Principal Investigator

Dan Jarosz, PhD

Research interests: Protein conformational switches in evolution, disease, and development; molecular mechanisms driving robustness in complex cellular systems; chemical biology, cell signaling, and quantitative genetics
Education: BS, University of Washington; PhD, MIT; Postdoctoral, Whitehead Institute
Hometown: Indianola, WA, USA
Favorite saying: ‘Trust your data. They never lie to you” – Gail Ferguson
Favorite activities outside the lab: Hiking, Kayaking
Dream baymate: Stephen Colbert
Birthday: November 24th
CV | Bio

Postdoctoral Fellows

Rebecca Zabinsky, PhD

Stanford Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Research interests: Genetic buffering in evolution and disease; genetics, molecular biology, chemical biology, and systems biology
Education: BS, Scripps College; PhD, University of Colorado – Boulder
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Favorite saying: “You miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” -Dr. Seuss
Favorite activities outside the lab: Yoga, hiking, skiing, traveling, eating
Dream baymate: Kino MacGregor
Birthday: January 27th

Anupam Chakravarty, PhD

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow

Research interests: Molecular mechanisms to counter cellular stress
Education: BS, St. Stephen’s College; MS, Indian Institute of Technology; PhD, Sloan Kettering
Hometown Darjeeling, India
Favorite saying: “If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”
Favorite activities outside the lab: Photography, Hiking
Dream baymate: Heisenberg
Birthday: October 4th

Christopher Jakobson, PhD

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow

Research interests: Engineering the spatial organization of protein ensembles
Education: BS, Cornell; PhD, UC Berkeley
Hometown: Big Flats, NY
Favorite saying: “You get what you select for”
Favorite activities outside the lab: Running, cooking, watching the Warriors
Dream baymate: Dickson Despommier
Birthday: March 3rd

Lucy Xie, PhD

Research interests: Ageing and genetic architecture of neurodegenerative diseases, stress and prions
Education: BS, University of Toronto; PhD, University of Toronto
Hometown: Toronto, ON, Canada
Favorite saying: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”
Favorite activities outside the lab: cycling, cooking, dancing, and sleeping
Dream baymate: Baby Groot or Jessica Jones
Birthday: March 17th

Shady Saad, PhD

Joint with the Wysocka Lab

Research interests: Protein aggregation in health and disease
Education: BPharm, Cairo University; MS, German University in Cairo; PhD, ETH Zurich
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Favorite saying: “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to do a better experiment” – Ernest Rutherford
Favorite activities outside the lab: Traveling, hiking, exploring new good food and cooking
Dream baymate: Mendel
Birthday: May 21st

José Aguilar Rodríguez, PhD

Joint with the Petrov Lab

Research interests: Empirical genotype-phenotype maps and fitness landscapes; evolutionary systems biology; microbial experimental evolution
Education: BS, University of Valencia; PhD, University of Zurich
Hometown: Sagunto, Spain
Favorite saying: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” — Herman Melville in Moby-Dick
Favorite activities outside the lab: Reading, Hiking, Traveling, Classics
Dream baymate: Aristotle
Birthday: January 28th

Rebecca Freilich, PhD

Research interests: Interesection of protein conformation with function
Education: BS, NYU; PhD, UCSF
Hometown: Livingston, NJ
Favorite saying: “You never know if you don’t know.” — Smashmouth
Favorite activities outside the lab: Cooking, Hiking, Skiing
Dream baymate: Andy Cohen or Leo Szilard
Birthday: October 10

Graduate Students

Jonathan Mares

Research interests: The relationship between genotype and phenotype and its modulators
Education: BS, CSU Long Beach
Hometown: G-town (Gardena), CA
Favorite saying: “What if seals are really just dog-mermaids?”
Favorite activities: Overanalyzing cartoons
Dream baymate: Daenerys of the House Targeryen, the first of her name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt, and Mother of Dragons

Yiwen Chen

Stanford Graduate Fellow

Research interests: Interplay between protein homeostasis and genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of adaptation
Education: BS, Purdue University; MS, Stanford University
Hometown: Suzhou, China
Favorite saying: “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” ― Winston S. Churchill
Favorite activities: Hiking and cooking
Dream baymate: Martin Freeman
Birthday: July 26

Zach Harvey

Research interests: Prion-based epigenetics
Education: BA, College of Wooster
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Favorite saying: “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” -Carl Sagan
Favorite activities: Triathlon, Cooking/Eating
Dream baymate: Oliver Sacks
Birthday: July 17

Eddie Campbell

NSF Graduate Fellow

Research interests: Non-amyloid prion conformations and their cellular consequences
Education: BS, California State University Stanislaus
Hometown: Turlock, CA
Favorite saying: “The first draft of anything is sh*t.” -Ernest Hemingway
Favorite activities: Hiking tall mountains, drawing with dots, fumbling around countries where I do not speak the language
Dream baymate: Joe Rogan
Birthday: July 8

Ray Futia

NSF Graduate Fellow

Research interests: Protein quality control and protein-based inheritance
Education: BS, Binghamton University
Hometown: Albany, NY
Favorite saying: “Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.” -Ray Bradbury
Favorite activities: Running, cooking, radio
Dream baymate: Richard Feynman
Birthday: July 16

Alan Itakura

Research interests: The environmental influence on prion gating
Education: BSc, Imperial College London; MS, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
Hometown: Diamond Bar, CA
Favorite saying: “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” — Albert Einstein
Favorite activities: Rock climbing, traveling, hiking, eating
Dream baymate: Albus Dumbledore
Birthday: September 21

Thomas Lozanoski

Research interests: Intrinsically disordered regions and gene regulation, engineering applications with prions
Education: B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
Hometown: Dyer, Indiana
Favorite saying: “The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” -Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Favorite activities: Hiking, napping, cooking
Dream baymate: Anyone who laughs at my jokes
Birthday: June 21

Thomas Silvers

Joint with the Fraser Lab

Research interests: somatic evolution
Education: BS Biochemistry, Davidson College
Hometown: New York, NY
Favorite saying: “Measure twice, cut once.”
Favorite activities: Concerts, comedy, boardgames, card games
Dream baymate: Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport
Birthday: May 29

Andrés Iglesias-Thomé

Stanford Graduate Fellow

Research interests: Prion biochemistry and the evolution of signalling pathways
Education: B.S. Biology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Hometown: Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Favorite saying: “A compass, […] it’ll point you true north from where you’re standing. But it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If, in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead heedless of obstacles and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp, what’s the use of knowing true north?” – Tony Kushner
Favorite activities: Soccer, video games and anything history-related
Dream baymate: Craig Ferguson
Birthday: April 23

Alex van Elgort

NSF Graduate Fellow

Research interests: Meta-stable states in evolution, disease, and development. Mechanisms governing genome stability and cancer transformation.
Education: BS, University of California, Davis
Hometown: Columbia, CA
Favorite saying: “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist of creating out of void but out of chaos” -Mary Shelley
Favorite activities: Spending time with my dogs, watching trashy TV, and looking at the stars
Dream baymate: Dan Harmon
Birthday: December 31


Sifei Yin

Stanford Graduate Fellow; Joint with the Ting Lab

Research interests: Mitochondria and ER in proteostasis, mitochondria genetics.
Education: BS, MS University of Cambridge
Hometown: Shijiazhuang (aka Rock Hometown), China
Favorite saying: “A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
Favorite activities: “Encouraging” people to make funny pose for photos, reading crime fiction, cooking
Dream baymate: Stanley Lieber
Birthday: May 25

Heidi Jarosz

Research interests: canine evolution
Education: BS Genetics, UCLA
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Favorite saying: “There’s no need to fear!” – Underdog
Favorite activities: long walks, jogging, eating
Dream baymate: Ivan Pavlov
Birthday: September 23


Cynthia Leyva

Research interests: Still being explored
Education: Ohlone College
Hometown: Soledad, California
Favorite Saying: “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” – Chris Grosser
Favorite activities outside the lab: Cooking, reading, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with my family and friends
Dream Baymate: Michelle Obama
Birthday: July 8th