Congratulations to the 2022 Leading Edge Fellows!

2022 Leading Edge Fellows

Chuchu Zhang

Molecular and circuit mechanisms of nausea



Postdoc, Harvard Medical School

Katherine Xue

Ecology and evolution in the human gut microbiome

Postdoc, Stanford University 

Clarissa Whitmire

Somatosensory neural coding


Postdoc, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

Shira Weingarten-Gabbay

Viral non-canonical ORFs as a hidden source for T cell epitopes



Postdoc, Broad Institute

Erica Washington

Structure and function of microbial virulence


Postdoc, Duke University

Anna Vlasits

Circuit function and neurodiversity in the mammalian retina

Postdoc, Northwestern University

Christine Vazquez

Central nervous system immune evasion strategies of emerging viruses 


Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania

Supraja Varadarajan

Role of postsynaptic target activity in visual circuit regeneration

Postdoc, Stanford University

Katia Troha

Mechanisms of asymptomatic infection


Postdoc, Salk Institute



Tigist Tamir

Defining the role of protein phosphorylation on metabolic enzymes

Postdoc, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Simón(e) Sun

Neuronal epigenetic regulation by estrogen receptor beta

Postdoc, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory



Jessica Stark

Engineering (Glyco)immunology



Postdoc, Stanford University



Heather Snell 

Cerebellar contribution to motor and non-motor disorders


Postdoc, Albert Einstein College of Medicine



Natalia Shylo

Evolution of developmental mechanisms in reptiles and mammals.

Postdoc, Stowers Institute for Medical Research



Shermel Sherman 

Estrogen-Responsive Brain-Jaw Circuit in Temporomandibular Disorders

Postdoc, UCSF



Anusha Shankar

Avian physiological ecology (energetics, heterothermy) and transcriptomics

Postdoc, Cornell University

Elise Savier  

Contribution of the secondary visual pathway to vision

Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Michigan



Elle Roberson  

Molecular genetic mechanisms of adult uterine remodeling

Postdoc, University of Texas at Austin



Mónica Quiñones-Frías

Structural dynamics of neuronal endoplasmic reticulum and its contacts

Postdoc, Brandeis University



Connie Phong

Mechanisms underlying robustness of developmental regulatory systems against environmental perturbations


Postdoc, Stanford University



Adriane Otopalik

Mechanisms of behavioral flexibility and evolution


Postdoc, Rockefeller University



Sarah Naomi Olsen

Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by chromatin complexes


Postdoc, Dana Farber Cancer Institute



Lisa-Marie Nisbett 

Exploring the functional relationship between outer membrane biogenesis and lipid export pathways in mycobacteria


Postdoc, Stony Brook University

Xiaotang Lu

Developing methods for connectomic studies


Postdoc, Harvard University



Glennis Logsdon 

The sequence, structure, and evolution of human centromeres


Postdoc, University of Washington



Lisa Kursel 

Molecular evolution of meiotic proteins


Postdoc, University of Utah



Grace Kenney 

Uncovering new enzyme families in natural product biosynthesis


Postdoc, Harvard University

Jessica Kelliher 

Host-pathogen interactions in the cytosol


Postdoc, University of Wisconsin-Madison



Priyanka Joshi

Mechanisms of biochemical homeostasis in aging and age-related diseases


Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley

Chinyere Iweka 

Circadian regulation of immune cell metabolism


Postdoc, Stanford University



Miranda Hunter 

Spatial regulation of melanoma invasion


Postdoc, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center



Rose Hill

Mechanotransduction in unexpected places


Postdoc, Scripps



Emily Hager

Coordination of cell behavior in complex environments


Postdoc, Boston University

Meghna Gupta

Peroxisomal fatty-acid transport and metabolism 


Postdoc, UCSF



Pragya Goel

Signaling structure for dopamine coding in the striatum


Postdoc, Harvard Medical School



Leonor Garcia-Bayona

Genetics and ecology of the intestinal Bacteroidales


Postdoc, University of Chicago

Christina Fitzsimmons

RNA epitranscriptomics in health and disease


Postdoc, National Institutes of Health



Tahra Eissa

Neural and cognitive mechanisms of adaptive decision-making


Postdoc, UC Boulder



Laura Desban

Role of microbiota in olfactory-driven social behaviors


Postdoc, University of Oregon



Catherine Denning-Jannace 

Targeting metallohomeostasis for antifungal drug development


Postdoc, Duke University



Joaquina Delás 

Noncoding genome regulation of developmental cell fate choice


Postdoc, The Francis Crick Institute

Sarah Bowling 

Lineage tracing in early mouse development


Postdoc, Boston Children's Hospital



Berfin Azizoğlu 

Vascularization in organ development and regeneration


Postdoc, Stanford University



Noëlle Antao

Developing 3D models to characterise a human microsporidian parasite


Postdoc, NYU



Krista Angileri 

Transposon control as a checkpoint during regeneration


Postdoc, Cornell University



2021 Leading Edge Fellows

Rachel Zwick

Epithelial tissue patterning and regeneration

Postdoc, UCSF

Xiaoxue (Snow) Zhou

Signal transmission in the yeast mitotic exit network

Postdoc, MIT

Zara Weinberg

Decoding signaling to understand cellular behavior

Postdoc, UCSF

Lexy von Diezmann

Regulation of DNA repair outcomes in meiosis

Postdoc, University of Utah

Meike van der Heijden 

Neural signals during dynamic cerebellar development

Postdoc, Baylor College of Medicine

Jeannette Tenthorey

Evolution of antiviral defenses

Postdoc, Fred Hutch

Chelsey Spriggs

Host-pathogen interactions during viral entry

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Delia Shelton

 Environmental Psychology Innovation Center (EPIC): solving grand challenges in environmental and human health 

Incoming Assistant Professor, U. Miami

Rachel Shahan

Single-cell insights into organ development

Postdoc, Duke University

Mohini Sengupta

Neural circuits for motor control in the spinal cord

Postdoc, Wash U St. Louis

Rebeca San Martin

Microenvironment influence on the 3D genome of prostate cancer

Postdoc, University of Tennessee

Melissa Roth

Regulation and dynamics of photosynthesis and metabolism

Postdoc, UC Berkeley

Aleah Roberts

Molecular mechanisms of non-canonical B Cell Receptor endocytosis

Postdoc, NIH

Deepa Ramamurthy

Neural circuits for attentional selection in sensory cortex

Postdoc, UC Berkeley

Novalia Pishesha

Engineered nanobodies as immune modulators for autoimmunity and infectious diseases

Postdoc, Harvard and MIT

Sarah Pfau

The molecular and cellular bases of blood-brain barrier heterogeneity

Postdoc, Harvard Medical School

Nicole Perry-Hauser

The role of latrophillins in cell signaling and synapse formation

Postdoc, Columbia University

Jasmine Nirody

Adaptive locomotion through complex environments

Postdoc, Rockefeller University and University of Oxford

Andrea Moffitt 

Genomic methods for liquid biopsies in cancer


Postdoc, Cold Spring Harbor

Alexandria Miller

Structure and function of a SARS-CoV-2 accessory protein

Postdoc, Janelia Research Campus

Maria Mikedis

Stem cell regulation during spermatogenesis

Postdoc, Whitehead Institute

Molly Matty

Microbiome influences on animal behavior 

Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Portland

Romila Mascarenhas 

Vitamin B12 trafficking and disease

Postdoc, University of Michigan

Anne Martin

Identifying how synapse coordination is achieved across a neural circuit

Postdoc, University of Oregon

Maria Maldonado

Structure and function of respiratory complexes and supercomplexes

Postdoc, UC Davis

Prerna Malaney

Role of RNA-binding proteins in cancer

Postdoc, MD Anderson

Theresa Loveless

Synthetic cells that record their own history

Postdoc, UC Irvine

Jennifer Kong

Mechanisms of morphogen sensitivity underlying congenital heart defects

Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Stacey Kigar

Neuroimmunology of stress-induced behavioral changes

Postdoc, University of Cambridge

Tegan Horan

Regulation of crossover formation in meiosis

Postdoc, Cornell University

Shan He

Biogenesis of the eukaryotic CO2 concentrating organelle, the pyrenoid

Postdoc, Princeton University

Kathryn Gunn

Structure and mechanism of lipid metabolizing proteins

Postdoc, University of North Carolina

Lydia Grmai

Sex-biased regulation of steroid hormones in gonad development

Postdoc, University of Pittsburgh

Ana Gonzalez-Reiche

Molecular evolutionary dynamics of virus transmission and host-virus interactions

Postdoc, Mount Sinai

Lisa Eshun-Wilson

Mitochondrial quality control by diverse proteases

Postdoc, Scripps Institute

Julie Elie

The neuroethology of vocal communication in bats and songbirds

Postdoc, UC Berkeley

Andrea d'Aquino

Sustained delivery of GLP-1 receptor agonists for the treatment of diabetes

Postdoc, Stanford

Jeeyun Chung

Spatiotemporal regulation of lipid metabolism

Postdoc, Harvard Medical School

Jenna Christensen

Intracellular transport diversity in fungal and human cells

Postdoc, UC San Diego

Sisi Chen

Probing the multicellular mechanisms of drug response in heterogeneous immune cell populations

Postdoc, Caltech

Caroline Bartman

Developing new methods to measure in vivo tumor metabolism

Postdoc, Princeton University

Sanchari Bhattacharyya

Genotype-phenotype relationship in bacterial systems

Postdoc, Harvard University

Arianna Baggiolini

The developmental chromatin programs underlying oncogenic competence in melanoma

Incoming Group Leader, Institute of Oncology Research

Sweta Agrawal

Neural circuits underlying proprioception and motor control

Incoming Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech

Alice Accorsi

Development and regeneration of complex sensory organs

Postdoc, Stowers Institute

2021 New Faculty Fellows

Genoa Warner

Female reproductive toxicology and endocrine disruption

Assistant Professor, 
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Tina Termini

Hematopoietic stem cell and vascular regeneration

Assistant Professor, Fred Hutch

Yadira Soto-Feliciano

Transcriptional regulation by chromatin adaptor proteins


Assistant Professor, MIT Biology and Koch Institute for Cancer Research

Molly Ohainle

Cellular Barriers to HIV Infection

Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

Megan Martik

Gene regulatory networks in vertebrate development and regeneration

Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

Josefina del Mármol

Structural mechanism of olfaction


Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Tina Kim

Optical and molecular approaches to studying cortical neural circuits


Assistant Professor, 
UC Davis

Maureen Cetera

Cell coordination during morphogenesis


Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Simone Brixius-Anderko

Cytochrome P450 structure/function in human disease


Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Rebecca Adikes

Cell migration in vivo


Assistant Professor, Siena College

2020 Leading Edge Fellows

Helen Yang

Descending control of walking in Drosophila

Postdoc
Harvard Medical School

Sissy Wamaitha

Human germ cell lineage emergence

Postdoc
UCLA

Claudia Vásquez

Physics of epithelial lumen stability 

Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Christina Towers

Autophagy dependence in cancer cells 

Assistant Professor
Salk Institute 

Valerie Tornini

Chromatin modifiers in vertebrate development

Postdoc
Yale University

He Tian

 Directed evolution of biosensors for imaging neural activity

Postdoc
Harvard University

Monique Smith

Social communication of pain and elucidating the neural circuits of empathy

Assistant Professor,
University of San Diego

Naima Sharaf

 Structure and function of the Neisseria meningitidis ABC methionine transporter system

Assistant Professor,
Stanford University

Dorian Rosen

Modulating cellular stress responses to improve outcomes in neurological disorders

Postdoc
Scripps

Lauren Rajakovich

Human gut microbial metabolism

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Cameron Ogg

Neural circuits underlying behavioral flexibility

Postdoc
St. Jude

Elizabeth Lawrence

Microtubule dynamic instability in vitro

Postdoc
Vanderbilt University

Lindsay LaFave

Chromatin state in lung adenocarcinoma

Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Aga Kendrick

Regulation of microtubule-based cellular transport

Postdoc
UCSD

Jennifer Kan

Designing and engineering de novo protein functions

Managing partner, Climate Capital Frontier

Victoria Hung

Ribosome heterogeneity in gene regulation and cell fate


Postdoc
Stanford University

Erin Hisey

Neural circuits underlying learning and forgetting


Postdoc
McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Zoë Hilbert

New modalities in host-microbe evolutionary conflicts


Postdoc
University of Utah

Liz Haynes

Imaging neural development across whole-embryo and single cell scales

Postdoc
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Farah Haque

Microtubule-based regulatory mechanisms underlying signaling

Postdoc
Massachusetts General Hospital

Liangliang Hao

Engineering precision diagnostics for cancer

Incoming Assistant Professor, Boston University

Mae Guthman

Plasticity of hormone-sensitive neural circuits

Postdoc
Princeton University

Jessica Gray

Single cell insights into evolution and development

Postdoc
Harvard Medical School

Aleena Garner

Neural circuits in memory-sensory interplay

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Jaye Gardiner

Cancer-associated fibroblasts in pancreatic cancer

Postdoc
Fox Chase Cancer Center

Lam-Kiu Fong

Membrane protein function in Alzheimer's disease

Postdoc
UCSF

Clarissa Durie

Visualizing bacterial secretion systems


Assistant Professor, University of Missouri

Anne Draelos

Real-time analysis and stimulation of neuronal populations

Postdoc
Duke University

Xintong Dong

Defensins and Mrgprs in skin immunity and itch


Postdoc
Johns Hopkins


Allison Didychuk

DNA packaging in herpesviruses


Assistant Professor,
Yale University

Danfeng Cai

Chromatin organization and transcription regulation


Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Liz Boydston

Specialized organelles for host-parasite interactions


Product Manager
Ginkgo Bioworks

Heike Blockus

Linking synaptic specificity to neuronal circuit function


Senior Scientist
Verge Genomics

Cecilia Blengini

Chromosome segregation during female meiosis in mammals

Postdoc
Rutgers University

N. Sumru Bayin

Neural stem cell diversity and age-dependent regenerative processes in the brain

Group Leader
Gurdon Institute, Cambridge University

Sarah Ackerman

Neuron-glia dynamics in circuit development, refinement, and behavior

Assistant Professor,
Washington University School of Medicine