Lab Members

Our Staff

Katherine McJunkin
Acting Section Chief
Katie did her Ph.D. training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with Scott Lowe (currently MSKCC). She moved to C. elegans and Worcester, Massachusetts to do her postdoc with Victor Ambros as UMass Medical School. She began her independent research program at NIH in 2017, and is having fun leading a team of young scientists.

Bridget Donnelly
Bridget Donnelly
Graduate Student, NIH-JHU Graduate Partnership Program

Bridget is a Ph.D. student through the NIH-Johns Hopkins Graduate Partnership Program. She comes to us with a Biochemistry degree from Allegheny College and a Masters of Science from Johns Hopkins. Her project focuses on the understanding the how the mir-35 family of microRNAs is regulated.

Acadia Grimme
Acadia Grimme
Graduate Student, NIH-JHU Graduate Partnership Program
Acadia graduated from University of Delaware in 2018 with a degree in Biology. She was a post-baccalaureate research fellow in the lab from 2018-2020, and she re-joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in the JHU-NIH Graduate Partnership Program in 2021. She is studying the regulation of mir-35 family decay and new approaches using crosslinking immunprecipitation.
Kasuen Kotagama
Kasuen Kotagama
Postdoctoral Fellow

Kasuen received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. He joined Marco Mangone’s laboratory to perform his Ph.D. research studying tissue-specific alternative splicing and microRNA-mediated silencing. His postdoctoral research is examining the function and regulation of the mir-51 family of microRNAs as well as the functions of conserved RNA binding proteins.

Rima Sakhawala
Graduate Student, NIH-JHU Graduate Partnership Program
Rima graduated from Montgomery College with her associate's degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2015, and then went on to University of Maryland Baltimore County where she earned her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2017. She was a post-baccalaureate fellow in Richard Maraia's lab at NIH from 2017-2019, before starting graduate school in the NIH-JHU Graduate Partnership Program. She joined the lab for her thesis research in November 2020, where she is studying non-canonical microRNA biogenesis and regulation of Argonaute proteins.
Karl Vieux
Karl-Frédéric Vieux
Postdoctoral Fellow

Karl received a B.S. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from McGill University in Montreal. He then studied with Hugh Clarke at McGill, conducting his Ph.D. thesis research on mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation in oogenesis. Karl is currently investigating the regulation of maternal transcripts in C. elegans and developing novel imaging-based methods to characterize dynamics of microRNA-mediated repression during development. 
Bing Yang
Bing Yang
Postdoctoral Fellow

Bing received her Ph.D. in Biology from Syracuse University where she worked with Eleanor Maine studying the interplay between H3K9 dimethylation, DNA repair and small RNAs in C. elegans. Prior to her graduate work, Bing received her undergraduate degree from Wuhan University in Hubei, China. During her postdoctoral fellowship, Bing is working on defining the microRNA binding sites that are essential for development in C. elegans, taking innovative CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing approaches.

Lab Alumni

Katherine Prothro
Katherine Prothro
Post-Baccalaureate Fellow
Katie graduated from Wake Forest University in 2017 with a degree in Biology. She was a post-baccalaureate research fellow in the lab from 2017-2019. She is currently a medical student at Stanford University.
Lars Benner
Lars Benner
Post-Baccalaureate Fellow

Lars graduated from University of Tampa with a degree in Molecular Biology and was a post-baccalaureate research fellow in the lab from 2017-2019. He is currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University.

Photo of Priscilla Van Wynsberghe
Priscilla Van Wynsberghe
Visiting Scientist
Priscilla is an Associate Professor at Colgate University who was a visiting scientist in the lab during the 2019-2020 academic year when she served as the faculty mentor for the Colgate-NIH study group. Her lab focuses on understanding the role of the circadian rhythm gene KIN-20 in regulating microRNA and protein-coding gene expression.

Lab Photos

Lab members in a group photoSummer 2018