Yehuda Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology and Medicine

Yehuda is originally from Herzeliya, Israel. He attended Tel-Aviv University for his undergraduate degree in The Life Sciences. His PhD research focused on the molecular genetics of social behaviors in the European honey bee. Yehuda received his postdoctoral training in neuroscience in the HHMI laboratory of Dr. Michael Welsh at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, where he worked on the neuronal functions of ligand-gated ion channels.

Alexis Hill, Ph.D.

Alexis is a W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellow in the Ben-Shahar lab. Alexis attended the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate and masters degrees, where she worked in the Department of Neurology with Dr. Edward Cooper. Alexis then went on to receive her PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from Columbia University in 2014, mentored by Dr. René Hen. In the Ben-Shahar lab, Alexis studies mechanisms through which ion channels mediate the neuronal stress response.

Katie Mortland (Zelle)

Katie is a Ph.D. candidate in the Evolution, Ecology, and Population Biology program. She received her B.S. in Zoology from the University of Florida. In the Ben-Shahar lab, Katie studies the role of genetic pleiotropy in sexually-selected behaviors in Drosophila.

Cassie Vernier

Cassie is an Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology PhD student in the Ben-Shahar lab. She received her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan in 2012. As an undergraduate, she worked in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Tibbetts. In the Ben-Shahar lab, Cassie studies the evolutionary, genetic, and physiological mechanisms that drive nestmate recognition in social insects.

Zhen Peng

Zhen is a an Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology PhD student in the Ben-Shahar lab. He got his bachelor's degree in 2012 at Fudan University, Shanghai, China, where he worked in Dr. Feng Zhang's lab and investigated the correlation betweeen human copy number variations and segmental duplications. In the Ben-Shahar lab, Zhen studies the functional and evolutionary roles of non-coding tRNAs and protein codon usage bias in the spatial and temporal regulation of gene function.

Ross McKinney

Ross is a PhD student in the neuroscience program. He attended Miami University for his undergraduate degree, and worked as a research assistant in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT before coming to Washington University. His main interest is in how genes and neural circuits lead to behavioral outcomes. He is currently focused on determining how bilateral sensory input is utilized to generate innate behaviors in the fruit fly, D. melanogaster.

Baylee Lewandowski

Baylee is a work-study undergraduate student.

Charlotte Young

Charlotte is a Biol 500 undergraduate researcher working with graduate student Katie Mortland.

Poorva Jain

Poorva is a Biol 500 undergraduate researcher working with postdoctoral fellow Alexis Hill.

Nathan Pomper

Nathan is a Biol 500 undergraduate researcher working with postdoctoral fellow Eirik Søvik.

Iris Chen

Iris is a work-study undergraduate student working with graduate student Cassie Vernier.

Bijou Basu

Bijou is a Biol 500 undergraduate researcher working with Yehuda on chemosensory functions of DEG/ENaC channels in Drosophila.