Congratulation to the 2024 Leading Edge Fellows!

2024 Leading Edge Fellows

Farah Abdul-Rahman

Gut-borne dissemination of opportunistic pathogens

Postdoc, Memorial Sloan Kettering

Megan Agajanian

Transcriptional regulation of mammary gland development

Postdoc, Stanford

Maureen Akinyi

Mechanisms of spliceosome and RBP interactions that regulate splicing fidelity.

Postdoc, Baylor College of Medicine

Gertrude Arthur

Mechanisms of Metabolic Dysfunction Associated Liver Disease (MASLD)-Induced Kidney Injury

Postdoc, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Udochi Felicia Azubuike

Immune cells in the tumor microenvironment

Postdoc, National Cancer Institute, NIH

Amanda Buch

Developing/deploying machine learning of brain/behavior/omics; precision neuropsychiatry

Postdoc, Weill Cornell

Almudena Chaves Perez

Metabolic reprogramming to tailor cell lineage specification in regeneration and cancer

Postdoc, Memorial Sloan Kettering

Ansa Cobham

Metabolic adaptations in the blind cavefish

Postdoc, Stowers Institute

Erin Flaherty

The role of the protocadherin gene cluster in neurodevelopment and
implications for neurodevelopmental disorders

Postdoc, Columbia University

Anita Gola

Immune-stem cell interactions in the epidermis

Postdoc, Rockefeller University

Juliana Hofstätter Azambuja

Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying brain tumor progression

Postdoc, University of Pittsburgh

Heeun Jang

Neural circuit mechanisms for dehydration risk in aging mice

Postdoc, Buck Institute

Courtney Johnson

Watching the brain boot with new adaptive 4D microscopy methods

Postdoc, Janelia Research Campus

Riss Kell

Sea urchins as marine animal models of cancer resistance

Postdoc, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute

Skylar King

The role of surfactant protein A in cardiovascular disease

Postdoc, University of Missouri School of Medicine

Maiko Kitaoka

Genome quality control in post-meiotic sperm development

Postdoc, Whitehead Institute

Krissy Lyon

Astrocyte-neuron interactions in neurodevelopment

Postdoc, Salk Institute

Bishara Marzook

Epithelial cell biology of Cryptosporidium infection

Francis Crick Institute

Taylor Medwig-Kinney

Developmental control of cell biological mechanisms

Postdoc, UNC Chapel Hill

Holly Merta

Organelle-cytoskeleton interactions in cell migration

Postdoc, UTSW

Vicky Moya

Scalable methods for mapping cell type-specific connectivity in the brain

Postdoc, Boston University

Cristina Nuevo Tapioles

Mitochondrial biology in RAS-driven cancers and RASopathies

Postdoc, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Lauren Penfield

Cell interactions during collective migration and phagocytosis

Postdoc, UC Santa Barbara

Danielle Porter

The neuronal mechanisms that control reproductive function and metabolism

Postdoc, University of Michigan

Varsha Rajshekar

4D nuclear organization of the nucleolus and heterochromatin

Postdoc, UC Berkeley

Katherine Savell

Molecular and cellular substrates of experience and memory encoding in the brain

Postdoc, NIDA, NIH

Laura Seeholzer

Role of sensory epithelial cells in airway physiology

Postdoc, UC San Francisco

Amanda Shaver

Genetic causes of resistance to anthelmintic compounds

Postdoc, Johns Hopkins 

Ashley Smart

Identifying the neural mechanism of interval timing 

Postdoc, Stanford University

Reika Tei

A generalizable design strategy for antigen-gated, engineered receptors and enzymes

Postdoc, Stanford University

Shuyu Wang

Behavioral and neural mechanisms of social attachment in prairie voles

Postdoc, UC San Francisco

Xinru Wang

Design proteins to regulate cell signaling

Postdoc, University of Washington

Kate Warde

Hormonal regulation of anti-tumor immunity

Postdoc, University of Utah

Lindsey Young

Expanding the Toolkit for Structural Cell Biology by Cryo-Electron Tomography

Postdoc, UC San Diego

2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Fellows

Postdocs

Rachel Zwick

Epithelial tissue patterning and regeneration

Postdoc, UCSF

Helen Yang

Descending control of walking in Drosophila

Postdoc, Harvard Medical School

Katherine Xue

Ecology and evolution in the human gut microbiome

Postdoc, Stanford University 

Zara Weinberg

Decoding signaling to understand cellular behavior

Postdoc, UCSF

Simone Webb

Human embryonic development

Postdoc, Newcastle University


Erica Washington

Structure and function of microbial virulence


Postdoc, Duke University

Sissy Wamaitha

Human germ cell lineage emergence

Postdoc, UCLA


Christine Vazquez

Central nervous system immune evasion strategies of emerging viruses 


Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania

Katia Troha

Mechanisms of asymptomatic infection


Postdoc, Salk Institute

Akanksha Thawani

Transposon structural biology and genome engineering

Postdoc, UC Berkeley


He Tian

Directed evolution of biosensors for imaging neural activity

Postdoc, Harvard University

Tigist Tamir

Defining the role of protein phosphorylation on metabolic enzymes

Postdoc, Koch Institute,  MIT

Cheyenne Tait

Invertebrate neurobiology and behavior

Postdoc, UMass Amherst


Simón(e) Sun

Neuronal epigenetic regulation by estrogen receptor beta

Postdoc, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Marielena Sosa

Neural circuits of spatial learning and reward memory

Postdoc, Stanford University


Janet Song

Genetic basis of human brain evolution

Postdoc, Boston Children's Hospital


Natalia Shylo

Evolution of developmental mechanisms in reptiles and mammals.

Postdoc, Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Melissa Roth

Regulation and dynamics of photosynthesis and metabolism

Postdoc, UC Berkeley

Brittany Ross

Bacterial physiology during chronic and acute infection

Postdoc, Georgia Tech


Aleah Roberts

Molecular mechanisms of non-canonical B Cell Receptor endocytosis

Postdoc, NIH


Ashlan Reid

Electrical and molecular maturation of sensory cortex

Postdoc, New York Medical College/CSHL


Kavita Rangan

RNA editing in phenotypic plasticity and adaptation

Postdoc, Stanford University


Deepa Ramamurthy

Neural circuits for attentional selection in sensory cortex

Postdoc, UC Berkeley

Mónica Quiñones-Frías

Structural dynamics of neuronal endoplasmic reticulum and its contacts

Postdoc, Brandeis University

Joan Pulupa

Imaging Genome Organization and Transcriptional Regulation in Olfactory Neurons


Postdoc, Columbia University


Connie Phong

Mechanisms underlying robustness of developmental regulatory systems against environmental perturbations


Postdoc, Stanford University

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


Sarah Naomi Olsen

Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by chromatin complexes


Postdoc, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Cameron Ogg

Neural circuits underlying behavioral flexibility

Postdoc, St. Jude

Ally Nguyen

Differential gene requirements for cell division and genome organization

Postdoc, Whitehead Institute


Maeve McLaughlin

Bacterial-Phage regulatory interactions 

Postdoc, Michigan State University


Anne Martin

Identifying how synapse coordination is achieved across a neural circuit

Postdoc, University of Oregon


Anna Maurer

Understanding host-vector interactions to build better gene therapies

Postdoc, UC Berkeley


Xiaotang Lu

Developing methods for connectomic studies


Postdoc, Harvard University

Xinping Li

Neural mechanisms underlying behavioral flexibility


Postdoc, Princeton University


Hannah Ledvina

Bacterial Innate Immune Systems

Postdoc, University of Colorado, Boulder


Elizabeth Lawrence

Microtubule dynamic instability in vitro

Postdoc, Vanderbilt University


Lisa Kursel 

Molecular evolution of meiotic proteins


Postdoc, University of Utah

Caitlin Kowalski

Resident fungi as gatekeepers of skin health

Postdoc, University of Oregon


Heidi Kletzien

Mechanisms of age-related head and neck tissue dysfunction and head and neck cancer initiation


Postdoc, Harvard University


Stacey Kigar

Neuroimmunology of stress-induced behavioral changes

Postdoc, University of Cambridge


Mandira Katuwal

Molecular mechanisms of long term memory


Postdoc, Harvard University


Priyanka Joshi

Mechanisms of biochemical homeostasis in aging and age-related diseases


Postdoc, UC Berkeley

Miranda Hunter 

Spatial regulation of melanoma invasion


Postdoc, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Victoria Hung

Ribosome heterogeneity in gene regulation and cell fate

Postdoc, Stanford University

Tegan Horan

Regulation of crossover formation in meiosis

Postdoc, Cornell University


Erin Hisey

Neural circuits underlying learning and forgetting

Postdoc, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Rose Hill

Mechanotransduction in unexpected places


Postdoc, Scripps

Shan He

Biogenesis of the eukaryotic CO2 concentrating organelle, the pyrenoid

Postdoc, Princeton University


Liz Haynes

Imaging neural development across whole-embryo and single cell scales

Postdoc, Morgridge Institute

Farah Haque

Microtubule-based regulatory mechanisms underlying signaling

Postdoc, Massachusetts General Hospital

Katie Hatstat

Engineering bacterial signal transduction


Postdoc, UCSF


Emily Hager

Coordination of cell behavior in complex environments


Postdoc, Boston University

Eartha Mae Guthman

Plasticity of hormone-sensitive neural circuits

Postdoc, Princeton University

Lydia Grmai

Inter-organ regulation of reproduction

Postdoc, University of Pittsburgh

Ana Gonzalez-Reiche

Molecular evolutionary dynamics of virus transmission and host-virus interactions

Postdoc, Mount Sinai

Jessica Gray

Single cell insights into evolution and development

Postdoc, Harvard Medical School

Pragya Goel

Signaling structure for dopamine coding in the striatum


Postdoc, University of Minnesota

Jaye Gardiner

Cancer-associated fibroblasts in pancreatic cancer

Postdoc, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Gina Gallego-Lopez

Metabolism of host-parasite interaction


Postdoc, Morgridge Institute


Raquel Fueyo

Function and regulation of endogenous retroviruses in early human embryogenesis 


Postdoc, Stanford University


Lam-Kiu Fong

Membrane protein function in Alzheimer's disease

Postdoc, UCSF

Christina Fitzsimmons

RNA epitranscriptomics in health and disease


Postdoc, National Institutes of Health

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

Tahra Eissa

Neural and cognitive mechanisms of adaptive decision-making


Postdoc, CU Boulder

Devon Duron Ehnes

iPSC-derived organoids to study development and disease


Postdoc, University of Washington


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

Katherine Deets

Host-virus dynamics in Tetrahymena


Postdoc, University of Utah


Andrea d'Aquino

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

Postdoc, Stanford

Roxana Coreas

Nanomaterial-Biomolecular Interfaces


Postdoc, UC Berkeley


Abigael Cheruiyot

mRNA translation in pancreatic beta cells


Postdoc, Joslin Diabetes Center


Kristyn Carter

Translational biomarkers in Diabetic skin ulcers


Postdoc, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Maria Cecilia Canesso

Cell-cell interactions driving gut inflammation and tolerance


Postdoc, Rockefeller University


Cecilia Blengini

Chromosome segregation during female meiosis in mammals

Postdoc
Rutgers University

Sanchari Bhattacharyya

Genotype-phenotype relationship in bacterial systems

Postdoc, Harvard University


Maigen Bethea

Gastrointestinal mechanoreceptors in the regulation of food intake


Postdoc, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


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



Biotech, consulting, foundations

Dorian Rosen

Modulating cellular stress responses to improve outcomes in neurological disorders

Independent consultant


Shermel Sherman 

Estrogen-Responsive Brain-Jaw Circuit in Temporomandibular Disorders

Scientist, BrainXell




Jennifer Kan

Designing and engineering de novo protein functions

Managing partner, Climate Capital Frontier

Sisi Chen

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

Senior Director of Platform Technology, Apertura Gene Therapy

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

Kilan Ashad-Bishop

Social and structural determinants of cancer disparities


Principal Scientist, American Cancer Society


Faculty 

Xiaoxue (Snow) Zhou

Signal transmission in the yeast mitotic exit network

Assistant Professor, NYU


Chuchu Zhang

Molecular and circuit mechanisms of nausea

Incoming Assistant Professor, UCLA


Shira Weingarten-Gabbay

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


Incoming Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School


Clarissa Whitmire

Somatosensory neural coding

Senior Lecturer, University of Queensland


Genoa Warner

Female reproductive toxicology and endocrine disruption

Assistant Professor, 
New Jersey Institute of Technology


Lexy von Diezmann

Regulation of DNA repair outcomes in meiosis

Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Anna Vlasits

Circuit function and neurodiversity in the mammalian retina

Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago


Claudia Vásquez

Physics of epithelial lumen stability 

Assistant Professor, University of Washington


Meike van der Heijden 

Neural signals during dynamic cerebellar development

Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech

Supraja Varadarajan

Role of postsynaptic target activity in visual circuit regeneration

Assistant Professor, UTSW


Christina Towers

Autophagy dependence in cancer cells 

Assistant Professor
Salk Institute 


Valerie Tornini

Chromatin modifiers in vertebrate development

Incoming Assistant Professor, UCLA

Tina Termini

Hematopoietic stem cell and vascular regeneration

Assistant Professor, Fred Hutch


Jeannette Tenthorey

Evolution of antiviral defenses

Assistant Professor, UCSF

Jessica Stark

Engineering (Glyco)immunology


Incoming Assistant Professor, MIT


Chelsey Spriggs

Host-pathogen interactions during viral entry

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Yadira Soto-Feliciano

Transcriptional regulation by chromatin adaptor proteins


Assistant Professor, MIT


Heather Snell 

Cerebellar contribution to motor and non-motor disorders


Assistant Professor, Yale School of Medicine

Monique Smith

Social communication of pain and elucidating the neural circuits of empathy

Assistant Professor, UCSD

Delia Shelton

Solving grand challenges in environmental and human health 

Assistant Professor, U. Miami

Naima Sharaf

 Structure and function of the Neisseria meningitidis ABC methionine transporter system

Assistant Professor, Stanford University


Anusha Shankar

Avian physiological ecology (energetics, heterothermy) and transcriptomics

Incoming Assistant Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Hyderabad

Rachel Shahan

Single-cell insights into organ development

Assistant Professor, UCLA


Mohini Sengupta

Neural circuits for motor control in the spinal cord

Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University


Rebeca San Martin

Microenvironment influence on the 3D genome of prostate cancer

Assistant professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Elise Savier  

Contribution of the secondary visual pathway to vision

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan


Elle Roberson  

Molecular genetic mechanisms of adult uterine remodeling

Assistant Professor, CU Anschutz


Lauren Rajakovich

Human gut microbial metabolism

Assistant Professor, University of Washington


Novalia Pishesha

Engineered nanobodies as immune modulators for autoimmunity and infectious diseases

Assistant Professor, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School


Adriane Otopalik

Mechanisms of behavioral flexibility and evolution


Group Leader, Janelia Research Campus


Molly Ohainle

Cellular Barriers to HIV Infection

Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley


Lisa-Marie Nisbett 

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


Incoming Assistant Professor, Cornell


Jasmine Nirody

Adaptive locomotion through complex environments

Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

Andrea Moffitt 

Genomic methods for liquid biopsies in cancer

Assistant Professor, Emory

Alexandria Miller

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

Assistant Professor, University of Iowa


Maria Mikedis

Stem cell regulation during spermatogenesis

Assistant Professor, Cincinnati Children's

Molly Matty

Microbiome influences on animal behavior 

Assistant Professor, University of Portland

Romila Mascarenhas 

Vitamin B12 trafficking and disease

Assistant Professor, University of Oregon

Megan Martik

Gene regulatory networks in vertebrate development and regeneration

Assistant Professor, UC Berkeleyr

Maria Maldonado

Structure and function of respiratory complexes and supercomplexes

Assistant Professor, UC Davis

Prerna Malaney

Role of RNA-binding proteins in cancer

Assistant Professor, Dartmouth

Yuan Ma

Develop imaging methods to visualize biomacromolecules and metabolites
in cells


Incoming Assistant Professor, Rice University


Glennis Logsdon 

The sequence, structure, and evolution of human centromeres


Incoming Assistant Professor, Penn


Theresa Loveless

Synthetic cells that record their own history

Assistant Professor, Rice University

Lindsay LaFave

Chromatin state in lung adenocarcinoma

Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Jennifer Kong

Mechanisms of morphogen sensitivity underlying congenital heart defects

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Tina Kim

Optical and molecular approaches to studying cortical neural circuits


Assistant Professor, 
UC Davis

Grace Kenney 

Uncovering new enzyme families in natural product biosynthesis


Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh


Aga Kendrick

Intracellular transport regulation

Assistant Professor, Salk Institute


Chinyere Iweka

Circadian regulation of immune cell metabolism


Incoming Assistant Professor, Case Western


Jessica Kelliher 

Host-pathogen interactions in the cytosol


Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin


Liangliang Hao

Engineering precision diagnostics for cancer

Assistant Professor, Boston University


Zoë Hilbert

New modalities in host-microbe evolutionary conflicts

Assistant Professor, Boston College


Kathryn Gunn

Structure and mechanism of lipid metabolizing proteins

Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University


Meghna Gupta

Peroxisomal fatty-acid transport and metabolism 


Assistant Professor, OHSU


Aleena Garner

Neural circuits in memory-sensory interplay

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Leonor Garcia-Bayona

Role of mobile genes in the community interactions of the intestinal microbiota


Assistant Professor, Stanford

Allison Didychuk

DNA packaging in herpesviruses

Assistant Professor,
Yale University


Clarissa Durie

Visualizing bacterial secretion systems

Assistant Professor, University of Missouri

Anne Draelos

Real-time analysis and stimulation of neuronal populations

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Xintong Dong

Defensins and Mrgprs in skin immunity and itch

Assistant Professor, UT Dallas

Josefina del Mármol

Structural mechanism of olfaction


Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Joaquina Delás 

Noncoding genome regulation of developmental cell fate choice


Group Leader, University College London


Danfeng Cai

Chromatin organization and transcription regulation

Assistant Professor
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health


Jeeyun Chung

Spatiotemporal regulation of lipid metabolism

Assistant Professor, Harvard 

Jenna Christensen

Intracellular transport diversity in fungal and human cells

Assistant Professor, Northwestern University


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

Sarah Bowling 

Lineage tracing in early mouse development


Assistant Professor, Stanford University


Ewa Bomba-Warczak

Mitochondrial fidelity in mammalian neurons


Incoming Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylania


N. Sumru Bayin

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

Group Leader
Gurdon Institute, Cambridge University

Caroline Bartman

Developing new methods to measure in vivo tumor metabolism

Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Arianna Baggiolini

The developmental chromatin programs underlying oncogenic competence in melanoma

Group Leader, Institute of Oncology Research

Berfin Azizoğlu 

Vascularization in organ development and regeneration


Assistant Professor, UNC


Sweta Agrawal

Neural circuits underlying proprioception and motor control

Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech

Rebecca Adikes

Cell migration in vivo


Assistant Professor, Siena College


Sarah Ackerman

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

Assistant Professor,
Washington University School of Medicine

Alice Accorsi

Development and regeneration of complex sensory organs

Assistant Professor, UC Davis