Oegema Lab Members

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Rebecca Green, Research Scientist

Rebecca Green, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego, where she spearheads a high-content screening team within the Oegema laboratory to functionally map essential developmental pathways. Rebecca earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis, and was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. While Rebecca has been engaged in phenotypic screening efforts for more than a decade, she has explored different biological questions at small and large scales, using bacterial systems, model organisms and human cells throughout her scientific career. She has always been drawn to microscopy-based approaches to answering scientific questions because of its versatility, beauty, and the effectiveness of an image to communicate complex ideas.

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Kian-Yong Lee, Postdoc

Kian-Yong has been fascinated by the seemingly simple yet subtly complex process of cell division. As a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, he studied the formation of the anaphase spindle using biochemistry and cell biology. For his postdoctoral work he joined the Oegema lab to investigate how the cleavage furrow is formed in response to signals from the anaphase spindle. In addition, he is interested in the roles of cell division regulators that are also conserved components of intercellular bridges in syncytial germlines.

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Franz Meitinger, Postdoc

Franz is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate cell division in time and space and determine cell fate. The focus of his recent work is to understand how cells sense and respond to mitotic stress to prevent mitotic errors that can lead to oncogenic transformation and tumorigenesis. This work has led to the identification of the components of a mitotic surveillance pathway that activates the tumor suppressor p53 when cells spend too long in mitosis.  Franz is the recipient of a DFG fellowship.

Sebastian Gomez, Postdoc

Sebastian is originally from Ensenada, México and obtained his PhD from the University of California San Diego, working with Martin Hetzer on the role of nuclear pore proteins in the context of cell differentiation. As a postdoc in the Oegema Lab, Sebastian is studying how signaling by the spindle directs cortical remodeling during cytokinesis using the C. elegans embryo as a model. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing soccer, spending time with his family and taking good care of his terrarium.  Sebastian is the recipient of a fellowship from that National Institutes of Health.

Midori Ota, Postdoc

Midori hails from Chiba in Japan and attended Tokyo University for her Ph.D. Her research interests are understanding the molecular mechanisms of centriole duplication and centrosome assembly during cell cycle, and the mechanisms underlying centriole elimination during cell differentiation. Midori is the recipient of a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Beata Mierzwa, Postdoc

Beata is exploring how mitotic mechanisms adapt to diverse challenges in different human cell types, and how epithelial and hematopoietic cells accommodate different demands for shape changes during division - with the aim to uncover unique susceptibilities for targeting of cancer cells. Beata is the recipient of EMBO and Human Frontiers Science Program fellowships.

When not in the lab, Beata combines her passion for science and art to create scientific illustrations for journal covers and conferences (www.beatascienceart.com).


Natalie Hollingsworth, Graduate Student

Natalie comes from Tucson, Arizona and attended the University of Arizona, where she graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a B.A. in French. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratory of Greg Rogers, using Drosophila S2 cell culture to study the mechanisms controlling centrosome duplication. In 2015, she joined the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program and her research is currently supported by the Genetics Training Program at UC San Diego. Her work uses C. elegans to study the role of the nucleoporin MEL-28 in the meiotic spindle and nuclear formation, as well as how ZYG-1 controls centriole duplication. Natalie received support from the UCSD Genetics Training Grant.

Jeff Hendel, Associate Researcher/Lab Manager


Judy Johns, Administrative Assistant