Current Lab Members


Li-En Jao

Assistant Professor, Cell Biology and Human Anatomy

UC Davis Departmental Profile

Li-En received his B.S. in Life Science from National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) before moving to the US for his graduate study. He joined the lab of Kuang Yu Chen at Rutgers University to study eIF5A and posttranscriptional gene regulation. For his first postdoc, Li-En moved to NIH to work with Shawn Burgess on developing genome-wide retroviral mutagenesis strategies in zebrafish. He then went back to the root of gene regulation and did his second postdoc with Susan Wente at Vanderbilt University on RNA metabolism, human disease modeling, and centrosome biology, using the zebrafish and cultured cell systems. In his spare time, Li-En enjoys the California sun, family time, and photography.










Xueer Jiang

Graduate Student, BMCDB Program

Xueer received her B.S. in Microbiology from University of California, Davis in 2017. In her undergraduate years, she studied the dynamics of microtubules during cell division in Arabidopsis thaliana in Dr. Bo Liu’s lab. Xueer is currently working on the projects that aim to elucidate the mechanism of co-translational targeting of centrosomal proteins during centrosome maturation. In her free time, Xueer enjoys indoor gardening, baking, and spending time with her cats.














Tingyoung Ou

Junior Specialist

Tingyoung graduated from UC Davis in 2017 with a B.S. in Nutrition Science. During undergrad, he worked in the NeuroMab facility on UCD campus that manufactures specific monoclonal antibodies that target different proteins inside the brain. Tingyoung joined the Jao Lab in August 2017 after graduation and takes on the projects using the zebrafish model and human cultured cells. Tingyoung has his options open and is still deciding whether he should go to a medical-related route, academic route, or pursue his dream of becoming a personal trainer. Some of his hobbies include exercising when he feels guilty of solo eating a super-sized pepperoni pizza, binge-playing video games with his brother, and getting 3 hour-long powerpoint lectures from his two PhD parents for asking what a RT-PCR is.









Noemi Castro

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Noemi will be graduating in June 2018 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After graduating, she is planning on applying to graduate school and obtaining a Ph.D. She is currently working on zebrafish knockout projects. She is a UC Davis MARC Scholar. Her hobbies include hiking, reading science fiction novels, and walking in the rain.














Lana Christensen

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lana will graduate from UC Davis with a B.S. in Biotechnology with an emphasis in Microbiology and fermentation. In the lab she studies the functions of different centrosome genes in zebrafish. After graduation, she plans on furthering her education in graduate school to work toward a career in research. In her free time Lana enjoys hiking, playing board games, and road trips.














Karan Mahe

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Karan is majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Writing at the University of California, Davis and plans to graduate June 2019. Karan is dedicating his time to learn more about the phenotypic analysis of centrosomal mutants and techniques involving molecular and cellular biology. After graduation, Karan plans to pursue either a medical degree or a Ph.D. in a health-related field. During his free time, he tutors chemistry through the university, enjoys playing piano, and loves to learn new languages.













Hashim Shaikh

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hashim currently studies Neurology, Physiology and Behavior at the University of California Davis and expects to graduate in June 2018. He is working on the CRISPR/Cas mutagenesis pipeline in the lab. Hashim wishes to pursue the field of medicine and hopes to become a cardiothoracic surgeon in the future. Hashim has interest in golf, football, and chess.














Jennielee Mia

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jennielee is a junior majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Davis. She used to help the lab maintain the zebrafish facility and now works in the lab as a research assistant. Her interests include human anatomy, drug development, and microbiology. She plans to go to either medicine or pharmacy school after graduation. During her free time, she creates digital artworks, listens to music, and watches TV shows.














Lee Cheung

Researcher Volunteer

Lee graduated from UC Davis in 2017 with a B.S. in Nutrition Science. During college, she volunteered as a microbiology lab tutor as well as a patient advocate for Paul Hom Asian Clinic. Lee joined the Jao lab in September 2017 after graduation and takes on various projects including cell culturing and zebrafish genotyping. Lee plans on applying to pharmacy or medical school in the future. Some of her hobbies include nail art, building small toys for her cute hamster, and crying buckets after binge-watching touching Korean dramas.

















Mark Antkowiak: Medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Gudalupe Sepulveda: Graduate student at UC Berkeley

Janice Tam: Staff Research Associate at UCSF

Marvin Orellana: Associate at Thermo Fisher Scientific

Yeon Kim: Student at UC Davis

Stephen (Evan) Brahms: Research Professional at Standford University

Daniel Yoon: Junior Specialist at UC Davis

Christopher Yousif

Alan Zhong: Student at Cornell University


Jao Lab | UC Davis School of Medicine | Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy

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