Current Lab Members

Principal Investigators

Mary Teruel, Ph.D.

Control of cell differentiation; Role of cell cycle and circadian rhythms in adipogenesis and neurogenesis; Obesity and metabolic disease


Tinghuan (Ting) Chen, Ph.D.

My research interests are two-fold: 1) on understanding the role of the fatty-acid binding protein, FABP4, in mediating adipogenesis and cancer progression, and 2) on understanding the molecular mechanisms of osteogenesis and the decision of mesenchymal stem cells to become either into bone (osteoblasts) or fat cells.


Yumi Ida, Ph.D.

I am interested in how cells coordinate the cell cycle and cell migration during tissue regeneration.  I want to measure the dynamics of various signaling pathways using genetically encoded sensors and optogenetic tools.


Marielle Köberlin, Ph.D.

The composition of the cellular lipid landscape is essential for the regulation of biological processes. Previously, the functional annotation of membrane lipids in macrophages led to the identification of lipid species differentially regulating receptor signaling. Cell migration and cell division are both fundamental processes that are precisely regulated by conserved signaling pathways combined with the availability of metabolites. My research is centered around the identification of metabolic pathways and specific metabolites regulating cell cycle progression and migration.


Lindsey Pack, Ph.D.

I am interested in how cells integrate diverse signals to make the decision to enter and exit the cell cycle.


Atefeh Rabiee, Ph.D.

I am interested in mechanisms regulating brown, beige, and white fat cell differentiating and the role of fat in mediating metabolic disease.


Zhibo Zhang, Ph.D.

I am interested in the role of circadian rhythms in regulating cell differentiation.


Graduate Students

Leighton Daigh

My research focuses on how stochastic levels of endogenous cellular stress impact cell cycle dynamics and the proliferation decision.


Yilin Fan

I study how cells integrate information about their neighboring environment and make the decision to proliferate or become quiescent.


Katie Ferrick

I am interested in how growth factor receptor signaling is regulated as cells undergo contact inhibition of proliferation, particularly in relation to cell junctional complexes and the cytoskeleton.


Kyle Kovary

I am interested in single-cell proteomics and how cell-to-cell variation and co-variation regulates cell decision processes. I use Xenopus laevis eggs and mammalian cells as cell models.


Nalin Ratnayeke

I study how cells regulate and prepare for DNA replication. In particular, I am interested in how cells coordinate the transition from G1, where cells prepare for DNA replication while robustly avoiding premature DNA synthesis, to S phase of the cell cycle.


Research Assistants