Primary Investigator:

Jayakrishnan (JK) Nandakumar

Education: B.Sc., University of Calcutta, India

M.S., Indian Institute of Science, India

Ph. D., Memorial Sloan-KetteringInstitute / Cornell University

Postdoc: University of Colorado at Boulder

Research interests : Interested in all events occurring at the ends of chromosomes.

Postdoctoral fellows:

Val head shot
Valerie Tesmer

Kirsten Brenner

Graduate students:

Jacqueline Graniel (MSTP program; CDB cognate)
Ritvija Agrawal (MCDB Program)
Shilpa Padmanaban (MCDB Program)

Cassie Zuckerman (MCDB Program)


Rotation students:



Research lab technician associates:

Undergraduate students:

Joanna Bird



Devon Pendlebury graduated from the Chemical Biology Ph.D. program. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Rob Spitale’s group at UC Irvine.
Sherilyn Ketchum graduated from the MCDB Ph.D. program. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Ruth Lehmann’s lab at the Whitehead Institute of MIT.
Benjamin Moy conducted undergraduate honors thesis research in the lab and graduated in 2020. He is pursuing his MD at the University of Michigan.
Nathan Fischer
John Ochieng was a Cancer Chemical Biology Masters student in the lab.
Oana Danciu conducted undergraduate honors thesis research in the lab and graduated in 2019. She is pursuing her MD in the OSU in fall of 2019.
Intekhab Alam was a postdoc in the lab from 2017-19 and is currently in Dr. Sudha Chakrapani’s lab at Case Western Reserve University.
Eric Smith (Chemical Biology program)
Eric Smith (Chemical Biology program) graduated with a Ph.D. from the lab in 2018 and is currently a postdoc in Dr. Alfonso Mondragon’s lab at Northwestern University.
Jonathan Williams conducted his undergraduate honors thesis in the lab and then continued for one more year in the lab doing research. He is enrolled in the MSTP program at UM starting his MD-PhD in the fall of 2018.
Me1 copy
Kamlesh Bisht was a postdoctoral fellow from 20014-16. He is currently employed as a Senior Scientist, in Translational Development and Diagnostics at
Celgene Corp.
Summit, NJ.
Hande Kocak (Human Genetics program; visiting from Dr. Katy Keegan's lab @ UofM Med. School)
Hande Kocak (Ph.D.) completed her Ph.D. with Dr. Nandakumar (collaborator/co-mentor) and Dr. Catherine Keegan (primary mentor) in 2013 and is now an Assistant Professor in the Istanbul Bilim University in Turkey.

Mayuresh Iyer conducted undergraduate research in the lab.

Jeff Kuhary conducted undergraduate research in the lab.

Andrew Polzin (M.S.) completed his Master in the lab and is now working with Epic in Verona, Wisconsin.

Past rotation students:

Shadae Sutherland (MCDB Program)

Guanwei Zhou (Program in Chemical Biology PhD program)

Varsha Venkatarangan (MCDB Program)

Monika Franco (Chemical Biology Program)

Yongtong (Shero) Lao (Chemical Biology Program)

Lauren Koch (PIBS program)

Damian Gatica (MCDB program)

Jennifer Chik (PIBS program)

Shyama Nandakumar (MCDB program)

Janet Price (MCDB program)

Jacqueline Graniel (PIBS program)

Roop Jaffri (MCDB program)

Taylor Nye (PIBS program)

Group photographs

Yay! We are a Sustainable Lab!
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December 2013 lab lunch and Sheri’s birthday bash: From left to right: JK, Andy, Sheri, and Valerie.
Lab lunch in Summer of 2014 at Totoro


Lab pumpkin hunt – 2014
Celebrating our R01 grant success – 2016
Party at JK’s 2018 celebrating Eric’s graduation; and Jackie, Shilpa, and Ritvija joining the team.
Party at Valerie’s in November 2018.