Lab Members and Alumni

picture of Jim

Jim Hurley

jimhurley [at]

Grad Students

Rachel Jansen
rachel_jansen [at]

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Originally from the East Coast, Rachel completed her BS in Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst where she studied the structure and function of the chaperone DnaK. In the Hurley lab, she uses cryo-electron microscopy to understand lysosomal regulation. Outside of lab, Rachel enjoys hiking, puzzles and playing the cello.

Dan Tudorica
dan_tudorica [at]

Dan graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in Biochemistry and Mathematics. At Oregon, he studied bacterial sensing and motility in the Karen Guillemin lab, with a focus on the structural aspects of oxidation sensors. In the Hurley lab, he studies the structure and function of autophagy regulation. Outside of lab, Dan loves to read, hike, and explore the city.

Kevin Rose
kevin_rose [at]

Kevin completed a BS in Microbiology from UMD, College Park where he worked with Dr. Jeffrey DeStefano selecting for nucleic acid inhibitors against HIV Gag and Pol proteins. He is now working towards understanding viral co-option mechanisms of ESCRTs during virus budding and assembly using structural biology techniques.

Zeke Cook
zeke_cook [at]

Zeke is a Pennsylvania Amish country native with a BS in physics from Penn State.  He will be working on piecing together the structural organization of autophagy machinery using cryo-electron microscopy.  When not in the lab, Zeke enjoys trail running, rock climbing, and donkey racing.


picture of Kevin

Kevin Larsen
kplarsen [at]

Ruth Kirschstein Fellow

Kevin received his Ph.D. at Stanford University under the guidance of Joseph and Elisabetta Puglisi. He is broadly interested in applying electron microscopy methods to uncover the molecular mechanisms that govern host-pathogen interactions. When not in the lab, he enjoys volleyball, exploring California parks, and discovering local food and drink.

Sankalp Shukla
sankalp {at}

Sankalp received his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Tobias Baumgart. He is broadly interested in the mechanistic studies of membrane-protein interactions and their effect on membrane mechanics. His life outside the lab involves playing recreational sports, cooking spicy food, and practicing mindfulness.

Zhicheng Cui
zhicheng.cui {at}

Zhicheng(Chen) received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University under the guidance of Junjie Zhang. He used cryoEM to study ssRNA phage and translational regulation of Mycobaterium tuberculosis. In the Hurley lab, he focuses on the lysosomal biogenesis and lysosome mitochondria crosstalk. Outside the lab, he enjoys spending time with his family and biking. 

Eric Herrmann
eric.herrmann {at}

Eric received his Ph.D. in the lab of Daniel Kuemmel at the University of Münster in Germany. His dissertation focused on the recruitment mechanisms of GEFs to membranes to mediate nucleotide exchange of small GTPases. He is currently working on the structural analysis of the autophagy maturation pathway. Outside of the lab, Eric enjoys weightlifting, progressive metal, and anime.

picture of Rick

Rick Hooy
rhooy1 [at]

Ruth Kirschstein Fellow

Rick completed his Ph.D. work in the lab of Jungsan Sohn at the Johns Hopkins University. His research strives to understand the molecular basis for immunity, including mechanisms used by pathogens to thwart the immune system. Rick, a native Californian, has a love/hate relationship with the Giants and Niners, and spends as much time as possible outdoors.

Aaron Joiner
amj85 {at}

Miller Institute Fellow

Aaron earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University while working in the lab of Dr. Chris Fromme. His doctoral work unveiled the mechanisms of GEF-mediated nucleotide exchange of small GTPases. He is broadly interested in using structural and biochemical approaches to understand the molecular logic of protein functions at the surface of a membrane.

Minghao Chen
minghao.chen {at}

Minghao received his Ph.D. at Hokkaido University in Japan and learned cryo-EM at the Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology / University of Münster in Germany. He joined Hurley Lab in 2022 and is currently working on the investigation of the autophagy initiation pathway from a structural aspect. In his off time, he is an enthusiastic player of table tennis. 

Project Scientist

picture of Snow (Xuefeng)

Xuefeng Ren

snowren [at]


Grayce Yang
grayceyang [at]

Grayce is an undergrad in MCB and Stats, interested in bioinformatics and structural biology. She joined the Hurley lab to explore her areas of interest and gain more lab experience. During her free time, she enjoys dancing, playing video games, and traveling.

Stacy Yermolenko
yerm4459 [at]

Stacy is an undergrad intending to pursue MCB. She joined Hurley Lab to learn more about proteins and contribute to the discovery of their structures and functions. She hopes to acquire a solid foundation in laboratory techniques and apply her knowledge to her studies. In her free time, she likes to play piano and hike. 

Claire O’Brien
claire.obrien [at]

Claire O’Brien is an undergraduate researcher working with Dr. Sankalp Shukla. They are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Statistics. An avid researcher, they are particularly passionate about membrane-protein interactions, statistical genomics, bioethics, and genetic engineering. Outside of the lab, they work as a statistics tutor and take courses on education to achieve their long-term goal of becoming a professor. In their free time, you can find them crocheting around campus and getting lost on the bus. 

Isabella Estrada
isabellaestrada [at]

Isabella Estrada is an undergraduate researcher working with Dr. Sankalp Shukla. On a pre-med route majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, she hopes to pursue neurology. Particularly, she is interested in studying neurodegenerative diseases. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hanging out with friends, trying new restaurants, and going thrifting!

Isabella Murray
igmurray [at]

Isabella Murray is an undergraduate researcher studying MCB and Microbial Biology. She is passionate about understanding the underlying structure and composition of proteins, particularly in the context of protein assembly and function. Beyond this, Isabella is interested in virology, synthetic biology, and the use of computational tools in biological research. Outside the lab, she enjoys exploring the city, climbing, and speculative fiction. 

Karla Tapia
karla.tapia [at]

Karla is intended MCB interested in exploring the different fields in molecular biology especially through the Hurley Lab. During her free time, she likes going to escape rooms, reading, and just watching random shows.

Selina Wu
selinawu [at]

Selina is an undergrad pursuing studies in MCB, Business, and Data Science. She is passionate about exploring molecular therapeutics and the connection between science and business. Selina joined the Hurley Lab to gain insight into generating innovative scientific solutions and advancements that positively impact human health. During her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, playing video games, and watching shows and anime.

America Castaneda
americacastaneda5 [at]

America is an undergraduate pursuing Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She has a passion for applications of electrical engineering implemented in robotics, AI, and embedded systems. America joined Hurley Lab to branch out in further applications of computer science, such as developing algorithms to make advancements in MCB research. During her free time, she crochets clothes and plushies, draws comics, and reads web-novels.

Alexia Puerta Cordova
alexiascordova [at]

Alexia is an undergraduate researcher curious about protein reaction pathways, development, and application in human health. As she works with graduate student Dan Tudorica, she learns various techniques and enjoys seeing material from class practically applied in research. During her time off, she spends time playing video and board games, exploring the city, and crafting.


Yuichiro Iwamoto – Scientist, Vitra Labs

Owen Ong

Liv Jensen – Postdoc, Brunger Lab, Stanford

Chenxi Ou – Graduate Student, MIT

Albert Tran

Lisa Strong – Scientist, Neomorph

Emma Garst – Scientist I, Vir Biotechnology

King Cada – Postdoc, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Adam Yokom – Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri

Cosmo Buffalo – Principal Scientist, Novartis

Chunmei Chang – Assistant Professor, Institute of Metabolism and Integrative Biology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Ming-Yuan Su – Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China

Xiaoshan Shi – Professor, Shenzhen Institute of Synthetic Biology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Simon Fromm – Cryo-EM Specialist, EMBL Heidelberg

Thomas Flower – Senior Project Manager, NovAliX

Mark Remec Pavlin

Lindsey Young – Postdoc, Villa Lab, UCSD

Nicholas Tjahjono – Graduate Student, Rice University Materials Science and NanoEngineering Program, Yakobson Lab

Hersh Bhargava – Graduate Student, UCSF Biophysics Program, El-Samad and Lim Labs

Jamie Shiah – Former Undergraduate Researcher

Johannes Schöneberg – Assistant Professor, UCSD

Felix Goerdeler – Ph.D Student, Berlin, Germany

Kyle Morris – EMDB Team Leader, EMBL-EBI

Goran Stjepanovic – Group Leader, University of Hong Kong

Ursula Schulze-Gahmen – Staff Research Scientist, Gladstone Institute

Mary Lin – Science Writer, Path AI

Eli Il-Hyung Lee – Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montclair State University
leei AT montclair DOT edu

Lars-Anders Carlson – Associate Professor, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Umeå University, Sweden
lars-anders.carlson AT umu DOT se

Shiqian Qi – Professor, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, Sichuan University
qishiqian AT scu DOT edu DOT cn

Qingtao Shen – Associate Professor, SUSTech

Robin Stanley – Senior Investigator, NIEHS Intramural Program
stanleyre AT niddk DOT nih DOT gov

Michael Ragusa – Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Dartmouth College
michael.j.ragusa AT dartmouth DOT edu

Thomas Leonard – Associate Professor, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Vienna, Austria
thomas.leonard AT mfpl DOT ac DOT at

Evzen Boura – Group Leader, Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences
of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
evzen.boura AT gmail DOT com

Young Jun Im – Professor, Biochemistry Section, College of Pharmacy, Chonnam National University
imyoungjun AT chonnam DOT ac DOT kr

Dong Yang – University Researcher, China

Hyung Ho Lee – Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University
lee.hyungho AT gmail DOT com

Aitor Hierro – Group Leader, Structural Biology Unit, CIC BIOGUNE Ed. 800, Parque Tecnológico de Vizcaya
ahierro AT cicbiogune DOT es

Sangho Lee – Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan (“SKK”) University
sangholee AT skku DOT edu

Gali Prag – Principal Investigator, Dept. of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel
prag AT post DOT tau DOT ac DOT il

Gregory J. Miller – Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
millergj AT cua DOT edu

Raymond Trievel – Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
rtrievel AT umich DOT edu

Saurav Misra – Scientist, Ventria Bioscience
smisra AT ventria DOT com

Gongyi Zhang – Professor, National Jewish Medical and Reseach Center, Denver, CO
zhangg AT njc DOT org

Bei Yang – Assistant Professor, Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies, Shanghai, China

Do Jin Kim – Denali Therapeutics, Inc.

Sulochanadevi Baskaran – Director of Protein Science and Molecular Biology, Santa Ana Bio

Chris Davies – Manager, Business Development, Genentech

Yeon-Gil Kim – Pohang Accelerator Laboratory, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, 7 Kyungbuk 790-784, Republic of Korea

Adriana Rojas Cardona – Platform Manager, Building 800, PARQUE TECNOLÓGICO DE BIZKAIA, Spain
arojas AT cicbiogune DOT es

Daniel Kloer – Domain Head R&D, Syngenta

Yosuke Tsujishita – Director, Izumi Hospital, Izumi Institute of Health Science, Okinawa, Japan

Jaewon Kim – Scientist, Industry, US

Michael Kostelansky – Senior Director, Commercial Planning, Pfizer

Darrell E. Hurt – Computational Biology Section Head, Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch (BCBB), OCICB/OSMO/OD/NIAID/NIH
darrellh AT niaid DOT nih DOT gov

Christine Jao – Genentech

Bertram Canagarajah – Staff Scientist, NIH
bertram AT helix DOT nih DOT gov

David Murray – Wellcome Trust and Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow, School of Life Sciences, Dundee, Scotland

Thomas Wollert – Researcher, Europe