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.


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.





Christine Roden, Ph.D.

B.S. University of Pittsburgh, 2010
PhD Yale University, 2018

I study how cells use RNA sequence and structure to encode mesoscale biophysical properties of liquid-like droplets of protein and RNA. I am also interested in understanding and manipulating these liquid-like droplets in normal and diseased states.




Wilton Snead, Ph.D.

B.S. University of Pittsburgh, 2013
PhD University of Texas at Austin, 2018

I am interested in how cellular membranes compartmentalize and organize the cell to facilitate essential functions. In the Gladfelter Lab, I study how membranes control the patterning and assembly of liquid-like droplets of protein and RNA. I enjoy using diverse biophysics and microscopy toolsets to answer challenging questions in biology. I love science for the freedom to explore fascinating questions using new and creative approaches.





Graduate Students


Kevin Cannon

B.S. Saint Joseph’s University, 2012

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.

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 UNC Chapel Hill, 2014
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.





Ellysa Vogt
B.S. St. Mary’s University 2017
Motivated by questions stemming from biodiversity and evolution, I am interested in exploring the cell biology of black yeasts isolated from marine environments surrounding Woods Hole, MA. The marine environment presents a variety of stresses for fungi that necessitate particular morphological adaptations. My project aims to develop genetic tools in these relatively uncharted organisms to study their unique morphogenesis.





Grace McLaughlin
B.S. UNC Chapel Hill, 2017
I am working on understanding the nature and organization of the cytoplasm through intracellular particle tracking, as well as modeling the cell cycle in multinucleated cells to study asynchronous nuclear division.







Undergraduate Students

Kyu Lee
Class of 2021
Biology, B.S.






Sam Wey
Class of 2021
Chemistry and Spanish duel major, B.S.






Sue Hu
Class of 2022
Physics, B.S.










Graduate and Postdoc Alumni

Erin Langdon Straub
Business development manager, Harvard University
Jean Smith
Assistant professor of biology, Stetson University
Kelsey Gasior
Dean’s Postdoc, Florida State University
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
Advanced imaging specialist, Stanford University
Huaiying Zhang
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon
Dhana Nair
Director of Research and Development, DiabetOmics Inc