Abandon all hope, ye who enter here
NATHAN TUCKER, PHD
Nate is a native Upstate New Yorker with a BS in Biology from Syracuse University and PhD in Cell Biology and Genetics from Washington State University. He completed postdoctoral training studying the genetic basis for cardiovascular disease risk at Massachusetts General Hospital and The Broad Institute. After far too many years in Boston, he moved his group to the MMRI in March of 2020.
Nate loves all things related to the outdoors, with a special focus on fishing and gardening. He does tend to waste some time watching the New York Giants and reading up on whatever historical era he is currently fixated on (Viking incursions into Anglo-Saxon England at the moment). He aims to keep lab spirits high through regular recitations of Nietzsche quotations.
MAYURIKA DESAI, MS, NY CLT
Mayuri comes to the lab from Ahmedabad, India, where she received a BS and MS in Microbiology from Sardar Patel University. In 2002, she joined the MMRI, and has since focused on the genetic basis of inherited arrhythmias and genetic testing within our clinical laboratory. In addition to being our CRISPR-editing champion, she's also our resident stem cell expert, differentiating both ES and patient derived stem cells into cardiomyocytes for functional assessment of genetic variation.
MICHELLE HULKE, PHD
Associate Computational Biologist
A native of the Tri-Cities area in central Washington (or Warshington as all east of the Cascades are required to pronounce it), Michelle holds a BA in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College and a PhD in Genetics from Cornell University. Her doctoral work focused on DNA replication timing which afforded her the opportunity to develop expertise in both wet lab and computational biology. As part of the GDL, Michelle leads computational efforts on single cell epigenomic and transcriptomic studies, as well as being sidetracked into odd side projects that we pilot from time to time.
Michelle enjoys exploring all that the Mohawk Valley has to offer, tabletop and PC gaming, and CrossFit (don't worry, she'll tell you all about it).
After completing our summer fellow program last year, Emily is back as a research associate in the lab! She is originally from Oneida, New York and is currently working towards her BS in Biochemistry at the University at Albany. Emily hopes to continue in research science after graduation and is working in our lab to hone her molecular biology skills for large scale mutational screens and genome editing. Prospective graduate schools to which she applied would be foolish to not offer her a position...
In addition to solving the genomic riddles of cardiovascular disease, Emily loves being involved with sports, particularly tennis. She also loves skiing, hiking, and her preposterously yellow Jeep with an appropriately preposterous spare tire cover.
RYAN PFEIFFER, BS, NY CLT
Senior Research Associate
Hailing from Boonville, NY, Ryan received his BS in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and soon thereafter joined the MMRI as a Research Associate. As part of the GDL, Ryan spearheads clinical laboratory operations and pursues research on the molecular basis of inherited cardiac arrhythmias.
When not at work, you'll find Ryan enjoying the outdoors on his boat or snowmobile. Also our resident space expert, Ryan is tasked with keeping track of astronomical events, notable rocket launches, and advances in Starlink internet access in the North Country (update as of 2022: it works quite well).
We are actively recruiting Postdoctoral Fellows and Staff Scientists for our laboratory. Have an interest in challenging molecular data? Large-scale screening of variant function? Unique models of cardiovascular physiology? Want to live in a place where you can comfortably own a house on a postdoc salary? Please follow the link to see open positions.
MICHAEL MCLELLAN, PHD
Mike worked with Nate as a Research Assistant during his time at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he published a first author publication on a genetic variant for restrictive cardiomyopathy. He went on to graduate school at Tufts University based at Jackson Labs in Bar Harbor, Maine, where he obtained his PhD in 2020.
VICTORIA PARSONS, BA
Tori worked as a Research Assistant with Nate at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, where she was instrumental in large scale variant screening efforts and the implementation of single cell RNA sequencing. In 2018, she made the jump back to grad school, where she is pursuing her PhD in Genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the lab of Dr. Karen Mohlke.
Summer Research Fellow
Hannah was a summer intern with the GDL@MMRI in the summer of 2022. She worked on comprehensive characterization of putative congenital cardiomyopathy variants, with a focus on single ventricle disorders. She's currently applying for graduate schools to continue down the biomedical research path. Stay tuned!
Gianna was a research assistant in the laboratory in late 2022 while a student at the University of Binghamton. Our resident familial genetics wizard and a future genetic counselor, Gianna spearheaded efforts to examine and prioritize novel genetic variants for rare congenital cardiac disorders. Watch for her return in Summer 2023!