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Principle Investigator

Assistant Professor


Sarah performed her postdoctoral work with Tom Fazzio at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in January 2018.

Sarah is interested in learning how basic biological processes, such as transcription and chromatin dynamics, regulate cell fate decisions.

Sarah cares deeply about mentoring and supporting all individuals in the lab and junior scientists entering STEM.

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Graduate Student


Emmy joined the lab in August of 2020. Emmy graduated in 2020 from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Microbiology, a minor in Chemistry, and a certificate in Global Health. Outside of lab, she loves cycling, exploring the Pittsburgh vegan food scene, backpacking, gardening, and enjoying live music. She is using her time as a technician in the Hainer lab to help narrow her academic interests before pursuing a PhD.

Undergraduate Researcher



Graduate Student


Rinku joined us in May 2024. She graduated from the Institute of Medicine, TU, Nepal, in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Pharmacy and completed a Master of Science in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences from Western University of Health Sciences, California, in 2023. Rinku briefly worked as a hospital pharmacist in Nepal. Rinku's research experience during her master's evoked her interest in molecular biology. Outside the lab, Rinku likes strolling around the city and exploring parks and cafes. 


Bryona joined the lab in February 2024. Bryona is majoring in Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Global Health Certificate. Bryona is a member of the Honors College and was awarded the Ella P. Stewart award for excellence in first year within Biological Sciences. 

Kya joined the lab in February of 2023. She is majoring in History and philosophy of Science and plans to graduate in 2025. She is also studying biology, chemistry, and American Sign Language. In her free time she enjoys painting and puzzles.

Undergraduate Researcher



Research Technician III / Lab Manager


Santana joined the lab in June 2018 after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in April 2018  with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Since joining the lab, she has found she has a real passion in research and hopes to make it a life-long career. She loves cooking, crafting, and spending time with her friends, family, and cat. She has recently bought a house with her partner and is in the process of flipping it.


Graduate Student


Ben joined the lab in April 2019, after spending his second rotation with us. Ben graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri in December 2016  with a B.S. in Biology and minor in Chemistry. He spent a year and half working in the R&D side of a major biotechnology company focused on the development of genetically modified organisms. He is currently researching how chromatin factors called remodelers influence the expression of noncoding RNAs at enhancers and promoters in mammalian systems. Ben's claim to fame is that he met Bill Nye (once).


Graduate Student


Rithika, a graduate student through the Integrative Systems Biology (ISB) program joined the lab in January 2022, after spending her second rotation with us in November 2021. She graduated in 2019 with a degree in Genetic Engineering from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, India. After graduation she spent two years working at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, India, studying the role store operated calcium entry in neurodegeneration. Her interests lie in stem cell biology and fate determination. Outside of the lab, Rithika enjoys dancing Bharatanatyam, learning other dance forms, and you can often find her curled up with a good book and coffee. 


Graduate Student


Sarah started her rotation in February 2019 and officially joined the lab in April 2019, co-mentored with Karen Arndt. She studies the chromatin remodeler Chd1 and how it is co-transcriptionally recruited to chromatin. Sarah graduated from the University of Dallas in 2018 with a B.S. in Biology and a Concentration in French. She enjoys traveling as often and she can, reading a wide variety of classic and contemporary literature, and going to concerts.


Undergraduate Researcher


Mika joined the lab in August of 2021. She is majoring in Molecular Biology on the Cell and Developmental Biology track at the University of Pittsburgh and planning to graduate in 2024. She is also pursuing minors in Chemistry, French, and Gender Studies. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing with her dog.


Graduate Student


Aigbe joined the lab in February of 2022. Aigbe graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2015 from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Biology and completed her MS from CSU Los Angeles in 2018.


David Klein, PhD Student (April 2018 - May 2023) and Postdoctoral Researcher (May 2023 - February 2024). Currently a senior scientist at Progenra in Philadelphia, PA.
Braulio Bonilla, Postdoctoral Researcher (January 2021 - December 2023). Currently a senior postdoc in Uruguay.
Jasmine Dioguardi, Masters Student (April 2021 - July 2022). Currently a research specialist at Ideaya in California.
Cailin Jordan, Undergraduate Research (March 2019 - August 2021). Currently pursuing PhD at University of Washington
Lisa Coe, Undergraduate Research (January 2018 - August 2020). Currently a research specialist in NYU Abu Dahbi
Dominic Hendrickson, Undergraduate Researcher (February 2018 - August 2020). Currently pursuing MD at Drexel University
Kris Troy, Research Technician (April 2018 - August 2020). Currently pursuing PhD at UC MERCED
Caleb Kim, Undergraduate Researcher (February 2018 - July 2018).

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