CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

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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

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DIEGO ARROYO

Research Lab Technician

I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May of 2021 with a B.S. in both Biology and Psychology. My responsibilities entail the preparation of reagents, ordering of supplies, as well as the husbandry and genotyping of the mice used by the lab

Location: AS4-2003

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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 the dynamics of piRNA precursor subcellular localization in cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) germ cells.

Location: AS4-2005

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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

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MARIE BERNARD-COOK

Executive Assistant to Phillip Zamore

​I joined UMMS in 2021 & bring my twenty years of healthcare experience. In my current role I support Dr. Phil Zamore, Chair of the RTI. I have knowledge of executive calendar management, budgeting, special projects, provider support and other administrative tasks. I was Co-Chair of Diversity & Inclusion at my previous organization and led many extracurricular events from company talent shows to holiday events. Outside of work, I enjoy travel, the arts, shopping, cooking and spending time with friends, family.

Location: AS4-2045

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Adriano Biasini

Postdoctoral Associate

I graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry. Since completing my undergraduate studies, I have researched sRNA-dependent gene expression regulation: first in yeast, during my M. Sc. thesis in Dr. Marc Buehler's lab at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, and next in mammalian cells during my PhD studies in Dr. Ana C. Marques's lab at the University of Lausannne, Switzerland. In Dr. Zamore's lab I am investigating the contribution of sRNA-dependent gene expression regulation in mammalian reproductive physiology.

Location: AS4-2005

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JENNIFER BRODERICK, PH.D.

Research Specialist - 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

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KATHERINE CECCHINI

Research Technician III - 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

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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

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SAMSON JOLLY

MD/PhD 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.

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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

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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

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CINDY TIPPING

Research Technician III - 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

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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

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ZEYU YAO

Graduate Student

​I received my B.S. from China Pharmaceutical University in 2016. I am currently studying a novel model organism, cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni), especially its germ cell line. Specifically, I am developing tools to interrogate the cabbage looper genome for genes that influence piRNA functions and transposon activities.

AS4-2007