Lab Members

Our Staff

Katherine McJunkin
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.
Karl-Frédéric Vieux
Karl-Frederic Vieux
Research 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.

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 Sakhawla
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.
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.

Katherine Zoccola
Part-time Academic Intern

Katherine is finishing her associate’s degree at Montgomery College before transferring to a four-year college this fall. She is supporting lab operations by preparing nematode growth medium.

Lab Alumni

Graciela Galvez
Graciela Galvez
Undergraduate Student

Graciela joined the lab through the Colgate University-NIH Study Group in the summer through fall semester of 2022. She worked on generating reagents to understand the function of terminal nucleotidyl transferases in the germline. After graduating from Colgate, she returned to NIH for a post-baccalaureate fellowship in Marc Ghany’s lab.

Bridget Donnelly
Bridget Donnelly
Graduate Student

Bridget was a Ph.D. student through the NIH-Johns Hopkins Graduate Partnership Program in the lab from 2017 to 2022. Previously, she earned her Biochemistry degree from Allegheny College and a Masters of Science from Johns Hopkins. Her Ph.D. project focused on the understanding the how the mir-35 family of microRNAs is regulated. After graduating, she moved on to a position at Glaxo Smith Kline. 

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.

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.

Community College Interns

Wanjiru Ayatta - Transferred from Montgomery College to undergrad at University of Arizona

Summer Interns

James Davis - Returned to undergrad at Northern Arizona University

Lab Photos

Lab members in a group photoSummer 2018

Lab members in a group photoFall 2021
Last Reviewed April 2024