Wallace Marshall, Principal Investigator
Description of project: I am interested in how cells solve engineering problems, which I think is the key to learning how to harness cells for engineering purposes. My main focus is on how geometry arises within cells, as well as how cells perform computations and behaviors.
Ask me about: Weird unicellular organisms, Quantitative Cell Biology
When I'm not doing science, I enjoy: Reading, trying to play the piano, electronics and robotics, Muay Thai
For more, follow me on Twitter @WallaceUCSF
Hiroaki Ishikawa, Postdoctoral Fellow
Description of project: My general interests are in understanding how cells control the size of their organelles. As a model system for size control, I study cilia/flagella of both cultured mammalian cells and the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas using quantitative live-cell imaging and analysis.
Ask me about: Cilia and flagella. Chlamydomonas. Most of general molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology experiments.
When I'm not doing science, I enjoy: Reading, cooking, walking, taking photos, and playing with my son.
Mary Mirvis, Postdoctoral Fellow
Description of project: How is the cellular interior organized? I want to understand how the spatial and mechanical interactions between organelles contribute to cytoplasmic patterning in yeast using image-based modeling and biophysical simulations.
Ask me about: (your scientific expertise/interests) - organelles, cytoskeleton, confocal microscopy, live cell imaging, image analysis, cell biology/systems biology
When I'm not doing science I enjoy: reading all kinds of things, yoga, trail running & hanging out in the woods, learning astronomy & stargazing, trying and failing to teach my cat tricks, bullet journaling and calligraphy
Vincent Boudreau, Postdoctoral Fellow
Description of project: Photosynthetic algae are responsible for ~50% of global production of oxygen, making them critical microorganisms in our ecosystems. Despite their critical ecological role, algae and plants convert sunlight to chemical energy rather inefficiently. Having to respond to changing light conditions over either seconds during the day or seasons during the year, algae use multiple mechanisms to avoid shade, dissipate excessive sunlight and optimize their ability to do photosynthesis. Stentor pyriformis, a giant single cell, contains several hundred photosynthetic endosymbiotic algae. Remarkably, S. pyriformis is able to accomplish complex tasks as a single cell, including swimming towards light, feeding and regenerating when wounded. I am interested in the physiological contributions of the endosymbionts to their host including phototaxis and the contributions of the host to its endosymbionts including photosynthetic efficiency.
Ask me about: Ciliates, algae, symbiosis, photosynthesis, phototaxis, microtubule cytoskeleton, microscopy
When I'm not doing science, I enjoy: Exploring the diversity of the west coast from rugged deserts to alpine lakes and hydrothermal vents while building a bestiary of extreme photosynthetic microorganisms. Also an avid art consumer exploring the craftsmanship of neon sign making.
For more, visit: https://viboud12.github.io/
Ben Larson, Postdoctoral Fellow
Description of project: How do cells control shape and movement to properly execute complex behaviors? To answer this and related questions, I am investigating the coordination of locomotor activity in various ciliates (primarily the unicellular walker Euplotes) and amoebae.
Ask me about: protists, microscopy, image analysis, quantitative and exploratory data analysis, biophysics, evolution, cellular biomechanics, cellular behavior, morphogenesis
When I'm not doing science, I enjoy: Fishing, playing and listening to music, cooking, and being outside in general
Greyson Lewis, Biophysics Graduate Student
1) Illuminating mitochondrial network-shape space: Mitochondria (The Power House of The Cell) are typically presented as floating kidney beans in biology textbooks. However, most of the time, mitochondria form intricate interconnected networks that move around the surface of the cell and change their structure on the sub-minute timescale. We know that mitochondrial networks change shape and structure in response to metabolic shifts, environmental perturbations, and aging. How does mitochondrial network shape and structure reflect the underlying "state" of a cell? Using a combination of theory (graph theory, topology, stat mech) and experiment (3D fluorescence microscopy) hand in hand, I am constructing mitochondrial network shape-space, deriving its associated dynamics, and linking metabolic states to shifts in the sampling and dynamics of this space for living budding yeast.
2) Computational characterization of an evolutionary model for cyclical within-host viral infection: When a person gets a viral infection, they are very rarely infected by many viral particles with identical genomes. Usually, a person is infected by a viral quasispecies: a collection of genetically-close (but not identical) viruses exhibiting a range of infectiousness and virulence. If a person is infected by such a population, how does the viral population adapt to the host's immune system over time? In collaboration with Dr. Barbara Jones at IBM Almaden, I am extending a previously published model to better understand the space of possible host-quasispecies interactions by analyzing the dynamics of hundreds of thousands of infection cycles in silico.
3) Creating an automatic classifier to determine B-cell maturity in vivo: In collaboration with Dr. Hsin Chu in Jason Cyster's lab at UCSF, I have created an end-to-end pipeline for predicting the maturity level of B cells in high throughput. I adapted a standard convolutional neural network to process full-field microscopy data of nuclear reporters and track the maturity of individual cells over time.
Ask me about:
Math! Machine learning! How to think critically about models! How to use mathematical modeling in cell biology!
When I'm not doing science, I'm: cooking, reading, or hiking.
For more, visit: www.greyson.xyz
Ulises Diaz, Tetrad Graduate Student
Description of project: I use imaging and micromanipulation techniques to study dynamics of the cytoskeleton and cytoplasm. I'm interested in mixing driven by amoeboid motility as well as turnover and re-use of cytoskeletal proteins during Stentor growth and regeneration.
Connie Yan, Tetrad Graduate Student
Description of project: I study the molecular basis of pattern formation and regeneration in Stentor, with a focus on the role of SFI1 proteins and the E2F pathway in controlling the spatial and temporal process of rebuilding cellular structure
Gav Sturm, Bioengineering Graduate Student
Description of project: How can we improve our mental models of biology with the aid of computer graphics? I am interested in applying the latest 3D modeling softwares developed by the video game and film industries to simulate the structure and dynamics of organelles. Perhaps hidden in the geometry and movements of organelles lies the information that ultimately generates the emergent properties of cells and tissues!
Ask me about: animation science, mitochondrial networks, complex-systems theory, energetic scaling laws, and all the ways art can help us do better science.
When I’m not doing science I enjoy: rollerblading, meditating, and ruminating about climate change.
Peter Chudinov, Junior Specialist
Description of project: I study how single cells solve computational problems and navigate complex environments
Ask me about: Bio-inspired computing, automata, data science
When I'm not doing science, I enjoy: Hiking, tennis, synthesizers
For more, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/screamuch/
Asa Kalish, Junior Specialist
Description of project: using quantitative analysis of flagellar length fluctuations in Chlamydomonas to understand the flagellar length control system.
Ask me about: image processing, slime-molds, and organelle size control.
When I'm not doing science I enjoy: reading, baking, and biking.
For more, visit: https://twitter.com/AsaKalish
Deepa Rajan, MD/PhD student
Description of project: exploring the basis of cognition in cells using Stentor
Ambika Nadkarni, postdoc (joint with Sindy Tang Lab, Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Stanford)
Description of project: mechanism of wound healing in Stentor
Former Postdoctoral Fellows
Associate Professor, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki Japan
Deputy Director, Allen Institute for Cell Science (formerly, Assistant Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology, UC Irvine)
Group Leader, Institute Jacques Monod, Paris, France
Associate Professor, National Institute of Biological Science (NIBS), Beijing, China
Cofounder and CSO, Arcadia Science (formerly, Associate Professor of Biology, Dartmouth University)
Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Guillermina Ramirez-San Juan
Assistant Professor, Dept. Biology, Brandeis University
Computational Biologist, Calico
Image Analysis Scientist, Gilead
Former Graduate Students
Associate Professor, Dept. Biology, Stanford University
Assistant Professor, University of Basel, Switzerland
Assistant Professor, Dept. Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Baltimore MD
Assistant Professor, Dept. Biology, Knox College
Wu Tsai Endowed Chair of Science, Bishops School, La Jolla,CA
Biotech Entrepreneur - founder of EvolveMol, SoilGen, and co-founder of uBiome
Senior Scientist, Zymogen
Former Grad Student
Founder and Head of Research, NewLimit
Computational Biologist, UC Laboratory for Genomics Research, San Francisco, CA
Staff Scientist, Lucira
Software Developer, Image Analysis, BioRad
Bioinformatics Associate, Evotec/Genentech
Postdoc, UC Davis, Starr/Luxton group
Staff Scientist, Lucira
Computational Biologist, Altos Labs