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Lab Members

David Arnosti portrait
David Arnosti, Ph.D.
Lawrence University, Appleton WI B.A. 1982
University of California, Berkeley CA Ph.D. 1989
Postdoctoral research at the University of Zurich (1990-92) and UC San Diego (1993-96)

I have been a faculty member in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology since 1996. In addition to leading our research team in biochemistry and genetics of gene regulation, I teach an introductory course for new graduate students “Introduction to Molecular Biology”. I have served on numerous study sections at NIH and NSF, and as an editor, review manuscripts for JBC. I have led our campus-wide efforts in Gene Expression in Development and Disease, and from these activities grew the biennial ASBMB Symposium on “Evolution and Core Processes in Gene Expression” (Chicago 2013, St. Louis 2015, Kansas City 2017, East Lansing 2019). Since summer 2018, I am the graduate program director in BMB.

Sandhya Payankaulam portrait
Sandhya Payankaulam
M.Sc., Bharathiar University, India, Biochemistry
M.Phil., Bharathiar University, India, Medical Biochemistry
Ph.D., University of Madras, India, Medical Biochemistry

I have extensive experience in molecular and genetic analysis of gene regulation in Drosophila, with a focus on transcriptional repressors. The overall goal of my current research is to investigate the role of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (Rbf) in controlling cell polarity during Drosophila development. Taking a combined biochemical, molecular and cell biology approach, my work is focused on identifying molecular mechanism/s underlying Rbf mediated regulation of polarity determinants.

Marcos Oliveira

I'm a visiting professor from the Sao Paulo State University, where I've been using Drosophila as a model to understand mitochondrial diseases. In the Arnosti lab, I've been studying how the retinoblastoma protein paralog Rbf2 regulates mitochondrial gene expression and cell growth by analyzing the transcriptome of Rbf2 null mutants.

Rima Mouawad portrait
Rima Mouawad B.S.
Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Michigan State University
University of Balamand. Beirut, Lebanon
Masters Medical Laboratory Sciences “Clinical Microbiology Concentration” June 2010
Bachelors Medical Laboratory Sciences, June 2004

I have been a graduate student in the Arnosti lab since 2014. My research is focused on deciphering the mechanisms by which Retinoblastoma proteins regulate gene expression. I use bioinformatics tools and wet bench experiments to answer my research questions. I’ve been the teaching assistant for the graduate course BMB801 “Introduction to Molecular Biology” since 2014, which has been a very rewarding experience.

Ana-Maria Raicu portrait
Ana-Maria Raicu, B.S.
Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program, Michigan State University
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bachelor of Science in Social Work and French 2015

My undergraduate career was focused on social work, with a particular interest in maternal and child health and child neurodevelopment. I worked as a funded undergraduate researcher in a Psychology lab studying Williams Syndrome and response inhibition, presenting my work at both state and national conferences. Following graduation I returned to school to explore the biology behind neurodevelopment, which spread to a general fascination with cell and molecular biology and development. During this time I worked in a lab studying the formation of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary in zebrafish embryos. I am currently in my second year of the Cell and Molecular Biology program at MSU. For my dissertation work I am developing a CRISPR-Cas-based method of studying eukaryotic transcriptional repressors and co-repressors and their context-dependent activities and interactions with chromatin modifiers on the fruit fly genome.

Jaideep Prasad portrait
Jaideep Prasad

I am an undergraduate student in the Lyman Briggs and Honors Colleges at MSU, working on a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with minors in Computer Science and Bioethics. Using a CRISPR-Cas9 approach, I’m analyzing genetically engineered fly lines that are deficient in retinoblastoma family 2 (Rbf2) to understand the protein’s role in development and its evolutionary need. In the future, I hope to continue my education by entering medical school.

Dhruva Kadiyala portrait
Dhruva Kadiyala

I am a second year undergraduate student in Lyman Briggs College major in Neuroscience. I am pre medical student who is interested in the world of scientific research. I have been a part of the lab for the past one year and I have been working on studying the conservation of Retinoblastoma proteins across species. I have really enjoyed a lot being a part of the lab and got to gain a lot of valuable information.

Maddy Niblock portrait
Maddy Niblock

I am an undergraduate student in Lyman Briggs and Honors Colleges studying Human Biology with a minor in Bioethics. I joined the Arnosti lab in the fall of 2018 as a freshman. I am currently working to determine the structure and function of Drosophila melanogaster Insulin receptor gene regulatory regions. In the future, I have plans of attending medical school.

Julian Lee

I am a full time lab intern working in the Arnosti Lab.  I plan to continue studying genetics and neuroscience as an undergrad.  Currently, I am working on two projects using CRISPR - Cas9.  The first is analyzing the effects of a genetically modified retinoblastoma family (Rbf1 and Rbf2) in order to better understand Rbf's function in development of Drosophila, a model which can provide insight into the effects of Rbf in humans.  The other project involves studying transcriptional repressors and corepressors (such as C-terminal Binding Protein) using dCas9 chimerias.

Jared Hogeterp

I am an undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Genomics and Molecular Genetics through Lyman Briggs College, as well as a minor in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Through the use of qPCR analysis, I’m investigating to what extent the induction of retinoblastoma family proteins in embryos effects gene expression of chosen promoter genes. After graduation I hope to work doing clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry.

Kalynn Bird

I am a second year undergraduate student at Michigan State. I am a part of Lyman Briggs and the Honors College. I’m majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and plan to minor in Pharmacology and Toxicology. In the lab I am currently working under Sandhya’s direction with her project concerning Rbf and its effects on cell polarity in Drosophila. Also, I am working with the insulin receptor regulatory regions to find out exactly what each does.

Will Suber

I am currently a student at MSU about to begin the second year of my undergraduate studies. I am working toward a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genomics. The project I'm presently working on consists of analyzing the effect of heat induction of retinoblastoma proteins on the magnitude of promoter gene expression in drosophila embryos. I plan to continue my study of animal genomics into graduate school.