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Former Lab Members

Carnegie has a tradition of training people and then letting them take projects that they have established to develop their own research programs. Many people from my group have done that and have now become leaders in the field. A selected list (see full list in the subpage under my name) of the graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and their current positions is given below.

Melissa Adam. 2008. Masters. Cyanobacteria of the Hotsprings.

Current PositionTechnology Specialist at Clark & Elbing LLP.

Melissa studied the ways in which the hot spring cyanobacteria respond to phosphorus deprivation and the role of phosphonates in the physiology of the hot spring cyanobacteria.

Munevver Aksoy. 2015. Postdoctoral. The Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Sulfur Deprivation and the Biogenesis of the Acidocalcisome.

Current Position: Munevver recently returned to Turkey where she is trying to get a research/teaching position.

Munevver performed very important work on the role of the acidocalcisome on the acclimation of cells to nutrient deprivation, which has led to collaborations with the group of Sabeeha Merchant.

Lamont Anderson. 1990. Postdoctoral. Structural Analyses of the Phycobilisomes.

Current Position: Professor, Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado Springs.

Lamont has spent much of his career working on the assembly and biogenesis of the phycobilisome and how it responds to environmental conditions.

Kirk Apt, 1996.  Postdoctoral. Molecular Analyses of Diatoms. 

Current Position: Vice President of Research; Martek Biosciences Corporation, Columbia, MD (deceased). 

Kirk passed away in 2014, but was one of the leaders that made Martek Biosciences successful. In fact he (as Vice President of Research) identified the alga that is currently being used to produce polyunsaturated fatty acids that are included in baby formula.

Shaun Bailey, 2009. Postdoctoral. Molecular Aspects of Photosynthesis in the Oligotrophic Oceans.

Current Position. Principle Scientist, Photosynthesis Team Lead, Synthetic Genomics, Inc., La Jolla, CA

Shaun is directing a group devoted to improving photosynthesis in alga and then using those alga to develop commercial products, such as oils that can be used to generate both biofuels as well as higher values products..

Devaki Bhaya, 2001. Postdoctoral. The Control of Motility in Cyanobacteria. 

Current Position: Staff Associate; Carnegie Institution for Science. Courtesy Professor; Department of Biology, Stanford University. 

Devaki has had a strong impact on our understanding of phototaxis in cyanobacteria and has been a leader in elucidating the structure of bacterial communities of the hot spring microbial mats. She has also been interested in immunity in bacteria, including the functioning of the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

Maryse Block. 1988. Postdoctoral. Phosphorus Deprivation in Cyanobacteria.

Current Position: Maryse is currently a CNRS Research Director in Grenoble. She has worked on various aspects of plant biochemistry including plant lipids and their trafficking.

Elena Casey. 1996. PhD. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Complementary Chromatic Adaptation. 

Current Position: Professor, Georgetown University, Department of Biology (Chair of Department). 

While Elena has changed fields since obtaining her PhD in my laboratory, she has a strong program on the developmental biology of Xenopus laevis.

Claudia Cattalanotti. 2015. Postdoctoral. Acclimation of Chlamydomonas to Anoxia. 

Current Position: Research Scientist at 10X Genomics.

Claudia performed important work on the role of pyruvate formate lyase in fermentation metabolism in green algae.

Gisela Chiang. 1992. Postdoctoral. The Phycobilisome and Acclimation to Light.

Current Position: Associate Director of Biogen, Idec.

Gisela did important work on the biogenesis of the phycobilisome and the regulation of phycobilisome genes.

John Coleman. 1984. Postdoctoral. The Control of Carbonic Anhydrase in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Current Position: Professor, University of Toronto (former Chair of the Biology Department)

John isolated the extracellular carbonic anhydrase in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and probed its regulation under conditions of ambient levels of inorganic carbon.

Jackie Collier, 1995. PhD. Degradation and Biosynthesis of Phycobilisomes and Assembly of the Photosynthetic Apparatus in Anacystis nidulans

Current Position: Associate Professor, SUNY Stony Brook Marine Sciences Research Center. 

Jackie is now a leader in both oceanographic work and analyses of fresh water aquatic systems.

Pamela Conley. 1988. Postdoctoral. The Molecular Regulation of Complementary Chromatic Adaptation in Cyanobacteria.

Current Position: Vice President, Biology at Portola Pharmaceuticals, San Francisco Bay Area Biotechnology.

Pam worked with Peggy Lemaux and performed some of the very first work in isolating the genes encoding phycobilisome components and examining the regulation of those genes.

John Davies. 1998. Postdoctoral. Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Sulfur Deprivation and the Development of a Reporter Gene System.

Current Position: After a brief time as an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University, John moved to Exelixis Inc., now Dow AgroSciences, where he is a senior director of research.

John set up the arylsulfatase reporter gene system and performed some of the very early work on the molecular responses of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to sulfur deprivation, including the isolation of regulatory mutants in the process.

Eugenio de Hostos. 1988. PhD. De-repressible Arylsulfate in C. reinhardtii.  

Current Position: After a brief stay at Rice University as Assistant Professor, Eugenio moved to various positions and is currently Manager of Corporate Partnering & Portfolio Development at the Non-profit Institute for One World Health.

Eugenio performed some of the very early molecular/biochemical work on the arylsulfatase and the acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to sulfur deprivation.

Nancy Federspiel. 1990. Postdoctoral. Complementary Chromatic Adaptation and Regulation of the Linker Polypeptides.

Current Position: After working as an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho, Nancy decided to come back to the Bay Area and join Stanford to work with the SPARKS program as an Associate Director.

Nancy did some of the first work on the regulation of the phycobiliprotein linker polypeptides during complementary chromatic adaptation.

Clarie Grainger. 1999. Masters. Acclimation of Arabidopsis to Phosphorus Limitation. 

Current Position: Scientific & Healthcare Research at KnowledgePoint360 Group.

Claire analyzed the way Arabidopsis responded to phosphorus limitation.

Laura Green: 1988. PhD. Sulfur Acquisition in Anacystis nidulans.

Current Position: Last contact she was working as editor.

Laura identified operons associated with sulfur deprivation in Anacystis (Synechococcus) and studied the impact of sulfate availability on their regulation.

Blaise Hamel. 2008 PhD. The GreenCut and Novel Proteins Involved in Photosynthesis.

Current Position: Pharmacist.

Blaise studied the GreenCut and proteins potentially involved in photosynthesis.

Qingfang He. 2002. Postdoctoral. The Role of the Hli Proteins in High Light Acclimation.

Current Position: Professor, The University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Qingfang worked on the Hli proteins, small proteins resembling light harvesting proteins, and demonstrated that they were critical for the survival of cells in high light and nutrient poor environments. He is still working on the impact of light in cyanobacteria.

Mark Heinnickel, 2013. Postdoctoral. GreenCut and the Biogenesis of the Photosynthesis Apparatus.

Current Position: Research Scientist; Matrix Inc. 

Mark has pioneered the functional analysis of GreenCut proteins and especially as they relate to the assembly of photosynthetic complexes, including the cytochrome b6f complex and PSI. He is currently a Senior Scientist at Matrix Genetics leading the company toward the commercial synthesis of various bioproducts.

Zubin Huang. 2014. PhD (joint with Fritz Prinz in Engineering). Examination of Photosynthetic Function using Atomic Force Microscopy.  

Current Position: Research Scientist at Applied Materials (company in Bay Area). 

Zubin was a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering and an extremely innovative researcher; he developed a strong interdisciplinary approach to analyze complexes associated with photosynthetic membranes.

Chung-Soon Im. 2006. Postdoctoral. The Responses of Chlamydomonas to Blue Light and the 'Role of Phototrophin.

Current PositionCEO at Phycoil Biotechnology International, Inc and Phycoil Biotech Korea.

Chung-Soon found that phototropin (and blue light) is involved in controlling expression of certain genes associated with photosynthetic function.

Xenie Johnson, 2013. Postdoctoral. GreenCut and Functional Analysis of GreenCut Proteins. 

Current Position: CEA Research Engineer; Institute of Biotech. Environ. Biology, Cadarache, 13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France. 

Xenie is leading a ressearch program, with her companion Jean Alric on the ways in which electrons are directed under various environmental conditions. This work has shown that chloroplasts have a number of electron valves that allow the cells to acclimate to various conditions that alter the demand for electrons and ATP by photosynthetic cells.

David Kehoe, 1998. Postdoctoral. Identification of the Photoreceptor Controlling Complementary Chromatic Adaptation. 

Current Position: Professor; Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IA. 

David has helped to further develop the field of complementary chromatic adaptation and the regulatory elements involved in the biosynthesis and tailoring of the light harvesting complexes of cyanobacteria.

Oliver Kilian. 2007. Postdoctoral. Mechanisms of Controlling Gene Expression in Cyanobacteria of the Hot Springs.

Current Position: Strain Development Expert, Sandia National Laboratory.

Oliver studied the hot spring cyanobacteria and the control of gene expression by light and diel cycle.

David Laudenbach. 1991. Molecular Regulation of the Response of Cyanobacteria to Sulfur Deprivation.

Current Position: Formerly Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario (deceased).

David did important work on the regulation of various operons encoding sulfate transporters in cyanobacferia.

Peggy Lemaux, 1987.  Postdoctoral. Isolation and Regulation of Genes Encoding Phycobilisome Polypeptides. 

Current Position: Professor; Department of Molecular Plant Biology, University of California, Berkeley. 

Peggy is a leader in the field of plant genetics and is now the Cooperative Extension Specialist at Berkeley where she performs both basic and applied research focused primarily on cereal crops. She has also worked on the development of bioenergy and develops educational resources on food and agriculture.

Terri Lomax , 1986. Postdoctoral. Complementary Chromatic Adaptation. 

Current Position: Professor; Executive Vice President, Discovery-Science-Technology at RTI International, Raleigh, North Carolina

Terri has had a number of high impact positions including Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at North Carolina State University, Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, North Carolina State University, Senior Policy Analyst at NASA and Professor of Botany and the Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology at Oregon State University.

Kate Mackey, 2010. PhD. (joint with Adina Paytan). Photosynthesis and Nutrient Deprivation Responses in Marine Cyanobacteria.  

Current Position: Assistant Professor, UC Irvine. 

Kate has established a strong program on nutrient utilization, photosynthesis and acidification of the oceans. She is already a leader in her field, with a recent manuscript in the Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.

Leonardo Magneschi. 2012. PhD. The Role of Alcohol Dehydrogenase in the Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Anoxia.

Current PositionResearch Scientist Cell and Plant Physiology Laboratory, CEA Grenoble (joint appointment with Total Company).

Leonardo did detailed analyses of mutants lacking ADH and how the cell responds to unusual way the mutant cells respond to anoxia.

Jeffrey Moseley, 2009. Postdoctoral. The Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Phosphorus Deprivation.

Current Position: Research Scientist, Terra Vita, South San Francisco.

Jeff worked on the acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to phosphorus deprivation and performed a global analysis of those genes activated by phosphorus deprivation. His work also addressed the issue of cross talk between phosphorus and sulfur limitation.

Florence Mus. 2008. Postdoctoral. Use of Global Methods to Probe the Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Anoxic Conditions

Current Position: Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at Montana State University.

Florence was the first to examine the global responses of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to anoxia and began to map out the metabolic pathways associated with fermentation metabolism.

Wing-On Ng. 2002. Postdoctoral. Motility in Cyanobacteria.

Current Position: Senior Scientist Project Manager, Michigan Biotechnology Institute.

Wing-On did important work on motility in cyanobacteria and began a characterization of the nature of photoreceptors involved in positive and negative phototaxis.

Kris Niyogi, 1997. Postdoctoral. Xanthophyll Cycle and Nonphotochemical Quenching. 

Current Position: Professor and Chair, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley. 

Kris is at the very top of his field in developing a program to elucidate the ways in which photosynthetic organisms use light energy. He is the recipient of an HHMI and was recently inducted into the National Academy

Eva Nowack, 2014. Postdoctoral. Organellogenesis and Evolution of Chloroplasts. 

Current Position: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Assistant Professor). 

Eva is one of the young pioneers in the field of organogenesis. Her work on Paulinella chromatophora is classic and involved showing the canonical nature of the P. chromatophora organelle (proteins are trafficked from the cytoplasm into the organelle, where they assemble into macromolecular complexes).

Wirulda Pootakham, PhD, 2010.  Sulfur Deprivation in Chlamydomonas. 

Current Position: Senior Researcher in the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Thailand. 

Wirulda is performing very high quality research at the premier research institution in Thailand.

Jill Ray. 1991. Postdoctoral. The Acclimation of Cyanobacteria to Phosphorus Limitation.

Current Position: Genentech, Scientific Manager.

Jill worked on the ways in which cyanobacteria respond to limited phosphorus and the regulation of the extracellular alkaline phosphatase.

Michael Schaefer. 1993. Postdoctoral. The Acclimation of Cyanobacteria to Light and Complementary chromatic adaptation.

Current Position: NIH, Chief, Translational Centers of Excellence Research Coordination Section.

Mike worked on the regulation of chromatic adaptation and phycobilisome structure with Gisela Chiang.

Rakefet Schwarz. 2000. Postdoctoral. The regulatory pathway for bleaching induced by sulfur starvation in cyanobacteria.

Current Position: Associate Professor Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

Rakefet worked on the low nutrient induced bleaching response and the degradation of the phycobilisome in cyanobacteria. She has continued to develop projects concerning molecular mechanisms in cyanobacteria.

Nakako Shibagaki, 2010. Postdoctoral. Mechanisms of Acclimation of Arabidopsis to Sulfur Deprivation. 

First Position: Osaka University, Assistant Professor. Current Position: Manager at L’Oreal, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. 

Nakako is one of the most accomplished scientist that has been in the laboratory. After a brief tenure as an Assistant Professor at Osaka University, she decided to use her talents to develop algal bioproducts.

Anne Steunou, 2007. Postdoctoral. Hot Spring Cyanobacteria. 

Current Position: CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette. 

Anne performed important work on how the diel cycle impacts metabolic processes that occur in the microbial mats of the hot springs, and demonstrated the temporal regulation of nitrogen fixation in the hot spring mats in Yellowstone National Park. Anne has continued her work on microbial metabolism and the biogenesis of cellular complexes as exemplified by a recent article on c-type cytochromes (Durand et al., 2015).

Hideki Takahashi. 2001. Postdoctoral. Acclimation of Chlamydomonas to Sulfur Deprivation. 

Current Position: Assistant Professor; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University. 

Hideki has been a key player in examining the ways in which vascular plants acclimate to sulfur deprivation, especially with respect to regulatory aspects.

Dimitri Tolleter. 2014. Photosynthesis in the Coral Reefs and the Impact of Temperature on Bleaching.

Current Position: Research Associate, Australian National University.

Dimitri did important work to show that temperature induced bleaching of the corals was not dependent on light (although it could be exacerbated by high light).

Lorraine van Waasbergen. 2000. Postdoctoral. Acclimation of cyanobacteria to nutrient deprivation.

Current Position: Professor, Biology Department, University of Texas in Arlington.

Lorraine isolated a sensor required for the acclimation of cyanobacteria to nitrogen/sulfur deprivation (needed for bleaching).

Tyler Wittkopp. 2015. PhD. The GreenCut and the Identification of Novel Photosynthetic Mutants.

Current Position: Tyler just moved to Joseph Noel's Laboratory at the Salk Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dennis Wykoff. PhD, 1999. Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Phosphate Limitation. 

Current Position: Associate Professor, Dennis M. Cook Endowed Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics, Villanova University, Department of Biology. 

Dennis has continued to work on phosphorus limitation and has done important work on the yeast system. He now has an endowed chair.

Fitnat Yildiz. 1996. Postdoctoral. The Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to Sulfur Deprivation.

Current Position: Full Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Fitnat worked on sulfur deprivation when in the Grossman laboratory but also did some of the classic work on Vibrio chlolerae, especially with respect to biofilm formation and its regulation.