Joaquin Navajas Acedo

Predoctoral Researcher

Hometown: Madrid, Spain


Research Interests: Joaquin is attempting to understand how, why and where cell polarity is established on the zebrafish lateral line; and how that would help us understand development and disease.



Tatjana Piotrowski, PhD

Principal Investigator

Hometown: Herrenberg, Germany


Research Interests: Dr. Piotrowski says she always liked natural science. Although that could account for her interest in fish, like many embryologists, she is simply awed by watching an embryo develop. “One of the things I love about our work is the beauty of these embryos,” she says. “It is a privilege to sit at the  microscope and see a single cell turn into an embryo—it is an incredibly aesthetic experience.”

Agne Kozlovskaja-Gumbriene

Predoctoral Researcher

Hometown: Vilnius, Lithuania


Research Interests:  Agne is analyzing how neuromasts arrange their cells into polarized rosettes and develop into functional organs of particular shape and size.




Linjia Jiang, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Hometown:  Yantai, China


Research Interests: Linjia is interested in molecular mechanisms of zebrafish hair cell regeneration, and application of these mechanisms in human hearing loss and disease.


Helena Boldt

Senior Research Technician

Biography coming soon!


Mark Lush, PhD

Research Specialist

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky


Research Interests: Mark has had a long-standing interest in developmental neurobiology. Mark says, "Zebrafish have proven to be an incredibly powerful model system allowing for the in vivo study of the development of the nervous system.  My research includes two main goals; the discovery of new genes required for sensory hair cell development and regeneration and the elucidation of the cellular signaling pathways used by Schwann cells to control lateral line stem cell proliferation."


Sydney Alexander

Research Assistant

Biography coming soon!

Jonathan Kniss, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Hometown: None (Air Force brat)


Research Interests: Jon is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that generate cell movements and organ formation. Within the zebrafish lateral line system, he is seeking to identify and characterize the stem cell population involved in hair cell regeneration and he is screening for new genes required for hair cell development and regeneration.


Nina Koenecke, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Interests: Nina is interested in understanding how the different signaling pathways affect the different cell types in the neuromast during hair cell regeneration and she utilizes single cell RNA-seq to address these questions.


Amber Garvey

Senior Administrative Assistant

Hometown: Saint Joseph, Missouri


Education/Interests: Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in health science and a minor in Spanish. I truly enjoy supporting Dr. Piotrowski's research lab. It is great to work with such a dedicated group of researchers. I have always wanted to support the research sciences, particularly research that can eventually serve to improve human health, and I am happy I can support the scientific community at Stowers in my administrative role.