Meet the Staff!

Names are listed in last name alphabetical order.


Graduate Students

Emily Cartwright

Special Project/ Editor

Emily is a graduate student in Dr. Susan Lott’s lab. She studies the evolution of gene regulation in early development (in fruit flies!). When not in the lab, she enjoys running or hiking around the Davis area.



Aiyana Emigh

Special Project/ Editor

Aiyana is 3rd year Biophysics graduate student working collaboratively in the Yarov-Yarovoy, Vorobyov, and Clancy laboratories. She utilizes atomic-scale computer modeling and simulation techniques to study interactions of drugs and small molecules with ion channel proteins of biomedical significance. She hopes to combine her experience in education, mentorship, and development work to make a lasting impact on the world’s interaction with science through teaching students, advising policy makers, reforming scientific institutions, and opening science to the public. When not working, you can find Aiyana out bachata dancing or camping and traveling the world.


Anna Feitzinger

Co-Editor in Chief

Anna is a 3rd year BMCDB graduate student in Dr. Susan Lott’s lab. Her graduate work is in the evolution of development. When she’s not in lab she enjoys being a DJ at the college radio station.



Keith Fraga

Co-Editor in Chief

Keith is a 3rd year PhD student working with Dr. Javier Arsuaga and Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Heyer. He studies the mechanisms by which double-strand breaks (DSB) find their homologous donors in the homologous recombination repair pathway. His research combines both experimental, computational, and mathematical approaches to model DNA repair mechanisms. Before coming to UC Davis, Keith completed an M.S at the University of Pacific where he studied structural biology and protein structure prediction. Keith is an owner of a highly successful Fantasy Basketball team and when not in lab can be found reading a good book.


Hongyan Hao

Art Design/ Editor

Hongyan Hao is a third-year BMCDB graduate student at UC Davis. She is working in Dr. Dan Starr’s lab and her research interests are the mechanisms which position the nucleus and other organelles inside of the cell. She is fascinated by a mysterious and giant KASH protein named ANC-1 in C. elegans, which tethers the nucleus to the cytoskeleton. When not working in the lab or finishing her homework, Hongyan likes to read books and watch birds.


Sharon Lee

Secretary/ Editor

Sharon is a third-year graduate student in the lab of Dr. Mark Huising. She studies the regulation of pancreatic islet cell identity and lineage plasticity by characterizing a novel population of immature beta cells. Sharon received her BS from UCLA where she was exposed to the amazing world of scientific research working with fruit flies, sea urchins and zebrafish. Apart from research, Sharon enjoys checking items off from her bucket list such as riding a hot air balloon, eating exotic dishes, and traveling around the world!


Yulong Liu

Webmaster/ Editor (Scientist 2.0)

Yulong is a sixth-year BMCDB graduate student studying in Dr. Bruce Draper’s lab. He utilizes zebrafish as the model organism combines with single-cell sequencing analysis and molecular techniques to unravel the regulation of the germline stem cells. Yulong completed his bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University, where he studies recellularization strategies for making transplantable lungs and building 3D intestinal organoid models to study pathogen interactions. In his free time, He enjoys fishing, photography, and making wine.


Mikaela Louie

Web Development/ Editor

Mikaela Louie is a first-year BMCDB graduate student working in Dr. Anna La Torre’s lab. She is interested in regenerative medicine and is studying the mechanisms of retinal ganglion cell transplantation into host eyes. When not in lab, she enjoys rock climbing, cooking and watching her plants grow.


Sydney Wyatt 

Social Media/ Editor

Sydney Wyatt is a PhD Candidate in Dr. Bruce Draper’s lab. She is investigating the role of fibroblast growth factor signaling in early somatic gonad development in zebrafish. Sydney earned her Bachelor’s in biology at University of Utah. Her undergraduate research background consisted of colon cancer genetics and breast cancer biochemistry projects. She also co-leads Science Says, a graduate-student run organization focused on science communication and outreach. When not in the lab or participating in club activities, she enjoys creating art and good coffee.

Faculty Adviser

Dr. Sean Burgess
Sean Burgess is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis. Her lab works on mechanisms of chromosome inheritance from one generation to the next. Specifically, she is interested in how homologous chromosomes pair, recombine, and segregate from one another during meiosis using budding yeast and zebrafish as model genetic organisms. Errors in the process is a leading cause of miscarriage and birth defects in humans. When not in the lab, Dr. Burgess enjoys spending time with her family and photography.