Who we are

Monica Dus : Primary Investigator

Monica Dus

Primary Investigator

Ph. D Watson School of Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY. Thesis advisor, Gregory J. Hannon.

Research interests: Interactions between genes and environment and how they shape behavior; neuroepigenetics. Other interests: Bichons, cupcakes,  postmodern literature, epistemology, history of science, American football.

Watson School of Biological Sciences, CSHL: Alumna Monica Dus discovers the cookie-brain connection

mdus@umich.edu

Graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows

Christina Eileen May : Graduate student, Neuroscience Graduate Program

Christina Eileen May

Graduate student, Neuroscience Graduate Program

B.S. in Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas

Christina has long been interested in reward systems and how they become dysfunctional, causing long-term behavioral problems like addiction.  Her project in the lab focuses on a sugar diet's effects on taste reward and, using fruit fly and rodents, she is trying to dissect the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which sugar drives overeating and obesity.   When she isn't in the lab, Christina enjoys dancing, swimming, and playing her guitar.  Coming from South Carolina, she has also learned to embrace Michigan winters and is learning how to ice skate.

chrismay@umich.edu
Kristina Holme : Graduate student, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Kristina Holme

Graduate student, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

B.S. in Biology at University of Michigan - Dearborn

Kristy is passionate about understanding how environmental influences, like diet or exercise, can change gene regulatory networks and cellular physiology. She has found a great model to ask these questions in the feeding behavior of the fly, and is currently working on understanding how food quality dynamically changes the way the brain regulates long satiety states. Kristy has been a licensed massage therapist for 7 years and outside of research, she also enjoys music, good food, fall weather, Michigan football, and spending time with her dog Wesley.

kjweaver@umich.edu
Anoumid Vaziri : Graduate student, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology

Anoumid Vaziri

Graduate student, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology

M.S. in Molecular Biology at Oakland University; B.S. in Marine Biology at Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran

Anoumid is interested in how the environment changes brain and behavior, and how environmental cues are integrated into the genome to persistently change gene expression and brain physiology. To tackle such questions she is exploiting the simplicity of the Drosophila feeding circuitry, to understand the neuroepigenetic mechanisms that lead to altered feeding behavior. Anoumid enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and taking care of her plants.

avaziri@umich.edu
Daniel Wilinski, PhD : Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel Wilinski, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph. D University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. Thesis advisor, Marvin Wickens.

Daniel joined the Dus lab in 2017 in order to study the complex interaction between nutrition and the brain. He is currently examining the molecular mechanisms that underpin changes in the brain due to a high sugar diet. During his graduate training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Marvin Wickens, he examined the evolution of RNA-protein regulatory networks. Prior to graduate school, Daniel taught biology at an all-girls secondary school in Bukoba, Tanzania (East Africa). Outside of his research, Daniel enjoys traveling with his family (especially to Tanzania), running, cooking, and exploring craft beer in Michigan.

wilinski@umich.edu

Lab members

Jasmine Winzeler : Lab Manager

Jasmine Winzeler

Lab Manager

M.S. (Anticipated 2018), Eastern Michigan University; B.S. in Professional Biochemistry with Honors, Eastern Michigan University

Jasmine is the lab manager at the Dus Lab and is interested in the neural circuitry related to taste perception and reward pathways.  She is currently finishing her master’s thesis on Atg11’s role as the central organizer of selective autophagy at Eastern Michigan University under Steven Backues.

winzeler@umich.edu

Undergraduates

Katty Wu : Undergraduate Research Assistant

Katty Wu

Undergraduate Research Assistant

2018 Cellular & Molecular Biology major, LSA, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Katty is passionate about understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms, especially the epigenetic regulation, behind sustained changes from environmental influences. During her free time, Katty enjoys reading non-fiction, listening to podcasts and spoken word pieces, as well as writing her own poetry. Born and raised in NYC, Katty loves traveling and exploring nooks and crannies on spontaneous adventures with the occasional fashion photo shoot.

kattywu@umich.edu
Jennifer Gottfried : Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jennifer Gottfried

Undergraduate Research Assistant

2018 Neuroscience major, LSA, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Research Interests: Studying the effect on sugars on the brain, feeding, and metabolism. Interested in how the brain responds to hunger and satiety.

jengott@umich.edu
Brendan Genaw : Undergraduate Research Assistant

Brendan Genaw

Undergraduate Research Assistant

2019 Biology and English double major, LSA, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Brendan is interested in the metabolic relationship between genes and the environment, specifically, how everyday diets may alter gene expression. He hopes to use this knowledge to not only help individuals lead healthier lives but change how society views food and the environment around us. Outside of academics, Brendan enjoys long distance runs in the woods, singing along to the radio at piercing volumes, and losing himself in the pages of the latest bestseller.

btgenaw@umich.edu

 

Honorary members

Cupcake & Sprinkles :

Cupcake & Sprinkles

Interests:
Cupcake: how to get more chicken jerky treats from humans.
Sprinkles:
how to cuddle with humans; how to catch squirrels.

Brioche :

Brioche

Interests: how to protect the house.

Lorraine R. Horwitz  :

Lorraine R. Horwitz 

Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) Student - Dus Lab 2015-2016

Currently a student in the University of Michigan Neuroscience Graduate Program - Duan Lab
Caleb C. Vogt : Former Lab Technician

Caleb C. Vogt

Former Lab Technician

Research Technician - Dus Lab 2016-2017

Currently a graduate student at Cornell University.

calebv@umich.edu