Ilya Ruvinsky

Growing up in Akademgorodok earned me a B.S. in Cytology and Genetics from Novosibirsk University. Work in molecular evolution resulted in an M.S. from Penn State, followed by a Ph.D. from Princeton (genome evolution and Evo-Devo). A realization that nematodes offer an unparalleled model system lead to a postdoc at Harvard Medical School. My current interests in evolutionary genomics and evolution of gene regulation are reflected in the diverse projects pursued by people in the lab.

Kacy Gordon

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy in the Darwinian Sciences Cluster at the U of C. I'm interested in evo-devo, and study how gene regulatory networks evolve. I earned my bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 2006. Before beginning graduate school, I worked as a lab technician at Dartmouth and at the National Institutes of Health. In 2010 I was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Erin Zucker Aprison

I did my undergraduate studies at Washington University in Saint Louis. I earned a Masters degree in microbiology in Tom Blumenthal's laboratory at Indiana University where I studied the small RNA phage MS2. I completed a Ph. D. on the evolution of the vitellogenin gene families of C. elegans and C. briggsae and later did postdoctoral work on the snRNA genes of C. elegans. After taking time off to raise a family, I am excited to be studying the phenotypic effects of chronic stress on the worm.

Rob Arthur

I am a graduate student pursuing a PhD in the department of Ecology and Evolution. I graduated with a B.A. in Biology from the University of Virginia, and my background is primarily in bioinformatics. I am interested in using a combination of genomic and genetic techniques to ask questions about how regulatory circuits are built, maintained, and altered by evolution.

Devin Gouvea

I am a PhD student in the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, an interdisciplinary program in the Social Sciences Division. In my previous academic life, I received a BA in biology and English from Williams College, where I studied tRNA-modifying enzymes in S. cerevisiae. I discovered my current field while studying abroad, and in 2009 I received an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. I'm interested in the history and philosophy of biology and especially in the interaction between molecular and evolutionary thought. I'm thrilled to be back in the lab as I work towards a master's degree through the Committee on Evolutionary Biology, and will be studying the effects of chronic heat stress on reproduction.

Kathleen Beilsmith

I am a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. I grew up in St. Louis, came to the University of Chicago for college, liked the weather, and decided to stay. I am interested in nematode life history, specifically dauer.

Reem Elorbany

I am a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago. My current work is in studying the effects of heat stress on worm fertility and survival.

Former lab members

Antoine Barrière

Antoine joined the lab after earning a B.S. from the University of Versailles, France, and a Ph.D. for work on the population genetics of C. elegans from Paris VI University. While he mostly studied evolution of transcriptional regulation, he also contributed to a better understanding of how shotgun-sequenced genome assemblies ought to be interpreted. Having returned to his native France, he is investigating evolution and development using Caenorhabditis worms as models.

Paul Wang

An Australian and a physicist by training, Paul was broadly interested in bioinformatics and its integration with basic biological research. During his postdoc he studied the origin and evolution of nested gene arrangements in Caenorhabditis nematodes. He is now pursuing research in bioinformatics back in Australia.

Kevin Bullaughey, Ph.D.

I got into studying evolution while pursuing a dual degree program in Computer Science and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. I'm interested broadly in the evolution of gene regulation and how epistasis and natural selection feature.

Aime Agather

A 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Genetics, Aime worked for a vaccine company, where she discovered that she was interested in scientific research. She studied C. elegans reproduction under stress and helped others in the lab with their projects. She is now pursuing a graduate degree to become a genetic counselor.

Catherine Sodroski

A native Bostonian, Cat was a Biology major. While in the lab she studied the effects of chronic heat stress on reproduction in C. elegans. Now she is carrying out laboratory research en route to pursuing graduate work in virology.

Kelsie Eichel

Kelsie was a technician in the lab following graduation from Northwestern University. She worked on two projects. First, she tested functional conservation of cis-regulatory elements heat-shock genes (see PLoS ONE paper). Second, she examined tissue-specific regulation and effects of natural variation on unfolded protein response. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. at UCSF.

Zhengying He

Following graduate work at Northwestern University, Zhengying did postdoctoral work in the lab. She tested conservation of transcriptional regulation of heat-shock genes.She has since moved back to her native China to pursue a career in biotech.

Joséphine Cool

A Belgian who grew up in France and majored in Biology while an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, Joséphine worked on understanding the genetic mechanisms responsible for differences in stress response between different strains of C. elegans. Following graduation she volunteered and worked for a year before enrolling at Weill Cornell Medical School.

Samina Lutfeali

Hailing from LA, Samina managed a difficult task of majoring in Biology and Economics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. She studied the effects of food on worm wellbeing. She is pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University.

Alonso Diaz

A Philosophy major and pre-med student, Alonso has investigated effects of chronic temperature stress on fecundity in C. elegans. He is now a student at the SUNY-Buffalo Medical School.

Elizabeth Pekarek

Elizabeth, a former technician, is now pursuing Ph.D. in Biology at Duke University. She is funded by an NSF graduate fellowship.


Madeline Stecy

Madeline was a student at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. She worked in the lab for over a year and is now an undergraduate at Princeton University. "Hip! Hip! Rah! Rah! Rah! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Sis! Sis! Sis! Boom! Boom! Boom! Bah!"


(c) The University of Chicago, 2009. Designed and maintained by Paul Wang