Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator


Prachee Avasthi, PhD (@pracheeac)

B.S. Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Ph.D.Neuroscience, University of Utah

Postdoc Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of California San Francisco

Our lab uses the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to study formation of the cellular antenna, the cilium, and how its assembly is coordinated with other cellular processes. We are currently using this system to study coordination of actin- and microtubule-based trafficking as well as signaling mediated regulation of flagellar assembly kinetics.

For fun: running, sciTwitter and my son Rohan

Research Assistant

David Mueller, BS

B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Boston University

As someone hoping to become a physician, I am fascinated by the ways cells interact with their environments. Central to this are cilia, whose influences on human health and disease I hope to explore through my research.

For fun: working with a local health clinic (Kansas City Care Clinic), martial arts/physical training, learning about medicine from physicians

NSF Graduate Research Fellow, KUMC Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

Brittany Jack (@bmichellej87)

B.S. Biochemistry, Rockhurst University

My research interest focuses on the regulation of flagellar assembly. We previously used a small molecule kinase inhibitors to identify potential regulators of flagellar assembly. Currently, I am studying the role of actin redundancy in Chlamydomonas flagellar dynamics.

For fun: coffee, reading, going to movies, crafts, and shopping



Soumita Dutta, PhD (@dutta_soumita)

B.S. Microbiology, University of Calcutta

M.S. Biotechnology, Jadavpur University

Ph.D. Microbiology, Bose Institute, University of Calcutta

My research focuses on the relationship between actin dynamics and ciliary dynamics. We are working toward identifying mechanisms of ERK-cilium crosstalk. Previously, we developed a simple method of flagellar length synchronization in Chlamydomonas.

For fun: traveling, listening to music


Photo_Shengping Huang

Shengping Huang, PhD (@shengping_huang)

B.E. Bioengineering, Hubei University, China

M.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hubei University, China

Ph.D. Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Postdoc Indiana University School of Medicine

Molecular mechanisms of entry and exit of flagellar proteins / The function of uncharacterized flagellar associated proteins (FAPs)

For fun: NBA

Undergraduate/Medical Student, 6 year UMKC medical program

Investigating different strategies for visualization of F-actin in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

For fun: Running, sleeping, reading, hiking, fishing

Undergraduate Student, Rockhurst University

Taylor Kersten

Investigating the role of actin nucleating formins in Chlamydomonas flagellar assembly.

For fun: Coffee, running, reading, biking, movies

Undergraduate Student, Springhill College

Gabrielle Witter

Investigating the role of Arp2 in Chlamydomonas flagellar assembly and actin dynamics.

For fun: Reading, coffee, watching movies, listening to music

Undergraduate Student, University of Kansas – Lawrence

Investigating the role of profilin in Chlamydomonas flagellar assembly.