Sarah Swygert, PI

I grew up in Atlanta, where I received a BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from a small but awesome women’s college, Agnes Scott. There, I studied the transcriptional regulation of the human LAT gene under the direction of Tim Finco. I went on to get my PhD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (now UMass Chan) under Craig Peterson, where I learned the tricks of chromatin reconstitution and had fun with biophysics. I then went to Seattle to learn genomics from Toshi Tsukiyama at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (now the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center). I enjoy cooking, gardening, reading, music, being disappointed by horror movies, and hanging out in the lab when I’m supposed to be doing office stuff. You can download a copy of my CV here.

Ban Al-Kurdi, PhD student

Hi, I’m Ban Al-Kurdi, a PhD student from the cell and molecular biology program and my research experience and interest range from disease modeling utilizing stem cells and neurons to studying chromatin structure.  Currently I’m enjoying my time at the Swgert lab learning yeast genetics and the differences in chromatin structure between quiescent and log cells utilizing ChIP-seq and Micro-C to unravel these differences. I’m an international student from Jordan where I got my B.Sc. in biotechnology and genetic engineering and my M.Sc. in biology focusing on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation to urothelial cells. Outside the lab I like doing CrossFit, outdoor activities and developing new experiences.

Scott Elias, undergrad

Hi! My name is Scott, I’m a biochemistry major with a concentration in Health and Medical Science. My general science interests are chromatin structure, genetics, immunology, and oncology. After my time here at CSU, I hope to attend medical school, enrolling in either an M.D. or an M.D./Ph.D. program, and continuing research through clinical trials. Outside of the lab, I love to compose and produce music, go rock climbing, lift weights, and cook!

Jason Hernandez, post-bacc

Hi! I’m Jason, I recently graduated from CSU as a biochemistry major with a concentration in data science and a minor in computer science for bioinformatics. I was raised as a first generation child to my mom from Honduras. My general science interests are data science and how computers can help in scientific research advancements. I also have a soft spot for biophysics. I generally work on bioinformatics pipelines involving ChIP-SEQ, Micro-C, and other genomics-related projects in order to analyze data from quiescent yeast cells in hopes that the highly condensed chromatin formations involved in this conserved cell state will help us understand more about chromatin structure all around.

Becky Lafferty, PhD student

Hi, my name is Becky Lafferty and I am a graduate student earning my PhD in Biochemistry. I graduated from CSU as well with my undergrad degree in Biological Science. My current science interests range from epigenetics, chromatin structure, and genomics. Outside of the lab, I enjoy hanging out with my partner and two dogs, Rose and Hazel. I love to go on adventures with them ranging from visiting a random city for a long weekend or going brewery hopping. When I’m not doing that, I like to curl up with a good book and watching tv.

Annabel Lewis, post-bacc

Hi everyone, I’m Annabel! I recently received my BS from Davidson College in Biology with a minor in
Hispanic Studies. In the lab, I’m interested in studying chromatin folding during quiescence using confocal microscopy. Outside of work, I love to spend my free time outdoors hanging out with friends. However, if I’m not feeling social, I’ll choose
to read or bake while listening to music.

Teagan Rockwood, PhD student

Hi, I’m Teagan Rockwood, a PhD student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program. While earning my Bachelors in Biochemistry from CSU, I spent two years in Tom Santangelo’s lab, where I delved into the fascinating world of archaeal metabolism and electron transfer. This undergraduate research experience ignited my passion for scientific exploration and propelled me toward pursuing a doctorate. Currently, my work in the Swygert Lab involves utilizing a yeast genomic library as an in vitro chromatin system to help us understand the 3D structure of in vivo chromatin. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy immersing myself in music, experimenting with new baking creations, and reading science fiction!

Corey Teruya, research coordinator

Hello, I’m Corey, lab manager. I have a BS from the University of Colorado. Generally, I’m responsible for ordering laboratory equipment and supplies, interacting with vendors, overseeing laboratory renovation and repairs, budgeting, setting up and maintaining biological reagent chemical stocks and supplies, washing/autoclaving glassware and running a sequencing drop box, among other things. Interests outside of work include guitars, audio-engineering, cooking, golf, occasional hiking and dogs. Current favorite artists are Jay Som, The Cure, Outkast, The Wipers, Omni, Spirit of the Beehive, and Frank Ocean. 

Former Lab Members

Paige Churchill, undergrad. Now an MD student at the Western Atlantic University School of Medicine.