top of page



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.

Image from iOS.jpg

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.


Postdoctoral Researcher


Braulio joined the lab in January of 2021, as the first postdoctoral researcher to join the group. Braulio graduated from States University, Uruguay in 2008 with a BS in Biological Sciences and obtained a Masters degree in Biological Sciences from the same institution in 2013, working on miRNA regulation of CHD5. He continued in this lab as a technician for two years before obtaining a Fulbright scholarship for Graduate Studies. Braulio chose to perform his PhD research at the University of Pittsburgh in the Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program with Dr. Kara Bernstein. During this time, Braulio studied DNA repair in S. cerevisiae, describing the role of the Shu complex in promoting error-free bypass of abasic sites and 3-methylcytosines. 


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.


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.

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


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



MIKA  WESLEY (she/her)

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.

Graduate Student



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).

bottom of page