We are a collaborative and creative group of scientists with diverse backgrounds and interests, united by our drive to reconstruct animal origins and mechanisms underlying host-microbe interactions. Our expertise spans from evolution, ecology, and comparative genomics to microbiology, cell biology, and biochemistry.

Principal Investigator

Nicole King

Nicole King received her B.S. in Biology from Indiana University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University under the mentorship of Prof. Rich Losick.  In 2000, she began studying choanoflagellates as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Sean Carroll at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She started her lab at the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, where she is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  She is interested in gaining mechanistic insights into the origin of animals.

Email: nking at berkeley dot edu

Senior Scientist

Monika Abedin Sigg

Monika joined Nicole King’s lab as a graduate student in 2004 where she studied choanoflagellate cadherins. After receiving her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, she moved to Jeremy Reiter’s lab at UCSF for her postdoctoral fellowship studying the evolution of ciliary signaling. Upon completion of her postdoc in 2016, she returned to the King Lab as a Senior Scientist. She now has several projects that range from understanding how choanoflagellates recognize bacteria to determining the functions of cadherins in S. rosetta. She also helps build molecular and cell biological tools for studying choanoflagellates.

Email: masigg at berkeley dot edu

Postdoctoral Scholars

Michael Abrams

coming soon.

David Booth

Developing molecular tools to study cell organization and gene expression in choanoflagellates.

Thibaut Brunet

The evolutionary origin of animal cell and tissue contractility.

Flora Rutaganira

Using chemical tools to decipher key signaling networks in choanoflagellates.

.

Graduate Students

Max Coyle

The evolution of cellular differentiation: transcriptional regulation in choanoflagellates.

Kayley Hake

A stable association between choanoflagellates and bacteria in Mono Lake.

Ella Ireland

Mixed messages: integration of bacterial cues in S. rosetta.

Ben Larson

Principles of multicellular self-organization in choanoflagellate morphogenesis.

Tess Linden

The evolutionary origin of collagen and the animal extracellular matrix.

Laura Wetzel

The genetic basis of rosette development in S. rosetta.

Lab manager

Stephanie Malinich

Technician

Reef Aldeyafleh

Bacterial recognition and transgenics in S. rosetta.

Alumni

NameCurrent positionOriginal position in lab
Rosie AlegadoAssistant Professor, University of HawaiiPost-doc
Jenice AreveloMasters student in Genetic Counseling, UC IrvineUndergraduate researcher
Vika BetinDoctoral student, Hung Lab, Harvard/MGHUndergraduate researcher
Emina BegovicFinance, Accounting and Operations Director, University of Colorado-Boulder Sustainability, Energy and Environment CommunityPost-doc
Candace Britton Doctoral student, UCSFUndergraduate researcher
Pawel BurkhardtGroup leader: Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology, Bergen, NorwayPost-doc
Daniel ChanEmergency Medicine Resident PhysicianResearch technician
Mark DayelPrinicipal Engineer at NeoPhotonicsMiller Institute Post-doc
Nicolas DerrResident Physician; UCSFUndergraduate; Research assistant
Hannah ElzingaEnvironment Research Intern, Work With Nature FoundationResearch assistant
Stephen FaircloughData Scientist, Guardant HealthDoctoral student
Parinaz FozouniMD/PhD program at UCSFUndergraduate researcher
Blake GeppertResearch technologist, Washington State UniversityResearch associate
Allie Greaney MD/PhD program, University of WashingtonUndergraduate researcher
Lily HelfrichMarketing Associate at BenchlingResearch Technician
Tarja HoffmeyerDoctoral student, Sars/University of ExeterUndergraduate researcher
Sherri HuangMD/PhD student, Indiana UniversityUndergraduate researcher
Ryan HulettDoctoral student, Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard UniversityResearch assistant
Kord KoberAssistant Professor, UCSFResearch assistant
Jacquie KudoloQC Inspector, HenkelLab manager
Tracy LaGrassaBiology Teacher, Bronx High SchoolPost-doc
Jess LyonsAssistant Project Scientist, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UC BerkeleyStaff Research Associate
Jen HalbleibIntellectual Property AttorneyPost-doc
Tera Levin Post-doc with Prof. Harmit Malik, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterDoctoral student
Conor McCluneDoctoral student, MITUndergraduate researcher
Jasmine MahDoctoral Student, Yale University (Dunn lab)Research Technician
Heather MiddletonLaboratory Operations Manager at SutroVax Inc.Lab manager
Andrea (Morris) SpencerResearch Fellow, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard MedLab manager
Jeremy MosherFamily Medicine Resident Physician, University of Illinois at Chicago Medical CenterUndergraduate Researcher
Sruthi MantriMedical Student, Stanford University Medical SchoolUndergraduate Researcher
Sumaiya MubarackClinical Research Coordinator, UCSF Medical CenterUndergraduate Researcher
Scott NicholsAssociate Professor, University of DenverPost-doc
KC PayneUndergraduate Researcher
Daniel RichterPost-doc, Ruiz-Trillo lab, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, BarcelonaDoctoral student
Brock RobertsScientist, Allen Institute for Brain ScienceDoctoral student
Kai ZhangUndergraduate researcher
Rachel RossUndergraduate researcher
Jerry ScheidtRetiredLab manager
Tara SulurMedical Student, University of MichiganUndergraduate researcher
Alison SweeneyAssistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Physics and AstronomyPost-doc
Danny WellsSr. Data Scientist, Parker Institute for Cancer ImmunotherapyPost-doc
Jody WestbrookScientist, InvitaeDoctoral student
Arielle WoznicaPost-doc with Prof. Julie Pfeiffer, UT Southwestern Medical Center Doctoral student
Susan YoungResearch Communications Manager, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health, UTMBDoctoral student
Rick ZuzowChief Chemist, EarthEnable; CSO, Green LogicUndergraduate researcher