Chip Asbury (primary investigator)

Chip was trained in mechanical engineering at Cornell and completed a master's degree in biomedical engineering at Tulane. He first moved to the Seattle area in 1993, earning a PhD in bioengineering from the University of Washington in 1999. After a postdoctoral fellowship with Steve Block at Stanford, he returned to Seattle in 2004 to start his own lab in the Physiology & Biophysics Department.



Krishna Sarangapani (research scientist)

Krishna completed his bachelor's in biotechnology & biochemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT - Kharagpur, India). In 2005, he earned his PhD in bioengineering under the guidance of Cheng Zhu at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he studied selectin-ligand interactions at the single molecule level using AFM. He then worked in Levent Degertekin's lab in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, developing membrane-based force probes, before joining us in 2009.



Kim Fong (research scientist)

Kim earned her bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry with a minor in Mathematical Biology from Scripps College. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Washington working in the laboratory of Trisha Davis, where she studied several aspects of microtubule biology in yeast, including microtubule nucleation, cell cycle regulation, and centrosomal organization. In the Asbury lab, she is measuring the mechanical strength and flexibility of microtubule attachments to the yeast spindle pole body.



Joshua Larson (postdoctoral fellow)

Josh earned his bachelor's in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He worked as a research assistant studying storage proteins in cereal grains before moving to The Gambia to teach high school physics and chemistry as a Peace Corps volunteer. He earned his PhD in Biophysics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the laboratory of Aaron Hoskins where he built total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopes to investigate how splice sites are selected during early spliceosome assembly. In the Asbury lab, Josh uses TIRF microscopy and optical trapping to study kinetochore assembly and function.



Haein Kim (postdoctoral fellow)

Haein earned her bachelor's in Chemistry with a minor in Philosophy from Haverford College. After graduation, she worked as a research technician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, studying the biochemistry of coagulation proteins. She earned her PhD in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Vermont, working in the laboratory of Jason Stumpff and studying the molecular mechanisms that coordinate chromosome congression with stabilization of kinetochore-microtubule attachments. In the Asbury lab, Haein uses the optical trap to understand how coordinated microtubule dynamics contribute to normal chromosome movement.



Guangyang Cai (graduate student, with Justin Kollman)

Guangyang "Andy" Cai is a graduate student in the BPSD (Biological Physics, Structure, and Design) program. Working in the Asbury and Kollman labs, his research focuses on refractile bodies (R-bodies), which are pH-responsive conformationally dynamic protein complexes. He seeks to generate high resolution molecular structures of R-bodies in tandem with biophysical characterization of R-body transition mechanisms. Outside of research, Andy enjoys cooking, building computers, and spending time with his wife.



Daniel Barrero (graduate student, with Sue Biggins)

As an undergraduate, Daniel studied signaling pathways that drive preterm birth using murine models, but discovered a love of structural biology and biophysics while working as a technician in the Puglisi lab at Stanford studying HIV reverse transcription. For his graduate work, Daniel is interested in using biochemical, structural, and biophysical tools to investigate how the architecture of the kinetochore allows both for its unique function, and for that function to be tuned through out the cell cycle. Daniel joined the Biggins lab in 2019, and is co-advised with the Asbury lab.



Lucas Murray (graduate student)

Lucas trained in biomedical engineering at UC Davis, earning BS and MS degrees. As an undergraduate, he developed instrumentation for labs across the physical sciences and competed successfully in several engineering competitions, including iGEM. His MS work under the guidance of Volkmar Heinrich focused on the design of a horizontal atomic force microscope. He then spent several years in the medical device industry, working on prototyping and manufacturing process engineering. In the Asbury lab, Lucas is investigating the role of microtubule end-structures in microtubule-kinetochore attachments.



Bonnibelle Leeds (graduate student)

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These folks spend a considerable amount of time in our lab, so we consider them honorary members of our group.



Grace Hamilton (graduate student, with Trisha Davis)

Grace received her bachelor’s in biology and Russian from Bates College in 2015. As an undergraduate, she studied bacterial alkane mono-oxygenase enzymes as potential templates for biomimetic alkane-activating catalysts. In 2016, Grace joined the Davis Lab, where she studies the path of force transmission through sub-complexes of the kinetochore.



Rachel Flores (graduate student, with Trisha Davis)

Rachel was an undergraduate student in Brian Livingston's Lab at California State University, Long Beach, where she established the skeletal proteome of four echinoderms (S. spiculata, P. miniata, E. tribuloides, and A. japonica), identified essential proteins found in all echinoderm skeletal proteomes, and worked to understand the role of each protein in biomineralization. In 2017, she joined Trisha Davis' lab, where she aims to understand how the kinetochore establishes load-bearing interactions with dynamic microtubule tips, with a focus on identifying load-bearing interactions between the Ndc80c and Dam1c complexes.



Luke Helgeson (postdoctoral fellow, with Trisha Davis)

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Seung Ryoung Jung (senior research scientist with Daniel Chiu)

Seung-Ryoung studied calcium-dependent ion channels and exocytosis in epithelial and pancreatic beta cells during his Ph.D. training at POSTECH in South Korea and here at UW with Duk-Su Koh and Bertil Hille. During his postdoc, he focused on glucose-stimulated insulin secretin in pancreatic islets and gene expression related to DNA replication and microRNA using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist in the laboratory of Daniel Chiu.






Abraham Gutierrez

Abraham earned his bachelor's in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He worked in Barry Bowman's lab where he studied the function of CAX-like genes, which are homologous to CAX (cation-exchange) transporters. Abe joined Sue Biggins' lab in 2015 where he studied phosphoregulation of the Dam1 complex and its role in kinetochore-microtubule coupling. In 2020 he joined Christine Suetterlin's Lab at UC Irvine as a postdoc.


Emily Scarborough

Emily earned her bachelor’s in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. She worked as both an undergraduate researcher and a lab technician in the lab of Dr. Jim Shorter at the Perelman School of Medicine where she studied aggregation-prone proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS. Emily joined Trisha Davis' lab in 2014, where she investigated the interactions between sub-complexes of the kinetochore using single molecule techniques. In 2019 she joined Benjamin Prosser's Lab at Penn as a postdoc.



Connor King

Connor hails from Kent Washington. He joined the Asbury lab in 2017 as an undergraduate student researcher. He studied Aurora B kinase's role in meiotic error correction using insect spermatocytes. Connor aspires to be a pediatrician and volunteers with the youth tutoring program in Jackson Park, Seattle. He earned his bachelor's degree in Microbiology from University of Washington in 2019 with a minor in Comparative History of Ideas.



Benan Nalbant

Benan is from the Bay Area. She joined the Asbury lab in 2019 while a junior at the University of Washington as an undergraduate student researcher. She earned her bachelor's degree in 2020 in Biology with a minor in Physics. She aspires to do research that falls at the intersection of biology and physics. Along with Connor, Julia, and Lyda she studied the mechanisms of error correction during meiotic chromosome segregation in insect spermatocytes.



Julia Tryon

While working towards a double degree, with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Spanish, Julia also worked as an undergraduate student researcher in the Asbury Lab, starting at the end of her sophomore year. She studied meiotic chromosome segregation in insect spermatocytes. She aspires to attend medical school in the near future. In her free time she enjoys EDM and training her Australian Shepherd to compete in agility.



Lyda Ebadani (undergraduate student researcher)

Lyda Ebadani joined the Asbury Lab as an undergraduate student researcher during her sophomore year at the University of Washington. She majored in Public Health, and hopes to concentrate in Nutritional Sciences within her degree program. Her future ambition is to attend an Allopathic Medical School to become an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. Along with Connor and Julia, Lyda studied chromosome segregation and error correction mechanisms in insect spermatocytes.


Anna de Regt

Anna earned her bachelor's degree in Engineering from Swarthmore College in 2009. She then pursued graduate studies in Bob Sauer's lab at MIT, using recombinant protein biochemistry to investigate the molecular basis of protein allostery. After completing her PhD in 2014, Anna returned to her home state of Washington to work with Sue Biggins. Her project focused on the mechanism by which Aurora B senses tension across kinetochores during mitosis. In 2019 Anna began working for Seattle Genetics.

  Matt Miller  

Matthew Miller

Matt is originally from Denver, CO. He earned his bachelor's in biology from from Carleton College in 2001 and then worked at NatureWorks LLC (2001-2006). He earned his PhD in 2012 from MIT, where he worked in Angelika Amon’s lab studying meiotic cyclin-dependent kinase regulation and the consequences of misregulation. Matt joined Sue Biggins' lab in early 2013 where he investigated the mechanisms by which tension stabilizes kinetochore-microtubule attachments. In 2019 Matt started his own independent laboratory in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Utah. (Click here to visit Matt's Lab website.)


Jeo ook Kim

Jae ook earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at Colorado State University. He worked in Mark Zabel’s lab, where he helped to develop an assay to detect chronic wasting disease in wild Rocky Mountain elk. He joined Trisha Davis' lab in 2014 and studied the interactions between and the regulation of various kinetochore protein complexes. He earned his PhD in 2018 and began working for a biotechnology firm in Seoul, South Korea.




Megan Bailey

Megan earned her bachelor's in Chemistry and Art History from Williams College in 2008 and then worked as a research assistant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Jagesh Shah’s lab studying the spindle assembly checkpoint. In 2010, she joined Jennifer Ross' lab at U. Mass. Amherst, where she studied how katanin severs microtubules. She earned her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology in fall 2015 and joined the Asbury lab where she studied interactions between dynein, she1, and microtubules. In 2017, she and her family relocated to Germany, where Megan began working in the laboratory of Heinz Koeppl (TU Darmstadt).


Aida Llauró Portell

Aida is originally from Catalunya, the northeast part of Spain. She earned a degree in Physics from University of Barcelona in 2010 and a master's in Biophysics from University Autonomous of Madrid in 2011. In 2012 she started her PhD in the De Pablo lab, where she studied mechanical properties of virus-like particles with Atomic Force Microscopy. After finishing her PhD in 2016 she joined the Asbury lab to investigate microtubule dynamics and spindle pole body-microtubule interactions. In 2018 she began working for Lumicks, supplier of advanced laser trapping instruments, in Amsterdam.


Amitabha "Guppy" Gupta

Guppy moved from Calcutta, India, to Colgate University where he earned his bachelor's in Molecular Biology in 2005. For his PhD he worked with Rodney Rothstein, at Columbia University, focusing on DNA damage and repair, and the effects of DNA damage on cellular nucleotide pools. After obtaining his PhD in 2012, Guppy joined Sue Biggins’ lab, where he investigated the roles of microtubule-associated proteins and motors at kinetochores.


Kwaku Opoku

Kwaku is from Akuase in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He earned a dual-degree in Applied Science and Biomedical Engineering from Concordia College, Moorhead MN, and the University of Minnesota, respectively. He worked in Dave Odde's Lab where he studied the effect of substrate stiffness on the shape and migration of human glioma brain cancer cells. He joined the Asbury lab in 2011 where he studied the biophysics of the kinetochore-based mitotic checkpoint. He earned his PhD in 2016 and began working as a Technology Manager at the Universtiy of Illinois.


Luke Johnson

Luke hails from the Vancouver Washington metropolitan area. He earned his bachelor's in Biology in 2016 from the University of Washington. During his senior year and immediately following graduation, he worked in the Asbury lab studying meiotic chromosome segregation in insect spermatocytes. In Fall 2017 he enrolled in the UW School of Medicine in Spokane WA.




Yi Deng

Yi earned his PhD in 2012 from Princeton, where he studied the mechanical properties of the cell walls of individual, living bacteria and developed new techniques for live-cell imaging using fluorescence and force probes.  In the Asbury Lab, Yi investigated the role of mechanics in kinetochore checkpoint signaling, and studyied the architecture of the kinetochore. In 2016, Yi began working as a Scientist, Imaging Genomic Systems, at Nanostring Technologies, in Seattle.


Erik Yusko

Erik earned his bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering from the “other UW”, the University of Wisconsin, in 2007.  He then joined Michael Mayer’s group at the University of Michigan, where he showed that nanopore-based resistive pulse sensing can be used to measure the size, charge, shape, dipole moment, and rotational diffusion coefficient of individual proteins.  He earned his PhD in 2012 and joined the Asbury lab in early 2013, where he studied the mechanical properties of centrosome-microtubule attachments and their regulation. Erik joined Adaptive Biotechnologies in 2016 as a Scientist, Computational Biologist.


Emily Mazanka

Emily earned her bachelor's in Biology from Oakland University, near her hometown in southeastern Michigan. She then went on to complete her PhD in Cell Biology from Northwestern University, studying cell fate and asymmetry in the lab of Eric Weiss. She joined Trisha Davis' lab in the fall of 2010, where she worked on reconstituting protein sub-complexes of the central-outer kinetochore interface and studied their functions using single molecule techniques. In 2015, Emily began as a Clinical Genomics Research Associate at Partners Healthcare, in Cambridge MA.


Jonathan Driver

Jonathan is originally from Houston, TX.  He earned his bachelor's in chemistry from Rice University in 2006. He then joined Rice's department of bioengineering to study the biophysics of transport by multiple microtubule motors with Michael Diehl, earning his PhD in December 2011. In late 2011 he joined the Asbury lab, where he studied kinetochore structure-function and phosphoregulation. In 2015, Jonathan enrolled in the Petroleum Engineering program at the University of Texas, Austin, one of the top programs in the country.


Jerry Tien

Jerry received his bachelor's in biochemistry from the University of British Columbia where he worked in Robert Molday's lab characterizing proteins of the eye.  He also worked at the BC Cancer Agency and at QLT Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Vancouver, BC.  In 2009 he joined the Davis lab, where he studyied interactions and regulation between various kinetochore components. Jerry earned his PhD in 2014 and began a postdoc with Gregg Morin at the Genome Sciences Centre of the BC Cancer Agency.


Neil Umbreit

Neil hails from southeastern Pennsylvania, and earned his bachelor's in molecular biology and chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008.  As an undergraduate, he worked in Lew Jacobson's lab studying calcium-dependent signals that control muscle protein stability in C. elegans.  In 2009 he joined the Davis lab, where he studied interactions between sub-complexes of the kinetochore using single molecule techniques. Neil earned his PhD in 2014 and began working with David Pellman as a postdoc.


Andy Powers

Andy is from Sonoma, CA and received his bachelor's degree in microbiology from UC Davis, where he worked in the lab of John Rutledge studying interactions between lipoproteins and the vascular endothelium.  He joined the Asbury lab in 2005, where he studied how kinetochores sense and correct aberrant attachments to the mitotic spindle. Andy earned his PhD in 2011 and began as a postdoctoral fellow with Leon Murphy and Bryan Laffitte at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation in La Jolla, CA. Andy was interviewed in July 2013 for the UW School of Medicine Alumni Connection. (link)


Andrew Franck

Andrew received his bachelor's degree in physics from UC Berkeley in 2001. Prior to graduate school he worked as a technician at the Advanced Light Source synchrotron at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and on the KamLAND neutrino detector in the Berkeley Physics department. He joined the Asbury lab in 2005, where is research focused on how kinetochores couple force to microtubule tips and how force alters microtubule dynamic instability. Andrew earned his PhD in 2012 and began working with Melissa Moore and Jeff Gelles as a postdoc.



Hugo Arellano-Santoyo

Hugo earned his bachelor's in Physics from Princeton in 2009, where he also completed the Integrated Genomics program. He worked in Josh Shaevitz's lab on in vitro reconstitution of FtsZ dynamics and the contribution of MreB to cellular stiffness in E. coli. He joined the Asbury and Biggins labs in 2010 as a jointly-mentored graduate student in Molecular and Cellular Biology, initiating a biophysical study of the kinetochore-based mitotic checkpoint. In 2012 he earned his MS degree and moved to Boston, where he began working as a graduate student in David Pellman's lab.


Dan Gestaut

Dan received his bachelor’s in biochemistry from Whitman College in Walla Walla WA, where he worked in the Vernon Lab studying the function of pentatricopeptide repeat proteins in plants. In 2003, he joined Trisha Davis' lab in biochemistry here at the University of Washington, where he purified and characterized many kinetochore sub-complexes. In our lab he studied these sub-complexes using single molecule techniques. Dan earned his PhD in 2011 and then began a postdoc with Judith Frydman at Stanford.


Jason Stumpff

Jason received his bachelor's in biology from Eckerd College, in St. Petersburg FL, and his PhD in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He joined Linda Wordeman's lab as a postdoc in 2005, investigating the mechanisms that control chromosome alignment during mitosis.  In the Asbury lab, he used single molecule techniques to study how mitotic kinesins contribute to chromosome alignment. Jason now runs his own lab as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Vermont. (Click here to visit Jason's lab website.)


Anne Knowlton

Anne received her bachelor’s in biology from Clemson, and her PhD in biochemistry and molecular genetics from the University of Virginia, where she studied regulation of kinesins in the mitotic spindle in Todd Stukenberg’s lab. She joined Trisha Davis’s group in 2009, where she studied the contribution of protein complexes to the end-on attachment of kinetochores to microtubules using single molecule techniques. In 2011, she accepted a position as Scientific Editor at Cell Press.


Bungo Akiyoshi

Bungo worked as an undergraduate in Yoshi Watanabe's lab at the University of Tokyo, studying meiosis in fission yeast.  He later enrolled in the molecular and cellular biology graduate program run jointly by the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In 2005 he joined Sue Biggins' lab, where he developed new methods to purify kinetochores. He worked in the Asbury lab to study the function of these kinetochores using single molecule techniques. Bungo earned his Ph.D. in 2010, and then joined Keith Gull's lab as a postdoc at Oxford. Beginning in September 2013, Bungo began running his own lab in the Department of Biochemistry at Oxford. (Click here to visit Bungo's lab website.)


Jeremy Cooper

Jeremy earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Gonzaga University in Spokane WA. He then joined Linda Wordeman's lab in physiology & biophysics in 2002, where he used single molecule techniques to study how the microtubule-destabilizing enzyme, MCAK, operates. This work included the design and construction of a custom total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope in the Asbury lab. Jeremy defended his thesis in 2008, and then joined the instrument development division at Applied Precision, in Issaquah WA.


Ryan Lemke

Ryan is a veteran of six years in the US Navy's nuclear propulsion program. He then studied biochemistry at the University of Washington, working as an undergraduate research assistant in the Asbury lab until earning his bachelor's in 2008, and then as a full-time technician. In Fall 2010, he enrolled in the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.


Carol Huseby

Carol received a Washington NASA Space Grant Scholarship to attend the University of Washington in 2006.  She worked in the Asbury lab from 2008 through 2010, developing computational models to investigate how chromosomes find the equator of the spindle during metaphase of the cell cycle.  She earned her bachelor's degree in 2010 in Physics and Biology with a minor in Applied Math.  In fall 2010, she began graduate studies in Applied Math.


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