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CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

Paul Albosta, Ph.D.

Lab Manager

I received my BS from Saginaw Valley State University in 2008 and my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2015. I am interested in specification and differentiation of germ cell precursors as well as initial programming of the piRNA pathway in these cells.

Location: AS4-2003

Cecilia Andersson

Research Lab Technician

I joined the lab in 2019, shortly after graduating from Boston University with a BA in Biology, concentrating in cell and molecular biology. I am responsible for genotyping the mice kept by the lab, as well as helping maintain the mouse colonies.

Amena Arif

Graduate Student

I have a B.Sc (Honours) (2006-09) and an M.Sc (2009-11) in Biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, India. Continuing this tradition at UMass, I am enrolled in the Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Ph.D. Program (2011-). I am interested in developing biochemical tools to study mechanisms in small RNA pathways (miRNAs, piRNAs, and CRISPR/Cas). 

Location: AS4-2002

Ayca Bagci

Graduate Student

I received my B.S in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bogazici University in Turkey. During my first semester, here at UMass Med, I was introduced to small-RNA research and I have been enthusiastic about continuing that research ever since. My main interest is understanding how certain genomic loci become a source of piRNA in cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) germ cells.

Shannon Bailey

Graduate Student

I graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 2017. My interest in RNA and its pathways began during my undergraduate studies where I studied how codon usage affects mRNA decay rates. Currently, my work in the Zamore lab is focused on understanding the endogenous functions of prokaryotic Argonautes, specifically TtAgo. 

Location: AS4-2002

Jennifer Broderick, Ph.D.

Research Specialist II - HHMI

My goal is to translate discoveries to the clinic. I am developing a new class of oligonucleotide drugs—miRNA tethers— an approach that promises to increase biodistribution and specificity of mRNA silencing. miRNA tethers silence by recruiting an Argonaute-bound miRNA to the target mRNA. Unlike antisense oligos, silencing does not occur without the miRNA. miRNA tethers may be useful for diseases associated with large increases in the abundance of specific miRNAs (e.g., inflammation, fibrosis, or cancer, ALS) or with infection by viruses that increase expression of host miRNAs or produce their own viral miRNAs.

Location: AS4-1003

Katharine Cecchini

Research Technician - HHMI

I assist and coordinate the execution of all mouse projects in the Zamore lab.  My goal is to identify subfertility phenotypes  in piRNA cluster mutant mice and, generally, to characterize the infertility phenotypes inherent in piRNA pathway mutants mice.  I received an M.S. in pathobiology from the University of Connecticut in 2006.

Location: AS4-2004

Cansu Colpan

Graduate Student

I obtained my B.S. in Biological Science and Bioengineering from Sabanci University, Turkey and then earned my Master’s Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Uppsala University, Sweden.

In 2008 I was introduced to non-coding RNAs at a conference and since then, I have worked on all kinds of small silencing RNAs, miRNAs, siRNAs and at last piRNAs. My latest interest is the biogenesis of piRNAs and trying to solve the piRNA puzzle in mouse.

Location: AS4-2004

Ildar Gainetdinov, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

I got my M.S. in Biochemistry at Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2003 and my Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology at Russian Academy of Sciences in 2008. Here, I study the role of small RNAs (both miRNAs and piRNAs) in regulation of gene expression during mammalian spermatogenesis.

Location: AS4-2005

Tiffanie Gardner

Administrative Coordinator - HHMI

I started at Umass Medical School as a volunteer when I was about thirteen working in various departments around campus and performing a variety of tasks including delivering mail and flowers to patients in the hospital, sending out mailings, working in the Bookstore, and answering phones in the Volunteer Services Office. When I was sixteen, I joined Umass Temprite Services and was a paid intern working in multiple departments on and off campus. I graduated from Holy Name High School in 1999 and received my Associates degree in May of 2015. I am currently attending Assumption College. I have worked with Phil Zamore and his lab members since 2001.  

Location: AS4-2045

Sam (Samson) Jolly

Graduate Student

I received my B.S. in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire with a focus in organic chemistry. Afterwards, I worked for Merck & Co., Inc. as a medicinal chemist where I was part of the team that delivered the first marketed HIV Integrase inhibitor, raltegravir, and made contributions to the HIV NNRTI, doravirine, now in phase III clinical trials. I chose UMass for its rich program in RNA biology and aspire to combine my knowledge of chemical synthesis, RNAi and clinical medicine to design and advance novel therapeutics.

AS4-2003

Karina Jouravleva, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

I graduated from the École normale supérieure (Paris, France) in Molecular and Cell Biology (2011). During my Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Arturo Londono at Institut Curie, I used genome-wide approaches to establish a link between chromosome instability and changes in epigenetic and microRNA landscapes, that in turn provoke an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key event in metastasis process. My current research is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which small RNAs guide Argonaute proteins to repress gene expression. For this purpose, I use in particular single-molecule fluorescence techniques.

Location: AS4-2002

YongJin Lee

Graduate Student

As a graduate student in the lab, I am interested in piRNA biogenesis in Drosophila. My research focuses on how piRNAs are generated and processed in germ cell nucleus.

Location: AS4-2004

Deniz Ozata, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

I received my B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Izmir Institute of Technology in 2010 and Ph.D. degree in Medical Genetics from Karolinska Institutet in 2015. My research interest is the understanding of genetic and epigenetic regulation of piRNA pathway in mammals.

Location: AS4-2006

Cindy Tipping

Research Associate - HHMI

I graduated from Saint Anselm College with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. I am interested in looking at the localization of piRNA proteins using electon microscopy. Also, I assist graduate students and post-docs on their projects while serving as the lab fly technician.

Location: AS4-2002

Joel Vega-Badillo, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

I am a Biotechnology Engineer who studied at National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City. After receiving my Sc.B, I attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) for graduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Biotechnology Institute and National Institute of Genomic Medicine. I completed my Ph.D. in 2016 and joined the Zamore lab the same year. My interests include the study of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), liver fibrosis and its relationship with microRNAs, as well as the study of molecular mechanisms of target recognition by small RNA-guided Argonaute proteins.

Location: AS4-2004

Xuan (Pei-Hsuan) Wu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

I received my B.A. from Boston University in biology after completing my undergraduate studies in both Taiwan and the U.S. I am interested in understanding different aspects of gene regulation and learning the newest technology in studying gene regulation. My time as a research technician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & Harvard Medical School in Dr. Bruce Spiegelman’s lab on mammalian metabolism gave me a glimpse of the intriguingly complex gene regulatory network. I then went on to study siRNAs and miRNAs in flies using fly genetics, biochemical assays, and molecular biology approaches during my Ph.D. with Dr. Richard Carthew at Northwestern University. Currently, I focus on mouse piRNAs and miRNAs, using mouse genetics and high-throughput sequencing to answer my questions.

Location: AS4-2003

Zeyu Yao

Graduate Student

I received my B.S. from China Pharmaceutical University in 2016. I am currently studying piRNA in cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni), especially in its germ cell line. I believe we can get unique and basic insights about functions, biogenesis, and evolution of small RNAs by studying a novel model organism. Besides science, I enjoy various intellectual and artistic works, like literature and video games.

AS4-2007

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