LAB MEMBERS

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

NATHAN TUCKER, PHD

Assistant Professor

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 perennially lousy New York Giants and reading up on whatever historical era he is currently fixated on. He aims to keep lab spirits high through regular recitations of Nietzsche quotations. 

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HANNAH BOCHNIAK

Summer Research Fellow

Hannah joins the lab this summer as a Research Fellow. Hailing from the countryside just north of Utica, she is now a Biochemistry major at Hartwick College. This summer, she'll be diving headfirst into complex molecular screens for familial cardiovascular disease variants. Couldn't be that hard, right?

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MAYURIKA DESAI, MS, NY CLT

Research Associate

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 wizard, 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). 

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EMILY MARSHALL

Research Associate

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. 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.

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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.

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YOU

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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.

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FORMER TRAINEES

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MICHAEL MCLELLAN, PHD

Research Assistant

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.

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VICTORIA PARSONS, BA

Research Assistant

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.