Daniel Schwartz

Principal Investigator
Aug 2010 - present

B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Cornell University, 2001 Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology, Harvard University, 2006 Although Dan is not that great a programmer and you will rarely see him doing much more than putting a package into the freezer in the wet lab, he has thankfully assembled an incredible team of students who do amazing things...

Quiz question: Which of the following jobs has Dan held? A. classical piano teacher B. Taekwondo instructor C. personal trainer D. receptionist E. all of the above

Natalie Schwartz

Research Assistant/Lab Manager
Aug 2010 - present

B.S. in Physics, University of Arizona, 2007 M.A. in Medical Nutrition Sciences, Boston University, 2008 Although you may not see her in the lab often because she is currently working on a very important biology project at home, Natalie's supreme administrative skills are the reason why the lab runs so smoothly. Natalie's ability to catch a misplaced comma from 1,000 feet away also makes her the lab's resident editor.

Quiz Question: Natalie has cut her own hair. A. True B. False

Saad Quader

Programmer/Web Developer
May 2011 - Dec 2012

B.Sc, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, 2007 M.S. in Computer Science, University of Connecticut, 2012

Current Position
Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of Connecticut

Can Mingir

Programmer/Web Developer
May 2011 - Jun 2012

Mai Hamdalla

Programmer/Web Developer
May 2011 - Oct 2011

Current Position
Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of Connecticut

Josh Lubner

Ph.D. Student
Aug 2011 - present

B.A. in Biological Sciences (with concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior), Cornell University, 2009 Armed with a steady hand and a mastery of the pipet which he obtained from over a year's work at the Yale Center for Genomic Analysis, Josh joined the lab in 2011 as Dan's first graduate student. Josh is presently the driving force behind all things "wet lab" and is currently immersed in the ProPeL project (sometimes he has nightmares about badly behaving E. coli). While it's not unusual to find Josh at lab at 3am, it is somewhat unusual to find him at lab at 8am (unless of course he pulled an all-nighter).

Quiz Question: Which of the following is FALSE: A. Josh bought a cot for late nights in lab. B. Josh was almost abducted by a baby baboon. C. Josh has been in numerous funk bands. D. Josh was born with over one foot of hair.

David Lindsay

Honors Student Researcher
Oct 2011 - Aug 2012

B.S. in Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, 2012 M.S. in Mathematics, University of Connecticut, 2012

Current Position
M.D./Ph.D. Student, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania

Ragini Phansalkar

Honors Student Researcher
Nov 2011 - May 2014

Computer Science & Biological Sciences (dual major) - Class of 2014 Ragini is one of those rare undergraduate students who is equally comfortable holding a pipet as she is coding in Python. Among her notable achievements are a Goldwater Scholarship (2013) and her recent inclusion into a select group of UConn Honors students known as University Scholars. We have been fortunate enough to have her on the dry lab side where she is working on making substantial improvements to the scan-x tool for the prediction of protein PTMs. Ragini's goal is to enter an MD/PhD program upon graduation, and we're excited to track her future successes.

Quiz Question: Where was Ragini born? A. Stamford, CT B. Pune, India C. London, England D. Machester, CT

Current Position
M.D./Ph.D. Student, Stanford University

Joey O'Shea

Programmer/Web Developer
Feb 2012 - Jul 2015

Computer Science and Engineering - Class of 2014 While Joey might have a hole in his lip, you would be hard pressed to find any holes in his code. Writing software since before he could talk, Joey brings a level of web development expertise that you often don't see in someone many years his senior. In fact, if you look at any of our lab's web sites that have a uconn.edu domain (including the one you are on right now), chances are that Joey hand-coded the front end from scratch. Joey hopes to one day work in the field of robotics, but we kind of wish he would just stay in the lab forever.

Quiz question: What is Joey's only superstition? A. He never writes code before noon. B. He believes matching socks are bad luck. C. He never shaves his beard before an exam. D. You should never feed him after midnight. E. He thinks drinks only taste good with even numbers of ice cubes.

Kevin Ryan

Programmer/Web Developer
Feb 2012 - Jun 2014

Computer Science and Engineering - Class of 2014 Kevin is the one person in the lab who actually didn't apply for the programming position - Dan recruited him. As an honors student in CSE and a recipient of both the Engineering Undergraduate Merit Scholarship and the General Electric Klein-Steinmetz Scholarship, it is not surprising that Kevin's programming abilities are impressive. Kevin primarily codes and optimizes the back ends of the lab's web tools. His current internal version of the motif-x algorithm, which he rewrote in Python, already exhibits a 10-fold increase in speed over the existing code on the motif-x web site. We often wonder whether computers have the accuracy necessary to clock the speed of motif-x if he ever tries to rewrite it in C...

Quiz Question: Which one of the following is true of Kevin: A. His first name is Kevin. B. He has been skydiving twice. C. He is an experienced snowboarder. D. He is a practitioner of Tang Soo Do. E. None of the above!

Ted Heying

REU Summer Research Student
May 2012 - Aug 2012

Matthew Morris

Honors Student Researcher
Aug 2012 - May 2014

Physiology and Neurobiology - Class of 2014 Despite his official start date of August 2012, Matt, an honors student in the PNB department, has actually been assisting in the lab in various capacities since early in his sophomore year. When he's not busy TAing, RAing, or volunteering, you may catch Matt working diligently in the wet lab, where he is presently using the ProPeL method to determine the specificity of a top-secret kinase. Matt is currently pre-med and we're pretty sure (judging by his lab notebook handwriting) that he's going to make a great doctor some day.

Quiz Question: Matt has a tattoo of what on his right arm? A. tribal Band B. star C. triquetra D. shamrock

Jerlon Chiu

Honors Student Researcher
Aug 2012 - May 2015

Biological Sciences - Class of 2015 Jerlon is part of the UConn Combined Program in Medicine, meaning he has effectively already been accepted to UConn Med. As such, the fact that he still comes to lab must mean that he is genuinely interested in research. Jerlon is additionally a National Merit Scholarship recipient (2011) and is treasurer of the UConn Taekwondo club (an activity near and dear to Dan's heart). Jerlon is still in the early planning stages of his experimental project in the lab, but hopes to get some serious traction on it during the summer of 2013.

Quiz Question: Which of the following is true about Jerlon? A. On weekends he can be found jamming with his 4 person rock ukulele band. B. He likes cooking dishes from the countries he's visited. C. At home he has a dog, a rabbit named Itchy, and a pet koala. D. He enjoys long walks on the beach.

Jordan Force

Programmer/Web Developer
Oct 2012 - May 2015

Electrical Engineering - Class of 2016 Jordan started programming his Ti84 in 8th grade and has been hooked ever since. We know he loves programming because he completes Project Euler problems for fun. Jordan is an honors student in EE and although he's just a freshman and our newest programmer in the lab, it hasn't taken him long to become an essential member of our programming team. When Jordan eventually becomes a famous nuclear engineer (his career goal), we just hope he remembers his buddies in the Schwartz lab.

Quiz Question: What is Jordan's favorite outdoor activity? A. hiking B. biking C. swimming D. caving E. fishing

Julie Klaric

Honors Student Researcher
Jun 2013 - May 2015

Biological Sciences - Class of 2015 Julie might quietly tread through the lab, but it's hard to not notice her accomplishments. In addition to an outstanding GPA, Julie has been the recipient of a SURF grant and was named a 2014 University Scholar. As if that is not enough, she plans on graduating in four years with both a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Structural Biology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics. Julie is one of the few people in the lab that actually wants to run her own lab at some point in the future (Dan is just glad his feelings on the grant process aren't rubbing off on everyone).

Quiz question: Where is half of Julie's family from? A. Moldova B. Montenegro C. Croatia D. Estonia E. Romania

Jesse Wang

Honors Student Researcher
Jan 2014 - Dec 2014

Physiology and Neurobiology - Class of 2015 Jesse just kind of showed up in the lab one day, sat at a desk and started coding a new web tool - not bad for a Physiology and Neurobiology major. Maybe that's not exactly how it happened, but close enough. Jesse is also the only person in the lab to be working on a project that he conceived of, designed, and is implementing, independently (sometimes we consider charging him rent for the desk). Kidding aside, we applaud his creativity and look forward to seeing what he produces.

Quiz question: What is the silliest thing Jesse has done (by accident)? A. Drove down the wrong way on a one-way street B. Took someone else's tray of food C. Forgot to lock the bathroom stall D. Sent a personal email to one of his professors E. All of the above

William Percival

Programmer/Web Developer
Feb 2014 - May 2015

Computer Science and Engineering - Class of 2015 Disks may be a thing of the past, but not for Will. When he's not coding up top secret stuff in the lab, you might see him throwing a disk with the UConn Ultimate Frisbee Club and Team (aka, UConn Grind). Will interned with a software startup in Manhattan over the summer, so he's showing us how the big boys do DevOps. He loves to code, and totally hit the ground running in our lab, so we're psyched to have him as part of our team. Quiz question: Coming soon...

Jessie Ostrander

Programmer/Web Developer
Feb 2014 - Aug 2014

Computer Science and Engineering - Class of 2016 Jessie took one course in CS and loved it so much that she switched her major. We know that she is a solid fit for our lab because her name begins with J (she currently joins, Josh, Joey, James/Kevin, Jerlon, Jordan, Julie, and Jesse). When she isn't coding, you might find Jessie leading the Native American Cultural Society (as its president). We're also happy to have someone join the lab from outside of Connecticut (she's from Texas).

Quiz question: Which book has Jessie read four times? A. Frankenstein B. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince C. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy D. The Great Gatsby

Sean Congdon

Ph.D. Student
Jul 2014 - May 2016

Dillon Jones

Programmer/Web Developer
Aug 2014 - Jun 2015

Computer Science and Engineering - Class of 2015

Andrew Lawson

Programmer/Web Developer
Aug 2014 - May 2015

Computer Science and Engineering - Class of 2015

Prakhar Bansal

Programmer/Web Developer
Nov 2014 - Aug 2016

Molecular and Cell Biology - Class of 2016
Coming soon!

Amanda Wildstein

Masters Student
Jan 2015 - present

B.S. in Biological Sciences, University of Connecticut, 2016
Coming soon!

Jennifer Allocco

Student Researcher
Feb 2015 - present

Biological Sciences and German - Class of 2017
Coming soon!

Brandon Cheng

Programmer/Web Developer
Jun 2016 - present

Danielle Caefer

Student Researcher
Jul 2016 - present

Biomedical Engineering - Class of 2019
Coming soon!