Current Lab Members

Jessica Feldman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Lauren Cote, Ph.D.


Research Interests: I study how cells construct one continuous gut and how mechanical forces shape development.

Sani Eskinazi

Undergraduate Student

Research Interests: I am interested in understanding how cilia are stabilized and how cytoplasmic microtubules are organized in terminally differentiated cells. To tackle this question, I use the ciliated neuronal cells of the nematode C. elegans as a model. How axonemal microtubules are stabilized becomes particularly interesting in this model because in C. elegans basal bodies are necessary for ciliogenesis, but are degraded upon cilia maturation.

James Ferguson, Ph.D.


Research Interests: My primary interest is understanding how cells move in a 3D environment. In pursuing this interest, I am currently investigating how the cytoskeleton contributes to cell migration in an in vivo context.

Alex Lessenger

Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Squishidy Squashidy, Cell size homogeny,

End goal to which a cell Actively tries.

Intestinal cells! Do they Endoreduplicate,

Copy their genome, to Maintain their size?

Jeremy Magescas, Ph.D.


Research Interests:

Victor Naturale

Graduate Student

Research Interests: All epithelial cells are polarized along an apico-basolateral axis. Despite the importance of epithelial polarity during development, the initial cues directing robust formation/orientation of apical and basolateral domains in newly polarizing cells are still not understood. I am interested in identifying these symmetry breaking mechanisms, especially in the context of epithelia in vivo.

Melissa Pickett, Ph.D.


Research Interests: My research is gutsy and polarizing! I am particularly interested in understanding how epithelial cells polarize along an apical-basolateral axis – a process critical for their barrier and transporter functions. I am currently using the C. elegans embryonic intestine as a model to understand how apical and basolateral proteins are targeted to specific locations and how interactions between polarity proteins contribute to establishment of distinct domains.

Maria Sallee, Ph.D.


Research Interests: Epithelial cells line the organs of animals and organize microtubules in parallel arrays. During development, tissue homeostasis, and cancer, epithelial cells often divide and temporarily reorganizing microtubules into mitotic spindles . I am using the developing C. elegans intestine as an in vivo model to understand the physical protein links and the molecular signals that allow epithelial cells to toggle between different microtubule arrangements during the cell cycle.

Ariana Sanchez

Graduate Student

Research Interests: Microtubules are structures within cells that are important for orchestrating cell division. When cells differentiate, microtubules are reorganized for new functions and the mechanisms by which microtubules reorganize in vivo remain largely understudied. I use the C. elegans embryonic intestine as a model to understand how microtubules grow and organize in differentiated cells.

Michael Tran

Graduate Student

Research Interests:Understanding how Microtubule Associated Proteins (MAPs) organize and pattern microtubules in differentiated tissues.

Lab Alumni

Lilia Popova

Undergraduate Researcher
       Medical student at University of Michigan

Kirsten Thompson

Summer 2014
VPUE Summer Undergraduate

Clinton Olivas

Summer 2015
VPUE Summer Undergraduate

Anna Russo

Research Technician
        Graduate student at UC, Santa Cruz

Taylor Skokan

Undergraduate Researcher, Honors Thesis
        Graduate student at UC, San Francisco

Jenny Zonka

Research Technician
        High School Science Teacher

Golda Grinberg

Undergraduate Researcher, Honors Thesis
        Medical student at University of Massachusetts