||Administrative Assistant for the lab.
am the lab bioinformatics specialist and help analyze data and maintain
the lab databases and records. I do DNA sequence quality
checking, perform BLAST searches and work on the annotation of our
candidate genes from microarray experiments.
I joined the lab to participate in the maize gene discovery project
using a RescueMu transposon tagging strategy. After that I studied the regulation of
Mu in the context of the maize life cycle. For the past 6 years I have been studying maize anther
development, with a focus on ameiotic1 and more recently ms23, a gene I cloned.
I am a post-doc in the lab working with single-cell RNA sequencing on archesporial cells.
||Greenhouse Assistant, working at Plant Growth Facilities.
My central interest is the mechanisms that create allelic diversity and
modulate genome stability in plants. We are currently trying
to define how a "germinal" cell is specified-- that is cells whose
descendants enter meiosis -- because Mu
elements change their transposition biochemistry in germinal compared
to somatic cells and genome changes are heritable only in the germinal
cells. Actually our work on anthers proved so interesting that virtually all effort is now on cell
fate specification in anther lobes.
As the Plant Growth Facilities manager, I oversee the field conditions.
I am interested in exploring the genetic mechanisms that regulate early anther development in maize. Specifically,
my aim is to clone three novel male sterility related genes and better characterize a fourth one. I am using genetic,
molecular and next generation sequencing techniques to decipher the identity and function of these genes. I am also
motivated for translating the knowledge of male sterility phenomenon in development of affordable hybrid seeds that
can potentially impact lives and livelihoods of farmers in the developing world.
I participated in a number of high throughput sequencing projects as a graduate student and lab manager in
China. I am now a postdoctoral scholar and am interested in learning more about corn and in applying
NextGen sequencing to address questions in the epigenetics of cell fate specification and cell differentiation
within anthers and to analyze the biogenesis of phasiRNAs in greater detail and the impact that deficiencies in
24-nt phasiRNAs have on DNA methylation. Iíve discovered that many lncRNAs encode potential short proteins and am
now using proteomics to search for these proteins. We hypothesize that anther lobes coordinate cell division
patterns and differentiation using peptide signals.
Staff: Tim Culbertson, field manager
From Stanford: Jonathan Colen, Taylor Powell, Ellen Hong, Thi Nyugen
- Oliver Bear Don't Walk IV - workstudy greenhouse helper. Starting in fall 2015 I will be a masters
student in bioinformatics at Stanford and plan to help Karina van der Linde analyze transcriptome and
proteome data on tassel development.
Alumni Personnel News
- Zhang, Han - I trained in maize molecular biology and cytogenetics in Kelly Dawe's lab at the University of Georgia
and am now a postdoc. I have several projects: analysis of phasiRNAs in the context of anther
development, control of entry into meiosis, and elucidating the regulation of phasiRNA production and
- van der Linde, Karina - I did my Ph.D. thesis with Gunther Doehlemann at the MPI, Marburg, studying the interaction of maize with
the fungal pathogen Ustilago maydis. Now as a postdoc I have two main projects:  developing a
Trojan Horse strategy to have U. maydis deliver small peptide factors encoded by maize to alter anther
development or to correct mutant phenotypes and  analyzing the biochemistry of the MSCA1
glutaredoxin-regulated switch of pluripotent cells to differentiate as meiotically competent
- Egger, Rachel - I was a Ph.D. graduate student interested in anther cellular development and cell fate
specification. Specifically, I analyzed mutants in periclinal division and studying how brassinosteroid
hormone impacts anther cell development. The BR experiments never were clear enough to interpret, however,
my work on various maize mutants, a staging system for anther dissection efficiency, and proteomics studies
were all successful. I finished my thesis in March 2016, and all of my work has been published as of fall 2016.
Iím now seeking employment Ė I hope in the Midwest where I can enjoy winter and cheap housing.
- Morrow, Darren - I generated sequence data from both EST and RescueMu transposon libraries & explored gene
expression during germinal cell definition in maize. The latter project means I performed most of the microarray
hybridizations for our analysis of anther development as well as prepping lines for the cytological screens at
UC-Berkeley during the Cell Fate Acquisition Project 2007 - 2013. In our newest project with Blake Meyers I worked
on laser microdissection of cell types and on cloning genes whose mutants are male-sterile and have defects in cell
fate specification. I became the lab expert on RNA in situ hybridization and am now writing a manuscript with
John Fernandes describing our results with dozens of probes across multiple stages of anther development; the
images are organized in a searchable database. The last years in the lab, I was the lab manager for chemical
safety, APHIS permits, and equipment. I recently moved with my family to North Carolina and will be starting a
a new job soon at Duke Univeristy.
- Anne Mai - worked with Han Zhang using in situ hybridization to examine the expression of
factors required to produce phasiRNAs. I am now applying to medical school.
- Michael Chun - worked with Karina van der Linde on Ustilago delivery of proteins into anthers.
Is now a medical student at NYU.
- Katie Murphy - I worked with Rachel Egger on elucidating the staining properties and wall composition of
cell types within anther lobes in fertile and sterile plants, and I discovered the interendothecial cell type.
Since September 2015 I am a Ph.D. student in plant biology at UC-Davis, and I was awarded an NSF predoctoral
fellowship in spring 2016. My focus is on maize terpenoids now.
- Hoa Mai - workstudy lab helper. Now has an industry job after graduating from Stanford.
- Tim Kelliher - I finished my thesis in winter 2013, and my work was recognized in a Weintraub Award (one of
12 nationwide in molecular and cellular biology). Although I received both LSRF and NSF postdoctoral fellowships,
I decided to join Syngenta and have been promoted several times in the nearly 4 years at the company. Although I
canít disclose the exact nature of my work, the focus is still on male reproduction, including aspects of anther
- Paula Casati, analyzing an important environmental factor — UV-B
— using maize cDNA microarrays and proteomics. For
some candidate genes important in UV-B acclimation I'm determining
whether RNAi knockdown mutants affect UV-B responses. I am now an
Associate Professor at the Center of Photosynthesis and Biochemical
Studies, University of Rosario, Argentina
- Sam Pimentel, worked as an undergraduate for the Walbot lab and is now an NSF-graduate
fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Dongxue Wang, her projects included detailed analysis of the ms8 mutant's effect on
maize anther ontogeny. Is now working on cell type-specific gene expression at
- Chas Andre,
former graduate student, did postdocs at DuPont and in Berlin, then had
a series of biotech jobs in the Bay Area (Applied Biosystems, MJ
Research, and others) before moving to Finland with Finnzymes. He's
currently looking for a new job in the bay area (as of March 2010). He recently became CSO of a start-up company in Paris, France.
- Mark Alfenito,
former postdoc, founded a series of biotech companies, the newest being
Engen, Inc. in the bay area (as of March 2010).
Benito, former graduate student, is currently "retired" from science.
Her husband Jonathan Eisen, former lab collaborator, is now a Professor
- Pat Bedinger,
former postdoc, is a professor at Colorado State University, and she
works on tomato evolution and breeding systems.
- John Bodeau is
exploring SNPs in the human genome at Applied Biosystems.
- Jeff Bennetzen,
former post doc, is a Professor at the University of Georgia and was
elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004.
- Judy Callis is
now a professor at UC Davis.
- Paula Casati,
I am analyzing an important environmental factor ≠ UV-B ≠ using maize cDNA microarrays and proteomics.
For some candidate genes important in UV-B acclimation I'm determining whether RNAi knockdown mutants
affect UV-B responses. I am now an Associate Professor at the Center of Photosynthesis and Biochemical
Studies, University of Rosario, Argentina.
- Vicki Chandler,
former postdoc, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, spring
2002, directed BIO5 at the University of Arizona, and was the chief
science office of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in Menlo Park
CA. She is now the Dean of Science at a new school in San Francisco.
- Diane Chermak,
former technician while she was attending San Jose State Univeristy, is
lab manage working with Wolf Frommer at the Carnegie Institution, Dept.
Plant Biology, on campus.
- Yangrae Cho,
former postdoc, was an assistant professor at the University of
Hawaii studying plant-fungal pathogen interaction. He is now back in Korea doing
research in cell and molecular biology.
- Gunther Doehlemann, a short-term visitor from the MPI-Marburg, Germany,
and we collaborated on a very successful project examining gene expression
during Ustilago infection of maize organs. Gunther is a key collaborator on
all projects involving Ustilago maydis.
- David Duncan,
former undergraduate honors student, worked for Pioneer in Redwood City
after graduation in 2006, then received a masters degree from the
University of Wisconsin, and recently a Ph.D. in sustainable agriculture and agronomy.
- Gao Li, I was a sabbatical visitor in the lab working on how Ustilago maydis reprograms maize
anther development. I enjoyed my year at Stanford and am now working at the Chinese Academy of
Agricultural Sciences again.
- Matt Fitzgerald,
former postdoc, has been teaching at local colleges since 2004.
- Mike Fromm,
former postdoc, is the new director of the biotechnology center at the
University of Nebraska.
- Dean Goodman,
former graduate student, is now a postdoc and lecturer at the
University of Melbourne, Australia, working on the plant-derived genes
in the malarial genome.
- Matthias Hahn,
former postdoc, is a professor of plant pathology in Germany.
Collaborator Gunther Doehlemann was one of his Ph.D. students.
- Sarah Hake,
former graduate student, is now Director of the Plant Gene Expression
Center, Albany CA, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences
- David Hoisington, former graduate student, worked as director of molecular
breeding at CIMMYT for many years and has now switched to managing this
program area in India (and Africa) in Hyderabad.
- Patricia Leon,
former masters student, is now a professor at UNAM-Cuernavaca, and we
have collaborated on microarray experiments to study sugar regulation.
- Soo-Hwan Kim is now an assistant professor at Yonsei University in Korea.
- Avi Levy, former
postdoc, is a professor at the Weizmann Institute; he's
still interested in genome stability, recombination, and developing
tools to study the dynamic plant genome.
- Jiong Ma is now living in New Jersey and working at Rutgers and pursuing biotechnology
- Mike Mulligan,
former postdoc, is a professor at UC-Irvine and has held several
administrative posts as well.
- Lukas Mueller is
now a staff member of the Boyce Thompson Institute on the Cornell
University campus. He manages the solanaceae database.
- Brian Nakao, a
former Maize Gene Discovery Project sequencing technician who produced
most of our ESTs is now working at a start-up biotech company.
- Akemi Ono, a
former life science research assistant, studied the role of MURB, the
helper protein of the Mu transposon system and is now doing research at
the National Institute of Basic Biology in Aichi, Japan.
Pairoba,a former postdoc, is back in Rosario, Argentina, running a
radio science show, working as a pharmacist and generally living life
to the fullest.
- Wensheng Qin,a
former postdoc, transferred to the Carnegie Institution on campus to
finish his training with Chris Somerville. He is now an associate
professor in Thunder Bay, Canada.
- Manish Raizada
is an associate professor at the Univeristy of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
- Carol Rivin,
former postdoc, is an associate professor at Oregon State University.
- George Rudenko
was a senior scientist at Solazyme but recently moved to another Bay Area start-up company.
- Khaled Sarsour,
former DNA sequencing technician, graduated with a Ph.D. from the
UC-Berkeley in the School of Public Health.
- Bret Schneider,
former Maize Gene Discovery Project sequencing technician who produced
most of our genomic sequence flanking RescueMu insertion sites, is now
a mechanical engineer in the Bay Area.
- Sejal Shah,
former honors student, has a series of interesting and challenging jobs
in start-up biotech and established bio-tech companies. She enjoys life at the
interface between science and business. Her husband is a senior manager at Google.
- Dave Skibbe,
former postdoc, is a trait scientist at Syngenta.
- Macky Smith,
former graduate student, attended medical school after his Ph.D.
training at Washington University. He now manages pediatric clinical
trials at the National Cancer Institute.
- Ann Stapleton,
former postdoc, is an associate professor at the University of North
Carolina-Wilmington and is a coPI on the iPLANT project.
- Rebecca Taylor,
former technician and masters student, is currently an IP consultant at
- Lily Yu, former
postdoc, did a second postdoc at the University of Michigan and expects
to find employment in bioinformatics in China.