current members

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Rajat Rohatgi

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and of Medicine


I was born and raised in Macon, Georgia– the cherry blossom capital of the world. While in high school, I was a student researcher at Fort Valley State University and Karmanos Cancer Institute, where I investigated medicinal plants (e.g. Bacopa monnieri) and their role as possible therapeutic agents in the treatment of diseases such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer. Currently, I am an undergraduate student at Stanford University. In the Rohatgi Lab, I am studying the role of Hedgehog signaling modulators in the context of disease and development. Outside of lab, I enjoy writing, playing frisbee, and dancing.


Tejas Athni

Undergraduate Student

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Ramin Dubey

Postdoctoral Scholar

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Young Investigator Fellowship

I completed my Ph.D. at the warm and sunny University of Southern California in Los Angeles and moved to the much greener and cooler Northern California to pursue my Postdoc in Raj’s lab at Stanford University. I was a medicinal chemist and a pharmacologist in my previous life. In the Rohatgi lab, I got the exciting opportunity to address one of the biggest challenges facing oncology and drug development, which is the emergence of drug resistance. What I do here is “Discovery Biology” where I use the latest genetic screening strategies to uncover new drug targets, biomarkers for drug resistance, and new insights into signaling mechanisms. When I am not in the lab, I like to go for hikes on the Santa Cruz mountain range or for a drive along the pacific coast.   


I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and am currently an undergraduate at Stanford University. I am majoring in chemistry and minoring in computer science. In the Rohatgi lab, I am working with Maia to study the role of Smoothened in Hedgehog signaling. When not in school, I stay busy co-directing TreeHacks, Stanford's annual hackathon, and enjoy exploring the city with friends.


Sara Frigui

Undergraduate Student

Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program

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Ellen Iverson

Graduate Student

National Science 
Foundation Graduate Fellowship

I grew up in Ames, Iowa and studied biology at the University of Chicago as an undergraduate. Excited at the prospect of learning more about fundamental cellular processes (and finally experiencing warm winter weather), I decided to come to Stanford to pursue a PhD in the Biochemistry department. I am interested in studying the molecular mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling in the Rohatgi lab. Outside of the lab, I enjoy cooking, hiking, and exploring the Bay Area.


I was born in Guatemala and grew up in Orange County, California. Since then, I have continued to move north on the North American continent, first to the University of California at Santa Barbara, where I received a BA in Biology, and now to Stanford where I am a PhD candidate in the Rohatgi lab. My project focuses on the molecular mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling, with a emphasis on the EvC complex and Smoothened. While not in the lab, I enjoy fishing, camping, cooking and wine/beer tasting, especially in combination!


Maia Kinnebrew

Graduate Student

National Science 
Foundation Graduate Fellowship





Jennifer Kong

Postdoctoral Scholar

American Heart Association Post-doctoral Fellowship

K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, National Institutes of Health

I was born and raised in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii.  Excited about the ever expanding field of Neurobiology, I left my tropical paradise to study spinal cord development at the University of California, Los Angeles where I obtained a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in the laboratory of Bennett Novitch. In the Rohatgi Lab, my interests are still in developmental signaling pathways. Through the help of incredible collaborators, I have brought an adherent stem cell culture system to the lab and have been using CRISPR-mediated techniques to study Hedgehog signal transduction in a neural context. When I am not in the lab, I am probably exploring the Bay Area and enjoying a nice wine or cider.


I was born in China and grew up in the Bay Area. Wanting to explore the sun and beaches of southern California, I attended UC San Diego, where I received a BS and MS in Cell Biology and Biochemistry. From there, I attended Yale University and received my PhD in Cell Biology, studying membrane trafficking in the laboratory of Christopher Burd. Missing California food and weather, I came back to the Bay Area and joined the Rohatgi lab in August 2019. Here, I hope to use my cell biology expertise to further our understanding of oncogenic WNT signaling in cancers. Outside of the lab, I enjoy hiking, traveling, and playing tennis.

Mandi Ma

Postdoctoral Scholar



I grew up in San Jose from where the sun and sand of Southern California drew me to study Cell Biology at the University of California, San Diego. After a few research projects and inspiring classes during my undergraduate studies, I wanted to dive deeper into the fundamental properties of cells, so I decided to move back to the Bay Area to complete a PhD in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford. In the Rohatgi Lab, I (along with a few others in the lab) aim to discover how mammalian cells sense and respond to osmotic stress using a combination of biochemical assays and genetic screens. Outside of lab, I like to go to the beach, watch baking shows, and explore the city.


Chandni Patel

Graduate Student

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Ganesh Pusapati

Senior Research Scientist 

American Heart Association Post-doctoral Fellowship

I was born and raised in Vizag, a beautiful coastal city in Southern India. After completing my Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Hyderabad, I moved to Germany to begin my research career. I obtained a Ph.D. degree in the field of Cell Biology more specifically in the areas of protein trafficking and signal transduction.  After completing a short post-doc in the Pfeffer lab at Stanford University, I joined the Rohatgi lab in early 2013. My major research interest is to understand the biochemical and genetic basis of hedgehog signal transduction. I enjoy spending time with my family and playing cricket.


I grew up just outside of Boulder, Colorado and spent my childhood exploring the nearby Rocky Mountains. I am now attending Stanford University as an undergraduate. In the Rohatgi lab, I am working with Ganesh to study the tumor suppressor protein APC and to uncover its role in oncogenic WNT signaling. I am also working to develop bioinformatic resources for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genetic screens. Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing the harp, backpacking, biking, and skiing.


Collin Schlager


Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program

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Broder Schmidt

Postdoctoral Scholar

DFG Research Fellowship

I grew up in Germany and received my undergrad degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. For my graduate work in the lab of Dirk Görlich, I moved to the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. In the Rohatgi lab, I am studying how cells use liquid-liquid phase transitions to dynamically coordinate biochemical processes in space and time. Outside the lab, I enjoy exploring the Bay Area on my road bike.



I am from Stony Brook, New York, about fifty miles east of the city. I am a senior majoring in biomechanical engineering, with an interest in studying the causes of mechanical changes in diseased cells. In the lab, I am working with Broder to further the study of liquid-liquid phase transitions present in neurodegenerative disease states. Outside of the lab, you can find me at the fencing gym practicing with my sabre.


Carly Weber-Levine

Undergraduate Student

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