Sasha Levy
Marsha Laufer Endowed Assistant Professor
     of Physical and Quantitative Biology
The Laufer Center and
The Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Stony Brook University

Research Interests:
I'm interested in everything going on in the lab. See our lab research page for more information.

Jamie Blundell, Ph.D.
Postdoc (joint with Daniel Fisher, Applied Physics)
Research Interests:
My research focuses on understanding the speed at which microbes --- such as bacteria and viruses --- evolve. When a new antibiotic is developed, it typically takes 3-10 years before a drug-resistant strain emerges. Why 10 years? I am interested in understanding what factors affect this timescale and whether we could delay the onset of resistance by using drugs more effectively. This understanding could lead to improved treatments for diseases in which evolution of drug resistance is the central problem e.g. bacterial infections, cancer and HIV. To probe these questions I use a combination of mathematical models, large-scale data analysis and experiments to study how the beneficial mutations that fuel adaptation accumulate in large populations of cells. In collaboration with Sasha Levy (SUNY) and Daniel Fisher (Stanford) we use a novel lineage tracking technology that uses next generation sequencing of DNA barcodes to observe and measure almost all beneficial mutations that enter early on in a model evolving population of asexual S. Cerevisiae.

One of the reasons microbes can evolve so rapidly is that they have the ability to have sex / recombination and in this way share beneficial mutations. One issue that remains poorly understood however, is when one combines many mutations in the same organism, how do the effects of each mutation add? Do two mutations conferring a 5% increase in resistance always result in a 10% increase when combined? Typically they do not because they sometimes interact. We are further developing the lineage tracking system and mathematical models to understand how common and how strong these interactions (called epistasis) are.

Sabine Keppler-Ross
Lab Manger & Research Scientist

Fangfei Li
Applied Math Graduate Student (PhD, joint with Evangelos Coutsias)

Research Interests:
Biological Noise, Bet Hedging, Systems Biology

Xianan Liu
MCB Graduate Student (PhD)

Research Interests:
I am interested in using our random DNA barcode system to study the quantitative trait loci (QTL) of yeast. I am also interested in developing new double barcode systems, which can be used in systematic studies of PPi (protein-protein interactions) and epistasis (gene-gene interactions).
Xianan's Website

Zhimin Liu
MCB Graduate Student (PhD)

Research Interests:
I will be studying how stress affects evolutionary dynamics in yeast.

Bertin Mathai
Undergraduate Researcher (Biomedical Engineering)

Research Interests:
I am interested in studying and developing barcoding systems in yeast that can be adapted for future applications in genetic engineering across other models such as mammalian cells.

Robert Morabito
Undergraduate Researcher (Genetics)

Research Interests:
I am interested in pursuing research in the field of Microbial Genetics.


Emmanuel Ozuruonye
BioPREP Undergraduate Student
Current Position: Undergraduate at Columbia University