(See Former Lab Members)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Promislow

Daniel Promislow: Daniel began his career in biology as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. He completed his doctoral work in evolutionary biology with Paul Harvey at Oxford University. After post-doctoral work in Paris, at Queen's University in Ontario, and at the University of Minnesota, in 1995 he joined the faculty in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia. Daniel moved to the University of Washington in July 2013, where he is professor in the Departments of Pathology and Biology. Daniel is broadly interested in evolutionary genetics, with a particular focus on projects related to aging, as well as studies on sexual selection, natural genetic variation, networks, and metabolomics. Daniel is also director of the Canine Longevity Consortium, an NIH-funded project to understand the factors that influence healthspan and lifespan in dogs. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys running, cooking, skiing, and prior to his move to Seattle, he played guitar in the Athens band, Klezmer Local 42.


Xiaqing Zhao: Xiaqing recently finished her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Paul Schmidt. She is broadly interested in the mechanisms of natural phenotypic variation, especially those related to fitness. Her PhD work focused on the genetic basis of the naturally-varying diapause propensity in wild populations of D. melanogaster. In the Promislow lab, she will work on mechanisms of natural variation in lifespan and response to dietary restriction. When she is not working, Xiaqing enjoys skiing, cycling, cooking and playing the piano.

Adrienne Wang: Adrienne was raised in the Seattle area but left to attend UC Berkeley for her undergraduate education in molecular neurobiology. After enjoying all the Bay Area has to offer (and spending a few years working as a technician at UCSF and the Buck Institute) Adrienne moved to Ann Arbor to get her PhD in Neuroscience. She completed her doctoral work with Dr. Andrew Lieberman investigating therapeutic targets in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy and started her Postdoc with Matt Kaeberlein at the University of Washington. After spending many years working with mice, Adrienne is happy to be pursuing research in a new-to-her model organism, the fruit fly. In addition to raising fruit flies, she is also currently raising a new baby, and enjoying being back near family and friends.

Silvan Urfer: Silvan is a veterinarian with a background in population genetics and survival analysis and is currently working on the Dog Aging Project for the Promislow and Kaeberlein Labs. He earned his veterinary degree and his doctorate from the University of Bern in his native Switzerland and did postdoctoral work at the Ostrander Lab at NIH/NHGRI in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Wolf Lab at UW Medicine Pathology, where he worked on population genetics and biomarkers of aging in dogs. Following Norm Wolf's retirement at the end of 2011, he worked on analyzing large veterinary databases in cooperation with the private sector, investigating preventive veterinary interventions that could have beneficial effects on overall life expectancy in dogs. In 2016, Silvan came back to the UW as a Senior Fellow to work on the Dog Aging Project. In his spare time, he also investigates the effects of aging on yeast-fermented Vitis vinifera lysates using organoleptic bioassays.

Alex Franks: Alex is currently a Moore/Sloan Data Science and WRF Innovation in Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the eScience Institute at the University of Washington. His interests include methods for high-dimensional covariance estimation, models for high-throughput 'omics data, and missing data methodology. He is currently working with the Promislow lab on statistical methods for the analyzing metabolomic data from patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. He received his PhD in the Department of Statistics at Harvard University where he was a member of Edoardo Airoldi's lab. He joined the Promislow lab in the fall of 2015. In his spare time Alex enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, reading and exploring Seattle and its environs.

Graduate Students

Kelly Jin: Kelly was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her BS and MS in biochemistry and cell biology from UC San Diego. She then worked for 3 years at a diagnostics company in San Diego, where she became interested in using statistical and computational methods to learn about complex disease. As a perpetual West Coast girl, Kelly then moved to Seattle where she is currently working towards her PhD in Molecular Medicine in the Promislow Lab at the University of Washington. In the lab, she is broadly interested in discovering and modeling genetic and environmental components of age-related disease. Outside of the lab, Kelly enjoys hiking, playing tennis, and exploring the city. She is also constantly on the hunt for new exotic foods to try.

Rotation Students

Maddy Hewitt: Maddy is a first-year Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD student. She grew up in Austin, Texas and completed her B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Although her undergraduate work focused on protein biochemistry, Maddy is looking to try something new in graduate school. After completing a rotation project in the Berg lab concerning the effects of hypoxia on fruit fly development, Maddy has become curious about natural variation in responses to environmental conditions. She is excited to further explore this theme during her rotation in the Promislow lab. During her free time, Maddy’s favorite things to do include cooking, birdwatching, journaling, and playing video games.

Michael Kiflezghi: Michael was born and raised in Virginia where he attended Virginia Commonwealth University earning BS degrees in Bioinformatics and Information Systems with minors in Biology and Chemistry. During his undergraduate years, he became interested in the effects that dietary restriction can have on health, health-span, and longevity which has blossomed into an interest in the molecular biology of the aging process and potential interventions. To this end Michael moved to Seattle in 2016 where he’s currently working on his Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine. He enjoys the usual outdoor activities but you will most likely find him walking down a corridor reading something on his Kindle.

Olivia Kosterlitz: Olivia grew up in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Utah spring 2016. During her bachelor’s degree, she worked several teaching assistant positions in various areas of biology and chemistry which in turn sparked a passion for teaching and education. Olivia started working as a student researcher in an evolutionary genetics and genomics lab. She wants to continue to explore interesting evolutionary questions on complex adaptive traits in her Ph.D. research at the University of Washington. Outside of lab Olivia loves to hike, ski, read and spend time with family and loved ones.

Lab Manager

Ben Harrison: Ben grew up in Vancouver, Washington and studied biology at Clark College in Vancouver and at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He earned a PhD in genetics at the University of Wisconsin in 2007 and joined the faculty at the University of Alaska where he taught courses in genetics, molecular biology and evolution. Ben joined the Promislow lab in 2016 where he pursues his interests in the architecture of complex traits. Outside of the lab Ben enjoys spending time with family, fixing cars, exploring the outdoors and eating wildlife.

Lab Assistants

Aaron Rosen: Aaron is an undergraduate studying Biochemistry at the University of Washington and is grateful and excited for the opportunity to be a part of Dr. Promislow's Lab. Aaron enjoys learning about genome sciences and hopes to continue developing this understanding here and beyond. With spare time, Aaron is probably reading, practicing scientific writing, or exploring Seattle.

Gabi Endicott: Gabi is a junior majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Philosophy with a minor in Chemistry. After graduating, she hopes to go to veterinary school and eventually work in a zoo that specializes in animal conservation. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new foods, going on road trips, and taking naps.

Natalie Pearlman: Natalie is a junior currently majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and plans to attend Medical School after graduating. When she is not in the lab, she enjoys backpacking, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and cooking.

Undergraduate Research Students

Alexandria McCarthy: Alex is a junior majoring in Microbiology and minoring in English. She has no idea what she wants to do after she graduates, but knows that it will involve biology! When not working with the UW Mindfulness Project or spending hours on Netflix, she loves trying new food, reading (and never finishing) books, and looking for cats to pet.

Alice Coleman: Alice is a sophomore planing to pursue a major in Biology with an emphasis on the fields of ecology and conservation. After her senior year she hopes to go onto graduate studies in biology in some form. When not in the lab Alice can be found underneath a mountain of organic chemistry work, watching the San Francisco Giants, eating, at the gym or bothering her friends with bad jokes.

Elise Hoffman: Elise is a second year undergraduate at the University of Washington planning to study biology. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and work in pediatrics as well as do global health work. When she has free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, spending time with friends and exploring Seattle.

Emmanuel Cuevas: Emmanuel was raised in University Place, WA and attended Curtis High School. He is currently a junior at the University of Washington, majoring in Physiology. He is also the Vice President of the UW Neurobiology Club. After graduation he hopes to go to Medical School and become either an emergency physician or neurologist. Emmanuel enjoys working out, hiking, and photography in his free time.

Fatima El-Ghazali: Fatima is a junior studying neurobiology at UW and looking to pursue a career in health care. When she's not pestering her cat Sushi, you'll find her volunteering with non-profit organizations, spending time with family and friends, enjoying delicious meals from around the world, messing with arts/craft, and visiting all the animals at the zoo.

Ij Okeke: Ij is a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in General Biology and minoring in Global Health. After graduating, she hopes to take a few years off to work full-time in a lab and travel before going to medical school. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, reading and binge watching Netflix shows.

Jessica Jang: Jessica is a Molecular Biology major at UW. Her dream is to change the world with her research! When she is not working with fruit flies, Jessica is interested in helping at social activist rallies, painting, and playing the violin.

Nitin Desai: Nitin is a junior at the UW. He is a pre-med student and is planning to study cellular, molecular, and developmental biology. During Nitin's free time he likes to hang out with friends, engulf himself in Netflix and learn new things.

Makenzi Kaiser: Makenzi is pursuing a degree in Biology and plans to continue her education in medical school, as she works to become a pediatrician. While she's aware fruit flies are far from children, Makenzi hopes working in the Promislow lab will give her research experience to reflect upon as she develops as a physician. When she isn't feeding flies or frantically studying organic chemistry, Makenzi can most likely be found watching Netflix, exploring with friends or petting random dogs.

Justin Bethel: Justin is a junior studying biochemistry at UW. After graduation he hopes to go to Dental School and become an Oral Surgeon. He likes to run, eat, and learn new things.

Rebekah Zaharia: Rebekah is a junior at the University of Washington, majoring in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology. After getting her B.S., she hopes to take a gap year doing something exciting before enrolling in medical school. When she has a break from work, lab, and school, she enjoys yoga, bothering her cat, eating, and watching cringe-worthy comedy (sometimes all at the same time).

Lab Volunteers

Miriam Levy: Miriam is a rising senior pursuing a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and hopes to attend Medical School in the future. For now, when she's not enjoying learning in the Promislow lab, Miriam likes swimming, sailing, watching cooking shows with her cat, and educating others about ways to reduce waste.

Falak Daud: Falak is a rising senior at Redmond High School who is interested in mathematics, genetics, molecular biology, and medicine. She is a summer intern at the Promislow Lab working on statistical modeling and data manipulation. She hopes to continue working and researching in similar fields of study as an undergraduate student. When not in the lab, she spends her time running, reading, and binge-watching Game of Thrones.