U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Genetics of Early Development

Andy Golden, Ph.D., Chief

Section Staff

Anna Allen, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist

Dr. Allen received her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from The George Washington University in 2001, and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2007. Her doctoral research was on the effects of a specific nuclear hormone receptor (HR39) in reproduction and sperm storage in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Her research was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Allan Spradling, a professor within the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution for Science. She continued to follow her interests in reproduction by studying a conserved cell cycle regulator, WEE-1.3, involved in C. elegans meiosis and oocyte maturation. Over the past several years, she has performed an in-depth characterization of this major cell-cycle inhibitory kinase, including identifying its spatiotemporal localization, further characterizing the precocious oocyte maturation exhibited upon its depletion, and identifying novel players in the oocyte maturation process by screening for suppressors of the infertility phenotype of WEE-1.3-depleted animals. Her current research is aimed at determining the mechanism by which a number of these suppressors act. She has recently joined the faculty at Howard University in Washington, DC, where she is actively involved in teaching and mentoring students. While her lab is being renovated, she is still conducting research at the NIDDK.


Amy Fabritius, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Fabritius earned her B.A. in 2007 in Biology from Ohio Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. in 2012 in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Davis. During her graduate career in the laboratory of Dr. Frank McNally, she studied the regulation of actomyosin in C. elegans polar body formation and other events during the female meiotic divisions. Currently, she is identifying the C. elegans orthologs of human disease genes and will carry out mutant suppressor screens to identify factors that interact or regulate particular genes.

Abby Fuchsman, B.A., Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awardee

Dr. Fuchsman received her B.A. in Biology from Bard College in 2012. Her undergraduate research focused on studying the role of cadherins in neurosensory hair cell formation in the model organism Danio rerio. She is currently identifying the genes responsible for a number of temperature-sensitive embryonic lethal mutants that were first isolated more than 30 years ago. She is also beginning to use the worm model to study rare human diseases.

Aimee Jaramillo-Lambert, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Jaramillo-Lambert received her B.S. in 2003 and her Ph.D. in 2010, both in Genetics, from the University of California, Davis. During her graduate career, she examined sex-specific differences in meiosis, including DNA replication, meiotic prophase progression, and checkpoints using the model organism C. elegans under the mentorship of Dr. JoAnne Engebrecht, a professor within the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. For her postdoctoral work, she is continuing to investigate cellular processes that ensure the production of viable progeny. Currently, she is starting to characterize further spe-11, a paternal-effect-lethal mutant involved in early embryonic development in C. elegans, and carrying out suppressor screens of this mutant. She is also setting up the TALENs system of targeted genome editing for the Genetics of Simple Eukaryotes Section of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics.

Sanjay Shrestha, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Shrestha completed his M.S. in 2008 and Ph.D. in 2011 in Molecular Biology. Working under the supervision of Dr. Charles Bradley Shuster, a professor in the Molecular Biology Program at New Mexico State University, he investigated the roles of different cytokinetic factors in the specification of the cleavage plane in dividing cells using human tissue cultured cells as a model system. Following completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Shrestha continued to examine the roles of some of these regulators in furrow initiation and in the progression of dividing cells. He joined the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics at the NIDDK in November 2012, where his focus is on genetic screens for suppressor mutants of some rare human monogenic disease genes using C. elegans as a model organism.