Current Lab Members

 John (Jack) H. Werren, Professor, (

John (Jack) Werren is the Nathaniel and Helen Wisch Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester. He   received his interdisciplinary B.A. degree (Echols Scholar) from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D in Biology at the University of Utah with Eric Charnov.  He then entered the US Army for four years to complete a military obligation.  Jack then was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland in Entomology with Michael Raupp.  In 1986 he took a faculty position at the University of Rochester and has been there since.  Jack has received the Humboldt Prize (Alexander Humboldt Foundation) , election as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as Fellow in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was a finalist for the International Prize in Biology (Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science).   Jack’s research takes a multidisciplinary approach (which combines molecular, genetic, genomic, evolutionary, and ecological perspectives) to study basic questions in biology, genetics and evolution. View Jack’s CV.

ellenEllen Martinson, Post Doc, (

Ellen received her B.S. in Biology from Concordia College in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona, where she studied gall induction and mutualism stability in the fig and fig wasp interaction with Betsy Arnold and Jeremiah Hackett. Ellen is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Werren Lab working on the expression, function, and evolution of parasitoid wasp venom spanning over 120 million years. View Ellen’s CV here.



Sarah_Kingan_PhotoSarah Kingan, Research Associate (

Sarah received her Ph.D in Biology in 2009 from Harvard University, where she studied the Winters sex-ratio in the Drosophila simulans clade under the advisement of Dan Hartl.  She then conducted postdoctoral work on population genomics of Drosophila with Daven Presgraves and Dan Garrigan (U Rochester).   She is assisting us part time on computational and genome evolution aspects of lateral gene transfers, as well as other computational projects.



  Aisha Siebert, Medical Student/Graduate Studen(

Aisha received her B.A. in English Literature from Dartmouth College where she studied Post-colonial African/West Indian and 18th Century British Literature.  She received her M.P.H. in Toxicology and Molecular Epidemiology from the Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health.  She completed her masters thesis on the effects of prenatal Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure on formation of cord blood chromosomal aberrations in a New York City cohort of mothers and children with Drs. Manuela Orjuela and Frederica Perera.  Aisha currently works on conserved Nasonia venom protein effects on mammalian metabolism as a method for drug discovery.


Rachael Edward, Lab Technician   (

Rachel received an A.S. degree in Biotechnology from Finger Lakes Community College. She worked at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service Location screening upstate NY apple orchards for the disease causing bacteria Pseudomonas syringae before joining the Werren lab in 2004.  She is currently working on several projects, including rnai knockdown of methylation genes and venom genes.


  Lisle Coleman, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lisle Coleman is a sophomore at the University of Rochester from LeRoy, NY.
She is an Anthropology and Public Health double major. At Rochester, she is
a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and is Vice-President of the
Quidditch team.

Ruiz2Kanecia Ruiz, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kanecia is a junior at the University of Rochester majoring in Linguistics. Originally from Brooklyn, New York she is heavily involved on campus as an active member of various organizations such as S.A.L.S.A and the David T. Kearns Center.



Mengni_0424Mengni He, Undergraduate Researcher

Mengni He is a junior at the University of Rochester. She is double majoring in biochemistry and business. She is also the Financial Vice President of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Mengni is currently working on a study of Nasonia venom proteins, using dsRNA knockdowns and gel electrophoresis


Previous Lab Members

Postdocs & Graduate Students

Emma Baudry                                          Leo Beukeboom                                     Seth Bordenstein

Johannes Breeuwer                                Rhitoban Raychoudhury                         Michael Clark

Christopher Desjardins                           Danna Eickbush                                     David Loehlin

Bryant McAllister                                     Deodoro Oliveira                                    Francisco Perfectti

Marie-Jeanne Perrot-Minnot                   Kent Reed                                                Richard Stouthamer

Berend Jan Velthuis                               Yang Wencai                                           David Wheeler

Jeremy Wright                                         Mike Balas                                               Patrick O’Hara

Nida Meednu                                           Amanda Redding



Jenn Tragis                                              Laramy Enders                                         Jenn McDyer

Cathy Westbrook                                    Jon Giebel                                                 Daniel Reed

Matthias Williams                                  Elizabeth Grosz                                         Crystal Allen

Jorge Azpura                                           Celina Kennedy                                       Wan Zhang

Brita Klein                                                Wan Zhang                                              Renee Goodwin

Vaishali Katju                                          Li Rong Guo                                            Amanda Avery (Dolan)


Undergraduate Researchers

George Albert (2015), Andrew Lucchesi (2015), Rose Richter (2015), Mengni He (2015), Christian Silva (2014), Raven Shah (2014), Allison Martin (2015/14/13), Smon Cheewapansri (2013), Anisha Gill (2013), Amelia Harvey (2012), Dylan Sacks (2011-13: Senior Thesis), Yelaine Fernandez (2011/12), Victoria Zhou (2011), Andrea Rabinowitz (2011), Meghan Sullivan (2011), Sonia Mondal (2010/11), Joshus Jensen (2010/11), John Herbst (2010/11), Emma Dietrich (2010/11), Emilia Gracia (2010/11), Lan Wang (2010/11), Jacklyn Lerea (2010), Emily Grzybowski (2009), Lauren Schmidt (2008), Gabriel Perrault (2008, 2009), Michael Scorsone (2008), Mark Strassell (2008), Justin Sysol (2008/9: Senior Thesis), Ann Esenhour (2008/9), Amber Masters (2008), Ilma Abbas (2008), Steve Klein (2007), Laura Schiraldi (2007), Veroncia Bernardo (2007), Thomas Spangenberg (2007), Julie Trescott (2006), Jorge Azapurga (2006), Tony Vargas (2005), Alex Tsybeskov (2005), Christopher Brunson (2004-5), Eugene Plavskin (2004/5), Erika Logan (2004/5), Crystal Rocha (2004), Haig Setrakien (2004), Joshua Hirschhorn (2004), Aaron Brothers (2004-6), Nicholas Bongio (2003), Caroline Agrawal (2003), Michael Marciano (2002), Kevin Emerson (Clarkson University, 2001), Nadeem I Hussain (2001), Elizabeth van Norstrand (2000-1), Chezik Smith (Indiana University, 2000), Jennifer Free (2000), Patrick Theobald ( 2000), Tim Opijnen (University of Amsterdam, Holland, 2000),  Julie Uy (2000),  John Jen (2000), Jessica Berg (1999/00), Ankur Chawla (1999/00), Jenny Bangham (Cambridge University, 1998), Imran Qureshi (1998/9: Senior Thesis), Sarah Michaels (1998), Shailesh Patel (1997), Seth Bordenstein (1995-97: Senior Thesis), Mark Drapeau (1995-1997: Senior), Vincent Calhoun ( 1995), Sharon Majchrzak (1995), Richard Meadows ( 1994), Michele Palmer (1993), Jessica Rollins (1993),Suzanne White (1992), Michelle Lee (1992), Eric Ingerowski (1990/91), Renee Galluci (1991), Benjamin Kozower (1991), David Swank (1991-1992), Vinod Srihari ( 1991), Kristina Stanfield (1990), Gunjan Sinha (1990), Douglass Swank (1990-91: Senior Thesis), Manish Vig (1989), Eric Roesch (1989), Jill Potts (1989), Lisa DiDonato (1988), Albert Laduca (1987), Susan M. Derylak (1987).

 University of Rochester, Department of Biology, Rochester NY 14627 (585)275-3889