Principal Investigator

Antonio Giraldez, Ph.D.

Antonio studied Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Cadiz and the University Autonoma of Madrid. As an undergraduate, he worked with Gines Morata at the CBM in Madrid. Antonio did his PhD with Stephen Cohen at the EMBL (Heidelberg) (1998-2002) and a post-doc with Alex Schier at the Skirball Institute (NYU) and Harvard (2003-2006).

Antonio joined the Genetics Department at Yale University in 2007. He is now the Fergus F. Wallace Professor of Genetics and the Chair of the Genetics Department. Antonio is a member of the Interdepartmental Program in Developmental Biology, Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine, Yale Stem Cell Center, Yale Cancer Center, and is an HHMI Faculty Scholar.

Biosketch | Curriculum Vitae | Pubmed


Miguel 'More' Moreno-Mateos, Ph.D.

Miguel studied Biology at the University of Seville. He did his PhD with Tahia Benitez at the Department of Genetics in the University of Seville (2000-2006). There he studied the ambient pH regulation in filamentous fungi. Then he joined Jose A. Pintor-Toro lab at CABIMER where he investigated transforming small RNAs in mammalian cells and the role of pttg1 gene in cancer (2007-2012). Miguel received a very competitive fellowship from the Andalusian Goverment (FPS) to undertake this research. Miguel is working on CRISPR technology and lncRNAs related to the early zebrafish development.

Jean-Denis Beaudoin, Ph.D.

Jean-Denis earned a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Université de Sherbrooke in 2006. In 2009, he completed his Master degree, and started his PhD both in the laboratory of Dr Jean-Pierre Perreault at Université de Sherbrooke in the Department of Biochemistry. He earned his PhD in 2013, where he worked to characterize the ability of the G-quadruplex structure to modulate RNA activities. He joined the Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in April 2013 and is studying how RNA structures regulate post-transcriptional events in the oocyte to embryo and maternal-to-zygotic transitions in zebrafish. JD has been awarded a prestigious Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé FRQS fellowship to undertake this research.

Juan Pablo Fernandez Ph.D.

Juan Pablo studied Genetics at the National University of Misiones, Argentina (2001-2006). He did his PhD in Aybar’s lab at the Superior Institute of Biological Research (INSIBIO, CONICET-UNT), Argentina identifying the role of hedgehog signaling pathway and different genes involved in the neural crest cells development in Xenopus. Juan joined Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Genetics Department at Yale University in April 2013 and he is studying human embryonic development.

Charles Vejnar, Ph.D.

Charles studied Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Université Pierre et Marie (Paris, France), and then earned his Master at the Université Denis Diderot (Paris, France). He studied Evolution of transposable elements under the supervision of Prof Hadi Quesneville. His did his PhD with Prof Evgeny Zdobnov at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) working on miRNA target prediction. He joined the Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in March 2013, and he is using gene expression and ribosome footprinting to understand the mechanism that regulate translation during embryogenesis. Charles received a prestigious Swiss National Science Foundation fellowship to undertake this research.

Tonnie Van Den Elzen, Ph.D.

Tonnie studied Biology at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands (2004-2009), and obtained her PhD at Strasbourg University, France (2013), in the laboratory of Bertrand Séraphin at the IGBMC. Here she studied quality control pathways targeting RNAs that cause ribosomes to stall during translation and identified a new role in translation regulation for factors central to these pathways. Tonnie joined the lab in November 2013 and is currently studying suspended animation and how it affects translation in embryonic development. She was awarded a prestigious EMBO postdoctoral fellowship to undertake this research.

Mario Messih, Ph.D.

Mario Studied computer science at the The American University in Cairo (2005-2010), and he earned a masters degree in Bioinformatics at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (2010-2012) where he used statistical and probabilistic learning in order to predict protein functions (GO-terms annotations). Mario moved to Italy (2012-2016) where he earned his PhD from the Biocomputing Unit at Sapienza - Università di Roma under the supervision of prof Anna Tramontano. Mario joined the Giraldez lab at the Genetics Department at Yale University on Dec 2016 where he will be using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in order to have a deeper understanding of the individual effect of different regulatory elements, their interactions as well as how they are orchestrated in the cell in order to control protein output and shape embryogenesis.

Valerie Tornini, Ph.D.

Valerie earned a B.S. in Biology and A.B. in Religion from Duke University in 2010. In 2016, she completed her Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Kenneth Poss at Duke University in the Department of Cell Biology, where she studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms of tissue regeneration. She joined the Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in February 2017 and is studying the code of specification in vertebrate CNS development.

Liyun Miao, Ph.D.

Liyun studied Biology in Qingdao University. She did her PhD in with Jian Zhang studying the translational regulation during oogenesis in zebrafish at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Liyun joined Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in April 2017 and she is currently studying the regulatory mechanisms underlying the maternal-to-zygotic transition in zebrafish.

Yin Tang, Ph.D.

Yin studied computer science at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai, China) and earned a master’s degree in Computer Software and Theory at Fudan University (Shanghai, China). Yin earned his PhD at Pennsylvania State University, University Park in Bioinformatics and Genomics, working on regulatory roles of RNA structures in plants. Yin joined the Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in August 2017 and is studying chromosome structure dynamics and the regulation of RNAs during the maternal-to-zygotic transition in zebrafish development.


Cassandra Kontur

Cassie studied Biochemistry at the University of Chicago (2008-2012). After graduation she worked in the lab of Aaron Turkewitz at UChicago (2012-2014), studying secretory granule formation, phagosome maturation, and exocytosis. She entered the BBS graduate program in 2014 and joined the Giraldez lab in April 2015, where she investigates the role of RNA binding proteins in post-transcriptional regulation during zebrafish development.

Henry Shun Chan

Henry studied Biology and Biochemistry at University of Virginia. (2008-2012). He worked in the laboratory of Dr. Raymond Keller, where his research focused on investigating the molecular basis and cellular regulation of the morphogenetic process, convergence and extension during development. After graduation, Henry was employed as a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Ira Schulman at University of Virginia, investigating the role of BRCA1 in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism and inflammation. Henry entered the BBS graduate program at Yale University in 2014 and joined the Giraldez Lab in June of 2015. He is currently studying the role of zygotic gene activation on different cellular behaviors during Maternal zygotic transition.

Daniel Burkhardt

Daniel earned his B.S. in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2015. He studied the effects of simulated climate warming on soil microbial communities with Dr. Kristen DeAngelis, and this work became the focus of his senior thesis. Daniel joined the PhD program in Genetics at Yale University in 2015, and he is jointly advised by Antonio Giraldez and Smita Krishnaswamy. Daniel is currently applying single-cell transcriptions to characterize the regulatory networks that drive neural differentiation in Zebrafish.


Hiba Codore

Hiba earned a B.S. in Biology from University of Houston in 2001 and Forensic Sciences at Northwestern University. Hiba has worked as a laboratory technician in several universities including McGill (2001-2003), Northwestern (2003-2006), Pittsburgh (2006-2010). In 2010 she joined Dr Harold Burgess laboratory at the NIH, with a focus on Locomotor behavior in zebrafish. Hiba Joined the Giraldez Lab as a research associate in August of 2013.

Donna Karpel

Before coming to Yale, Donna worked Bayer Healthcare for 10 years as an Administrative Assistant for the VP of Drug Safety and The Research department. Donna now takes care of all the paper work in the Giraldez Lab, and her role is vital for Antonio’s sanity.

Karen Bishop

Karen earned a B.S in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, with a concentration in fisheries at the University of Vermont in 2014. After Graduation she worked with Vermont Fish and Wildlife studying fish communities in small lakes and ponds while also monitoring native trout populations. Karen came to the Giraldez Lab in January 2016 as a postgraduate associate.

Nitya Khatri

Nitya earned her degree in Biology at University of Virginia in 2017. She worked in the laboratory of Dr. Noelle Dwyer where she was responsible for genotyping, PCR, gel electrophoresis, cryosectioning mice brain tissue, and neuron analysis. She also completed a small project with Dr. Raymond Keller investigating the change in body axis elongation through Nodal signal inhibition during the early stages of Xenopus embryo development. Nitya started her postgraduate position at the Giraldez lab in November 2017 and is an aspiring medical school student.

Sarah Dube

Sarah Dube earned a B.S. in Biology from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2014. After graduation, she worked as a field technician for Maria Diuk-Wasser’s eco-epidemiology lab at Columbia University for two seasons. Sarah has also worked for the state of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as a member of the trawl survey, where she helped to measure the biodiversity and species abundance of the Long Island Sound. Sarah joined the Giraldez lab in November of 2017 as a postgraduate associate.

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