Vosshall Lab Members


Leslie Vosshall Ph.D.

Leslie Vosshall Ph.D.
Robin Chemers Neustein Professor
Phone: 212-327-7236
E-mail: leslie.vosshall-at-rockefeller.edu

Leslie B Vosshall is the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, and Director of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute at The Rockefeller University. She is a molecular neurobiologist known for her work on the genetic basis of chemosensory behavior in both insects and humans. Her notable contributions to science include the discovery of the insect odorant receptors, and the elucidation of general principles regarding their function, expression, and the connectivity of the sensory neurons that express them to primary processing centers in the brain. She founded the Rockefeller University Smell Study in 2004 with the goal of understanding the mechanisms by which odor stimuli are converted to olfactory percepts. Vosshall received an A.B. in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 1987 and a Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in 1993. Following postdoctoral work at Columbia University, she joined the Rockefeller faculty in 2000. She is the recipient of the 2008 Lawrence C. Katz Prize from Duke University, the 2010 DART/NYU Biotechnology Award, the 2011 Gill Young Investigator Award. Vosshall is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Photo: Sari Goodfriend (2016)

View: pdf NIH Biosketch 2017


Kyrollos Barsoum
Research Assistant
E-mail: kbarsoum-at-rockefeller.edu

Kyrollos is a 2016 graduate of Cornell University, where he earned a BSE in Biological Engineering, Concentration in Biomedical Engineering. While an undergraduate, Kyrollos was an undergraduate research assistant in the laboratories of Jonathan Cheetham (Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine), Gregory Petsko (Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College), and Manuel Aregullin (Cornell University Department of Plant Biology). He was also a clinical intern in the SCIP program at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, and an SMDEP Scholar at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He joined the Vosshall Laboratory in January 2017, and is working with Laura Duvall on the pharmacogenetics of host-seeking suppression. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Nipun Basrur
Graduate Fellow
E-mail: nbasrur-at-rockefeller.edu

Nipun is a 2015 graduate of Grinnell College, where he received a BA in Chemistry, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was a summer undergraduate research fellow at the Mayo Clinic in 2014, where he worked with Jim Maher on a project that investigated protein-mediated DNA loops. At Grinnell, Nipun worked in Mark Levandoski's lab, where he studied allosteric modulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. He rotated in the lab in Fall-Winter 2015, working with Ellen DeObaldia on microbiome-driven mosquito attraction, and with Laura Duvall on neuropeptide biology in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Nipun joined the Vosshall Lab in Fall 2016, and is studying the genetic and anatomical basis of sexually dimorphic behaviors in the mosquito. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Julia Canick
Undergraduate Volunteer
E-mail: jcanick-at-rockefeller.edu

Julia is a Harvard College student who is volunteering in the Vosshall lab in 2017, working with Ben Matthews on the genetics of oviposition. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Victoria Danan
Undergraduate Assistant
E-mail: vdanan-at-rockefeller.edu

Victoria is Hunter College student, who is assisting Meg Younger with her Kavli Neural Systmes Institute project to develop a brain atlas of Aedes aegypti. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Maria Elena (Ellen) De Obaldia PhD
Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow
E-mail: mdeobaldia-at-rockefeller.edu

Ellen earned her A.B. in Biology from Harvard College in 2008 and went on to earn a PhD in Immunology in 2014 from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her graduate work on mechanisms of T cell lineage commitment was carried out in the laboratory of Avinash Bhandoola. Ellen was awarded the Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetic Research for this work in 2014. She joined the Vosshall Lab in 2014 to work on mosquito genetics and behavior. Ellen is the recipient of a 2014 Harvey L. Karp Discovery Award, a prestigious 2-year postdoctoral fellowship award, and is a 2016 Helen Hay Whitney Fellow. Ellen is studying the mechanisms that mediate attraction of mosquitoes to humans. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Emily Dennis
Graduate Fellow
E-mail: emily.dennis-at-rockefeller.edu

Emily is a 2011 graduate of the University of Rochester. She received a combined BA/BS in Molecular Genetics and Studio Arts. While an undergraduate, she carried out research in the laboratories of Baek Kim and Jack Werren at the University of Rochester, Zhirong Bao's laboratory at Sloan Kettering, and Maik Huttemann's laboratory at Wayne State University. She rotated in the lab in Fall/Winter 2011-2012, working with Ben Matthews on oviposition behavior and participated in the MBL Neural Systems & Behavior course in the summer of 2012. She joined the lab in August 2012 to work on contact chemoreception and the mechanism of action of insect repellents. Emily is a 2014 recipient of an NIH/NIDCD F31 individual NRSA predoctoral fellowship. (Photo: Ronniedavidphotography.com, 2011)


Laura B. Duvall PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
E-mail: lduvall-at-rockefeller.edu

Laura earned a B.A. in Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. She went on to a PhD mentored by Paul Taghert at Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 2012. In the Vosshall Laboratory, Laura works on the regulation of mosquito feeding behavior by neuropeptides and their receptors. Laura is a recipient of a 2013 Women & Science Postdoctoral Fellowship and the was named the first and sole recipient of the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biological Science from the American Philosophical Society in 2013. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Alison Ehrlich
Research Assistant
E-mail: aehrlich-at-rockefeller.edu

Alison graduated from Vassar College where she majored in science, technology, and society studies with a minor in chemistry. She volunteered in the Vosshall Lab in the summers of 2013 and 2014, working with Laura Duvall on the regulation of mosquito host-seeking behavior by neuropeptides, and Ellen De Obaldia on the interaction between nutrition and egg production. She joined the Vosshall Lab as a research assistant in 2015. Photo: Trevor Sorrells

Leslie Vosshall Ph.D.

Barbara Ghelardi
Administrative Assistant II
E-mail: Barbara.Ghelardi-at-rockefeller.edu

Barbara previously was the administrator for laboratory of Markus Stoffel and joined our group in 2006. In the Vosshall Lab, Barbara expertly handles all aspects of laboratory administration. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Zachary Gilbert
Research Assistant
E-mail: zgilbert-at-rockefeller.edu

Zach is a 2016 graduate of Boston University, from which he receved a BS in Biology with a Minor in Electrical Engineering. He was a SURF in the laboratory of Jan Breslow at The Rockefeller University in 2010 and 2011, where he worked on the genetics of Artherosclerosis. In the summers of 2012-2014, Zach worked in the lab of Charles Zuker, where he studied ant pheromone communication and mouse taste processing. From 2015-2016, Zach was an intern in the laboratory of Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute/MIT, in whose group he worked in improving the performance of CRISPR. He joined the Vosshall Lab in 2016 and supports the Aedes Toolkit Group, which is developing novel genetic reagents for the Aedes mosquito community. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Gloria Gordon
Laboratory Assistant II
E-mail: Gloria.Gordon-at-rockefeller.edu

Gloria joined the lab in June 2012 as a laboratory technician primarily responsible for managing all aspects of our insectary. Gloria was promoted to HHMI Laboratory Assistant II in 2013, and is the manager of our insectary. Gloria is a long-time member of the Rockefeller community and previously managed the HHMI glasswashing facility, as well as working in numerous laboratories on campus. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Isabel Gutierrez
Laboratory Manager I
E-mail: Isabel.Gutierrez-at-rockefeller.edu

Isabel joined our lab as laboratory technician in the summer of 2009. While she was a senior at Hunter College, Class of 2009 Isabel helped our lab as a part-time lab technician and was later hired into a new full-time position made possible by an ARRA Stimulus Grant Supplement from NIDCD. She previously interned in the Rice Lab. In 2011, Isabel was promoted to manage Drosophila operations in the Vosshall Lab. In 2012, Isabel was promoted to Lab Manager. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Margaret (Margo) Herre
Biomedical Fellow
E-mail: Gloria.Gordon-at-rockefeller.edu

Margo earned her BFA in Photography and Imaging with honors and a Minor in Chemistry from New York University in 2011. While still in college, she was a research technician at Eastern Virginia Medical School and at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Before entering the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program in 2014, Margo was a veterinary assistant at the Tribeca Soho Animal Hospital and a health center intern at the Staten Island Zoo. She was a research assistant in Bob Darnell's lab from 2011-2014, where we worked on the biochemistry of Fragile X Mental Retardation Syndrome. Margo joined the Vosshall Lab in 2016 after a short rotation with Ben Matthews. She is studying mechanisms by which female mosquito behavior is reversibly modulated by blood-feeding. She participated in the 2016 CSHL Advanced Sequencing Technologies and Applications Course, and is a 2016 recipient of a Quadrivium Award for Innovative Research in Epigenetics. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Veronica Jove
PhD Student
E-mail: vjove-at-rockefeller.edu

Veronica received her B.A. degree from Columbia University in 2014. As an undergraduate, she worked on the role of multikinase inhibitors on tumor cell apoptosis in the laboratory of Dr. Hua Yu, City of Hope National Research Center. At Columbia, she was named an Amgen Scholar and worked in the laboratory of James Manley on MecP2 gene expression and splicing as affected by ALS mutations. She rotated in the Vosshall lab in the Winter-Spring of 2014, working with Ellen De Obaldia on devising behavioral assays that probe the effects of the microbiome on attraction of mosquitoes to hosts, and with Meg Younger on glutamate receptor expression in the mosquito brain. She joined the lab in September 2015 and is working on taste mechanisms of bloodfeeding behavior. Veronica is a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and is a Gilliam Fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Molly Liu B.A.
Graduate Fellow
E-mail: mliu01-at-rockefeller.edu

Molly earned her B.A. in Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago in 2013, where she worked with Chip Ferguson on the role of asymmetric BMP signaling in Drosophila female germline stem cells. She also carried out a summer project at UCSF in the laboratory of Yuh Nung Jan on Drosophila cardiac physiology. Her other research experiences were with Shawn Xu and Pan Zheng (University of Michigan) and Yi Rao (NIBS-Beijing). She rotated in the Vosshall Lab in the fall of 2013, working with Laura Duvall on determinants of female mosquito host seeking suppression after a blood meal and with Ben Matthews on mosquito gene editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. She joined the lab in September 2014, and is investigating the neural correlates of mosquito host-seeking suppression after a blood meal.


Ben Matthews
Postdoctoral Fellow
E-mail: Ben.Matthews-at-rockefeller.edu

Ben earned a BS in biology from the California Institute of Technology in 2004 and a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from Columbia University in 2010. For his PhD he worked in the laboratory of Wes Grueber and worked on the mechanisms of dendrite self-avoidance mediated by the Dscam gene. He joined the Vosshall Lab in September 2010 to work on genes and circuits controlling oviposition in the mosquito. He received a 2010 Henry and Marie Josee Kravis Postdoctoral fellowship and a 2011 Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral fellowship. Ben works on the genomics and neurogenetics of oviposition in the mosquito.(Photo: Ronniedavidphotography.com, 2011)


Libby Mejia
Laboratory Assistant I
E-mail: lmejia-at-rockefeller.edu

Libby joined our group in 2012 as a half-time laboratory helper. She provides expert help with a wide variety of lab support functions for the Vosshall Laboratory. She has worked with a number of laboratories at The Rockefeller University over the past decade, including Dr. Tarun Kapoor's group. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Takeshi Morita
Postdoctoral Fellow
E-mail: tmorita-at-rockefeller.edu

Takeshi received his BS in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego, where he was also a research assistant in the laboratory of Dan Feldman. He earned a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. His graduate thesis work was carried out jointly with Diana Bautista and Rachel Brem, studying the molecular mechanisms of itch. In the Vosshall Lab, he is studying molecular mechanisms of thermotaxis in the mosquito. Takeshi is a Harvey L. Karp Discovery Fellow and a recipient of a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Trevor Sorrells, PhD
Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow
E-mail: tsorrells-at-rockefeller.edu

Trevor earned his BS in biology with research honors at Stanford University in 2009. As an undergraduate, he worked on the behavioral ecology of invasive and native ant species in the laboratory of Deborah Gordon, and ribosome-associated chaperones in the laboratory of Judith Frydman. He went on to obtain a PhD from UCSF in the Tetrad Graduate Program, working in the laboratory of Alexander D. "Sandy" Johnson in 2016. In the Johnson Lab, he studied the evolution of transcriptional networks. He was the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship. He joined the Vosshall Lab in February 2016, and will study the genetic and neural basis of motivated behavior in the mosquito. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


Krithika Venkataraman
PhD Student
E-mail: kvenkatara-at-rockefeller.edu

Krithika earned her BA from Smith College in 2015, and majored in biochemistry with a minor in neuroscience. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratory of Utpal Tatu at the Indian Institute of Science, where she studied protozoan parasites. She was a visiting student in the laboratory Kevin O’Connor at Yale, where she worked on a project to develop monoclonal antibodies again MuSK. At Yale, She was a McKinley Honors Fellow in the laboratory of Steven A. Williams. She entered the Rockefeller PhD program in 2015, and rotated in the laboratory of Sohail Tavazoie before rotating in the Vosshall Lab in 2016, working with Ellen De Obaldia and Ben Matthews, to study mosquito host-seeking and egg-laying behaviors, respectively. Krithika joined the Vosshall Lab in 2016. Photo: Trevor Sorrells



Meg Younger Ph.D.
Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow
E-mail: Meg.Younger-at-rockefeller.edu

Meg earned a BS in neural science with honors in 2004 from New York University. As as an undergraduate, she worked with Justin Blau of NYU on circadian rhythms in Drosophila and with David Spray at Albert Einstein College of Medicine on mammalian gap junction channels. She went on to earn a PhD in neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco in 2013, working with Graeme Davis. Her graduate thesis concerned the role of ENaC sodium channels in synaptic homeostasis and plasticity in Drosophila. Meg earned a Genentech Fellowship in 2009 for her graduate work and was awarded the Sherrington, Charles Barbeiri, and Phi Beta Kappa Research prizes for her undergraduate research. She was a Grass Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in summer 2014. In the Vosshall lab, she is using neurophysiology and calcium imaging to study neural circuits in the mosquito brain. Photo: Trevor Sorrells


 Leslie Vosshall Ph.D. Robin Chemers Neustein Professor Phone: 212-327-7236 E-mail: leslie.vosshall-at-rockefeller.edu Leslie B Vosshall is the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor, H

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