Ph.D. Biological Engineering, Northwestern University (expected June, 2018)
B.S Cell and Molecular Biology, Ohio University in Athens
Her graduate work focuses on engineering the properties of the prototypical MAP Kinase pathway in yeast for use in biosensor diagnostics. In the Zhang lab, Sarah will use the grass Setaria viridis as a model organism for photosynthesis in C4 plants such as maize and sorghum. She will combine traditional genetic approaches with engineering techniques to improve the thermostability of C4 photosynthesis, making C4 plants more tolerant of high temperature stresses.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, opera and knitting.
Laboratory Technician, Laboratory Manager
University of Missouri, Columbia
BS in Biological Engineering, 2016
Mathematics and Spanish Minor
Will received his bachelor's degree in biological engineering (emphasizing in biomedical engineering and biophotonics) from the University of Missouri, Columbia. During his time there, he was involved with several research teams including computational ecologists, herpetologists, and R&D engineering companies. In all of these positions, much of his work focused on computational data analysis and automated data collection pipelines. In the summer of 2015, Will participated in the Danforth Center's Summer REU Program where he worked in Doug Allen's Lab investigation carbon fixation pathways in soybeans using isotopic labeling and mass spectrometry technologies. Will started in the Zhang Lab in November of 2016 and will be working as a lab manager and lab technician while frequently focusing on bioinformatics pipelines and data analysis.
Will enjoys running, swimming, and climbing. He additionally enjoys music and tinkering with electronics.
Gustavus Adolphus College
BA in Biology, 2017
James will receive his bachelor’s degree in Biology (emphasizing in plant biology) from Gustavus Adolphus College in December, 2017. While at Gustavus, James conducted research on plant ecology emphasizing statistical modeling and will continue using mass spectrometry to study plant proteomics. During the summer of 2017, he will be working in the Zhang lab to optimize the use of environmental photobioreactors to better understand the effects of heat stress on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
James sails, mountain bikes, camps and climbs mountains in his free time. He is hoping to summit his 30th mountain by summer’s end.
BS in Biogical Sciences, 2017
Erin received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Cornell University in May 2017. Her work there focused on the genetic aspects underlying meiotic recombination in maize. In the summer of 2015, she was an REU intern in the lab of Dr. Thomas Brutnell, where she studied the genetic similarities between plant interactions with mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. She is now a first-year graduate student in the Plant and Microbial Biosciences program at Washington University. Erin rotated in the Zhang lab from Nov - Dec in 2017 and then decided to join the Zhang lab for her PhD in April 2018 to study algal heat responses.
In her free time, Erin enjoys cooking, swimming, and exploring the local community.
Outside of work, Michelle enjoys practicing yoga. She is a registered yoga teacher and spends her free time teaching classes and deepening her knowledge of the practice
The Zhang laboratory is current recruiting a postdoctoral researcher. If you are interested, please apply at Danforth website