Laboratory Members

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Craig Lowe
Principal Investigator

Craig's background is in computer science, bioinformatics, and developmental genetics, which spans both computational and experimental research. He is a new faculty member in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, as of June 2018, and is actively recruiting graduate students with interests in better understanding vertebrate animals, how they adapt, and their genetic risk/protection from disease.

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Riley Mangan
Graduate Student

Riley is a graduate student through the Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) Program and a graduate of Davidson College. Riley is interested in combining tools from evolutionary biology, comparative genomics, and developmental neuroscience to answer questions about human-unique evolutionary processes and disease mechanisms.

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Christiana Fauci
Graduate Student

Christi is a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG). The chicken has a rich history of being used as a model organism in developmental biology and was one of the first vertebrate genomes to be sequenced. It has advantages over other organisms, such as sharing many aspects of human development, yet developing outside the mother where it can be continually imaged. However, since the chicken genome was published in 2004, development of genetic and genomic techniques have not kept pace with other model organisms. Christi is working hard to change this and have molecular techniques in the chick once again be on the leading edge of biology.

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Luke Bartelt
Graduate Student

Luke is a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG). He is jointly advised by Craig and Al La Spada (UC Irvine). Luke is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that connect poly-Q expansions to neurodegeneration, with a focus on Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 7. Luke is using new genomic techniques to analyze these diseases at the level of single cells.

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Chelsea Shoben
Graduate Student

Chelsea is a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG). She is interested in better understanding the most repetitive and difficult-to-analyze regions of the genome. Chelsea is currently focused on understanding the functional consequenes of variation within human populations that has only recently become possible to analyze.

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Seth Weaver
Graduate Student

Seth is a graduate student through the Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) Program. He is interested in using cell lines and CRISPR-related technologies to discover the genetic basis of phenotypes unique to humans. He has a particular interest in regions of the genome that are close to telomeres.

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Yanting "Raven" Luo
Graduate Student

Raven is a graduate student through the Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) Program. She is using both computational and molecular techniques to understand the genetic basis of human-specific phenotypes. She is currently interested in structural variants that separate humans and chimpanzees.

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Kat Bendt
Lab Manager and Staff Researcher

Kat has a track-record of keeping labs running smoothly and making everyone around her more productive. We are a group of researchers from diverse academic backgrounds who are using a wide variety of techniques and model organisms, but Kat somehow manages to help everyone in the lab and make all of our research projects better. Kat is also working on her own research projects, which span fish, birds, and mice.

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Anushka Katikaneni
Graduate Student

Anushka is a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG). She is studying how stickleback fish adapt to new environments, focusing on both genetic and phenotypic changes.

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Graduate Student

We are looking for new graduate students to join us who share an interest in the genetics of vertebrates. Students may have backgrounds in the life sciences, engineering, mathematics, or any other field of study; we value having people with diverse backgrounds and unique perspectives. The lab is affiliated with the: MGM, DSCB, UPE, CMB, CBB, and UPGG graduate programs. If you are interested, please contact Craig or stop by lab to talk.

Former Lab Members

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Eric Au
Staff Researcher

Eric was the first person to join the Vertebrate Genetics Laboratory and was both a Lab Manager and a staff researcher. His background is in applied mathmatics, but he also has over five years of experience working with stickleback fish and had worked in Stanford's Genome Center for a year. Eric worked on new computational frameworks for representing genetic variation within a species. Eric now works at Berkeley Lights where he is developing new software tools to enable biological discovery.

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Juliana Carvalho
Staff Researcher

Juliana was a lab manager and also worked to understand the genetic basis of brain expansion and cognative abilities across a wide variety of mammals. She has a background in both anthropology and marine biology. Her research combined genomics, neurobiology, and the fossil record. Juliana is currently a graduate student at the Nicholas School of the Environment.