LAB MEMBERS

Tatjana Piotrowski, PhD
Principal Investigator
Hometown
Herrenberg, Germany

Education
Diplom University of Tuebingen, Germany + University of California, San Diego (laboratory of R.G. Northcutt) 

PhD Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Tuebingen, Germany (laboratory of C. Nuesslein-Volhard)

Research Interests
I am fascinated with how embryos develop and how cell-cell communication is orchestrated to ensure that cells acquire correct fates at the correct times, reach their proper location in the embryo and form organs. More recently, I have become intrigued by of how sensory cells regenerate in a sensory organ and what role developmental pathways play in that process. In our work, I particularly enjoy the combination of in vivo imaging, functional studies and genomic analyses.
Julia Peloggia
Predoctoral Researcher
Hometown
São Paulo, Brazil

Education
BS 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.
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.
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.
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."
Paloma I. Meneses Giles
Predoctoral Researcher
Hometown
Iguala, Mexico

Education
BS Genomic Sciences. National Autonomous University of Mexico

Research Interest
I’m truly intrigued by organ formation and regeneration, and the zebrafish lateral line represents agreat model to understand these processes. I’m interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying hair cellregeneration and neuromast formation in zebrafish, because unlike human inner ear hair cells, neuromasts regeneratefrom nearby stem cells contained in the primordium (a cluster of cells that migrate to form the lateral line).
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).
Madeleine Swall
Research Technician II
Hometown
Overland Park, Kansas

Education
BS, biological sciences, Colorado State University

Education/Interests
I am interested in understanding the identities of the immune cells that maintain tissue homeostasis and respond to injury in neuromasts. Separate populations of macrophages, known as “tissue-resident macrophages” are heterogenous in gene expression in order to adapt to the different microenvironments in tissues across the developing zebrafish embryo. I am using single-cell RNA-seq to identify unique markers for different populations of tissue-resident macrophages, and then validating these markers through live-imaging of the zebrafish embryo in both homeostatic conditions and after drug treatment.
Ya-Yin Tsai
Research Technician II
Hometown
Nantou, Taiwan

Education
MS
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, National Taiwan University

Education/Interests
I'm truly interested in neuroscience, especially in the molecular mechanisms underlying how cell-cell communication occurs during development. In the Piotrowski lab, my aim is to understand which genes and networks play an important role in cell-cell communication involved in zebrafish lateral line development and regeneration.
Nicole Tran
Graduate Researcher
Hometown
San Diego, CA

Education
MS Bioinformatics and Applied Genomics Program,
University of Oregon, Eugene.

Education/Interests
My previous research history involved host-microbe interactions of zebrafish larvae under variations of treatment. The zebrafish model is a great system for understanding the dynamic transcriptomic processes at different stages. Single-cell RNA-seq and cell trajectory analysis has given us an exemplary toolbox in investigating these subtle cellular changes. Integrating my statistical and computational knowledge from the master’s program at the University of Oregon, I’m excited to lend my bioinformatic skills to the Piotrowski Lab while also learning more about developmental biology.
John Rojas Pino
Predoctoral Researcher
Hometown
Lima, Peru

Education
BS in Genetics and Biotechnology,
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

Education/Interests
I am interested in understanding both molecular and developmental changes necessary that lead towards evolutionary novelties in living organisms. During my undergrad I had a flurry of internship related to different topics including: epigenetics of neural crest development, sumoylation and its relation to cell senescence, regeneration of the spinal cord and characterizing new geneediting systems in zebrafish. Currently, I am focused understanding the interplay between neuromast regeneration and aging under a comparative approach using other teleost species.
Daniela Muench
Predoctoral Researcher
Hometown
Cologne, Germany

Education
MS in Biology, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany
BS in Biology, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany

Education/Interests
I first became interested in developmental biology after watching a time lapse of a developing zebrafish embryo in one of my undergraduate lectures. Fascinated by zebrafish as a model system and in vivo imaging, my previous research involved the analysis of dendritic spine development and neuronal cell migration in the zebrafish hindbrain. In the Piotrowski lab, I am interested in identifying and characterizing novel cellular interactions during lateral line development and regeneration.
Indigo Warren-Holman
Administrative Assistant
Hometown
Kansas City, MO

Education
BS 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.