current lab members
|Dr. John Pringle||
Geneticist, cell biologist, yeast guy, coral biologist, swimmer, diver, husband, father (not necessarily in that order).
More about John | School of Medicine Page
|Tamaki Bieri||I received my BSc and MSc in biology from the ETH Zurich and when I came to Stanford I was sure I would do my ph.D. work on protein misfolding and neurodegeneration. However, I was so fascinated by the sea anemones and the work done in the Pringle lab during my rotation that I decided to change fields. Now I am studying the cellular mechanism of coral bleaching and working on making transgenic Aiptasia.|
|Jan DeNofrio||I am researching the breakdown of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis upon various stresses. Using the Aiptasia model system, I can isolate the effects of either the host, the symbiont, or both during bleaching. I am especially focused on the role each organism plays in the intitiation of the stress response. My goal is the correlate my findings on clonal Aiptasiaia/Symbiodinium with fieldwork and ultimately combine the controlled laboratory experiments with some physiologically relevant — but less tractable — coral/Symbiodinium studies. I received my Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I studied the proteins involved in platelet activation.|
|Lisl Esherick||There are countless questions still unanswered about the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. I am interested in all of them. My current projects range from inducing Aiptasia spawning to perfecting methods of gene knockdown in larvae and adults; I hope to use these methods to investigate mechanisms of symbiosis specificity. I received my introduction to Aiptasia in Jodi Schwarz's lab at Vassar College, where I received my B.A. When I'm not cleaning tanks or doing PCRs, I'm probably on my couch eating cheez-its, or I'm not in the United States.|
|Liz Hambleton||As a graduate student in the Biology Department, I study the cellular mechanisms underpinning cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Currently, I'm culturing clonal strains of Symbiodinium as well as helping develop tools for the Aiptasia model system. I'm also interested in how particular pathways in the host innate immune system may interact with the symbiont during symbiosis establishment. I was born and raised in Texas, received my B.A. in Biology from Williams College, and worked as a technician in the Rappé Lab at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology studying coral-associated bacteria.|
As a postdoctoral scholar in the Pringle lab, my research focuses on the genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Tropical corals and other cnidarian “holobionts,” including the sea anemone, Aiptasia form a mutualistic symbiosis with dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium) and other microbial partners (bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi). Our understanding of this symbiosis in terms of onset, maintenance, and breakdown is extremely limited, which allows us to ask many exciting and challenging questions. I am interested in genes that are differentially expressed during symbiosis and in response to environmental and biological stressors. I was born in Oklahoma, grew up in Chicago, and received by B.A. in Biology and German from Drew University. I completed by Ph.D. at the University of Florida, where I studied interactions between native coral-commensal bacteria and invading opportunistic pathogens. When I am not in the lab you can find me in the gym, in the pool, playing beach volleyball, or simply enjoying the California sun.
|Erik Lehnert||My current project is to help generate and analyze the Aiptasia transcriptome. I will then attempt to identify changes in transcript and protein levels during symbiosis establishment, maintenance, and breakdown. One of my major interests is determining under what conditions Aiptasia and its symbiont have conflicting resource demands and how the organisms regulate their metabolisms to deal with these situations. I am currently enrolled in the Genetics PhD program at Stanford. When I'm not doing lab-related activities, I like to go to the gym, garden, swim, or visit San Francisco.|
|Masayuki Onishi||My long-term research goal is to understand how cells and organelles acquire their specialized shapes for function. This makes me interested in membrane-reorganization events and a fascinating family of membrane-associated filament-forming proteins: the septins. I work on many lines of research concerning these, such as roles of septins in spore membrane formation in the fission yeast or plasma membrane invagination during cytokinesis in the budding yeast. My newest project investigates the possibility that protein synthesis contributes to cytokinesis, perhaps in a septin-dependent manner.|
|Santiago Perez||I am interested in the molecular and cellular biology of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses. Many ecologically important cnidarians, including sea anemones and tropical corals maintain an intracellular mutualism with unicellular dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium). Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses provide a fascinating and grossly understudied set of problems in molecular, cell, and developmental biology. For example, we currently lack basic understanding of how host cells coordinate their cell cycles with those of their symbionts. My postdoctoral work focuses on this topic using the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida. More about Santiago|
|Cawa Tran||The key to understanding mechanisms that mediate cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses is to do experiments that target functional questions. With my background and training in developmental and larval biology, along with the lab group’s success of inducing Aiptasia to spawn in the lab, I see great opportunities to look at larvae and their specificity with certain strains of Symbiodinium and how might that progress through settlement and metamorphosis. Analysis of the transcriptomic changes between symbiotic and aposymbiotic larvae, and when larvae are exposed to different symbiont types, would provide immense information on specificity that could be different from the specificity seen at the adult stage. This study will contribute to our understanding of coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis in relation to early life history and physiology. I was previously trained at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory in Honolulu and received my Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii. Prior to that, I obtained a B.A. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. A native of San Diego and a lover of both the Pacific and the Bay Area, I greatly enjoy the outdoors, the ocean, the arts, and I do creative writing on the side.|
|Shanshan Tuo||I am working on yeast cell polarity and cytokinesis projects. In the polarity project, we are studying how Ste20p (an activator of MAPK pathway) and a set of endocytosis-related proteins regulate the functions of cortical markers in bipolar bud-site selection. In the cytokinesis project, we are focusing on the potential role of Cdc42p in cytokinesis and screening for new proteins in this process.|
|Meng Wang||I love science and fast cars. For the science part, I am studying the molecular mechanisms of cytokinesis using the "Super" yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The ongoing project focuses on the role of a protein complex in plasma membrane invagination and/or septum formation during cytokinesis. I am also interested in how protein modifications may regulate localization and interactions among the components of this complex during cytokinesis. As for fast cars, what more can I say?|
|Matthew Burriesci||I recently graduated from the Genetics Department, with a minor in Computer Science. I have developed computational tools to count dinoflagellates in low densities, to simplify the analysis of ultra-high--throughput sequence data by collapsing identical and near-identical reads, to discriminate between dinoflagellate and cnidarian sequences in a mixed set, and to allow three-dimensional visualization of traditionally two-dimensional data using OpenGL. I have also used a gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry approach to analyze the nutrients transferred from dinoflagellate to host during photosynthesis. In addition, I helped develp the laboratory portion of a Plant Genetics class and the Stanford Dahlia Project, which aims to educate students and the public about genetics using this common garden plant.|
Long-time Lab Manager
As Lab Manager, Carlo was a mainstay of the lab from 2000 until the end of 2010 and remains connected with us on a part-time basis even as he pursues his current full-time job. His duties as Lab Manager included a bit of everything: handling lab ordering and safety inspections; repairing equipment; overseeing most aspects of the lab move from UNC to Stanford in 2005; performing high-quality experimental work; etc. In his first few years, Carlo helped with a wide variety of yeast studies. But when we decided in 2004 to launch a study of dinoflagellate-cnidarian symbiosis, he became the point person on this project and was primarily responsible for getting it off the ground before we began attracting postdocs and graduate students to the project in 2007. His initials live on in the name for our primary clonal anemone strain (CC7). Carlo's involvement in our collaborative field-work on Ofu Island (American Samoa) led to an offer from the National Park Service to live and work in there full-time, which he began in January 2011. While working full-time at Stanford, Carlo also managed to complete an M.S. in Biology. As a project for one class, he and his friend Josh Meisels (who was then working part-time in the lab) produced a video about the forensic identification of sharks sold on the soup-fin market: Sharks in Hot Water
I was a member of the Pringle lab during a much-too-brief 7-month period between finishing my undergraduate degree at UMD and before beginning my PhD. As a member of the lab, I worked on developing and testing candidate housekeeping genes for Aiptasia pallida for use in qPCR and on exploring dsRNA uptake for RNAi through agar bead mediated feeding. I was also very interested in and explored the role host cell apoptosis plays in the breakdown of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis in response to thermal stress. Working in the Pringle lab also gave me the opportunity to try my hand at producing a lab video with my husband, which was a fun break from typical lab work. I am now pursuing my PhD in Biological Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in sunny La Jolla.
|Kenichi Nakashima||Kenichi works on cell polarity and bud-site selection questions. He has left the Pringle Lab to work on a new project for the division of education at Obihiro University in Japan.|
|Ryuichi Nishihama|| I am fascinated by the dynamic nature of cytokinesis and the divergence of its mechanisms through evolution. Previously, I conducted plant cytokinesis research. Currently, I am working on the mechanisms of cleavage-furrow ingression and its coordination with actomyosin-ring contraction in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which, unlike many other cell types, does not require the actomyosin ring for cytokinesis. Using genetic approaches that utilize this property as well as EM observations, interesting things are being revealed!
|Veena Singla||My projects included developing methods for genetic manipulation of Aiptasia and understanding what aspects of the host, symbiont, and holobiont are important for mediating reactions and resistance to stress. I received my PhD in cell biology from UCSF, where I studied the centrosome, primary cilia, and ciliary signalling. I am also interested in understanding how symbionts repopulate the host and what cellular signals mediate these events.|
|Post Doctoral Scholar|