Current Lab Members


Jordan Aoyama

Jordan was a Research Associate at a number of companies before joining the lab as a graduate student in the Molecular Biology Ph.D. program of the University of Maryland. Jordan is determining how the mRNA and small RNA activities of dual-function RNAs impact each other.

NIH, Building 49, Room 1A-35
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-496-6811
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: Jordan.aoyama@nih.gov

Aisha Burton Okala

During her graduate studies with Prof. Daniel Kearns at Indiana University, Aisha studied an intriguing sigma factor homolog called SigN encoded by the pBS32 plasmid of Bacillus subtilis.  Aisha is continuing to pursue her interest in regulatory mechanisms by characterizing small proteins hypothesized to modulate two-component networks.  

NIH, Building 49, Room 1C-20
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-480-8321
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: aisha.burtonokala@nih.gov

Abigail (Abby) Daniels

Abby obtained her B.S. and M.S. from Brandeis University where she majored in biology.  Mentored by Lauren, Abby is studying an interesting RNA sponge that connects the oxidative stress response with the anaerobic stress response. Abby plans to apply to graduate school this fall.  Graduate programs take note!  

NIH, Building 49, Room 1A-35
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-402-5856
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: abigail.daniels@nih.gov

Katherine (Katie) Klier

Katie obtained her B.S. from the University of Michigan with a broad interest in biology ranging from molecular biology and ecology to zebrafish development and microbial communities.  She is working with Aoshu to study the functions of toxins and the corresponding antitoxins.  Katie also plans to apply to graduate school this fall.  Graduate programs take note!    

NIH, Building 49, Room 1C-20
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-480-8323
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: katherine.klier@nih.gov

Sahar Melamed

Sahar carried out graduate work developing microbial sensors for the detection of toxicants and antibiotic compounds with Prof. Shimshon Belkin at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  During a short postdoctoral stay in the lab of Prof. Hanah Margalit, he developed the remarkable RIL-seq approach for the transcriptome-wide identification of mRNA targets of Hfq-binding small RNAs.  Sahar is following up this work with the characterization of four s28-regulated small RNAs and ProQ-binding RNAs.  Sahar will be joining the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at The Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine in 2021 (department of Storz lab alum Prof. Shoshy Altuvia).

NIH, Building 49, Room 1A-35
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-402-0531
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: sahar.melamed@nih.gov

Narumon Thongdee

Narumon obtained her Ph.D. in Applied Biological Sciences from the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute in Bangkok, Thailand.  During her thesis work with Prof. Mayuree Fuangthong, Narumon studied the role of the TrmB methyltransferase in regulating catalase levels during the oxidative stress response.  Narumon is applying her expertise in RNA modification to examine the contribution of methylation and pseudouridylation to sRNA function as well as the role of base pairing within coding sequences.

NIH, Building 49, Room 1A-35
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-496-4783
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: narumon.thongdee@nih.gov

Lauren Walling

Lauren studied protein-protein interactions and RNA target specificity of toxin-antitoxin systems as a graduate student in Prof. J. Scott Butler’s group at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  She has characterized the 3´ UTR-derived sRNA GlnZ and is collaborating with the groups of Dr. Kai Papenfort and Dr. Konrad Förstner to examine small RNA evolution in enteric bacteria.

NIH, Building 49, Room 1A-35
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-451-3296
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: lauren.walling@nih.gov

Aixia Zhang

Aixia has worked on nearly every aspect of small RNA identification and characterization; assisting many projects in the Storz lab as well as in other labs.  Currently, she is collaborating with Philip and Sahar to characterize the ProQ-dependent RNA-RNA interactome.  Contact Aixia for questions about protocols and reagents!

NIH, Building 49, Room 1A-35
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-402-0967
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: zhanga@mail.nih.gov

Aoshu Zhong

As a graduate student with Prof. Hung-wen Liu at the University of Texas at Austin, Aoshu studied the biosynthesis of oxetanocin A, a nucleoside antiviral agent produced by Bacillus megaterium. Aoshu’s expertise in enzymology and protein purification is a big asset in his characterization of proteins encoded by overlapping genes.

NIH, Building 49, Room 1C-20
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone: 301-480-8323
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: aoshu.zhong@nih.gov

Rilee Zeinert

After completing an undergraduate research project in the lab of former Storz lab alum Prof. Laurie Waters, Rilee carried out Ph.D. work with Prof. Peter Chien at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Tn-seq screens he carried out and followed up have led into a number of new insights into physiological consequences of proteolysis. Rilee’s project to learn more about the function and regulation of small proteins will capitalize on this expertise.

NIH, Building 49, Room 1A-35
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4417
Telephone:  301-496-4581
FAX:  301-480-0975
Email: rilee.zeinert@nih.gov

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