Sierra Bowden

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate: University of Michigan.

Graduate research:  Bhatt lab.  Sierra's research background is in antibiotic biochemistry and epigenetic regulation. She joined Ami Bhatt’s lab to study the impact that metabolites and proteins produced by the gut microbiome have on host cells.

Kathryn Hanson

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate:  Carnegie Mellon University.

Graduate research:  Kathryn just joined the Attardi lab and is studying the role of tumor suppressor protein p53 in pancreatic cancer. Through using mouse models of pancreatic cancer, she aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of p53 most important for tumor suppression in pancreatic cancer.

Grace Jean

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate: Biology, University of Miami.

Graduate research: Boyd Lab (Pathology). The highly diverse human B cell repertoire is responsible for antibody production, a key component of the adaptive immune response. The Boyd lab works to characterize changes that occur in the B cell repertoire in response to different immune conditions. Grace is interested in using this capacity to understand the role of the B cell antibody repertoire in the development of ‘sensitized’ and ‘desensitized’ states in response to particular antigens, especially in the context of allergies.


Subheksha KC

Doctoral Student    

Undergraduate: Molecular and Cell Biology - Immunology; University of California, Berkeley. 

Graduate research: Bassik lab. Subheksha is leveraging high-throughput functional genomics to study the role of macrophage activation in cancer. 

Yannik Lee-Yow

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate:  University of Colorado.

Yannik will be rotating labs his first year to determine his future focus.



Micah Olivas

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate:  California State University, Fresno.

Graduate research:  Fordyce lab.   Micah is combining high throughput enzyme variant assays and phylogenetic methods to study the evolution of protein function and to improve methods for predicting function from sequence. 




Makena  Pule

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate: Stanford University.

Graduate research:  Makena is part of the Kirkegarrd Lab, studying lncRNA regulation of the immune system. In particular, she is interested in the lncRNA IFNG-AS1 (NEST), the differential expression of which is associated with a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. 

Liesl Strand

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate:  Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology: University of Washington.

Graduate research:  Villeneuve Lab. Meiosis is a crucial developmental process essential for reproduction in eukaryotes, an important generator of genetic diversity, and thought to be a key innovation in the evolution of sexual reproduction. This direct role in reproduction, development, and fitness has resulted in a conserved eukaryotic process that nevertheless shows a remarkable variability across species at the genetic and cellular level. In this context, Liesl is leveraging the lab’s C. elegans expertise in a non-model nematode species to explore mechanisms driving variations on the canonical meiotic program. 


Miriam Sun

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate:  California Institute of Technology.

Graduate research:  O’Brien lab.  Miriam is studying dynamic cell behaviors in the adult Drosophila midgut, to better understand how organs respond to changing environmental inputs. 


Ali Wilkening

Doctoral Student.

Undergraduate:   Washington University.

Ali is broadly interested in uncovering the mechanisms of developmental and adaptive gene regulation. She is currently characterizing the role nucleosome conformational change plays in these processes.


Yiu-Cheung (Eric) Wong

Doctoral Student, Fuller Lab.

Undergraduate:   Bioengineering:Biotechnology, UCSD.

Graduate research:   Fuller lab.  Eric is studying the role of alternative splicing in controlling stem cell state. Using Drosophila spermatogenesis as a model system, he aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of alternative nascent transcripts processing and its contribution to expression of different protein isoforms in proliferating vs differentiating cells.

Sherry Zheng

Doctoral Student

Undergraduate:   University of California San Diego.

Graduate research:  Loh Lab.  Sherry  is using stem cell and mouse models to study embryonic pattern formation. Specifically, how vascular-derived signals influence the developmental patterning of various organs.