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PrincipAl InvestigatoR

Sigrid Nachtergaele, PhD

Sigrid (aka Siggy) received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in Biochemistry and Chemistry, while also working in the lab of Rustem Ismagilov and competing on the women’s soccer team. She did her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford, working in the lab of Rajat Rohatgi on mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling. Her PhD work developed novel chemical tools to uncover new modes of sterol-mediated regulation of this critical developmental pathway. She headed back to the University of Chicago for a post doc with Chuan He, diving into the world of RNA and working on identifying the functions and regulation of mRNA modifications. When not in the lab, she enjoys sports (playing and spectating), the outdoors (especially the beach!), and playing with Duplo or Play-Doh (usually with her kids).

Graduate students

Dorthy Fang

Dorthy Fang received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from Columbia University. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked as an assistant scientist at Phanes Therapeutics, Inc. in San Diego. When not in the lab, she enjoys food of all shapes and sizes, jamming to new music, and photosynthesizing outdoors.

Lauren Wilson

Lauren attended Palomar College before transferring to the University of Arizona, where they graduated with a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry. There, they worked in Ross Buchan’s lab studying the regulation of mRNA decay. Now, they are continuing their RNA obsession in the Nachtergaele lab, where they investigate the role of RNA modifications in the assembly of nuclear bodies. When they’re not actively thinking about RNA, Lauren enjoys science fiction, karaoke, and learning to play the accordion.

Luke Devereux 

Luke graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and minors in Chemistry, African Black Diaspora Studies, and LGBTQ Studies. At Depaul, they studied small molecule inhibitors of herpesvirus entry with Dr. Sarah Connolly, and they also attended internships at Tufts University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Oregon. At UO Luke worked with Dr. Jeff McKnight on mapping transcription factor binding to DNA which inspired him to continue studying the biochemistry behind gene regulation. Outside the lab, Luke likes long distance cycling, backpacking, and reading/writing on disability theory, queer theory, and racial justice. 

Emily Dangelmaier

Emily graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology. While completing her undergraduate degree, Emily explored diverse areas of biomedical research in labs at Colgate University, Harvard Medical School, and the NIH. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked as a postbaccalaureate research fellow at the National Cancer Institute at the NIH in the lab of Dr. Ashish Lal, where she studied long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the context of colorectal cancer, which inspired her interest in RNA biology. When not in the lab, Emily loves going to the beach, doing puzzles, and playing with her dog, Lacy.

Clara Wang 

Clara attended Mount Holyoke College where she majored in Biology and minored in Chinese. At Mount Holyoke, she studied bacterial sRNA-protein interactions in Dr. Katie Berry’s lab. After graduating, she worked as a postbaccalaureate research fellow at the NIH in Dr. J. Robert Hogg’s lab studying the mechanisms of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing tennis, hiking, knitting, and baking! 

Post-graduate researchers

Eddy Tzintzun-Tapia 

Eddy Tzintzun-Tapia was born and raised in North Carolina before moving to New Haven for his undergraduate studies. He received his undergraduate degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a concentration in Biotechnology from Yale University. There, he researched in Dr. Paul Turner’s lab, studying the evolution of bacteriophage adsorption in response to bacteriophage resistance. Outside the lab, Eddy enjoys long walks, skateboarding, trying new foods, social media, and photography.

John Babich

John graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in General Biology and a minor in Public Leadership. While at Maryland, he was a member of the Snell lab, studying gamete fusion mechanisms in green alga. Before joining the lab, John worked as a research assistant for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine in their Battle Shock and Organ Support lab. In his free time, John enjoys cooking, golfing, and spending time with his friends and family.

Undergraduate researchers

Kyal Sin Htet

Kyal Sin is a Yale undergradate student from Charlotte, North Caroline, majoring in MCDB. She has previously researched the effects of inhibiting ATR, a regulator of the DNA damage repair pathway, on cancer cells with aneuploidy in the Kabeche lab at the Yale Cancer Biology Institute. Now, she works in the Nachtergaele lab researching the effects of the m6A RNA modification on glioblastoma cells. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, solving crosswords/sudokus, and traveling to new places.

Yoska Guta

Yoska Guta was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and raised in Oakland, California but now calls Harrisburg, Pennsylvania home. As an undergraduate student at Yale, she is double majoring in MCDB and Relgious Studies. Outside of the lab, Yoska spends her time reading, going for runs, and serving in Christian ministry on campus.

Lab alumni

Ta’Aliyah Jones, ACS Scholar, summer 2023

Veronica Wall, undergraduate researcher, 2022-2023

Josh Beale, undergraduate researcher 2022-2023 (MCDB Boell Prize winner)

John Tawil, postgraduate researcher 2020-2021

Jessie Gong, undergraduate researcher 2021-2022