People

Meera V. Sundaram

Professor of Genetics

Education:
B.A. (Biology), Mount Holyoke College, 1986
Ph.D. (Molecular Biology), Princeton University, 1993

Postdoctoral work, University of Colorado Boulder 1993-1997

I joined the UPenn faculty in 1997. Originally, my lab’s interests centered on signal transduction processes, but in recent years I’ve become more interested in how signaling controls different aspects of each cell’s unique biology. In the worm, we can SEE each cell, and some of them have really crazy shapes and behaviors! My lab uses genetic and imaging-based approaches to try to understand how they get that way.

Nicholas Serra, Postdoc

I am currently studying the development of the C. elegans excretory duct cell. The duct cell undergoes morphogenesis to become a unicellular tube by extending its membrane to wrap and fuse with itself to generate a tubular, apical lumen. Both endocytic and exocytic mechanisms have been proposed for the growth of unicellular tubes, but the means by which duct lumen elongates is not understood. My project seeks to use the asymmetric growth of the duct lumenal and basal membranes as a model system to discover novel mediators of transcytosis and directed membrane transport.

In my spare time I enjoy hiking and fishing with my wife and our dog Pocket.

Suzi Birnbaum, Lab Manager

Aside from my lab managerial duties, I study a variety of projects related to the lab’s interests in matrix biology. One current project is characterizing the matrix protease, BLI-4. Outside the lab I enjoy all kinds of crafting – knitting, crochet, sketching, and embroidery (Bonus side effect is increased worm picking dexterity!)

Trevor Barker, Research Technician

This past spring I graduated from NYU with a B.S in Biology with Honors, finishing my thesis in the Fitch Lab. I am currently studying the role of lipocalins in forming and maintaining the apical extracellular matrix. I also keep the lab organized and stocked with the necessary reagents. Outside of the lab, I can usually be found biking around the city, reading and writing poems, or practicing photography!

Other UPenn Worm Friends

Lab Alums

Click here to see a full list of lab alumni

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