Joaquin Navajas Acedo

Predoctoral Researcher

Hometown: Madrid, Spain


Education: BS in Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); MS in Genetics and Cell Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).


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.”

Julia Peloggia

Predoctoral Researcher

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil


Education: B.S. Biological Sciences, University of São Paulo


Research Interests: During my undergraduate studies I focused on mitochondrial metabolism in stem cells and aging. After taking a developmental biology course, I became fascinated with tissue morphogenesis and regeneration, especially in understanding how cells communicate to regulate these processes.

Daniel Diaz


Hometown: Long Beach, California


Education: M.S. Bioinformatics and Applied Genomics Program. University of Oregon, Eugene.


Research Interests: Daniel's interest in developmental biology spawned from his experiences studying Nematostella regeneration and stem cell biology as an undergrad. After graduating, he decided to pursue the rapidly growing field of bioinformatics through the University of Oregon's bioinformatics master's program. Now he combines his love for developmental biology and technology to work towards characterizing regeneration in the zebrafish neuromast through single cell transcriptomics.

Sungmin Baek, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea


Education: PhD: Lymphatic System Development in Zebrafish. Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Australia

(Laboratory of Ben Hogan).


Research Interests:

Sungmin has had a long-term view of his research career in developmental biology and cell signaling. In particular, how cell-cell communication and cell fate specification are regulated and which factors orchestrate this phenomenon and translate into tissue morphogenesis. In the Piotrowski lab, his research will be focused on the identification and characterization of novel regulators which are involved in zebrafish lateral line development and regeneration.

Tatiana Gaitan

Graduate Researcher

Hometown: Medellin, Colombia


Education: BS in Biology (Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin)


Research Interests:

During my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity of work with cell signaling and understand how changes in regulation and timing were involved in the progression of brain cancer, finding that signaling pathways required for animal embryonic development were highly related with disease progression. Nowadays my motivation is to understand how changes in timing, cell-cell and cell-environment communication can trigger birth defects, cancer or even regeneration by the recapitulation of embryonic developmental mechanisms.



Mark Lush, PhD

Research Specialist

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky


Education: PhD: Role of neurotrophins in development of the central nervous system. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. (Laboratory of Dr. Luis F. Parada).

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Laboratory of Dr. Jonathan A. Raper).


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."


Nicolas Denans, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Hometown: La Seyne sur mer, France


Education: PhD: Hox genes and chick axis elongation. Stowers Institute for Medical Research and University of Strasbourg (laboratory of Olivier Pourquie lab). Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University (Laboratory of Maria Barna).


Research Interests: I am fascinated with understanding how cells communicate with each other to form or regenerate an organ. I use high resolution time-lapse imaging to visualize the mechanisms of cell communications that varies a lot depending on the cellular landscape. Embryonic development is the most beautiful and complex process, but if we ask the embryo nicely and smartly enough (around 1% of the time) it will reveal the truth.

Jeremy Sandler, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Education: PhD: Genome Activation and Regulation of Signaling in the Rapidly Dividing Drosophila Embryo. Caltech, California. (Laboratory of Angela Stathopolous).


Paloma I. Meneses Giles

Predoctoral Researcher

Hometown: Iguala, Mexico


Education: B. S. Genomic Sciences. National Autonomous University of Mexico


Research Interest: I’m truly intrigued by organ formation and regeneration, and the zebrafish lateral line represents a

great model to understand these processes. I’m interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell

regeneration and neuromast formation in zebrafish, because unlike human inner ear hair cells, neuromasts regenerate

from nearby stem cells contained in the primordium (a cluster of cells that migrate to form the lateral line).




Indigo Warren-Holman

Administrative Assistant

Hometown: Kansas City, MO


Education: B.S Healthcare Management, Avila University


Education/Interests: 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.