JF head shotJames Ferrell. James Ferrell was born in Gary Indiana and raised in Chicago and Pittsburgh. He was an undergraduate at Williams College, where he majored in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics, and graduated in 1976. For his undergraduate thesis he worked with David A. Park on nonlinear dynamics and chaos in the Hénon-Heiles model of stars in an axisymmetrical galactic potential. After graduating he came west to Stanford for medical school and graduate school. His did his Ph.D. thesis in Chemistry with Wray H. Huestis, working on cell shape control and phosphoinositide metabolism in human erythrocytes. He received his Ph.D. in 1984 and his M.D. in 1986. He then moved to UC Berkeley for postdoctoral studies with G. Steven Martin on tyrosine-specific protein phosphorylation in human platelets, mammalian cell lines, and Xenopus laevis oocytes, eggs, and embryos.

He began his independent career in the Dept. of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1990. He moved to the Dept. of Pharmacology at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1992. The Department later became the Dept. of Chemical and Systems Biology, which he chaired from its inception in 2006 until 2011. Currently he is Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and Professor of Biochemistry.

For James Ferrell the rock musician, click here.

Oshri Afanzar. Oshri Afanzar was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. He graduated his B.Sc.Agr. at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. For his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science, he carried out research with Prof. Michael Eisenbach on the mechanism that governs bidirectional rotation of the bacterial flagellar motor. Oshri came to the Ferrell lab to learn how to do research when things become non-intuitive (i.e., to obtain experience with modeling). In the Ferrell lab, he is studying the effects of geometrical constrains on trigger waves. He does so because (1) trigger waves are nice to model and observe, and (2), modeling suggests non-intuitive effects of vessel geometry on trigger wave progression. Oshri hopes that by studying the effects of geometry on trigger waves he can demonstrate some nice ground principles of biological signaling. In his spare time he does parent stuff, plays the guitar and hikes.

Yuxin Chen. Yuxin Chen grew up close to Yuelu Academy, one of the oldest academies in the world, in Changsha China. He was an undergraduate majoring in biology at Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University, where he got attracted by the amazingly diverse body plans of insects, and began his study in insect taxology and evolution. Yuxin met Chung-I Wu in 2008 and worked with him as a PhD student on microRNA evolution in the fruit fly and the effects of miRNAs on Gene Regulatory Network (GRN) stability. He visited Stefano Allesina’s lab at the University of Chicago in 2014 to study the application of foodweb theory to GRN analysis. He spent the year of 2017 at Yale University working with Gunter Wagner on how the core GRN affects fibroblast potency. He recieved his Ph.D in 2017. Having studied large scale GRNs, he is now fascinated by small gene circuits, with particular interest in understandings: How GRN gains all their properties? What are the general design principles? Therefore Yuxin came to the Ferrell lab, where he is focusing on the trigger wave model. Specifically, he is carrying out research on how interferon signals propagate through epithelial cells in a spatiotemporal manner.

Xianrui ChengXianrui Cheng. Xianrui Cheng was born and raised in Hunan, a south-central Chinese province located on the path of Chang Jiang, the third longest river in the world. He then moved north to attend Tianjin University, earning a bachelor's degree in Bioengineering in 2005. He came to the US in 2006 to pursue a Ph.D. in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at Duke University, working with physicist Joshua Socolar and developmental biologist David McClay on the systems biology of sea urchin embryonic development (details here and here). His interest in systems biology led him to the Ferrell lab, where he is carrying out his postdoctoral research on the spatial propagation of apoptosis using Xenopus laevis egg extracts and oocytes. In his spare time he dabbles in gymnastics, photography, cooking and music.

Lawrence Chiou. Lawrence Chiou was born and raised in Ames, Iowa. As an undergraduate, he studied physics at Harvard College and graduated in 2015. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Biophysics at Stanford University. Lawrence enjoys collecting fountain pens, doing puzzles, taking photographs, and playing historical keyboard instruments.



Julia KamenzJulia Kamenz. Julia Kamenz grew up in Berlin, but then left the city in 2003 to study Biochemistry in the picturesque town of Tuebingen. For her Diploma thesis she spend a year in Frank Uhlmann’s lab at the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, where she investigated the functional importance of the ATPase cycle of the two SMC subunits of the Condensin complex in budding yeast. In 2009 she joined Silke Hauf’s group at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society as a Ph.D. student. There she became interested in how events during the metaphase to anaphase transition are coordinated in time in order to ensure faithful segregation of sister chromatids. She received a fellowship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Funds for this project and defended her PhD thesis in February 2015 with highest honors. In March 2015 she started in the Ferrell lab, where she continues to investigate the determinants of temporal order during mitotic exit using experimental and computational approaches. When she is not in the lab, she enjoys being outdoors, whether it is skiing in the winter or hiking, biking or sailing during the long Californian summer.

Sarah TrosinConnie Phong. Connie Phong was born and raised in the port city of Long Beach, California. She studied Computational and Mathematical Sciences at Stanford University and Biomathematics at UCLA before stumbling into the perfect fit in systems biology. She trained with Mike Rust at the University of Chicago, and helped to elucidate how negative feedback is actuated in the cyanobacterial KaiABC circadian oscillator. She graduated in August 2016. Connie joined the Ferrell Lab to study the robustness of cell cycle regulatory systems. Connie enjoys music, baking, rowing, and plotting future expeditions to Antarctica.


ScoutScout. At about 4 months of age Scout was found wandering on Page Mill Road in Los Altos Hills and was taken in by Palo Alto Animal Services. JF saw her profile online while lecturing in Buenos Aires, and adopted her on the way home from SFO.

Scout's lab responsibilities include psychological counseling and shedding. She enjoys snoozing on the couch in Jim's office, and likes nothing more than visiting with all her Stanford friends every day.

Scout is a good doggie. She is a friend to all and a sister to every other dog.




Name Position and Approx. Vintage Current Position
Grad student and postdoc, 2007-2017 Process Engineer, Zymergen, Emeryville CA
Christoph Bagowski Postdoc,
Head of Molecular Genetics, Pränatal-Medizin München, Germany
Alex Bazarov Postdoc,
Director of Cell Engineering, CHO Plus
Ramesh Bhatt Grad student,
Vice President of Research, Janux Therapeutics
Salvador Buse Undergrad,
Student, University of Cambridge, UK
David Byron Tech,
Family Practice Physician, Tuscon AZ
Annie Carilli Undergrad,
2017 and 2018
Student, Whitman College, Walla Walla WA
Jeremy Chang Grad student,
Postdoc, Krogan lab, UCSF
Tzu-Chi Chen Visiting grad student, 2013-2014 Postdoc, Huang lab, National Yang-Ming University
Yoon Sup Choi Visiting grad student, 2007-2008 Res. Asst. Professor, Seoul National University Hospital
Szu-yi (Sam) Chou Grad student,
President and CEO, Viogene-Biotek
Delquin Gong Grad student,
Development Scientist, Bio-Rad
Lendert Gelens Postdoc,
Asst. Professor,
University of Leuven, Belgium
Sherril Green Fellow,
Professor and Chair of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
Tom Guadagno Postdoc,
Science Teacher, Newton County Day School
Sang Hoon Ha Postdoc,
Asst. Professor,
Chonbuk National University, Korea
Dave Hendrickson Grad student,
Associate Scientist, Calico
Kuang-Ming Hsiao Grad student,
Professor, Life Science, National Chung Cheng University
Chi-Ying Frederick Huang Postdoc,
Professor and Chair, Inst. of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, National Yang-Ming University
Narae Hwang Visiting grad student, 2003 Medical Intern, Seoul Korea
Minjung Kang Postdoc,
Principal Scientist, Samsung Bioepis, Inchong Korea
Sun Young Kim Postdoc,
Program Manager, SPARK Translational Research Program, Stanford
Chung Han Lee Undergrad,
Postdoc, Hsieh lab, MSKCC
Tek Hyung Lee Postdoc,
Yung lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Thomas Leung Undergrad,
Asst. Professor of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania
Xuedong Liu Sabbatical visitor, 2009-2010 Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder
Eric Machleder Grad student,
Software Architect, Walmart Global eCommerce
Alisa Moskaleva Grad student,
Technical Support, Pacific Biosciences
Jason Myers Grad student,
Co-Founder, President, and CEO, ArcherDX, Boulder CO
Michele Nelson Grad student,
Research Program Officer Associate, University of Michigan, Grand Rapids
Sam Pearlman Grad student,
Senior Software Engineer, TeselaGen Biotechnology
Eva Petschnigg Undergrad and visiting medical student Physician, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, MA
Joe Pomerening Postdoc,
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy
Andy Poon Grad student,
Product Analytics Manager, Rakuten
Diana Ríos-Cardona Grad student,
Agriculture Specialist, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Michal Ronen Postdoc,
Algorithms Team Leader, Oridion, Jerusalem, Israel
Marsha Rosner Sabbatical visitor, 2009-2010 Charles B. Huggins Professor and Chair, Ben May Dept. for Cancer Research, University of Chicago
Mauro Ruffy Undergrad,
ENT Physician, San Jose Medical Group
Silvia Santos Postdoc,
Asst. Professor, Imperial College London
Zach Serber Postdoc,
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Zymergen, Inc.
Shian-Jiun Shih Postdoc,
Section Head, Translational Medicine Research Center, Merck Sharp & Dohme
Mike Sohaskey Grad student,
Co-Founder, Chief Racing Officer, RaceRaves LLC
Sarah Trosin Grad student,
Oncology Disease Area Manager, Oncology Resource Group
Nikki Trunnell Grad student,
Therapy Area Director, Oncology Resource Group
Tony Tsai Grad student,
Postdoc, Megason lab, Harvard Medical School
Jeff Ubersax Postdoc,
Vice President of Research and Development, Amyris Biotechnologies
Alexandra Vanderwelde Visiting postdoc,
Postdoc, Gelens lab, University of Leuven, Belgium
Sarah Walter Grad student,
Senior Director, Preclinical Development and Scientific Affairs, Labrys Biologics, Inc.
Joanne Westendorf Postdoc,
CPA, Patent Agent
Xiao Min Wang (Schebye) Postdoc,
Senior Research Investigator, Cancer Immunotherapy Discovery, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Polly Wong Grad student,
Director of Regulatory Affairs, Genentech Inc.
Jinger Xie Tech,
Scientist, Bayer Health Care
Wen Xiong Postdoc,
Investigator III, Novartis, Shanghai
Qiong Yang Postdoc,
Asst. Professor of Biophysics, University of Michigan
John Yoon Undergrad and tech, 1997-2001 Neuroradiologist, Cottage Center for Advanced Imaging, Santa Barbara CA
Jianbo Yue Postdoc, 2000-2006 Assoc. Prof. of Biomedical Sciences, City University of Hong Kong