Principal Investigator

Regulation of development and differentiation; regulation of programmed cell death and cell division; mechanisms of tumorigenesis

Project Scientists

My research investigates the coordination between cell proliferation and differentiation using C. elegans germline stem cells (GSCs) as a paradigm. Research areas: Role of microRNAs in maintaining adult GSC homeostasis and buffering noise in the underlying gene regulatory network; Non-apoptotic roles of programmed cell death regulators during cellular growth, proliferation, and reprogramming.

Lab Manager

I participate in and support several different research projects within the lab while managing the day to day running of the lab.

Postdoctoral Researchers

I am interested in the molecular mechanisms by which complex organisms, specifically the nervous system of complex organisms, survive extreme environmental challenges. To answer these questions, I use the extremely tolerant Tardigrade, a unique invertebrate clade renowned for its ability to survive, complete desiccation, hypoxia, the vacuum of space, and radiation 1000 times the dosage of other animals! I am currently pursuing three avenues of research in the lab.

Graduate Students

My research is centered on understanding transdifferentiation, transorganogenesis, and the intriguing fields of aging and longevity in the nematode C. elegans. Furthermore, my objective is to bridge the gap between human biology and model organisms by applying these insights to the context of human cells.

I am an NSF GRFP Fellow in Joel's lab. I am currently working on a project that investigates genetic mechanisms by which C. elegans facilitate purifying selection with their mitochondria, decreasing the level of mitochondrial genome deficiencies passed on to their progeny. I'm also interested in research questions concerning interstellar biology  and how epigenetic landscapes are shaped by environmental stress.

My research focuses on transcriptomic analysis of the processes we study in the lab. In particular, I am interested in changes in gene regulation during recovery from extreme stress in tardigrades, as well as the transcriptional changes in C. Elegans as they undergo transdifferentiation.

My project focuses on creating a novel feeding assay to better research Tardigrades and their incredible resilience to a myriad of external pressures.

My current research focuses on establishing the role of caspases in mitochondrial purifying selection. I primarily focus on the Programmed Cell Death pathway and the aging pathway and use C elegans as a model organism to understand the mechanism of mtDNA purifying selection in the germline.

My focus is on understanding how tardigrades respond to extreme environments, specifically ranging pH levels.

Undergraduate Students

I am involved in various parts of the lab, working with Cricket Wood preparing media and supplies to support research projects in the Rothman Lab! 


I am currently working on a project with Jonathan that aims to genetically modify algae in order to induce RNAi in tardigrades. I am also working on a project that focuses on the immunostaining of neuromarkers in tardigrades with Dr. Kirk. 

I'm focused on studying deleterious mitochondrial mutations using the strain SJ4100 to measure fluorescence. SJ4100 measures heat shock proteins associated with the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is linked with damaged mitochondria. Fluorescence can then be used as a metric to compare strains such as uaDf5 and ATFS-1 which show varying levels of mitochondrial damage.

I am working with Juwel Chandra Baray on projects relating to trans-differentiation and longevity in C. elegans. I am interested in the protein models of possible direct reprogramming genes that cause trans-differentiation and in creating a predictive model of the areas of interest for each gene.

I am working with Dr. Kirk to better understand tardigrade behavior and resilience to a variety of extreme environmental conditions

The small roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has a relatively short wild type lifespan (about 18-20 days) and an easily manipulated genome which has made it an attractive subject for longevity screening over the past four decades. These longevity screens, however, are limited in scale. I am working with Dr. Rothman and Dr. Joshi to develop a new method for longevity screening that is conducive to scalability and compatibility with other model organisms. This new methodology has the potential to identify mutants with maximum lifespans magnitudes greater than their wild type counterparts.

I am currently assisting Juwel Chandra Baray in his work studying transdifferentiation, transorganogenesis, aging, and longevity in C. elegans

We are currently working to determine the genes involved in cell death in the germline by knocking out genes and performing a cell death assay using the acridine orange staining technique

Currently, I am continuing the research of Dr. Ackley, studying the different mechanosensory systems in C. Elegans that are responsible for negative gravitaxis behavior.


I work under the mentorship of Juwel Chandra Baray, investigating the mechanisms by which developing cells in C. elegans commit to specific differentiated cell types. My research aims to unlock this commitment and reprogram cells to adopt new identities.