Post-doc: Daniel Cifuentes Buira, Ph.D.

Daniel studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Barcelona. He did his PhD with Joan J. Guinovart at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (Barcelona) (2000-2006). There he studied the mechanisms that control glycogen synthesis, their evolution and their misfunction in pathologies such as diabetes or Lafora disease. Daniel was a Postdoc Associate in the Giraldez Lab at the Genetics Department at Yale University (2008-2016). Daniel is dissecting post-transcriptional regulation in embryogenesis by analyzing the global-protein RNA interactome using mass spectrometry and RNA seq. Daniel was awarded a K99/R00 and is now an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Boston University.

Post-doc: Ariel Bazzini, Ph.D.

Ariel studied Biology at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1998-2003). Then he did his PhD in the Asurmendi’s lab in the biotechnology institute, INTA, Argenitna, where he studied plant virus infections, mechanisms to confer viral resistance and the role of microRNAs during viral infection. He defended his PhD in Nov 2007 at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He did a short post-doc in the same lab working in metabolic and microRNAs profiles during virus infection in plants. He joined the Giraldez Lab at the Genetics Department at Yale University in Feb 2010 where he used ribosome footprinting to identify non-coding RNAs, micro-peptide encoding genes and dissect their function. Ariel received the prestigious Pew fellowship to undertake this research. He completed his fellowship in May 2016 and is now an Assistant Investigator at the Stowers Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology at The University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Post-doc: Miler Lee, Ph.D.

Miler earned a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University in 2000, and then an M.S. in computer science in 2002. He earned his Ph.D. in 2009 at the University of Pennsylvania from the Genomics and Computational Biology program, where he worked with Junhyong Kim on describing modular characteristics of RNA structures. He joined the Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in February 2011 and is investigating the roles of non-coding RNA in the maternal-to-zygotic transition in zebrafish. Miler received a prestigious NIH fellowship to undertake this research. Miler is now an Assistant Professor of Genomics at University of Pittsburgh.

Post-doc: Jean-Denis Beaudoin, Ph.D.

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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 was a postdoc in the Giraldez Lab from 2013 to 2019, investigating how RNA structures regulate post-transcriptional events during the maternal-to-zygotic transitions in zebrafish. JD was supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé FRQS fellowship and the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99). In January 2020, JD became a principal investigator, leading his own lab at the University of Connecticut.

Post-doc: 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 joined the lab in 2013, worked on CRISPR technology and early zebrafish development. He is now a junior PI at CABD in Seville and teaching at University Pablo de Olavide as a Ramón y Cajal fellow.

Postdoc: Charles Vejnar, Ph.D.

Charles studied Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Université Pierre et Marie (Paris, France), and then earned his Masters at the Université Denis Diderot (Paris, France). He studied the 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.

Postdoc: 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 studied zygotic genome activation. He is now a scientist at CRISPR Therapeutics.

Ph.D. student: Ashley Bonneau, Ph.D.

Ashley studied Biology at California State University, Channel Islands (2008-2011). She worked in the laboratory of Dr. Nitika Parmar, where her research focused on investigating the effects of RhebL1 silencing on the mTOR pathway. Ashley entered the BBS graduate program at Yale University in 2011 and joined the Giraldez Lab in May of 2012. She studied genes important to early zebrafish development through a maternal and zygotic genetic screen. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics in May 2016. After her graduate studies, she conducted postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Peter Reddien at the Whitehead Institute.

Ph.D. Student: 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 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.

Ph.D. Student: 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.

Post-doc: 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 and used Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to gain 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. Mario is currently a principal scientist at Pfizer.

Ph.D. Student: 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 working on single cell RNA-sequencing analysis methods.

Lab manager: 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 2013.

Postdoc: 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. Juan is now a genome engineering manager at BIOHEURIS in Rosario, Argentina.

Post-doc: Tonnie Van Den Elzen, Ph.D.

Tonnie studied Biology at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands (2004-2009), and obtained her PhD at Strasbourg University in France (2013) in the laboratory of Bertrand Séraphin at the IGBMC. There 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 Giraldez Lab in November 2013 and studied suspended animation and how it affects translation in embryonic development. She was awarded a prestigious EMBO postdoctoral fellowship to undertake this research.

Post-graduate assistant: Kim de Guzman

Kim de Guzman earned her degrees with honors in Biology and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Emory University in 2018. During that time, she worked in the Iain Shepherd lab to investigate potential genetic markers for the interstitial cells of Cajal, one of the key players along with the enteric nervous system that drives gastrointestinal motility. Her training comprised of RT-PCR, gel electrophoresis, mRNA extraction, immunohistochemistry, gut dissection, confocal microscopy, and microinjection of zebrafish embryos. Concurrently, she worked with C. elegans to investigate evolution of pathogenic resistance with Megan Cole. She joined the Giraldez lab in June 2018 as postgraduate associate and worked closely with other lab members to assist with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeted mutagenesis.

Post-graduate fellow: 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.

PhD Student: Mark Pownall

Mark studied Biology at the College of William & Mary (2014-2018). He worked in the laboratory of Dr. Margaret Saha, where his research focused on investigating plasticity in the developing nervous system and transcriptional gene regulation in polyploid vertebrates. Mark entered the BBS graduate program at Yale University in 2018 and joined the Giraldez Lab in March of 2019. He is currently interested in investigating the mechanisms of zygotic genome activation and developing chromatin expansion microscopy. Mark’s graduate work was supported by an NIH F31 fellowship. He started as a Sandler Faculty Fellow at UCSF in 2024.

Post-doc: Carter Takacs, Ph.D.

Carter studied Anthropology at the University of Albany (SUNY). He did his Masters at Dartmouth School of Medicine with Kevin Peterson, studying metazoan evolution. Then he moved to Yashi Ahmed’s lab where he studied the role of APC1 and APC2 in the wingless signaling pathway. Carter Defended his PhD in Feb 2008 and started in the Giraldez Lab in September 2008, where he studied the mechanisms that regulate maternal mRNAs. Carter received a competitive NIH fellowship to undertake this research. Carter is now an Assistant Professor at the University of New Haven.

Ph.D. Student: Valeria Yartseva, Ph.D.

Valeria holds a dual undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley in Neurobiology and Psychology. After graduating in 2009, she took a Research Associate position in the laboratory of Deepak Srivastava at the J. David Gladstone Institutes in UCSF where she worked on understanding regulation of cardiac microRNAs. She joined BBS graduate program at Yale University in 2011 where she was also a HHMI-NIH Medical Research Scholar. Valeria’s research focused on understanding mechanisms regulating maternal mRNA clearance during early zebrafish development. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics in May 2016 and is now a Research Scientist at Genentech.

Ph.D. Student: Tim Johnstone, Ph.D.

Timothy holds a B.S. in Computational Biology from Brown University (2008-2012), where he worked in the lab of Sorin Istrail. His undergraduate research focused on cis-regulation, synthetic biology, and gene regulatory networks at the transcriptional level. Tim entered the Yale BBS graduate program in 2012 and in May 2013 he joined the Giraldez Lab, where he studied translation and translational regulation during zebrafish development. Tim received his Ph.D. in Genetics in May 2016 and is now a data scientist in the Receptor Discovery Group at Juno Therapeutics.

Ph.D. Student: Minsun Jeong, Ph.D.

Minsun studied Biosciences at Seoul National University (2004-2007) in Korea. After graduation, she worked in the Protein Biochemistry Lab of C.H. Chung (2007-2009) at SNU, studying BAG2 ubiquitination in TNF-ß signaling. She entered the BBS graduate program at Yale in 2009 and joined the Giraldez Lab in the Genetics Department in 2010 May. Minsun focused on the mechanism of small RNA processing in zebrafish. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics in May 2016.

Post-graduate assistant: Kate DiVito

Kate earned a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of New England in 2011, where she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Travis. Kate’s undergraduate research focus was the effect of sea level rise on the genetic diversity of a dominant marsh plant, Spartina alterniflora. After graduation, Kate was employed as an environmental lab technician at Normandeau Associates, Inc. where she studied the effect of nuclear power plants on varying fish populations in the Hudson River. Kate came to the Giraldez Lab in August 2012 to study the regulation of miR-430 expression. She is now a Graduate Student at The University of Connecticut.

Post-doc: Marlon Stoeckius, Ph.D.

Marlon studied Biomedicine at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn, Germany. He did his PhD in the lab of Nikolaus Rajewsky at the Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin, characterizing the oocyte-to-embryo transition in C. elegans. Being part of a MDC-NYU PhD exchange program, he was co-supervised by Fabio Piano at New York University. Marlon joined the Giraldez Lab in August 2013 to study post-transcriptional gene regulation at the oocyte-to-embryo transition in zebrafish. Marlon received the prestigios DFG fellowship to undertake this research. Marlon is now a ‎Research Scientist at the New York Genome Center.

Ph.D. Student: Ellen Hoffman M.D., Ph.D.

Ellen received an MD with Recognition in Research degree from SUNY Stony Brook (1999-2003) where she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Gail Mandel. She did her residency training in general psychiatry (2003-2006) and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry (2006-2008) at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. During her residency, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Deanna Benson, studying cell adhesion, and during her fellowship, she worked with Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, studying the genetics of autism. Ellen did her Ph.D. at the Yale Child Study Center in the Albert J. Solnit Integrated Research Training Program, where she was involved in a collaboration between the laboratory of Matthew State and the Giraldez laboratory. She developed a zebrafish model for studying rare variants in candidate genes in autism spectrum disorders. Ellen received a K08 and is now an Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale.

Post-graduate assistant: 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. She is currently a student in the Master of Science in Biomedical Science program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Lab Manager: Elizabeth Fleming

Elizabeth Fleming graduated with a B.S. in Forest Biology from the University of Vermont. After working for 6 years studying RNA processing at UVM she spent 3 years developing small molecule therapeutics for Hepatitis Band Hepatitis C at Scriptgen Pharmaceuticals in Waltham, MA. Before joining the Giraldez lab she worked at the University of Connecticut Health Center where she studied the role of microRNAs in melanoma. At the Giraldez Lab, Elizabeth was an important contributor to many projects and was integral to the running of the lab. Elizabeth is now working at the Jackson Laboratories.

Post-graduate assistant: Stephanie Lau

Stephanie earned a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from University of California, Berkeley in 2012. She was an IMSD scholar and did research in David Raulet’s lab studying the regulation of NKG2D ligands on Natural Killer cells. Stephanie joined the Giraldez lab as a postgraduate associate in October 2012. She is currently identifying RNA-binding proteins and studying post-transcriptional regulation of miRNAs during MZT. Stephanie is now a Graduate Student at New York University.

Research Assistant: Heather Patnode

Heather completed her degree in Applied Science in 2007 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. As an undergraduate she analyzed gene expression in zebrafish using in situ hybridization. After graduation Heather completed an internship at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi, India in the lab of Dr. Sridhar Sivasubbu. From December 2007 to July 2009, she worked in the zebrafish and molecular biology labs of the Genomics Technology Access Center (GTAC) at UW-Stout under the supervision of Dr. Michael A. Pickart. Heather began working in the Giraldez Lab in July 2009 and single-handedly maintained the lab and the fish until 2013. She is now a Veterinary Technician at Advanced Veterinary Care.

Timothy Gerson

Timothy graduated from Roger Williams University in 2015 where he studied Aquaculture and Aquarium Science. He worked as a Fin-fish Hatchery Technician at a Black Sea Bass farm in Virginia where he grew thousands of fish for human consumption in the summer post-graduation. Timothy soon afterward joined the Knaut Lab at NYU as a Zebrafish Technician in 2016 and researched migration in the lateral line primordium cells of zebrafish larvae. He joined the Giraldez lab in March of 2020 as a Research Associate and Laboratory Manager.

Post-doc: Simon Moxon, Ph.D.

Simon earned a BSc in Genetics from the University of Liverpool in 1999 and then went on to complete an MSc in Software Engineering at the university in 2001. He then joined the Bateman Group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 2003 where he worked on the Pfam and Rfam databases. In 2005 he started a PhD at the University of East Anglia where he worked jointly with Vincent Moulton and Tamas Dalmay studying computational methods for classification of small RNAs and their targets. After completing his PhD he continued working in the Moulton/Dalmay labs as a Senior Research Associate (2009-2011). He joined the Giraldez Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in April 2011 where he characterized small RNAs in embryonic development. He is now back in the UK where he is a Lecturer in Bioinformatics at University of East Anglia.

Post-graduate assistant: Valeria Schmidt

Valeria received her undergraduate degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University in 2019. During her time at Princeton, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Sigman where she studied nutrient biogeochemistry of coral reef systems. During her summers, Valeria conducted research for Dr. Samantha de Putron at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, Dr. Anne Cohen at MIT-WHOI-BIOS, and Dr. Hollie Putnam at URI-HIMB. She studied the eco-physiology and environmental epigenetics of reef-building corals. Particularly, she aimed to understand how immediate abiotic environment and biotic interactions drive organism phenotype, ecological patterning, and evolutionary processes through the interaction of genetics, and epigenetics. Valeria was a post-graduate assistant in the Giraldez lab from June 2019 - June 2021. She is now a graduate student in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.

Undergraduate: Gonna Nwakudu

Gonna is a undergraduate student working towards a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. She joined the Giraldez Lab in the summer of 2021 with the help of the Richter Summer Fellowship. She is currently interested in studying the role of various pioneer factors in zygotic genome activation in zebrafish embryos. Gonna’s 2022 summer research is supported by the Rosenfeld Science Scholars Program.

Post-doc: Magdalena Koziol, Ph.D.

Magda studied Medical Genetics at the University of Leicester, UK. She did her PhD in John Gurdon’s lab at the University of Cambridge, UK, identifying novel molecules that initiate nuclear reprogramming (2003-2007). After spending two years working for the Boston Consulting Group, she joined John Rinn’s laboratory at the Harvard University and the Broad Institute, where she worked on interactions between proteins and long non-coding RNAs. Magda joined the Giraldez lab at Yale University in June 2011 to study zygotic genome activation at the earliest stages of embryogenesis. Magdalena is currently a postdoc with John Gurdon at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge.

Ph.D. Student: Alison Staton, Ph.D.

Alison studied Biology at the University of Dayton (2002-2006), where she worked in the laboratory of Carissa Krane. Alison’s undergraduate research focused on mammalian fluid homeostasis, and particularly in the application of functional genetics to the study of aquaporins in mice. She joined the BBS graduate program at Yale in 2006, and her efforts have focused on the regulation of chemokine signaling through by microRNAs during zebrafish development. Alison is currently a Post-doc with Craig Crews at Yale.

Post-doc: Huiling Xue, Ph.D.

Huiling studied biology at the Shandong Normal University. She did her PhD with Jing-Dong Jackie Han in the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, studying gene networks during the process of aging and networks regulated by microRNAs. Huiling completed her PhD in June 2008 and was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Giraldez lab May 2009-2011. She studied gene expression during early zebrafish development using microarrays and high-throughput sequencing. After working in the Giraldez lab, she completed a second Postdoctoral fellowship in the Park lab at Harvard University.

Ph.D. Student: Carlos Stahlhut, Ph.D.

Carlos studied biochemistry at McGill University (2001-2005), where he also investigated the HER2/Neu/ErbB2 proto-oncogene pathway under the supervision of Dr. William Muller at the Molecular Oncology Group. Carlos joined the BBS Program at Yale University in 2005, and the Giraldez Lab in the Genetics Department in March 2007. Carlos graduated in 2011 and his PhD thesis focused on the role of miR-1 in the regulation of angiogenesis by modulating the activity of VEGF-A. Carlos is currently a postdoc with Frank Slack at Yale. After completing his Ph.D., Carlos went on to complete his postdoctoral work at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

Lab Manager: 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, and was a lab manager until 2024.

Research Assistant: Nicole Allard

Nicole completed her degree in Marine Science/Biology at Eckerd College in 2005. After graduation, she worked as an independent contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency. In the Giraldez Lab Nicole cared for the fish, and maintained the aquariums and supportive equipment. Nicole is now a Research Specialist at NC State University.

Post-doc: Yuichiro Mishima, Ph.D.

Yuichiro was born in Japan where he studied Biology at Osaka City University (1997-2001). Yuichiro did his Ph.D with Prof. Kunio Inoue at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (2001-2003) and the Kobe University (2003-2006). Then he moved to the US and started his post-doc in the Genetics Department at Yale University (2007-2009). Yuichiro’s project in the Giraldez Lab focused on the function of miRNAs during vertebrate muscle development. Yuichiro is now a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo in the Tomari Lab.