Dmitry Lyumkis

After obtaining his undegraduate degree in Chemistry / Biochemistry from UCSD, Dmitry Lyumkis obtained his PhD in Biophysics from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, working under the supervision of Bridget Carragher and Clinton S. Potter. His interests lie in utilizing electron microscopy to gain insight into macromolecular assemblies, their structure, function, and dynamics, while at the same time pushing the technological limits of cryo-EM methodologies. He is currently assistant professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Outside the lab, he is an avid outdoor enthusiast and is always looking for new places to explore.

Dario Oliveira dos Passos

Dario Oliveira dos Passos received his undergraduate degree (Biology) and PhD (Functional and Molecular Biology) from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), SP-Brazil. By incorporating biochemical, cellular, and functional analyses into conventional strategies for single-particle structure determination, Dario is interested in hybrid approaches to structural biology, with the intent of deciphering the broad context of macromolecular complexity and the effects that minor perturbations may have on the system as a whole. Ultimately, Dario wants to harness the information gained from experimental results in order to better understand the role that macromolecular assemblies play in human diseases. Outside the lab, he is a soccer (futbol!) enthusiast.

Cheng Zhang

Cheng received his PhD from the National Institute for Biological Sciences, Beijing. While there, his work focused on investigating ribosome biogenesis factors using structural and biochemical approaches. He joined the Lyumkis lab in June 2016 and is interested in establishing strategies for characterizing small proteins and RNAs with cryo-EM, while also applying the latest single-particle techniques to study RNA-targeting systems. Outside the lab, Cheng enjoys playing soccer and biking with friends.

Youngmin Jeon

Youngmin received his M.S. in molecular biology from Konkuk university, Seoul, Korea. Prior to joining the lab, he worked in a bioengineering laboratory, where he was involved in parallel efforts to engineer and utilize microorganisms for the purpose of waste-water reduction and heavy metal sensing. He joined the lab in 2015 with an interest in cryoEM techniques and has quickly become our resident EM guru in the lab. Outside the lab, he enjoys building, restoring, repairing, customizing and generally tinkering with old cars.

Jessica Rabuck-Gibbons

Jessica received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. From there, she moved to the University of Michigan to complete her PhD in Chemistry, where she developed an ion mobility-mass spectrometry assay to probe the conformational differences caused by ligand binding to kinases and transcriptional regulators. Jessica joined the Williamson lab at The Scripps Research Institute in January 2016 and is a collaborator with the Lyumkis lab, wherein she is interested in characterizing heterogeneous ribosome assembly intermediates with a combined cryo-EM/quantitative mass spectrometry approach using the specializations in each lab. Outside of the lab, Jessica enjoys cooking, finding new foods and recipes as well as reading.

Sriram Aiyer

Sriram Aiyer received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Mumbai and master’s degree in biotechnology from the University of Madras. From there on, after a brief stint as a lecturer and research volunteer at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, he moved to Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey for his doctoral studies. He received a PhD in biochemistry working in Monica Roth’s lab. His thesis work involved understanding the integration targeting mechanism of the Moloney murine leukemia virus. Outside of lab, he likes to travel, explore new places and loves following sports in general (mainly soccer!).

Philip Baldwin

Philip Baldwin has been trained as a theoretical physicist/applied mathematician. He has worked on a variety of problems at low signal to noise ratio: from foundational problems in non-equlibrium physics to very applied problems in functional MRI and cryo-EM. He is currently working with Dmitry Lyumkis to understand and correct for resolution anisotropy in cryo-EM caused by irregularity of the types of views present in electron micrographs. He is also generally partaking in and spearheading cryo-EM methodology development, particularly as it applies to image processing. 


Zelin Shan

Zelin obtained his PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Institutes of Biomedical Sciences (IBS), Fudan University. During PhD studies, his project focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of polarized distribution of cell fate determinants during asymmetric cell division, by using biochemical and X-ray crystallographic methods. He joined the Lyumkis lab in January of 2018 and is interested in discovering how large macromolecular complexes regulate retroviral integration with cryo-EM. Outside of lab, he likes playing basketball, traveling, and looking for delicious food with friends in San Diego.

Ilona Jóźwik

Ilona studied biotechnology at International Faculty of Engineering (IFE) of Lodz University of Technology in Łódź, Poland and obtained her MSc degree (July 2012) with specialization in Molecular Biology and Technical Biochemistry. For her PhD studies she moved to Protein X-Ray crystallography group of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Ilona worked within the  EU-funded ‘P4FIFTY’ network and focused on structural studies of bacterial cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450s). Ilona then joined the Lyumkis lab in September 2018 to investigate large molecular machines involved in retroviral integration and chromatin remodeling by cryo-EM. Outside of the lab, Ilona likes swimming, cooking and traveling.

Caroline Gonter

After receiving her B.S. in Cell Biology & Genetics from the University of Maryland, Caroline moved to San Diego to join the Lyumkis Lab as a research assistant. She is working to express and purify proteins known to be important for cancer pathogenesis for use in structural studies. Caroline developed an interest in marine ecology after diving off the coast of Southern California. She finds benthic communities particularly fascinating, and hopes to pursue an advanced degree in ecology so that she can study these communities as a career. In her down time, you can find Caroline jogging, surfing, and eating burritos.