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Lab Members

Current Sternberg Lab Members

Graduate Students

Katie Brugman

I discovered roles for the mechanoreceptor piezo in C. elegans male mating behavior.

Cynthia Chai

I'm broadly interested in the neural and genetic basis of C. elegans diapause entry. I currently study the roles of a) the first-layer amphid interneurons and b) the transcription factor FKH-7 in mediating the dauer entry decision.

Sarah Cohen

I study the roles of o-acyltransferases and esterases in the formation of ascarosides, pheromone-like small-molecules used for communication and behavior mediation, in the nematode C. elegans.

Elizabeth Holman

I am interested in spectroscopy of biological systems.

 Porfirio Quintero

I am interested in understanding how eukaryotic cells can quickly assemble the molecular machinery required to make many copies of RNA from DNA on demand.

Sandy Wong

I am interested in the functional consequences of ASD-associated missense variants in neurological development and behaviors. 

Postdoctoral Fellows

Mengyi Cao


I am interested in studying microbial symbiosis in between the entomopathogenic (insect-parasitic) nematode Steinernema carpocapsae and its beneficial bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila as a naturally occurring mutualistic symbiosis system.

Chun-Hao Chen

I am interested in neural mechanisms of mate recognition in C. elegans, especially how males recognize reproductive hermaphrodites for mating by contact-dependent surface cues.

James Lee

I study how animals and their behaviors change in response to stress, using genetic analysis of the C. elegans dauer as a way into the problem.

Hillel Schwartz

I am developing whole animal-transcriptomes as phenotypes for use in genetic analysis.

Pei-Yin Shih

I’m interested in how animal behaviors are affected by the environment and life experience.

Han Wang

I study the molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying sleep regulation and function. I'm also interested in developing genetic tools, including cGAL and split cGAL for precise transgene control and CRISPR/Cas9 for genome editing. 

Wen Chen

I am interested in using proteomic methods to study the composition of C. elegans Excreted/Secreted products and the roles they play in regulating the molting cycle and growth rate, defense against bacterial infection, pathogen susceptibility.


Daniel Oh

One of the projects I'm working on involves constructing collections of cGAL/split cGAL driver and effector lines for neuron specific expression and gene control.

Carmie Puckett-Robinson

My work explores the use of RNA-seq to study genetic interactions within and between pathways.

Heenam Park

One of the projects I'm working on focuses on generating new null mutants in C. elegans.   I use CRISPR/Cas9 based simple and efficient knock-in methods such as STOP-IN cassette insertion.