People

Principal Investigator


Dr. Lillian Fritz-Laylin

Contact

Email: lfritz-laylin@bio.umass.edu

Office: 330 Morrill II South

About

I am an evolutionary cell biologist, coupling comparative genomics with modern cell biology to discover core molecules and mechanisms required for cell motility. I work with a number of eukaryotic organisms, from free living amoebae to flagellated fungi, as well as human neutrophils. Fun stuff!

Education

B.A. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Ph.D. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Postdoc Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of California San Francisco

Research Fellows


Sarah Prostak

About

I am a research fellow in the Fritz-Laylin lab interested in how pathogens move and infect their host. I am continuing my work investigating actin structures and actin-based motility in the frog parasite Batrachochytirum dendrobatidis. Understanding the cell biology of this organism may help save our amphibious friends, something I'm super excited to be a part of.

Education

B.S. Biology, University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Postdocs


Dr. Katrina Velle

Contact

Email: kvelle@umass.edu

About

I am a postdoc in the Fritz-Laylin lab, and I'm interested in cytoskeletal dynamics as well as mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis. I am investigating actin-based protrusions underlying motility and phagocytosis in the non-pathogenic freshwater amoeba Naegleria gruberi as a model for the brain-eating amoeba, N. fowleri.

Education

B.A. Biology, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

Ph.D. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut



Dr. Andrew Swafford

Contact

Email: aswafford@umass.edu

About

I am a postdoc in the Fritz-Laylin lab and I’m interested in the origins and evolution of behavior as an emergent property of motor and sensory systems. I am investigating how the molecular mechanisms of cell movement have evolved and subsequently integrated with sensory systems in chytrid fungi, influencing their ecology and pathogenicity.

Education

B.A. Biology, Bowdoin College.
M.A. Bioinformatics and Phylogenetics, University of California Santa Barbara.
Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara.



Dr. Edgar Medina

About

Coming soon to a lab near you

Graduate Students


Kristyn Robinson

Contact

Email: kristynrobin@umass.edu

About

I'm a graduate student with the Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program. I'm interested in cell motility and organismal development. I am currently investigating the adhesion of infectious chytrid fungi to amphibian mucus and how this affects the fungi's life development.

Education

B.S. Biochemistry, Clemson University

Undergraduate Students


Simon Shulman

About

I am an undergraduate research assistant in the Fritz-Laylin Lab. I am interested in cellular biology and genetics. I particularly enjoy genetic analysis of pathogenic organisms and am now working on chytrid fungi.


Terrell Redwood

About

I am a Lab Assistant in the Fritz-Laylin Lab. I am a pre-medical student hoping to one day apply to an MD-PhD program and practice medicine while conducting research.


Lab Alumni

About

Where are they now? Mallory Kakley - High school science teacher Jose Alfredo Guzman Lopez - Postdoc at UC Berkley Alena Naritsin - Medical student at St. George's University Shane Hussey - Bioinformatician