PI: Amanda Larracuente
Graduate Students: Emerson Khost, Ching-Ho Chang
Research associates and technicians: Danna Eickbush, Zeenath Unnisa, Shaun Jones
Undergraduates: Arif Kodza, Linhe Xu (Alex), Thanatcha Khunkhet (Kwan), Danielle Pascua, Isaac Wong
Former lab members

LarracuenteLab2016 (1)
Larracuente lab 2016

Lab members:

Amanda Larracuente, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)

Amanda earned her Ph.D. studying Drosophila genomics and sex chromosome evolution in Dr. Andrew Clark’s lab at Cornell University. During her postdoctoral training, she focused on the evolution of selfish DNA including the Segregation Distorter system of Drosophila melanogaster.

Selected recent publications. Click here for a full list of Amanda’s publications or see her NCBI bibliography.

Graduate students
Emerson Khost (Ph.D. candidate)Emerson.Khost

Emerson is a 2nd-year EEB student working on the evolution and functional genomics of satellite DNA in Drosophila species. He is using deep real time single molecule sequencing from Pacific Biosciences to study the structural organization of satellite DNA loci in Drosophila genomes. Learn more about Emerson in his “Spotlight” article.


Ching-Ho Chang (Graduate student)Ching-HoChang

Ching-Ho is working on Segregation Distorter in Drosophila melanogaster and Y chromosome evolution in  Drosophila. Before coming to Rochester, Ching-Ho worked with Dr. Chau-Ti Ting  at National Taiwan University on neo-sex chromosome evolution in Drosophila albomicans. Ching-Ho is a recipient of the Ernst Caspari Fellowship.

Selected publications:

Research associates and technicians

Danna Eickbush, Ph.D. (Research associate)

e-mail: danna.eickbush@rochester.eduflowers
Danna Eickbush attended the University of Arizona where she was introduced to the wonders of molecular biology and immediately transferred to the newly formed Department of Cellular and Development Biology. She then joined the Ph.D. program in Cellular and Development Biology at Harvard University, characterizing the molecular structure and transcriptional patterns of the 71C-E region of Drosophila melanogaster while in the lab of Dr. Peter Cherbas. After moving to upstate New York, she did a postdoc with Dr. Jack Werren studying the selfish B-chromosome Paternal Sex Ratio (PSR) in the wasp Nasonia vitripennis. For the last 25 years, she has worked as a research associate with Dr. Tom Eickbush at the University of Rochester. The long tenure with her husband allowed Danna to study many aspects of the life cycle of the retrotransposable element R2, including its regulation and transcription. Danna works on the regulation of satellite DNA expression in Drosophila species.

Selected recent publications. Click here to see Danna’s PubMed list.

Zeenath Unnisa, Ph.D. (Technician)

Zeenath is a molecular biologist studying molecular mechanisms of meiotic drive in the Segregation Distorter system of D. melanogaster. Before joining the Larracuente lab, Zeenath studied hematopoietic stem cells in mice.

Selected publications from previous work:

    • Unnisa Z, Singh KP, Henry EC, Donegan CL, Bennett JA, Gasiewicz TA. 2016. Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Deficiency in an Exon 3 Deletion Mouse Model Promotes Hematopoietic Stem Cell Proliferation and Impacts Endosteal Niche Cells.Stem Cells Int. 2016:4536187. doi:10.1155/2016/4536187.
    • Meis1 preserves hematopoietic stem cells in mice by limiting oxidative stress. 2012. Unnisa Z, Clark JP, Roychoudhury J, Thomas E, Tessarollo L, Copeland NG, Jenkins NA, Grimes HL, Kumar AR. Blood. Dec 13;120(25):4973-81. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-06-435800.

Shaun Jones (Technician)ShaunJones2

Shaun is a skilled fly wrangler who  maintains the lab’s fly lines and helps the lab with various projects.






Danielle Pascua (undergraduate)

Danielle is an undergraduate technician using genetics to study Segregation Distorter.




Isaac Wong (undergraduate)

Isaac is using computational and cytogenetic methods to study repeat evolution in fireflies.


Thanatcha Khunkhet  (Kwan, undergraduate)

Kwan is studying the functional genomics of satellite DNA.



Linhe Xu (Alex; undergraduate)

Alex is working on the regulation of satellite DNA expression in Drosophila melanogaster.



Arif Kodza (undergraduate)Arif

Arif is studying the population genetics of satellite DNAs in Drosophila genomes.





Former lab members

Undergraduates: Jin Ho Kim , Riley O’Sullivan, Mackenzie Lee, Christian Silva (current grad student UC Davis)

Graduate students: Steven Messer (rotating grad student), John Bettinger (rotating grad student), Xiaolu Wei (rotating grad student)