Katja Brückner

Principal Investigator; [email protected]

Katja received her Ph.D. in biology and cell signaling from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the University of Heidelberg for her work on ephrin signaling in the laboratory of  Rüdiger Klein, Germany.  Katja performed her postdoctoral studies at the EMBL in the laboratory of Stephen Cohen, where she identified glycosylation as a switch in cell signaling, and at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Norbert Perrimon, where she laid the foundation for her current research in hematopoiesis. 

Katja was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Associate, long-term postdoctoral fellow of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), and Special Fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). For her postdoctoral studies, the LLS awarded Katja with the Brian P. O'Dell Memorial Research Award. Since joining the faculty of UCSF in late 2006, Katja has received a Hellman Family Scholar Award, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, an American Heart  Association career development award, and she was funded by research grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.



Past Lab Members


Jordan Augsburger

Laboratory Manager; [email protected]











Pablo Sanchez Bosch

Postdoctoral Fellow; [email protected]




Thea Jacobs

MS Student; [email protected]

Sean Corcoran

BS Researcher; [email protected]










Xiaoyi Xiao

MS Student; [email protected]

Anjeli Mase

BS Student; [email protected]






Yousuf Hashmi

BS Student; [email protected]









Tom Chi

Visitor, Assistant Professor and Clinician,
Department of Urology

Fei Wang 

Visiting Associate Professor, 
Southwest University, China 

Kalpana Makhijani

Kalpana was the first postdoctoral fellow of the Brückner lab, who joined with a Ph.D. in developmental biology from the lab of L.S. Shashidhara in India. Kalpana is an expert geneticist and first author on several Brückner lab publications that identified the Hematopoietic Pockets of the Drosophila larva as neuron-dependent hematopoietic sites. While in the lab, Kalpana was a long-term fellow of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP). Kalpana is preparing to start her own laboratory in the near future.

Brandy Alexander

With a BS in Biology from the University of Toledo, Brandy joined the Brückner lab in its early days in 2008. As Lab Manager and Assistant Specialist, she has helped to unravel the role of the peripheral nervous system- blood cell axis in the Drosophila system. Brandy combines a love for flies with a diverse life outside of the lab and an in-depth knowledge of San Francisco and its brewing scene.

Katrina Gold

Originally from London, Katrina holds an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge. She stayed on in Cambridge to carry out her PhD in Andrea Brand's laboratory at the Gurdon Institute, studying neural stem cell regulation in the Drosophila optic lobe. Katrina joined the Brückner lab in May 2014, extending her expertise in neuro- and stem cell biology to the neuronal regulation of blood cells. Katrina is a postdoctoral fellow of the American Heart Association. Besides following her interests in music and award-winning talents in writing and film-making, Katrina tries to maintain a balanced diet of high and low culture in her spare time

You Bin Lin

As an A*STAR Scholar from Singapore, You Bin earned his Ph.D. for his research on receptor tyrosine kinase signaling networks in the Brückner laboratory. Now back in Singapore, You Bin is a Research Scientist and Project Leader with a certificate in Commercial Law and Technology Transfer.

Sophia Petraki

Sophia joined the Brückner lab under the UC LEADS program while being an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz. She later returned to the lab to continue her research, shining with talents in one-eyed dissections and creative engineering. Because Sophia is passionate about the molecular mechanisms of nervous control in somatic diseases, she pursues a career in medicine and biomedical research.


Deepti Rao

Deepti S. Rao graduated from San Diego State University with M.S in Molecular Biology. Before joining the Brückner lab, Deepti studied muscle biology and ageing in the labs of Sanford Bernstein and Fabio Demontis. She received her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from Jayachamarajendra Engineering College, Mysore, India. Deepti joined Brückner lab at UCSF in August 2015. Her passion includes running long distances, backpacking some of the beautiful mountains in the bay area, and volunteering for non-profit organizations. During her free time, she also learns Indian light music


Itrat Batool

Research Specialist

Rowan Baginsky

Research Specialist

Rowan completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of San Francisco, where he also received a Master's degree in Molecular Biology. His graduate work focused on nuclear hormone receptors and transcriptional regulation in development and disease. Rowan joined the Brückner lab in November 2013. He studies the effects of age and other factors on the blood cell system of adult Drosophila. In his free time, Rowan enjoys hiking, reading, and playing his guitar

Corinna Wong

Undergraduate Student

As a third year student at UC Berkeley, Corinna studies Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology. Her foundation and exposure to research laboratories began prior to entering college, in the Weiss Lab at UCSF. As a current undergraduate student, Corinna is expanding her knowledge in the Brückner Lab at UCSF and through other internships. Upon graduation, Corinna's goal is to pursue higher education, whether it be research, dentistry, or both. In addition to her interests in neuroscience, dentistry, immunology and genetics, Corinna enjoys reading and exploring new restaurants.

Leire Herboso Urioste

Postdoctoral Fellow

Leire is an original from the Basque country. She obtained her PhD in Rosa Barrio´s laboratory at the CIC bioGUNE, studying the role of scavenger receptors in steroidogenesis and the effects of ecdysone on growth in the Drosophila model. Leire is interested in regulatory mechanisms of self-renewing macrophages and other aspects of blood cell development. Leire has a gentle touch when it comes to dissections, but nobody messes with her- at her University she won the championships in Taekwondo. Nothing escapes the sharp eyes of Leire and her camera, and she is always at the ready with her famous tortilla cooking.

Katelyn Kukar

Laboratory Manager; [email protected]

Debra Ouyang

BS Researcher; [email protected]

Glenda Li

BS Research Specialist; [email protected]

Natalia Whitney

Laboratory Manager; [email protected]


Paola Carrion

MS Student; [email protected]


Julianna Lamm

BS Student; [email protected]