Mansi received her A.B. in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley. For her graduate research, she studied comparative genomics of early-diverging animal lineages including cnidarians, placozoans, and sponges under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Rokhsar. In 2009, she began her postdoctoral research on the evolution of regenerative mechanisms in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Reddien at the Whitehead Institute/MIT. She is interested in using an evolutionary perspective to uncover the mechanisms of animal regeneration.
Emily Neverett, Research Assistant
Emily received her B.S. in Biology from Keene State College. Her undergraduate research focused on the characterization of the bodily pigment in the aquatic flatworm, Schmidtea mediterranea, under the supervision of her mentor, Dr. Jason Pellettieri. Emily joined the Srivastava lab in July 2015 as a Research Assistant.
Andrew Gehrke, Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow
Andrew received his PhD at the University of Chicago in the laboratory of Prof. Neil Shubin. Andrew’s graduate work has focused on using gene regulation to understand the evolution of Hox gene expression in vertebrate appendages. He is interested in using functional genomics (especially modern epigenomic techniques) to understand how regulatory elements have influenced evolution, and his work in the Srivastava lab will focus on identifying regeneration-responsive regulatory elements in a variety of taxa.
Lorenzo Ricci, Postdoctoral Fellow
Lorenzo received his MA degree in Life Sciences at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, in the Organismal Biology and Physiology program. He received his doctorate from the "Complexité du Vivant" Graduate School at UPMC, in "Regeneration and Pluripotency" lab under the supervision of Dr. Stefano Tiozzo (a division of the Developmental Biology Laboratory of Villefranche sur mer (DBLV) at the Oceanological Observatory of Villefranche sur mer). For his PhD research, Lorenzo studied non-embryonic developments, i.e., whole body regeneration (by vascular budding) and asexual propagation (by palleal budding), in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.
Julian Kimura, Graduate Student
Julian received his BS in Biology at Duke University. His undergraduate research with Dr. David McClay looked into how developmental gene regulatory networks were re-deployed during regeneration in sea urchin embryos. At the Srivastava lab, he is interested in studying how neoblasts are specified during the embryonic development of Hofstenia.
Alyson Ramirez, Graduate Student
Alyson received her B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from UCLA. Her undergraduate work with Dr. Ben Novitch involved growing cortical organoids and studying the role transcription factors play in the specification of spinal motor neurons during development. In the Srivastava lab, she is studying the signaling pathways involved in Hofstenia wound regeneration and genomic rearrangements during noblest specification. Alyson is currently an HHMI Gilliam Fellow.
Ryan Hulett, Graduate Student
Ryan received his B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. During his senior year, he investigated the community ecology of molluscs and became fascinated with nudibranchs. This led him to pursue a M.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from San Francisco State University where he studied the phylogenetic systematics and biogeography of tritoniid nudibranchs. In 2014, he joined Dr. Nicole King’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley as a research technician studying the origin and evolution of animals. In the Srivastava lab he is interested in using a comparative approach to understand fundamental mechanisms of animal regeneration focusing on the nervous system.
Juliet Kim, Undergraduate Student
Juliet is a junior studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a secondary in Mind, Brain, Behavior from the Bronx, New York. She joined the Srivastava lab in October 2016, and is currently working on identifying genes that are active in specifying the stem cell niche in Hofstenia.
Annika Gompers, Undergraduate Student
Annika is a junior from Newton, MA studying Integrative Biology with a secondary in Women and Gender Studies. Since joining the Srivastava lab in February 2016 she has been focused on the gene expression profile of the early wound response in Hofstenia miamia.
Andreé Franco-Vasquez, Undergraduate Student
Andreé is a senior studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a secondary in Latino Studies. She grew up in Los Angeles, CA but for now calls Cambridge, MA her home. Andreé has become fascinated by regeneration and joined the Srivastava Lab in November 2015. Her thesis work is focused on characterizing the stem cell population of Hofstenia in order to examine whether any evolutionarily conserved pluripotency markers exist between the three-banded panther worm and planarians.
D. Marcela Bolaños, Visiting Research Scientist (AAUW Fellow)
Marcela received her Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire where she is currently an Affiliate Professor. She has also served as Visiting Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and as Assistant Professor at the Universidad de Cartagena (Cartagena, Colombia). Marcela is a leading expert on polyclad taxonomy and systematics, and has studied this group for over 16 years including their embryonic development and life histories. In the Srivastava lab, Marcela is interested in working on the molecular mechanisms of polyclad regeneration, beginning with the earliest developmental stages and extending throughout their ontogeny to the mature adult stage. She will be using cutting-edge techniques that are currently applied to regenerative research across several model organisms, including the acoel Hofstenia miamia.