Briggs Hall 101


September 2022 – Cnidofest at UC Davis



Click here to see Lab Alumni



Principle Investigator


Celina Juliano, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
B.S. University of Miami
Ph.D. Brown University
Post Doc Yale University



Lab Manager


Malgosia Bzymek


Lab Manager

B.A. Bowdoin College

Ph.D. Brandeis University


I am a molecular biologist with a background in genetic recombination and a broad interest in everything related to Hydra. My current research in the Juliano Lab revolves around optimizing the ways we make transgenic animals and creating genetic tools in Hydra. Outside the lab I love reading, being outdoors, hiking and backpacking, yoga, art, tutoring math and spending time with family and friends.




Graduate Students


Abby Primack

BMCDB Graduate Student
B.A. Earlham College


My broad interests include differential gene regulation, epigenetics, and molecular biology. My research in the lab focuses on uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of  Hydra’s amazing nervous system, which is replaced every 3 weeks due to normal cellular turnover and can also fully regenerate following injury. To do this, I use single-cell RNA sequencing and create transgenic animals, allowing us to probe and visualize the nervous system.



Hannah Morris Little

BMCDB Graduate Student
B.S. UC San Diego


I am interested in the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms controlling cell-fate decisions during development. My research in the lab utilizes high-throughput sequencing techniques to characterize the Wnt-responsive gene regulatory networks (GRNs) at cell-type resolution in the uninjured, adult Hydra. Characterizing these GRNs in the context of normal development will ultimately allow us to investigate how these pathways are redeployed during regeneration.



Iris Yoshiko Juanico

BMCDB Graduate Student
B.S. UC Davis


I investigate how injury drives regeneration and patterning. I leverage molecular biology techniques, high throughput sequencing, and human cell culture to uncover the gene regulatory networks triggered by injury. Outside of the lab, I love petting cats, strength training at the gym, exchanging letters with my pen pals, and drinking milk tea.



Jennifer Tsverov


BMCDB Graduate Student

B.S. UC Davis


My research interests include studying the development and maintenance of the nervous system in Hydra. Outside of lab I enjoy gardening, watercolor painting, camping, cooking and of course running into llamas!





Post-Doctoral Scholars


Ben Cox
Post Doctoral Scholar

B.S. University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D. Duke University


I am interested in using Hydra to study whole-organism regeneration. Through advances in imaging and anesthesia methods, we hope to capture the entire process of animal regeneration in real time. In tandem, I aim to expand the toolkit of fluorescent reporters in Hydra to more thoroughly describe cell structures. We expect that these advances will lead to unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution of regeneration and reveal individual and collective cell behaviors responsible Hydra’s remarkable plasticity.



Sergio E. Campos
Human Frontier Science Program Post Doctoral Scholar


I obtained my PhD at CINVESTAV in Mexico, where my thesis focused on the genetic basis of aging. Currently in the Juliano Lab I am helping in the development of novel genetic methods for Hydra that will enable us to address relevant questions in the field of regeneration. My research interests also include establishing Hydra as a model to study the relationship between regeneration and aging.



Master’s Students


Sahar Naziri


Master’s Student, University of Vienna


I am fascinated by how embryonic signaling pathways are used in the regeneration of adult tissues. My focus in the Juliano lab is to understand the function of Wnt signaling in Hydra oligactis foot regeneration. Outside of the lab, I enjoy cooking and gardening.



Undergraduate Researchers




Craig Ciampa


Undergraduate Student, UC Davis


I am an undergraduate Biotechnology major, with interests in microbiology, biochemistry, and language. My work involves my familiarization with the processes of genetic research, as well as the basics of experimental design. I work directly with maintaining Hydra populations, and understanding the relationship between age and regenerative potential.



Kamille B Maningding


Undergraduate Student, UC Davis

Pronouns: they/them


I am an undergraduate Molecular and Medical Microbiology major with interests in microbiomes and sexuality studies. In high school I had the opportunity to be introduced to biotechnology skills and topics early on for four years, so I was excited to work directly in the lab with the Hydra lab strains! Outside of lab I’ll be in the kitchen cooking or baking or starting a new craft project while watching YouTube videos.



Pranathi Puttha


Undergraduate Student, UC Davis


I am currently a third year Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior student at UC Davis. I am interested in the immunology aspect of Hydra and their innate immune system, which they use to detect and interact with microbes. I am also interested in the microbiome and how Hydra coexist with bacteria. Outside of lab I like to make sourdough bread.



Dinh Hieu Pham


Undergraduate Student, UC Davis


I am a third year UC Davis student majoring in Biochemistry. I am interested in embryogenesis and I would like to find out more about the genetic control of Hydra sexual reproduction. After graduating from UC Davis I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Biochemistry or Biochemical Engineering.



Jackson Crane


Undergraduate Student, UC Davis


I am a third-year Cell Biology major minoring in Computational Biology. I’m currently focused on familiarizing myself with Hydra care and other laboratory chores. However, in the near future, I aim to learn more about the bioinformatic techniques commonly used in research and to explore the cellular mechanisms that give Hydra their remarkable regenerative abilities. Outside of the lab, I enjoy hiking, trail running, and rock climbing.



Divleen Lota


Undergraduate Student, UC Davis



Kavita Ranade


Undergraduate Student, UC Davis