Lab Members

James C. Bardwell, Ph.D. : Rowena G. Matthews Collegiate Professor, MCDB<br>HHMI Investigator

James C. Bardwell, Ph.D.

Rowena G. Matthews Collegiate Professor, MCDB
HHMI Investigator

Howard Hughes Medical Investigator

Department of Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology

Program in Cellular Molecular Biology

Department of Biophysics

Awards and Fellowships

2013 AAAS Fellow
2009 Rowena G. Matthews Collegiate Professorship
2005 HHMI Investigator
1999 Literature, Science and Arts Excellence in Research Award
1997-2001 Pew Scholar
1993-1995 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship
1989-1993 Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship
1981-1985 NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship
Xiexiong Deng : Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiexiong Deng

Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiexiong attained his PhD at Michigan State University in 2018, where he studied the mitotic function of histone H3 in budding yeast. Afterwards, he joined Bardwell lab and studies amyloidogenic protein folding using budding yeast. Outside the lab, he loves watching soccer and playing badminton.
Changhan Lee : Postdoctoral Fellow

Changhan Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Changhan earned his Ph.D. degree at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 2012. During his Ph.D. thesis, he characterized the regulatory mechanism to respond reactive electrophilic species (RES) in Escherichia coli. Afterwards, he moved to Karolinska Institute in Sweden as a postdoc and expended his research area to protein quality control system in a key opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Changhan joined Bardwell lab in 2017 and keeps his deep interest to protein folding and proteostasis. He loves to travel around the world and watch movies.
Hyun-hee Kim : Researcher

Hyun-hee Kim


Hyun-hee obtained her Ph.D at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, where she worked on yeast transcription mechansms based on epigenetics. She moved to the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and studied multicellular behavior in enterobacteriaceae. In the Bardwell lab, she is focusing on a neurodegenerative disorder in yeast model. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, making crafts and playing games.

Ben Meinen : Graduate Student

Ben Meinen

Graduate Student

Ben Meinen is a first year Phd student in the Bardwell Lab. He is from Duesseldorf in Germany. He obtained his Master degree with focus on protein biochemistry from Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in October 2014.  He is interested in biophysical protein characterization and protein folding in vitro and in vivo. Outside the lab he enjoys to do sports, travelling and tasting crafted beer. At this point he wants to thank PD Dr. Hauke Lilie for his support and the opportunity to join the Bardwell lab.
Mark Dulchavsky : Graduate Student

Mark Dulchavsky

Graduate Student

Mark graduated from the University of Michigan majoring in Biophysics and minoring in music. His previous research includes work in linguistics analysis and neurodegenerative disease. He joined the U of M MD PhD program in 2017 and then the Bardwell lab in 2019. Currently, he works on protein engineering of biotherapeutic enzymes. Outside of lab, Mark enjoys hobbyist electronics and music performance.

Veronika Sachsenhauser : Graduate Student

Veronika Sachsenhauser

Graduate Student

Veronika began her PhD in the Bardwell lab in 2015 after she obtained her M.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology from the Technical University Munich, Germany. In her PhD project she focuses on establishing a genetic selection system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Outside of lab, Veronika enjoys any kind of outdoor activities, traveling and reading.
Kevin Wu : Graduate Student

Kevin Wu

Graduate Student

Kevin received his Master degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from National Taiwan University in 2015. His master’s thesis research was using structure-based approaches to study the activation mechanism of deubiquitinase. He joined Bardwell lab in January 2017. Currently, he is studying the kinetic folding mechanism of chaperone and revealing how a chaperone interacts with its client proteins. Outside the lab, he enjoys playing tennis and watching TV series.

Rishav Mitra : Graduate Student

Rishav Mitra

Graduate Student

Rishav received his master’s degree in biotechnology from St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous) Kolkata affiliated to the University of Calcutta, India. He joined the Bardwell Lab in 2018. Currently, he is focussing on finding a biophysically amenable chaperone-substrate pair to understand mechanisms of chaperone- assisted protein folding. Outside of lab, Rishav enjoys listening to classical music and watching movies.

Chris Sinkler : Lab Manager

Chris Sinkler

Lab Manager

Chris joined the laboratory in December 2016, acting as both lab manager and part-time researcher; his current projects revolve around adapting the tripartite fusion system into mammalian lines, to investigate protein folding in higher order species. He obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University, and M.S. in Genetics from Wayne State University. This position allows him to combine his interests in management and student support with his background in molecular biology. Outside of the lab, he enjoys cooking, beer, camping/hiking, singing, and taking care of too many cats.
May Tsoi : Senior Laboratory Technician

May Tsoi

Senior Laboratory Technician

May joined the Bardwell lab in November 2015, after working at the University of Michigan for nearly 20 years.  She is a proud mother and soon-to-be grandmother, who enjoys gardening, shopping, and spending time with family.
Ken Wan : Senior Laboratory Technician

Ken Wan

Senior Laboratory Technician

Ken has worked as a lab technician at U of M for nearly ten years. He joined the Bardwell lab from an HHMI lab in June 2013. Ken’s work is mainly on protein expression and purification. His work consists of making all kinds of constructs for E. coli, Baculovirus insect cell and yeast systems as well as purifying proteins with or without tags using the AKTA system. He enjoys screening and optimizing the protein crystals as well. Ken likes traveling, swimming and fishing.


Wan B, Yin J, Horvath K, Sarkar J, Chen Y, Wu J, Wan K, Lu J, Gu P, Yu EY, Lue NF, Chang S, Liu Y, Lei M. (September 2013) SLX4 assembles a telomere maintenance toolkit by bridging multiple endonucleases with telomeres. Cell Rep. 4(5):861-9. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.017. Epub 2013 Sep 5. PMID: 24012755.

Huang J, Gurung B, Wan B, Matkar S, Veniaminova NA, Wan K, Merchant JL, Hua X, Lei M. (February 2012) The same pocket in menin binds both MLL and JUND but has opposite effects on transcription. Nature. 482(7386):542-6. doi: 10.1038/nature10806. PMID: 22327296.

Sun J, Yang Y, Wan K, Mao N, Yu TY, Lin YC, DeZwaan DC, Freeman BC, Lin JJ, Lue NF, Lei M. (February 2011) Structural bases of dimerization of yeast telomere protein Cdc13 and its interaction with the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase α. Cell Res. 21(2):258-74. doi: 10.1038/cr.2010.138. Epub 2010 Sep 28. PMID: 20877309.

Sun J, Yu EY, Yang Y, Confer LA, Sun SH, Wan K, Lue NF, Lei M. (December 2009) Stn1-Ten1 is an Rpa2-Rpa3-like complex at telomeres. Genes Dev.23(24):2900-14. doi: 10.1101/gad.1851909. PMID: 20008938


Previous Lab Members