Lab group
Lab group, March 2023.

Jeff Rasmussen, PhD – WRF Distinguished Investigator

image-left Jeff grew up in Ithaca, NY and received a BS in Computational Biology from Brown University. Jeff then joined Alexander Rudensky’s group at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he studied the development of regulatory T cells as a post-bac. Jeff continued his interest in developmental biology as an MCB graduate student and ARCS scholar in Jim Priess’ lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he discovered novel mechanisms of epithelial tube formation in C. elegans embryos.

As a postdoc in Alvaro Sagasti’s lab at UCLA, he focused on how sensory axons in the skin remodel in the face of a constantly changing tissue environment. His postdoctoral studies were supported by the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund and a K99/R00 award. Outside of lab, he enjoys running – for exercise and to keep up with his kids.

Affiliate member: ISCRM | Diabetes Research Center | Cancer Consortium

Erik Black - MCB Graduate Student

Erik Black Erik earned his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of South Florida in 2018. After graduating, he relocated to Seattle to work as a research technician in Aakanksha Singhvi’s lab at Fred Hutch. While in the Singhvi lab, Erik grew a passion for cellular interactions between neurons and non-neuronal cells, such as glia, skin, immune cells, etc. Erik is excited to further explore the interaction between neurons, skin, and specialized somatosensory cells in the Rasmussen lab. Outside of lab Erik enjoys seeing live music and exploring the food and drinks scene in Seattle.

Sunny Dighe - Undergraduate Researcher

Sunny Dighe Sunny is an undergraduate researcher majoring in Biochemistry at the University of Washington. He is looking forward to uncovering the characteristics of Merkel cells in zebrafish skin as a member of the Rasmussen lab. In his free time, Sunny loves cooking, exercising, and exploring the music scene in Seattle.

Ahlan Ferdous - Postdoctoral Scholar

Ahlan Ferdous Ahlan obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her graduate school, she worked in Dr. Judith Kimble’s lab where she used nematode C. elegans as an in vivo pioneer system to understand the molecular regulation of stem cells both at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Her broad research interest lies in understanding the regulation of molecular pathways that orchestrate development. She is excited to learn more about molecular pathways that drive Merkel cell development. Outside of lab, Ahlan loves travelling and enjoys solving jigsaw puzzles, LEGOs and reading books.

Samantha Fernandes – MCB Graduate Student

Samantha Fernandes Samantha is originally from Miami, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences at Florida International University. Currently, she is part of the Molecular & Cellular Biology (MCB) graduate program at the UW. In the Rasmussen Lab, Samantha is using the zebrafish model to study the processes of regeneration and how they may relate to development. She is using fluorescent imaging to watch how skin heals and becomes reinnervated after injury in real time. One of Samantha’s greatest drives is to share the wonder of science with the public. She hopes to devote her career to helping translate the discoveries made by scientists into concepts that even those without an academic background can still appreciate. Outside of lab, she enjoys the tranquility of the National Forests and hopes to explore the many unique locations across the US.

Camille Goo – Research Technologist

Camille Goo Camille recently graduated from the University of Puget Sound with dual degrees in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Japanese. At UPS, she researched nanotoxicity of bismuth nanoparticles on bacteria in Emily Tollefson’s lab. Camille is excited to now be working in the Rasmussen lab, looking at interactions between axons and epidermal cells. In her free time, Camille enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, trying a variety of crafts and hanging out with her dog, cat, and chinchilla.

Pearl Leon Guerrero-Mcinally – Undergraduate Researcher

Pearl Leon Guerrero-Mcinally Pearl is an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry at the University of Washington. She became a member of the Rasmussen lab through the university’s Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education (ENDURE) program. In the lab, she is excited to engage in nerve regeneration research using zebrafish as a model organism. In her freetime, Pearl enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and roller skating.

Eric Peterman, PhD – WRF Postdoctoral Fellow

Eric Peterman Eric attended the University of Maine where he obtained an undergraduate and a Master’s degree. It was during this time he was initially introduced to using zebrafish as a model organism in the lab of Carol Kim, studying innate immune responses to bacterial infection using larval zebrafish. Following this, he attended the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and obtained his Ph.D. in the lab of Rytis Prekeris, where he moved into cell culture and studied cell division and the role of the post-mitotic midbody. He is excited to return to using zebrafish as a model, in which he’ll be studying Langerhans cells and reinnervation at sites of skin injury. Outside of lab, Eric enjoys dong all-things outdoors with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Elgene Quitevis – Research Technologist

Elgene Quitevis Elgene is a recent graduate of the UW, with a dual degree in Biochemistry and Biology (Molecular, Cellular & Developmental). His project revolves around tool building by constructing genetic reporters for analysis of skin/neuron development and repair. In his free time, Elgene enjoys a wide variety of things. From attempting to learn new concepts from different scientific disciplines (e.g., quantum mechanics, advanced mathematics, etc.) by browsing the internet and reading scientific papers to trivia quizzes, playing videogames, collecting memes and playing the violin. He recently has taken up learning to play the piano and programming with an interest in data science, machine learning and simulations.

Graham Robertson - Undergraduate Researcher

Graham Robertson Graham is an undergraduate student majoring in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology at the University of Washington. In the lab he is excited to explore the development and differentiation of sensory cells in zebrafish. Outside of lab he enjoys swimming, hiking, and live music.

Sheridan Sargent – Neuroscience Graduate Student

Sheridan Sargent Sheridan received her M.Sc. in applied biology from Salisbury University, where she previously received dual bachelor degrees in biology and psychology. Her research focused on peripheral motor nerve regeneration and skeletal development in hyperglycemic zebrafish. Currently, Sheridan is part of the Neuroscience graduate program at the UW. As a student in the Rasmussen lab, she is excited to apply her background on regeneration to experiments on the Merkel cell-neurite complex.

Want to join the lab?

The lab is looking for enthusiastic and hard-working scientists at all levels! Find out more.

Lab alumni

Name Position in lab Position after leaving
Tanya Brown, Ph.D. NSF Postdoctoral Fellow Scientific Director, Tess Research Foundation
Rosalind Bump Graduate Student High school teacher
Evan Craig Graduate Student Research Associate II, Seagen
Christine Dien Undergraduate Researcher Bioinformatics Analyst, Setty lab, Fred Hutch
Everett Fan Undergraduate Researcher Research Tech, Furlan lab, Fred Hutch
Emma Horton Research Tech Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, UCSF
Ethan White Undergraduate Researcher Imaging Research Associate, Altius Institute
Nathaniel Yee Undergraduate Researcher Research Tech, Maitra Lab, MD Anderson