Research Team

Gheorghe Chistol

Assistant Professor

Hometown: Causeni, Moldova
Previous Research Interests: radioastronomy, planet hunting, optical trapping, molecular motors
Current Research Interests: how eukaryotic cells detect and respond to replication stress? how do complex molecular machines with dozens of subunits (such as the replisome) function?
Passionate about: molecules, science, history, photography, cooking
Guilty pleasure: ice-cream
Favorite quote: “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” — Monty Python
Spirit animal: The Polar Bear


Linda Song

Lab Manager/Research Scientist

Hometown: Alhambra, CA
Previous Research Interests: Thermodynamics of transcriptional regulation by the lac operon, Chromosome organization in bacteria, Effects of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causing mutations on sequestration of human β-cardiac myosin
Current Research Interests: Single-molecule studies of genome maintenance in eukaryotes
Passionate about: Teaching, mentoring, and organizing the lab
Guilty pleasure: Eating Korean food, watching Korean drama, and listening to Korean pop music
Favorite quote: “All grown-ups were once children…but only few of them remember it.” — The Little Prince
Spirit animal: According to an online quiz, I’m a whale, but I want to be a penguin : )


Riki Terui

Postdoctoral Fellow

Hometown: Shiga, Japan
Previous Research Interests: How does mismatch repair occur in the context of chromatin?
Current Research Interests: How does DNA damage checkpoint stabilize replication forks to maintain genome integrity?
Passionate about: Molecular biology, reading
Guilty pleasure: Sweets, Manga
Favorite quote: “Just concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else.” — Momo (Michael Ende)
Spirit animal: The turtle



Dhruva Deshpande

Postdoctoral Fellow

Hometown: Pune, India
Previous Research Interests: Single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM), stimulated emission depletion (STED), synaptic proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders
Current Research Interests: Investigate replisome components using multiplexed super-resolution imaging
Passionate about: Microscopy, science writing, hiking, gardening
Guilty pleasure: Midnight food binges
Favorite quote: “One of the poets, whose name I cannot recall, has a passage, which I am unable at the moment to remember, in one of his works, which for the time being has slipped my mind, which hits off admirably in this situation” – P. G. Wodehouse
Spirit animal: Dog


Luke Lynch

Graduate Student

Graduate Program: Biochemistry
Hometown: Pinehurst, NC
Previous Research Interests: Rapid genome evolution and sub-clonal heterogeneity as a consequence of cell division errors
Current Research Interests: How DNA unwinding is regulated by checkpoint signaling
Passionate about: Microscopy, folk dance, baking, soccer
Guilty pleasure: PBR
Favorite quote: “You can observe a lot by just watching” — Yogi Berra
Spirit animal: Squirrel


Scott Berger

Graduate Student

Graduate Program: Biophysics
Hometown: Montvale, NJ
Previous Research Interests: The role of J-proteins in variant-specific yeast prion elimination, ribosome-associated complex structure and function, employing Kuramoto model oscillators and small-world network architecture in neuroscience
Current Research Interests: How is initiation of DNA replication regulated?
Passionate about: Single molecule imaging, history and evolution of Sinitic and Japonic languages, cooking, biking, chemical origins and early evolution of life, computer hardware
Guilty pleasure: Boba
Favorite quote: “I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to realize that.” — K. Emiya
Spirit animal: Salamander


Anika Krishnan

Undergraduate Student

Hometown: San Mateo, CA
Previous Research Interests: PK/PDs involved in ChemoFilter drug adsorption, B-cell stimulation and spreading
Current Research Interests: Segmenting single-molecule image movies into individual molecules/Single-Particle Tracking of CMG molecules using MATLAB
Passionate about: Classical/choral singing, molecular biology, volunteering, watercolors, baking, and tide pool exploration
Guilty pleasure: RHOBH
Favorite quote: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde
Spirit animal: Otter !!

Tsion Abza

Research Intern

Hometown: Awassa, Ethiopia
Previous Research Interests: Evolution, survival of bacteria in the environment
Current Research Interests: How eukaryotes replicate, cancer prevention, chronic noncommunicable diseases
Passionate about: molecular biology, baking, reading, watching movies
Guilty pleasure: Keeping up with the Kardashians (KUWTK), house hunting, sweets
Favorite quote: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Shaw
Spirit animal: Deer

Administration Team

Taylor Crisologo

Administrative Associate

Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA
Previous Research Interests: Avian ecology and behavior
Current Research Interests: Finding the most organized and efficient ways to support my labs!
Passionate about: Birdwatching, Polynesian dance, scuba diving, hiking, reading, and science communication
Guilty pleasure: Skipping to the last page of the book before finishing it to see if my favorite character makes it
Favorite quote: “The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.” — John Muir
Spirit animal: Tree swallow!

Friends of the Lab

Sarina Mitchel


Hometown: Wayne, NJ
Previous Research Interests: Art history, perfect squares, number patterns, maximalism, surrealism
Current Research Interests: Masonite and other compressed wood products, acrylic paint, cells and how they move, abstract art
Passionate about: Creating art, bridging art and science
Guilty pleasure: Baking, writing postcards, and sleeping
Favorite quote: “Learn to eat rejection; it will make you stronger.” — Bob Ragland
Spirit animal: Ms. Proboscis (@msproboscis on Instagram)
Portfolio site:
Instagram: @rina_the_beans
Twitter: @smitchelart


Snack Quality Control Officer

Hometown: West Covina, CA
Previous Research Interests: brown squirrels
Current Research Interests: black squirrels
Passionate about: squirrel biodiversity, food on the ground, butt-scratches, did I mention squirrels?
Guilty pleasure: leftovers
Favorite quote: “Are you going to eat that?”
Spirit animal: The Pet Rock

The Chistol Lab’s 2020 socially-distant lab photo. From left to right: Luke Lynch, Linda Song, Scott Berger, Gheorghe and Henry Chistol, Taylor Crisologo, and Riki Terui.

Former Lab Members

Christy Luong

Rotation Student, Spring 2021

Jordan Valgardson

Rotation Student, Winter 2020

Travis Lantz

Visiting Student, Winter 2020

Jo-Hsi Huang

Rotation Student, Summer 2020