Spencer is an Instructor in the Department of Developmental Biology pursuing injury and regeneration research topics in the stomach and other GI organs. Currently, Spencer is exploring how the Hippo Pathway controls cell identity/growth during homeostasis and injury in the stomach. Outside the lab, Spencer enjoys spending time with his family in local parks and exploring the craft beer and restaurant scene in St. Louis.
Bilal is a postdoc with research interests on understanding the processes of oogenesis and embryogenesis. His current main project is how NEMP proteins regulate ovarian aging and how this aging can be reversed to rejuvenate aged ovaries in mice. Outside of the lab, Bilal likes playing cricket and enjoys hiking.
Christine is in the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and is a recent graduate from the University of Chicago with a major in Biological Sciences. She’s interested in exploring NEMP more from the Drosophila side, and to gain more experience as an independent researcher. Outside of lab, she enjoys dabbling in keyboard instruments and spending time in nature.
Evan is in the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine. He recently obtained his undergraduate degree from Truman State University, where he gained a background in D. melanogaster. Evan is excited to continue working with flies and learn everything he can. Outside of lab, he enjoys going out to eat with friends and baking.
Alex is a research technician working with fly and mouse models helping with various projects around the lab. He is currently learning more about Fat and the Hippo pathway to determine a point of interest for a project in the future. When Alex is away from the lab, he spends his time cooking and playing disc golf.
Abira is a postdoc who wants to explore the development and maturation of germ cells through high content imaging. She obtained her PhD from ACTREC, India, exploring nucleus size and shape control mechanisms in diverse model organisms. After her PhD, she spent time understanding collagen homeostasis and vesicular trafficking at CRG, Barcelona. Currently, she is excited about understanding the role of NEMP1 in chromatin organization and fertility. She is happy to explore the world of the nucleus again. She is a new mother, and outside her time in the lab, she loves to spend time with her little one, watching cartoons, reading books and coloring with crayons.
Research Associate Professor
Since arriving in St. Louis 20 years ago, I fell in the nuclear envelope and never left. Besides delineating the cytoplasm from the nucleoplasm, this fascinating biological compartment mostly provides signaling and mechanical hubs that are essential to cellular homeostasis. I currently focus on Nemp1 and Nemp2, two evolutionary-conserved proteins of the nuclear envelope that appear to play a central role in oogenesis and erythropoiesis in mice. Being born and raised in Belgium, my main passion is to add mayo to my fries instead of that red sweet sauce starting with a K. This has caused me a lot of trouble but I decided to fight and advocate. Anyway, if you want to talk about the nuclear envelope, fries mayo or K, stop by anytime!
Cole joined the lab in 2022 after obtaining his PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied the energetic and developmental causes and consequences of monarch butterfly migration. Currently, his research investigates the role of Nemp in lipid droplets (LDs) in Drosophila as well as the roles LDs may be playing in the storage of cell lipids and cell stress. Outside of the lab, he enjoys cooking, playing volleyball, and exploring St. Louis with his dogs.
Jennysue is a 4th year grad student in the DRSCB Ph.D. program at WashU. She earned her
Bachelors of Biology with a concentration in molecular genetics from Georgia State University
in 2019. Her project is focused on understanding the role that Fat and Dachsous cadherins play during mammalian eye development. Jennysue is passionate about mentorship and science communication. She is the Junior Co-Coordinator for the DBBS Peer-Mentoring program and the Director of Science Communication for ProSPER. In her spare time, Jennysue enjoys alt rock concerts, hiking and is trying get back into reading.
DRSCB Peer-Mentor Program: https://dbbsstudentadvisorycommittee.wustl.edu/peer-mentor-program/
Helen obtained her PhD at Stanford University with James Nelson, studying how epithelial cell polarity is established, using cultured mammalian cells. She then conducted her postdoctoral studies with Mike Simon ( also at Stanford), using Drosophila genetics to investigate how tissues become polarized, via planar cell polarity signaling. She set up her own lab at the ICRF/CRUK in London England, where her lab first studied Fat cadherins and linked them to the regulation of growth through the Hippo pathway. She then moved her lab to the Lunenfeld Research Institute in Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada where she expanded these studies to mice and hydra. In 2018, Helen moved to Washington University School of Medicine, where her lab continues to study how groups of cells become organized in development. The lab uses cell biology, genetics and molecular approaches in diverse models ,to understand how Fat cadherins and the Hippo pathway coordinately regulate tissue patterning and growth. Recent work in her lab has expanded to investigation of how chromatin organization and fertility are controlled in flies, mice and humans.