Daniel T. Grimes, DPhil.

Principal Investigator

Dan studied Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at Oxford University (2004-2008). As an undergraduate, he worked with Dr. Jennifer Murdoch on Sonic hedgehog signaling in the mouse neural tube. He then undertook a PhD at MRC Harwell and the University of Oxford (2008-2012) in the lab of Dr. Dominic Norris where he worked on pathways controlling the left-right patterning of mouse embryos. Next, he moved to Princeton as a postdoc (2013-2018) in the lab of Dr. Rebecca Burdine where his work on heart development, motile cilia and scoliosis in the zebrafish was funded by an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship and a K99 Pathway to Independence Award from NIAMS. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon. Outside the lab, Dan enjoys watching and playing soccer, reading, writing and traveling.

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Sophia Frantz

graduate student

Sophia received a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College in 2016. There, she worked with Dr. Jodi Schottenfeld-Roames on the role of cell polarity in forming a special cell called a terminal cell in the Drosophila tracheal system. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant at Princeton in an evolutionary genomics lab and then at Columbia in a human genomics lab. She is now a PhD student at the University of Oregon in the Institute of Ecology and Evolution. When not in the lab, she enjoys reading, trying new IPAs, and trail running.



Rachel Hopton

graduate student

Rachel received her B.S. in cell biology from University of California, Davis in 2016 while working full time as a waitress in the Bay Area. After graduation, she worked as a lab technician at UC Davis with Dr. Bruce Draper in a developmental biology lab focusing on the role of Wnt4a in sex determination and reproductive duct development. She then later focused on the role of fibroblast growth factor receptors during zebrafish embryonic development. Currently She is a PhD student at the University of Oregon in the Institute of Molecular Biology. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, discovering new restaurants, and watching Jeopardy.


Colin Kuhns

undergraduate student

Colin is a freshman at the University of Oregon studying to receive his B.S. in Psychology while minoring in Biology and Chemistry. In high school, he worked with David Valenzuela, a neuroscience professor, on Drosophila and C. elegans gene mutations as well as pGlo E. coli plasmids. After college, Colin is planning to apply to medical school to become an anesthesiologist. When not in the lab or at school, Colin enjoys playing tennis, taking photographs, and hiking around Eugene. 

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Gabriel Luna

graduate student

Gabriel graduated with a B.S. in Bioprocess Engineering from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí in 2014. Next, he obtained a M.Sc. from the IPICYT research institute in 2017, where he worked with Dr. Alejandro de las Peñas on the regulation of CTA1 that confers high oxidative stress resistance in the human pathogen Candida glabrata. He applied to the University of Oregon to do research using zebrafish. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Institute of Molecular Biology. Outside of lab, he is interested in: exploring Oregon's nature, watching sports, playing basketball and soccer, and reading thrillers.


Judy Peirce

research assistant

Judy graduated with a B.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon in
1984. As an undergrad researcher she worked in the Menaker lab studying
circadian rhythms in a variety of vertebrate animal models including
rats, mice, anolis lizards, gecko and trout. After graduation she
continued to work as a research assistant in the Menaker lab and later
split her time between the Venkatesh lab, working with fruit fly
genetics, and the Eisen lab working with zebrafish.

In 1988 she began a collaboration with Len Schvaneveldt and generated The Schvaneveldt Sisters : Cody, Eleni, and Eliot, an elite team of millennials
questioning the paradigm every day. Judy returned to zebrafish research
in 2002 when she joined the Westerfield Lab as a research assistant. She
is excited to split her time with the Grimes lab  as she helps to
establish the lab's fish lines at the University of Oregon.