Dr. David Q. MatuDaveMs, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5215
david.matus AT



WanZ_webWan Zhang

Lab Manager and Research Technician






Abraham_webAbraham Kohrman

Ph.D. Candidate, Genetics Program

I am broadly interested in cell cycle regulation of morphogenetic behavior. Specifically, I am currently focused on optimization of a live cell cycle state biosensor for use in C. elegans and other research organisms. I am also interested in how cell cycle state regulation impinges upon morphogenetic behaviors, such as C. elegans anchor cell invasion into the vulval epithelium.


Taylor_webTaylor Medwig Kinney

Ph.D. Candidate, Genetics Program

My research interests lie in the field of Genetic Epidemiology; I am particularly interested in exploring the evolution and epigenetic regulation of genes that contribute to human morbidity.  Currently, I am investigating the interactions among transcription factors in C. elegans that are known to regulate cell invasion, a behavior relevant to cancer metastasis.


Jayson “Jay” Smith

Ph.D. Candidate and Turner Fellow, Genetics Program

I am broadly interested in trying to understand how chromatin state interfaces with regulation of cell invasive behavior. I am using C. elegans anchor cell invasion to identify the suite of chromatin modifiers that regulate invasion, with the hopes of identifying new therapeutic targets to limit the lethality associated with invasive pathologies, such as cancer metastasis.



Nuri Kim

M.D./Ph.D. Candidate, Genetics Program

Cell migration is important for proper embryological formation and development. The disruption or inappropriate activation of this cell behavior is often observed in conjunction with basement membrane invasion during cancer metastasis. My research will focus on establishing C. elegans SM cell migration and differentiation as a parallel model to anchor cell invasion into the vulval epithelium. By studying SM development with an eye toward the anchor cell model, I hope to more precisely understand traits unique to cell migration vs invasion.


Robert Morabito

Ph.D. Candidate, Molecular and Cellular Biology Program

My research focuses on the role of the cell cycle in cellular invasion, a biological process required for cancer metastasis. I am interested in exploring the link between cell cycle arrest and invasion, considering a new class of anti-cancer drugs (CDK4/6 inhibitors) target cell cycle arrest. I will use zebrafish and cell culture to perform this research in collaboration with Dr. Ben Martin’s lab.



Nicholas Palmisano, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow (jointly working with the Matus and Martin labs)

My work focuses on understanding how membrane trafficking events, such as endocytosis and exocytosis, mediate AC invasion. Specifically, I am interested in how endocytic compartments mobilize during AC invasion. Currently, I am investigating how the effector protein of the small GTPase, RAB-10, functions in AC invasion using both genetic and cell biological approaches.


Rebecca Adikes, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am currently investigating algal cell migration and invasion in the spotted salamander embryo. The work is a collaborative effort with Dr. Ryan Kerney, Dr. Solange Dumel, and Dr. John Burns. I am also investigating the role of cell invasion and migration during development of C. elegans.


Michael Martinez

M.D./Ph.D. Student, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Program

I have developed a keen interest in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying invasion and metastasis. In particular, I have developed an interest in learning more about the cell cycle requirements of metastatic cancer cells. Presently, I am investigating the effects of clinically approved cell cycle inhibitors on anchor cell (AC) invasion, which is an important step in the development of the C. elegans reproductive tract.


Kenny Chiu

Undergraduate Student, Wesleyan University Class of 2019

I am interested in building new tools to study gene regulation during C. elegans anchor cell invasion using CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering.


Matus Lab Alumni


Postdoctoral Researchers:

Antonio Herrera, Ph.D.

Graduate Students:

Mana Chandhok

Master’s Students:

Simeiyun “May” Liu (Ph.D. Student, UC Santa Cruz)

Medical Students:

Digna Nosike

Postbaccalaureate Researchers:

Ayesha Saad

Undergraduate Students:

Yee Man Li

Bria Midgette

High School Students:

Stephanie Hu

Angie Jang

Matthew Weltmann

Ella Feiner (Undergraduate Student, Princeton University)

Sydney Bracht (Undergraduate Student, Johns Hopkins University)

Mit Patel (Undergraduate Student, Harvard University)

Kiera Alventosa (Undergraduate Student, Amherst College)


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