The Team

Elena Lazarus (Research Assistant, Rhee lab)
I received my B.S. in chemistry with a minor in English and an ACS certification in biochemistry from the University of Portland in 2019. While in college, I worked in two laboratories (the Hoffman lab and the Weilhoefer lab) on research focused on extracting, identifying, and quantifying compounds from plants. In 2018, I was a National Science Foundation Boyce Thompson Institute Plant Genome Research Intern in the Moghe lab at Cornell University. Prior to joining Carnegie, I also worked at the Oregon Health and Science University on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s peer review editorial board from 2017 to 2019. In the Rhee lab, I work on a variety of interdisciplinary projects using molecular and chemical techniques to study novel genes and mechanisms. In my free time, I love to cook and bake, read, and go hiking.


Justin Krupp (Bioinformatics Research Assistant, Rhee lab)
I graduated from UCSC with a bachelor's in bioinformatics back in June, 2019. While I was in school, I worked part-time for the UCSC Genomics Institute, developing the Human Cell Atlas data storage system. I wrote tests, implemented continuous integration infrastructure into a few repositories, and designed coding examples to show consumers how to use the Human Cell Atlas API. Outside of work, I was involved in several extracurricular activities, including the UCSC Bioinformatics Club (which I co-founded along with several other classmates). The club turned out to be a smashing success, and we were able to both spread interest in the field as well as help our underclassmen excel in their studies.​

Yunru PengYunru Peng (Lab Technician, Moi lab)
I graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2019 with a BSc in microbial biology and an emphasis in computational genomics. I am interested in genetics and genomics. During my undergraduate, I used a novel CRISPR/Cas9 multiplex editing technique to modify soybean genome, aiming to enhance the plant's immunity. I also worked in projects related to microbial and zebrafish genetics. I think of genetics as a unifying lens to examine the rich biodiversity and evolutionary history on Earth. At Moi Lab, I will examine the genomes of evolving populations and develop CRISPR tools for polygenic editing. Outside of research, I like books, games, and the outdoors.


Sebastian Toro AranaSebastian Toro Arana (Graduate Student, Moi Lab)
Sebastian is interested in using computational tools and engineering principles to study the underlying mechanisms of plant stress resistance, immunity and plant-microbe-environment interactions. His goal is to use new technologies to help tackle the challenges of climate change and food security. As an undergraduate and research technician at MIT, he worked on exploring brain decision making systems using computational analysis tools and genetic engineering but recently he has decided to work on more pressing global problems. On a more personal note, he loves enjoying nature and music.

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Our Community Partners
Science and Society on the Screen events are made possible through the help of our community partners. We would like to thank the Carnegie Institution for Science and California Film Institute for supporting these events. You can learn more about the California Film Institute by visiting their official website here.