Ankur Garg – Postdoc

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Crystallography, 2018
Freie Universität

Ankur joined Joshua-Tor lab in 2019, and studies the molecular machines involved in RNA interference. He uses Cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography to determine molecular structures, and complement them with different biochemical & biophysical methods. Outside the science lab, Ankur enjoys cooking Indian cuisine and preparing various curry spices. He always brings the Jägermeister to the lab picnics and was the accidental inspiration for our recent tradition of creating amazing and sometimes silly hats for our lab members who are defending their thesis. He’s also a great pumpkin carver!

Armend Axhemi – Postdoc

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, 2020
Case Western Reserve University

Armend joined the Joshua-Tor lab in the summer of 2020 after we charmed him via Zoom interviews. He is broadly interested in applying structural biology techniques to study protein-RNA interactions, but also focused on elucidating the molecular basis for specificity of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and RNA-processing enzymes such as exoribonucleases and polymerases. When he’s not in the lab, Armend faces the busier and more difficult task of raising three daughters. Outnumbered by females 4 to 1 in his own home, Armend enjoys having other men to talk to at work. We love him, but he also makes us feel lazy with his outfit rotation of marathon t-shirts and proclivity for hiking, trail-running and camping in the great outdoors.

Kin Fan (Ken) On – Postdoc

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, 2013
University College London

Ken works on unraveling the structure-function relation of molecular machinery that utilizes ATP to get jobs done. His research focuses on utilizing X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and a whole range of biochemical and biophysical methods to understand how the origin recognition complex (ORC) functions in the DNA replication initiation pathway, as well as to gain mechanistic insights into catalysis of kinases for potential drug discovery efforts. You would think that as a Biochemist, Ken would have the technical skills to be a good cook–but you’d be wrong. Instead, Ken has found a way to get the desired pictures of Instagram-worthy food; by dining out at nice restaurants. On weekends, Ken is an active member of his church community and acts as the church’s audio engineer.

Stephanie Goldsmith – Laboratory Manager II and unofficial Lab Historian
B.A., Biological Basis of Behavior, 1988
University of Pennsylvania

Stephanie came to CSHL in 1989 and worked with Nobel Laureate Carol Greider prior to joining the Joshua-Tor lab in 2002. After 20 years at the bench, she morphed into our full-time lab manager. In addition to reminding people to fully close the freezer doors, she facilitates all reagent, consumables and equipment purchases while overseeing lab renovations (including painting the X-ray Facility purple!) and compliance and safety matters. She summarizes her job as “putting out fires,” but not the literal kind (though she probably could). She also stands by her claim that nothing is truly missing or out of stock until she can’t find it. She is a founding member of the Lab Manager’s Network at CSHL and currently serves as Co-Vice-Chair of HHMI’s LMNOP (Lab Managers Network of Professionals) Advisory Board. Outside of work, she enjoys photographing nature, especially the beautiful grounds of the laboratory campus, and has some of her post cards and other stationary designs for sale at the CSHL bookstore.

Lauren Richter – Senior Scientific Administrator

B.S. Economics, 1991
Carnegie Mellon University

Lauren joined the Joshua-Tor lab in 2022, bringing organization and humor to the ground floor of Beckman laboratory. She handles grant applications, expense reports and many other boring (but very important!) administrative tasks while making sure the scientists never run out of coffee, tea and whiteboard markers. Outside of the Joshua-Tor lab, she coordinates the labwide CSHL Seminar Series. Lauren spends time outside the lab reading, listening to podcasts, and getting into a game of Mah Jong when she can.

Dexter Adams – Graduate Student, Stony Brook University

B.S. in Molecular Biology and Zoology, 2018

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dexter is a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University, pursuing his dissertation research by studying RNAi pathways using biochemical and structural techniques. He’s also the point-person for our new Chameleon and is tasked with training lab members and newbies on its awesomeness (and to make sure no one breaks it!). Outside of the lab, Dexter enjoys working on and driving cars and motorcycles, and rivals Kelley Blue Book in his ability to evaluate and appraise motor vehicles on sight.

Leah Braviner – Graduate Student, CSHL School of Biological Sciences

B.S. in Biochemistry, 2019

University of Leeds

Leah is a PhD candidate at the School of Biological Sciences at CSHL. Her research focuses on the structural elucidation of C.elegans proteins involved in regulation of gene expression. When she’s not working at the bench, you can find her brewing a cup of Earl Grey tea and attempting to build/paint random things for her house (level of success undisclosed). More successfully, she also enjoys sailing, skiing, and cycling, and plays  ultimate frisbee at (but not in!) the lab.

Dennis Thomas – CryoEM Lab Facility Manager

Ph.D., Biophysics, 1997

Brandeis University

Dennis joined the lab in 2017 with the arrival of our Titan Krios and K3 direct electron detector. The new CryoEM facility has achieved resolutions as high as 2.2 angstroms and can collect as many as 410 images per hour. When he’s not babysitting the most impressive (and expensive!) piece of equipment on the CSHL campus, he’s at home wrangling two small children who are determined to permanently break his eye glasses.

Ming Wang – X-Ray Lab Facility Manager

M.S., Chemistry, Crystallography, 1986

Fudan University, Shanghai

Ming joined the lab in 1998 and manages our X-ray Lab Facility, which consists of a MicroMax-007HF generator with Osmic VariMax VHF optics, a Saturn 944+ detector, and an AFC11 goniometer all from Rigaku. Ming provides training and collaboration to research labs at CSHL, as well as the annual practical course on Macromolecular Crystallography. He’s also our resident computer consultant, assisting in the procurement and management of the lab’s high-end computers (some of which are named after Game of Thrones characters).

Adriana Hincapie – Media Maker

Adriana has been a part of the CSHL community since 2001, but joined the Joshua-Tor lab in 2017. She handles media preparation and pouring, as well as preparing biochemical solutions. She ensures sterilization of lab glassware by washing and autoclaving in our “kitchen,” not to be confused with our kitchen where we drink the coffee and eat the snacks.

Om Prakash Chouhan – Postdoc
Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Protein Crystallography, 2019
BITS Pilani India

Om, a Postdoc research fellow, joined Leemor Joshua-Tor’s lab in 2023. He is working on a project related to the Human origin replication complex (Orc). His research involves mechanistic details about Orc and other accessory proteins. Om is using Cryo-EM, X-ray crystallography, and biochemical approaches to elucidate the Orc complex. Om is a passionate movie lover and the witty dialogues keep him motivated (also, he uses them all over to look cool). Apart from spending his time thinking about science, he is passionate about exploring new places and ready to plan sudden hikes. Om always enjoys his time in the company of new people, different cousins, and their way of living. He is a ‘chai’ enthusiast, brews the best in town himself, and “a man of few words” as his friends bestowed on him.

Jack Bauer – Graduate Student, Stony Brook University
B.S. in Biochemistry, 2021
Stony Brook University

Jack is a PhD candidate from the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology program at Stony Brook University. He joined the lab in 2023, and his research focuses on the structure and function of the eukaryotic origin replication complex (ORC). When he’s not driving back and forth between CSHL and SBU, he enjoys watching/following almost every major sports league there is to offer, blasting his music (and occasionally singing along, off-pitch of course), and socializing with friends and coworkers when he can. He also has a passion for meteorology and astronomy, so if there’s ever a chance for seeing extreme weather, a meteor shower, or (hopefully!) the northern lights nearby, he might know before the forecasters do! One other fun fact: Jack attended many of the various DNA Learning Center summer programs while growing up and dreamed of carrying out research at CSHL since 4th grade!

Brendan Farhi – Research Technician
B.S. in Biology, 2023
Knox College

Brendan is a hardworking research technician. He can often be found working on Insect Tissue Culture or at his bench scribbling and pipetting away. Brendan adores protozoology and anything to do with ciliate genomes. If he is, unusually, away from work in his free time he is usually: reading sci-fi books, cooking, endurance running, or trying to master a new skill. Be sure to come to him if you find yourself in need of cool animal facts!

Natalie Jones – Postdoc
Ph.D. in Chemical Biology, 2023
The Rockefeller University

Natalie joined the Joshua-Tor lab in 2024 and is interested in molecular mechanisms underlying RNA interference-mediated control of gene expression. She aims to use structural biology and enzymology approaches to understand how small non-coding RNAs can be post-transcriptionally modified and engage in protein complexes. Outside of the lab, Natalie likes to be…outside! You can find her on local Long Island trails or in upstate New York in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, or Adirondacks. To make up for any calories lost while hiking, Natalie also loves to eat and experiment with new recipes.