a post-doc at U Penn, I started working for Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1989 in the lab of Corey Goodman at UC Berkeley on aspects of neuronal pathfinding and neuromuscular development by electron microscopy. Subsequently I worked in Cori Bargmann's lab at UCSF and The Rockefeller University on C. elegans. In 2007 I was asked to set up and run the EM facility at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, VA. In August 2015 I retired from HHMI and returned to the Bay Area where I currently provide EM support for labs at Stanford and UCSF.
|Deepti Gopisetty||Summer 2014|
|Namiko Abe||Summer 2002|
|Daniel Lara||Summer 2004|
|Adrienne Yanez||Summer 2005|
|Hau-Chen Lee||Summer 2006|
|Tommie R. Berry||Summer 2007|
|Nicole Titus||Summer 2008|
|Misty Montoya||Summer 2008|
|Don Vongviphut||Summer 2009|
|Chloé Powell||Summer 2010|
|Erika Nieves||Summer 2010|
|Amelia Woodruff||Summer 2011|
|Virginia Wang||Summer 2011|
|Victoria Hoelschler||Summer 2014|
|Kevin McPherson||Summer 2014|
|Cristina Maria-Rios||Summer 2015|
|Deepti Gopisetty||Summer 2015, AY 2015|
|Sierra Lear||Summer 2017|
|Isabel D'Allesandro||Summer 2017|
|Florian Bienefelt||2015-2016||CTO & Co-Founder at e-Potek|
|Austin L. Brown||2002-2007||Executive Director at UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, the Environment, and the Economy|
|Joseph C. Doll||2006-2012||Apple, Inc.|
|Brandon E. Johnson||2004-2010||Director of Menlo College Math Center and Lecturer in Mathematics|
|Eileen Mazzochette||2012-2016||Haptic Hardware Engineer at Apple|
||2004-2009||Research Associate, Harvard University|
|Bryan Petzold||2007-2013||Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company|
|Daniel Ramot||2002-2007||Co-founder & CEO, Via|
|Dean Lockhead||2010-2016||Associate Principal at Charles River Associates|
|Jana Lim||2010-2017||Regional Manager, Asia at UCLA Health|
|Juan Cueva||2003-2009||Co-founder, Curium; Scientist, Aratome|
|Amy L. Eastwood||2008-2013|
|Shana L. Geffeney||2005-2011||Lecturer, Utah State University- Uintah Basin|
|Dominique A. Glauser||2008-2010||SNSF Associate Professor, Freiburg University, Switzerland|
|Diana Koulechova||2014-2015||Purification Development Scientist at Agenus Bio.|
||2015-2017||Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford Radiological Sciences Laboratory||CAP Profile|
|Samuel Lasse||2011-2014||Sr. Technical Applications Specialist at Fluidigm Corporation|
|Bronwyn L. MacInnis||2004-2008||Assistant Director, Malaria Research, Broad Insitute|
|Valeria Vasquez||2009-2014||Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee Medical Center|
|Dong Wang||2009-2012||Staff Scientist, Anesthesiology, Stanford University
|Michael Krieg||2011-2016||Groupleader/Professor at The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona|
|Dail Chapman||2018-2020||Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Biology at Georgetown University|
|Lingxin Wang||2017-2020||GlaxoSmithKline, Investigator|