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.

Bench work is one of the best parts of our jobs and so we are mentioning our "silly skill" that makes us unique. Sarah's silly lab talent is reusing gloves.


Graduate Student


Dave started his rotation in February 2018 and joined the lab officially in April 2018. He studies the roles of chromatin remodeling factors in mES cells and human leukemogenesis. He received his B.S. in Biology and Religion from Furman University in 2017. Dave enjoys playing guitar, roasting and brewing coffee, and watching baseball. His silly lab talent is eyeballing the right amount of agarose for a gel.


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). His silly lab talent is that he can shoot pipette tips into the waste buck from all the way across the bench.


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. Her silly lab talent is that she can pipette ambidextrously.



Research Technician


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.


Research Technician


Santana joined the group in June 2018. She graduated in April 2018 from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, and she plans to continue her education in a graduate program in the future. She has a passion for community service and volunteering, and spends her free time painting, writing poetry, and being a loving cat mom. Her silly lab talent is shearing the caps of of Eppendorf tubes in the microcentrifuge.


Undergraduate Researcher


Lisa joined the lab in January 2018. She is a current fourth-year undergraduate student studying Microbiology, Chemistry, and American Sign Language. She also dives on the Varsity Women's Swimming and Diving Team. Outside of the lab and the pool, she enjoys rock climbing, doing acroyoga, and slacklining - Pittsburgh weather permitting. Upon completion of her Bachelor's Degree, Lisa plans to go to graduate school and earn a PhD, with intentions of pursuing a career in academia. Her silly lab talent is estimating the volume of gel fragments.


Undergraduate Researcher


Dominic joined the lab in January 2018. He is a Biology and Psychology double major entering his senior year. Dominic is a member of the University of Pittsburgh Rowing Team and Ruckus Improv Comedy. In addition to this, he works at the University’s Advising Center. Dominic’s silly lab talent is making cells float without killing them.


Undergraduate Researcher


Cailin joined the lab in May 2019.  She is entering her junior year and is studying Molecular Biology with minors in Computer Science and Studio Art.  She plays water polo with the Pitt Women’s Water Polo team, and enjoys hiking and playing guitar in her free time.


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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