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



WanZ_webWan Zhang

Research Technician / Lab Manager





Abraham_webAbraham Q. Kohrman

Genetics program PhD Student

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

Genetics Program PhD student

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

W. Burghardt Turner Fellow

Genetics Program PhD Student

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

Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D Genetics student)

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

Molecular and Cellular Biology Ph.D student

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 laboratory.





Nicholas Palmisano

Postdoctoral Research 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.




Simeiyun (May) Liu

Biochemistry and Cell Biology Program Master’s student

I am interested in investigating the evolution of the extracellular cues that mediate cell invasive behavior. Specifically, I am exploring the relationship and conservation of netrin signaling and the unknown vulval cue that spatially and temporally regulate the ability of the nematode anchor cell to breach the basement membrane using C. elegans and a related nematode, O. tipulae.



Digna Nosike

M.D. candidate, class of 2021 Stony Brook University School of Medicine

As an aspiring physician-scientist, I am principally interested in identifying genetic factors underlying the heterogeneity of cancer cells, a phenotype that inhibits the treatment of tumors. My research focuses on the activation and inactivation of p21, TLX, and Bra, genes that regulate cell cycle activity and drive cancer metastasis. My study will use gene expression signatures of these genes to shed greater light on the link between cell cycle state and metastatic behavior in a collaborative project between the Matus and Martin labs.


Michael Martinez

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Student

I have a strong interest in studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying invasion and metastasis, both hallmarks of cancer. Additionally, I am interested in learning more about the various invasion programs utilized during normal organismal development. Presently, I am investigating the effects of clinically approved cell cycle inhibitors on anchor cell (AC) invasion, which is an important event in the development of the C. elegans reproductive system.



Yee Man Li

SBU Class of 2018 Biochemistry undergraduate researcher


Bria Midgette

SBU Class of 2018 Biology undergraduate researcher


Kenny Chiu

Wesleyan University Biology undergraduate researcher

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




Ella Feiner

Simons Summer Research Program Fellow

I am interested in exploring the role of cell cycle regulation and morphogenesis during zebrafish development in collaboration with Dr. Ben Martin’s lab.




Sydney Bracht

Summer researcher,  Science & Technology Research Program at Smithtown High School East

I am working on creating a new strain of C. elegans, in which to screen different genes to study their effect on anchor cell invasion, as well as in future experiments and classes as a learning tool.







Matus Lab alumni

Mana Chandhok

Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate program


R. Antonio Herrera, PhD.

2016-2017 IRACDA NY-CAPS Postdoctoral Scholar


Mit Patel

Connetquot High School

summer researcher 2016


Kiera Alventosa

Ward Melville High School

summer researcher 2016


Ayesha Saad

SBU ’16 post-baccalaureate researcher

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