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Seeking Applications for a
New CZ Biohub

We’re accepting joint applications from universities and other research institutions to create the next Biohub in the network.

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Group & Platform Leaders

JOSH ELIAS, PH.D.

JOSH ELIAS, PH.D.

Platform Leader, Mass Spectrometry

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The Mass Spectrometry Platform led by Elias develops and applies mass spectrometry technologies to understand life.  His team divides its efforts between independent investigations and intensive collaborative projects. The group’s independent research focuses on solving three extraordinary and interrelated challenges: identifying disease-relevant antigens presented on MHC complexes; characterizing the biologically relevant proteins and metabolites that mediate infection; and improving methods for interpreting the vast molecular spaces these experiments measure. CZ Biohub’s collaborative network is providing further opportunities for Platform’s scientists to define the range of molecules that underlie health and disease. Ultimately, the technologies they are developing are broadly applicable, including methods to identify and quantify novel molecular variants that have so far been hidden in the “dark matter” of biology—molecules that are invisible to genomic technologies and standard proteomic and metabolomic assays.

RAFAEL GÓMEZ-SJÖBERG, PH.D.

RAFAEL GÓMEZ-SJÖBERG, PH.D.

Platform Leader, Bioengineering

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The Bioengineering Platform led by Gómez-Sjöberg is a team of engineers and tinkerers with a diverse set of skills, including electronics; optics and imaging; mechatronics; fluidics and microfluidics; automation; rapid prototyping; and software development. The group works closely with CZ Biohub’s intramural scientists and other collaborators to design and build unique custom instruments and tools that help advance our scientific missions. A key goal of the Platform is to proceed swiftly—from concept to prototype to robust instruments—to enable novel projects and accelerate the pace of discovery. The instruments developed so far run the gamut from rugged, battery-powered portable devices for performing serology surveys or diagnosing infectious disease in remote areas of developing countries, to an automated multi-channel protein purification device, to lab automation systems that can generate thousands of genetically engineered cell lines.

GREG HUBER, PH.D.

GREG HUBER, PH.D.

Group Leader, Theory

Huber is a biophysicist with a background in statistical mechanics, dynamical systems, and soft-matter physics. At CZ Biohub, Huber leads a world-class Theory Group, which seeks to deepen our knowledge and control of biological processes, structure, and function through physical and mathematical theory. Research areas include physical models of cellular organelles (architecture, formation, and interactions); modeling of cytoskeletal and organelle networks in the cell; models of molecular ensembles; protein–protein interactions and localization; general stochastic models of dynamics and pattern formation in biological matter; statistical mechanics of cell states and populations; and dynamics and selection of cell populations and lineages during development, tumor growth, and evolution. Prior to joining CZ Biohub, Huber was deputy director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). He has researched and taught at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts, and UC Santa Barbara, and he has worked on a range of problems from river networks to the endoplasmic reticulum. (Photo courtesy of Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach)

AMY KISTLER, PH.D., M.P.H.

AMY KISTLER, PH.D., M.P.H.

Group Leader, Infectious Disease

A comprehensive understanding of the functional requirements of diverse viral replication/transcription complexes will provide key information for the development of safe and effective direct-acting antivirals, as well as potential novel therapeutics aimed at host factors that influence viral replication/transcription complex activity. Amy Kistler’s Infectious Disease group at CZ Biohub is merging viral genomics, synthetic biology, molecular virology, proteomics, compound screening, and genome-wide CRISPR screening approaches to study diverse known and emerging human viruses. Our current efforts are focused on building a robust capacity to systematically identify and functionally characterize virus-encoded and host-encoded factors associated with viral transcription and replication complexes of diverse known and emerging human viral pathogens.

MANUEL LEONETTI, PH.D.

MANUEL LEONETTI, PH.D.

Group Leader, Quantitative Cell Science

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How is the human cell built? While the human genome sequence provides us with the list of proteins that make up our cells, we are still far from understanding how all of these molecular components come together to generate living systems. By combining recent advances in gene editing, fluorescence microscopy, proteomics and data science, Leonetti’s CZ Biohub team aims to understand how cells are internally organized in space and time. Their OpenCell project describes the localization and interactions of over 1,300 human proteins, providing a systems-level map of the human proteome. A direct objective is to unravel the cellular changes at play when diseases strike. In particular, and in collaboration with many colleagues at the Biohub, the Leonetti group seeks to comprehensively characterize how host human cells are remodeled during viral infection.

SHALIN MEHTA, PH.D.

SHALIN MEHTA, PH.D.

Platform Leader, Computational Microscopy

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Analyzing the complex function of biological systems and diagnosing their malfunction requires scalable imaging of their architecture and activity. Mehta’s Computational Microscopy Platform at CZ Biohub develops and deploys computational imaging technologies to analyze physical and molecular architecture with increasing accuracy, resolution, and throughput. Their research integrates concepts from optics, microscopy, inverse algorithms, machine learning, and biophysics. In close collaboration with Biohub colleagues, they build these technologies to map cell types and states from their architecture and activity, aiming to better understand how viruses remodel host cells, how to diagnose immune response, and decipher how organs develop.

NORMA NEFF, PH.D.

NORMA NEFF, PH.D.

Director, Genomics

Neff obtained her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on the mechanism of termination of transcription by bacterial RNA polymerase. As a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT with David Botstein, she acquired expertise in yeast molecular genetics and subsequently demonstrated that homologous recombination could knock out genes and introduce new sequences. She then joined the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where her lab isolated the first yeast protein to have two distinct enzymatic activities associated with the extein and intein created by a protein self-splicing event. At Stanford University, she established a sequencing program for the Stem Cell Institute and played a central role in the development of novel whole-genome sequencing techniques, single-cell RNA-seq and genome sequencing, and the application of sequencing to liquid biopsy-based diagnostics. As director of the Genomics Platform at CZ Biohub, Neff manages sequencing services, continues work on single-molecule sequencing, and participates in the development of novel diagnostics.

JOHN PAK, PH.D.

JOHN PAK, PH.D.

Senior Scientist, Infectious Disease

John Pak’s group in CZ Biohub’s Infectious Disease initiative is a collaborative team of protein scientists that develops and validates novel protein biochemistry technologies for infectious disease prevention and treatment. His team is focused on understanding viral antigens that are responsible for host-cell attachment, and how antibodies can block those interactions. Pak’s team has a strong interest in developing new methods to express, purify, design and characterize antigens and antibodies at multiple scales. They use a blend of wet-lab and computational approaches to design antigens, and to map immune responses to those antigens. With a focus on viral antigens that are highly relevant to human health, the team’s most recent efforts have centered on the biochemistry and biophysics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

ANGELA OLIVEIRA PISCO, PH.D.

ANGELA OLIVEIRA PISCO, PH.D.

Associate Director of Data Science, Quantitative Cell Science

The Quantitative Cell Science arm of the CZ Biohub’s Data Science team led by Pisco builds tools and datasets that advance our understanding of health and disease. They are actively building single-cell whole-organism cell atlases, including Tabula Muris (mouse) and Tabula Muris Senis, the first whole- organism cell atlas of the aged mouse. In human biology, we recently launched Tabula Sapiens, which leverages conventional single-cell transcriptomics, histology, spatial transcriptomics, mass spectrometry, and machine learning. These datasets are biomolecular gold mines for medical researchers. In parallel, the team has developed new tools for cell-type annotation and biological data mining of single-cell datasets. Pisco’s team is passionate about extracting meaningful information from whole-organism cell atlases and inventing ways of interpreting, visualizing and sharing the data. In line with the CZ Biohub’s mission, they are committed to open science and freely sharing data and code with the community.

ANDREAS PUSCHNIK, PH.D.

ANDREAS PUSCHNIK, PH.D.

Group Leader, Infectious Disease

Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens that depend on host cells for their replication. Puschnik’s Infectious Disease Group systematically identifies cellular factors essential for viral infection, which can reveal molecular events in the viral life cycle, the tissue tropism of viruses, and mechanisms of pathogenesis, as well as convergent or divergent evolution of host-factor dependencies across viral families. The discovery of host factors can also unveil new targets for antiviral therapy that have potentially higher barriers to drug resistance than direct-acting antivirals, and may have broad activity across multiple viruses. Puschnik’s team uses functional genomics approaches (e.g., CRISPR KO/i/a, base editing), molecular virology and cell biology to elucidate the host factors that play a critical role in the life cycle of different RNA viruses.

LOÏC ROYER, DR. RER. NAT.

LOÏC ROYER, DR. RER. NAT.

Group Leader, Quantitative Cell Science

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Royer first studied engineering, math, and physics in his native France. He then obtained a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, specializing in cognitive robotics, followed by a Ph.D. in bioinformatics from the Dresden University of Technology in Germany. As a member of Gene Myers’ lab, first at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus and then at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, he developed the first “self-driving” multi-view light-sheet microscope. Royer is fascinated by a seemingly simple but quite complex question: How do organisms develop from a single cell into a fully functional body with billions of self-organizing cells that form tissues and have different functions? He believes that solving this question will require expertise across computer science, advanced microscopy, and biology. To that end, Royer’s pluridisciplinary team designs and builds novel state-of-the-art light-sheet microscopes, develops deep learning-based image processing and analysis algorithms, and is using these technologies to build a time-resolved and multimodal atlas of vertebrate development, using zebrafish as model organisms.

CRISTINA M. TATO, PH.D., M.P.H.

CRISTINA M. TATO, PH.D., M.P.H.

Group Leader, Rapid Response

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Tato’s Rapid Response team is made up of researchers and physicians involved in CZ Biohub’s infectious disease efforts, and also supports the establishment of sustainable rapid-response capabilities in laboratories in the U.S. and around the world. Her group strives to enable data-driven decision-making by providing access to advanced molecular tools and methodologies, unique reagents, deep expertise in data science, and training within low-resource settings. Their work encompasses infectious disease surveillance, outbreak response, and capacity-building to facilitate more agile triage and identification of emerging infections and inform transmission dynamics through the application of genomic epidemiology. The Rapid Response team enables strategies that are broadly applicable for a “One Health” approach to public health, facilitating more informed policy-making and resource allocation for implementing effective public health initiatives.

JOAN WONG, PH.D.

JOAN WONG, PH.D.

Associate Director of Data Science, Infectious Disease

Wong’s Data Science team, part of CZ Biohub’s Infectious Disease initiative, collaborates with Biohub colleagues on multi-omic data analysis, visualization, and method and tool development. For example, they are working with the Rapid Response group on outbreak detection and analysis of metabolic pathways in pathogens to predict candidate drug targets in humans. With the Protein Sciences team, they are developing predictive and analytical methods for antibody repertoire specificity, which will enable the detection of disease states and the eventual development of antibody therapeutics for emerging pathogens. They are also building tools to automate the design and analysis of high-throughput CRISPR experiments on virus-infected cells, and creating computational pipelines and interactive applications for CRISPR knockout screens and cross-screen comparisons. In the Biohub’s spirit of open science, the group’s aim is to share all novel methods and tools with the broader scientific community.