A Bit About Us

The Cheeses all share a passion for understanding fundamental mechanisms that govern cell division. We also like give freezes, fridges and centrifuges cheese names, and we periodically set the lunch room on fire.

Meet The Team

Iain Cheeseman
The Big Cheese

Zak Swartz
Post-doctoral Powerhouse

Zak is broadly interested in cell biological aspects of oocytes, fertilization, and early development. He also enjoys playing music, cooking, and the ocean.

Ally Nguyen
Post-doctoral Powerhouse

Ally loves turtles, snowboarding, and hiking with her dog. Ally is interested in identifying the specific genetic requirements for cell division that differ across cell types, cell states, and among organisms and investigating how these differences influence disease, development, and evolution.

Mary Jane Tsang
Post-doctoral Powerhouse

Mary Jane likes warm weather, salty food, and korean tv. She studies the role of the spindle assembly checkpoint in regulating mitotic progression and its potential implications in cancer.

Kuan-Chung Su
Post-doctoral Powerhouse

Kuan-Chung likes sports and uses CRISPR/Cas9 approaches to study mitosis.

Alexandra Navarro
Graduate Gargantuan

Alexandra enjoys watching movies that make her cry, cooking Mexican food, and dreams of one day meeting Oprah and Michelle Obama. Her work focuses on understanding the regulation and dynamic nature of inner kinetochore organization throughout the cell cycle.

Nolan Maier
Graduate Gargantuan

Nolan enjoys crafting killer Halloween costumes and eating at the most hole-in-the-wall Indian food venues possible. His research focuses on the molecular functions of meiosis-specific kinetochore proteins and how these proteins contribute to the specialized divisions of gametes.

Gunter Sissoko
Graduate Gargantuan

Gunter studies human kinetochore organization and its role in outer kinetochore assembly. He spends most of his free time in the climbing gym or at the crag.

Jimmy Ly
Graduate Gargantuan

Jimmy’s research focuses on the control of gene expression during the mammalian cell cycle and investigating mechanisms underlying differences in the meiotic and mitotic division.

Oceane Marescal
Graduate Gargantuan

Océane enjoys reading, running, and playing her violin. Her research focuses on understanding the quiescent state and the players involved in maintaining reversible proliferative arrest.

Ashton Strait
Graduate Gargantuan

Brittania Moodie
Terrific Technician

Brittania’s most recent publication studied alpha-satellite RNA transcripts in intact human cells, its variation across the cell cycle and cell lines. When not at the bench she enjoys doing outreach work with children to enhance their STEM education, with great focus on underserved communities and students who lack resources for healthy learning environments.

Sarah Cady
Terrific Technician

Sarah is studying centromeric changes in oocytes and their role in female reproductive aging. She also enjoys painting and hiking.

If you were a cheese, which cheese would you be?

Current Cheeses:

Iain: Fromage Affinois
Kuan-Chung: Cream Cheese
Zak: Scamorza
Nolan: Pepper Jack
Alexandra: Nacho Cheese
Mary Jane: I’ll be boring and say Mozzarella
Gunter: G.O.A.T. cheese, aka Greatest Of All Time cheese. ūüôā
Oceane: Comt√©, because obviously I had to pick a french one ūüôā
Ally: Brie
Brittania: The only cheese I eat is Cheddar cheese
Jimmy: cheese curds a.k.a. poutine cheese
Sarah: The online quiz I took told me I would be gorgonzola!

Stinky Cheeses:

Mathijs: Edammer
Julie Welburn: Rocamadour
Sasha: Emmental
Jens: A stinky German cheese (apparently, they’re all like that)
Karen: Mac and Cheese
Tomomi: Mozzarella
Chelsea: Ouray
Scott: Easy Cheese
Charlotte: Gorgonzola
Florencia: Pecorino
Tonia: Sharp Cheddar
Sanne: Old Amsterdam
Kara: Brie
David K.: Well, now that I have my sense of smell back, it might change
Ian W.: Pepper Jack
Julie Monda: Provel
Leah: Handkäse
Lily: Gouda
Claire: Manchego

Learn more about what fascinates us!

Our Research