Lab Photos

Principal Investigator

amy_newAmy S. Gladfelter

Associate Professor of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; affiliated with Curriculum in Genetics, Biochemistry and Biophysics graduate program and Bioinformatics and Computational Biology graduate program

A.B. Princeton University, 1996

Ph.D. Duke University, 2001

I find thinking about cells and training people to be scientists an absoultely fascinating, challenging and rewarding life. I love new microscopes, puzzling data and starting new collaborations. You can read more about me here.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Ben Woods, Ph.D.

B.S. Gettysburg College 2008

Ph.D.Duke University 2016

I am interested in how cells regulate nanometer sized proteins to assemble dynamic, micron-scaled cytoskeletal structures. In the Gladfelter lab I study the highly conserved septin cytoskeleton using genetic and biophysical approaches coupled with high resolution microscopy. I love being a scientist because thinking creatively is just as important as thinking analytically.

Kelsey Gasior, Ph.D.

B.S. University of Michigan, 2011

Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 2017

I work on mathematically modeling liquid liquid phase separations that occur in the cytoplasm of Ashbya. My favorite part of being a mathematician is being able to spend every day working on new and interesting puzzles.

Jean Smith, Ph.D.

B.S. Johns Hopkins University, 2011

Ph.D. Princeton University, 2016

My project is focused on determining how large, multinucleate cells organize their common cytoplasm, particularly how phase transitions could regulate localized translation in Ashbya gossypii, mammalian myotubes, and mammalian placenta. I love figuring out how different cells ultimately perform these complicated functions, and will never get tired of looking at cells under the microscope!


José Vargas-Muñiz, Ph.D.

B.S. University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, BS Industrial Biotechnology, 2012.

Ph.D. Duke University, 2017

Septins, a conserved family of GTP-binding cytoskeletal proteins, serve as micron-scale plasma membrane curvature sensors. Septins assembles into higher-order structures, which serve as platforms to recruit other proteins. At the Gladfelter lab, I am characterizing septin-protein interaction with an emphasis on interaction that are dependent on curvature. I love science because it allows me to use my curiosity and creativity to better understand the world that surround us.

Ben Stormo, Ph.D. BA Bowdoin College 2008 PhD Duke University 2017. Most of our knowledge about cell biology comes from work done in a handful of common cell types. I am interested in how cells that differ from these common cell types continue to do all the things that cells need to do. I study this using genetics, light microscopy and whatever other tools are necessary to find the answer.

Graduate Students


Kevin Cannon

B.S. Saint Joseph’s University

Understanding how the septin cytoskeleton interacts with membranes and senses micron-scale curvature. I love being a scientist because I get to think about beautiful things and use my imagination everyday.

Erin Langdon

B.S. Georgetown College 2006-2010

I’m investigating how the intrinsic features of RNA-protein liquid droplets interact with extrinsic features of the local cytosol to shape and pattern different cellular phase transitions within a syncytium. I love being a scientist because I like figuring out how things work. My favorite part of science is that moment of new discovery—there is no better feeling than pushing into new frontiers and figuring out complex problems.

Brad Bartholomai

B.S. University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 2014

As a joint project with Jay Dunlap and Jennifer Loros at Dartmouth College, my work focuses on elucidating the spatiotemporal dynamics of the circadian clock in Neurospora crassa and how this simple circadian system is regulated at the level of individual hyphae. Being a scientist allows me to be part of a collaborative, global community that works toward gaining a better understanding of how life works. Interacting with such a diverse group of individuals with different life experiences and perspectives is one of my favorite aspects of being a scientist.



Therese Gerbich

B.S. Truman State University 2011

My project involves understanding spatial control of phase separation to achieve functional compartmentalization of syncytial cytoplasm. Previous work in the lab has shown that a single polyQ RNA-binding protein, Whi3, phase-separates to position cyclin and formin mRNA transcripts in spatially distinct locations in the cytosol to regulate nuclear cycling and polarity. My work seeks to determine if and how local phase separation of Whi3 is used to regulate polarity and cell cycle responses independently of one and other as well as if Whi3 is regulating translatability of its target mRNAs in addition to positioning them.

Ian Seim
B.S Applied Mathematics, UNC Chapel Hill
My project involves developing molecular dynamic-based simulations of RNAs and proteins that undergo phase separation.  I work in collaboration with Daphne Klotsa’s group in Applied Physical Sciences.

Undergraduate Students

Tanajah Morgan-Bush
class of 2019
Biology, B.S.
Minors: Chemistry and Hispanic Studies
I love science because I enjoy learning about the details that influence & regulate life around us.
Ricky Chen


Graduate and Postdoc Alumni

Bradley DeMay
Beacon group, consulting
Rebecca Meseroll
Science Policy, NIH
Cori Anderson
Assistant teaching professor, Wesleyan University
ChangHwan Lee
Postdoctoral fellow, Judith Kimble, University of Wisconsin
Samantha Dundon
Postdoctoral fellow, Tom Pollard, Yale
Andrew Bridges
Postdoctoral fellow, Bonnie Bassler, Princeton
Molly McQuilken
Business Development, Arivis Imaging
Anum Khan
Imaging Facility
Huaiying Zhang
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon
Dhana Nair
Biotech, Oregon