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


Jose Alfredo Guzman Lopez

Contact

Email: jguzmanlopez@umass.edu

About

I am a research fellow in the Fritz-Laylin lab. I am interested in cell division and differentiation; particularly in epigenetic mechanisms as well as asexual reproduction. My project in the Fritz-Laylin Lab is about development of molecular tools to disrupt gene function in Naegleria gruberi by RNAi to understand the basic principles of the disease caused by the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri. In addition, I am working in evaluate the relative expression by RT-qPCR of some genes involved in the process of differentiation in Naegleria gruberi.

Education

B.A. Food Engineering, University of Guanajuato, Mexico.

M.Sc. Plant biotechnology. Cinvestav, Irapuato, Mexico.

Ph.D. Plant biotechnology. Cinvestav, Irapuato, Mexico.

Academic stay. Plant & Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley.



Shane Hussey

Contact

Email: shane.hussey6@gmail.com

Office: 323 Morrill II South

About

I am a research fellow in the Fritz-Laylin lab. I am particularly interested in mycology and molecular evolution. Though I would say I am an ecologist and naturalist at heart, I am profoundly interested in the molecular mechanisms which beget life. Currently I am investigating how to transform chytrid fungi (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Allomyces sp.) so that we can better understand their development in addition to some phylogenetic work with genes related to movement.

Education

B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut
B.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut

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

Undergraduate Students


Alena Naritsin

About

I am an undergraduate research assistant in the Fritz-Laylin lab. I’m interested in cellular and molecular biology, as well as physiology and anatomy, and I love discovering new things about cells and the body, especially how work in their respective systems. I am currently working on analyzing and rendering raw data collected from a lattice light sheet microscopy, which was used to image three-dimensional actin-based protrusions of migrating neutrophils!


Sarah Prostak

About

I am an undergraduate research assistant in the Fritz-Laylin Lab. My interests include pathogenesis of infectious organisms. I enjoy learning about how organisms move to infect their host and am now working on chytrid fungi.


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.


Sinclair Emans

About

I am an undergraduate lab tech in the Fritz-Laylin lab. I am interested in molecular biology and disease pathogenesis. I am currently learning about the various mechanisms that govern chytrid development and growth.