The Desai Lab


Michael Desai
Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Physics
mdesai [at]
Melinda Peterson
Administrative Assistant

Melinda keeps the lab running. You can find her at HUH 403, x68062.

mpeterson [at]
Angela Phillips
HHMI Hannah Gray Postdoctoral Fellow

Angela joined the Desai lab as a postdoctoral fellow in June 2018. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at MIT in Matthew Shoulders’s lab, where she applied chemical biology tools to profile the impact of host protein-folding factors on viral protein evolution. Angela is interested in the defining factors of fitness landscapes, particularly in the context of pathogen evolution.

aphillips [at]
Thomas Dupic
HFSP Postdoctoral Fellow

dupic.thomas [at]
Gautam Reddy
NSF-Simons Postdoctoral Fellow

gautam_nallamala [at]
Milo Johnson
Graduate Student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Milo received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 2014. He joined the Desai lab in 2015 and is using experimental evolution in budding yeast to characterize the pleiotropic effects of adaptive mutations across diverse environmental conditions.

milo.s.johnson.13 [at]
Christopher Bakerlee
Graduate Student in Molecules, Cells, and Organisms

Chris received an A.B. in Biology from Brown University in 2012. He joined the Desai lab in 2016, and he is using budding yeast to understand epistasis and the evolutionary dynamics of "selfish genetic elements" (e.g., retrotransposons).

baker03 [at]
Katherine Lawrence
Graduate Student in Physics (MIT)

Katherine received her B.S. in Physics from Yale University in 2014, and she joined the Desai lab in 2017. She is interested in high-resolution high-throughput experimental methods to characterize fitness landscapes, including mapping quantitative traits in diverse wild yeast crosses and measuring the binding affinity trajectories of influenza antibodies.

klawrenc [at]
Artur Rego-Costa
Graduate Student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Artur first joined the lab on 2017 as an exchange M.S. student, and then as a Ph.D. student in 2018. He earned his B.S from the U. of Brasília, and joint M.S. from U. of Groningen and U. of Montpellier. He is currently using deep-sequencing data from experimentally evolved yeast populations to answers questions about predictability of evolutionary dynamics.

rego-costa [at] [website]
Shreyas Gopalkrishna
Graduate Student in Molecules, Cells, and Organisms

gopalakr.shreyas [at]
Alief Moulana
Graduate Student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

amoulana [at]
Tanush Jagdish
Graduate Student in Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology

tanush [at]
Jiseon Min
Graduate Student in Molecules, Cells, and Organisms

Jiseon is broadly interested in developing mathematical models on living systems motivated by probability theory and statistical physics. She received her B.S. in Physics from Caltech in 2018 and joined the Desai lab in 2019. She is currently interested in understanding genetic diversity and temporal dynamics in different regimes.

jiseonmin [at]
Eliot Fenton
Graduate Student in Physics

eliotfenton [at]
Misha Gupta
Graduate Student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

mishagupta [at]

Lab Alumni

Alex N. Nguyen Ba
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto.

Mark Margres
Assistant Professor, University of South Florida.

Sudipta Tung
DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Early Career Fellow, Department of Biology, Ashoka University, India.

Michael J. McDonald
Assistant Professor, Monash University.

Sergey Kryazhimskiy
Assistant Professor, University of California San Diego.

J. David van Dyken
Assistant Professor, University of Miami.

Gabriel Perron
Assistant Professor, Bard College.

Lucy Colwell
Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Cambridge University.

Ivana Cvijovic
Lewis-Sigler Fellow, Princeton University.

Matthew Melissa
Data Scientist, Google.

Ramya Purkanti
Postdoc, Vastenhouw lab, Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.

Lauren Nicolaisen
Data Scientist, Khan Academy.

Benjamin H. Good
Assistant Professor, Stanford University.

Elizabeth R. Jerison
Postdoc, Quake Lab, Stanford University.

Evgeni M. Frenkel
Postdoc, Sabatini Lab, Whitehead Institute.

Katya Kosheleva
Bioinformatics Scientist, Invitae.

Daniel P. Rice
Postdoc, Novembre Lab, University of Chicago.

Jose I. Rojas Echenique
Postdoc, Boone Lab, University of Toronto.

Stephen Martis
Graduate Student, UC Berkeley.

Ian Ochs
Graduate Student, Princeton University.

Juhee Goyal
Undergraduate, Harvard College.

Julian Kates-Harbeck
Team Lead, AI, Kernel.

Parris Humphrey
Bioinformatics Scientist, Myriad Genetics