Nitzan Shabek
Principal Investigator
Postdoctoral Fellow – HHMI, University of Washington
Ph.D. - Technion- Israel Institute of Technology

Read more about Nitzan Shabek


Sarah Morse
Lab manager

I completed my education in molecular biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I researched epigenetic mechanisms of learning and memory. After graduation, I went on to study hematologic malignancies at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Irvine. In the Shabek lab, my interests include plant sensing mechanisms and regulation of the ubiquitin system. Outside of the lab, you can find me cooking, cycling, gardening, hiking my way through the national park system, and playing with my dogs.

Lior Tal
Postdoctoral Fellow   (BARD Fellowship)

I completed my PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science, researching Tomato floral transition regulation and Cytokinin signaling with Prof. Yuval Eshed. I aim to better the understanding of plant growth and development, regulated by signal transduction cascades. Plant genetic studies defined an abundance of these regulatory circuits, however, at the protein level, many questions remain unanswered. In my research, I am elucidating the mechanisms by which components of known signaling pathways interact and function.

Angelica Guercio
IGG Graduate Student

I am a first year PhD student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics (IGG) graduate group. I got my start in research examining proteins involved in establishing embryonic polarity in C. elegans during my undergraduate at NYU with Dr. Jeremy Nance. In my undergraduate I simultaneously worked on designing plant movement quantification methods with Dr. Eric D Brenner. After graduating I decided to turn my focus on plants and moved to sunny Riverside, CA to work with Dr. Daniel Koenig as a Junior Specialist researching evolutionary genomics in a naturally evolving barley population. Currently I am interested in studying how plants sense and respond to their environment via signalling pathways and how to examine plant signaling in a high-throughput “-omics” way. When not in the lab I love to experiment with vegan cooking and play with my pup and kitten.

Fuai Sun
Visiting Graduate Student

I am a third year PhD student from China. My main interest is the signaling pathways of plant response to stress, in particular Brassinosteroids (BR) signaling. In the Shabek lab, I aim to use structural biology to study genes involved in plant development and signaling transduction. Out of lab, I enjoy music and talking with my friends.

Natalie Hamada
PBGG Graduate Student

I'm a PhD student in the Plant Biology Graduate Group. I completed my undergraduate degree in plant biology here at Davis whilst researching interactions between the oomycete pathogen Bremia lactucae and lettuce in the Michelmore lab. As a graduate student, I am interested in understanding how plants utilize various signal transduction pathways respond to their environment (and particularly microbes) at the molecular level. I will work to do so in the Shabek lab using protein structural biology and biochemical approaches. If I'm not in lab I'm probably at the gym, reading, cycling, or watching tv.

Tara Caso
PBGG Graduate Student

I received my B.S. in Cellular/Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry from Humboldt State University, and I'm broadly interested in improving crops through cellular biology and plant biochemistry research techniques, with the ultimate goal of increasing global food security and nutrition. My undergraduate research consisted of molecular modeling projects using the Spartan program in addition to two summer research projects conducted at Michigan State University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Currently, I'm interested in how hormone signaling is regulated by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) as well as how the UPS may potentially regulate both general and specialized metabolic pathways.

Avalon Miller
Global Disease Biology, year 4

I am a fourth-year majoring in Global Disease Biology. My research interests range from understanding structure-function of protein complexes and how they relate to plant growth mechanisms.

Sam Deck
Biotechnology, year 4

I am Sam and I'm curious about understanding the protein interactions that lead to stimulus perception and response. Other than being in lab I enjoy playing chess, naps, and long walks to the fridge.

Isabella Glenn
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, year 4

I am a fourth-year majoring in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. My research interests are studying enzyme kinetics and protein structures to produce more rapid reactions for real-world applications. Outside the lab I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and watching the ducks at the arboretum.

Arielle Zur
Biotechnology, year 4

I am a fourth year undergraduate studying Biotechnology with a specialization in Microbiology and Fermentation. After I finish undergrad I hope to go to medical school. Outside of school and lab I love to bake, read, paint, and scuba dive.

Aleczander Young
Plant Biology, year 4

I am a fourth year undergrad majoring in plant biology. My primary interests are in plant development and the processes involved in this. Outside of lab I like to go for walks, read, and play video games.

Maria Charco Munoz
Global Disease Biology, year 4

I am a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in global disease biology. My interests include understanding protein structure-function at a molecular level and the mechanism of signaling pathways in plants.

Arya Balouchi
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, year 4

I am a fourth year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major interested in recombinant DNA and the novel proteins and functions they encode. Outside of lab I enjoy weightlifting, cooking, playing video games, traveling, and trying new things.

Derrick Tran
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, year 3

I am a third-year undergraduate majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I am interested in molecular cloning and protein structures. Outside of lab I enjoy cooking and boxing.

Linyi Yan
Biological Sciences, year 2

I’m a second year student majoring in biological science. My interest includes gene expression and signaling pathways in cells. Outside lab, I enjoy cooking and traveling.

Ryan Buchner
Genetics and Genomics, year 3

My research interests center around protein-protein interactions. Outside of lab, I enjoy hiking, fishing, and I hope to someday own my own farm.

Lab Alumni

Rotating PhD Students:
Shivaani Krishna
Albert Liu
Ximena Anleu Gil
Joseph Grosskopf
Sam Hayes
Wenzhe Li
Johanna Bautista

Visiting Scholars:

Malathy Palayam, PhD
Jagadeesan Ganapathy, PhD

Undergraduate Researchers:
Alexander Kehl
Catherine Zhou
Kyle Lee
Kyleigh Jacobs
Maria Charco Munoz

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