Jenny is originally from the beautiful (and snowy) Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She completed her B.S. at Central Michigan University in 2010 and her Ph.D. in 2015 at the University of Michigan in Jason Gestwicki‘s lab. In Jason’s lab, Jenny studied the molecular chaperone protein Hsp70 and its regulation by a group of co-chaperone proteins known as the Nucleotide Exchange Factors (NEFs). Jenny joined Ken Kosik‘s group at UCSB for a postdoc in 2015 and got to work deciphering tau neurobiology. Her main focus in Ken’s lab centered on understanding cellular mechanisms that contribute to tau propagation in the brain, including the identification of a cellular receptor for tau -LRP1. Jenny joined the faculty at UMass in Jan 2021.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Karishma is originally from India, where she obtained an integrated B.S.-M.S. (Major in Biology) degree from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, India in 2013. She carried out her doctoral thesis work under the supervision of Samrat Mukhopadhyay and defended her thesis in 2018. During her Ph.D. she worked on α-synuclein and its interactions with lipid membranes, tau protein, and molecular chaperones. After her doctoral work she began work as postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Lila Gierasch at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and studied the role of chaperones in the SNARE complex. Now, she is leading a joint project between the Gierasch and Rauch Lab where she is continuing her interest in neurodegenerative diseases and IDPs and working towards understanding the role of tau strain spread.

Graduate Students

Andrew is a New England native and originally from New Hampshire. He completed his BS in Biology and Spanish at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC in 2020. During his undergraduate studies, Andrew conducted research at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and completed an internship at Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical. Andrew is in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Ph.D. program at UMass.When he is not in the lab, Andrew is traveling, brushing up on his Spanish or reading.

Caiqin is a PhD student in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) program. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Sichuan University. During her undergraduate studies, Caiqin did research training in the Peng lab researching the roles of circular RNAs in cancers. Caiqin began studying in the Rauch lab in spring 2022. Out of the lab, she likes hiking, cooking, and photography.

Vanessa attended Boston University for her undergraduate studies, where she majored in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and minored in Business Administration & Management. She completed her undergraduate research work in the lab of Prof. Catherine E. Costello at Boston University School of Medicine Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry. In the Costello-Lab, Vanessa‘s main focus was on glycoproteomics, specifically N-glycosylation. Vanessa is in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Ph.D. program at UMass. She is a joint Ph.D. student between the Rauch lab and the Vachet Lab. Vanessa was born and raised in Germany before coming to the Boston area her Sophomore year of High School. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, listening to music, and reading.

José is originally from Orocovis, Puerto Rico. He completed his BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) with a Minor in Contemporary Hispanic Literature at the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras campus. After completion he did a 1-year post baccalaureate at UMass Amherst where he worked with macrophage phenotype in the context of breast cancer under the mentorship of Prof. Michelle Farkas. Afterwards, he joined the MCB PhD program at UMass Amherst where he joined the best lab, the Rauch lab! Whenever he is free he likes to play video games, write and play pool with friends and, if he has enough time, he loves to go back home to enjoy the beautiful weather and beaches.

Gabby is originally from St. James, Trinidad and Tobago. She attended Cornell University and completed her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2018. During her undergrad, she conducted research in the Liu Lab on characterization of the bone morphogenetic pathway. After graduating, she worked at the Wistar Institute focusing on development on novel immunotherapy approaches to infectious disease using DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies. Gabby is in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Ph.D. program at UMass and joined the Rauch lab in Spring 2023. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, reading and doing aerial arts.

May is originally from Santa Barbara, California. She received her BS in Microbiology from UCSB. Before coming to UMass Amherst, May worked in the biotech industry and carried out several projects including therapeutic aptamer discovery and COVID diagnostics. May is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) PhD program. She is a joint student between the Rauch lab and the Hebert lab. In her free time, May enjoys reading, cooking and inventing catchphrases with friends

Emma is an MCB student from Barre, Vermont. She graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2023 and 2024 with a BS in Biology and MS in Molecular and Cell Biology, respectively. Her previous research was on a pro-longevity microRNA, miR-71, and its role in neurodegenerative diseases in the model organism C. elegans. Specifically, she studied diseases linked to the amyloid proteins transthyretin and amyloid-beta. Emma is very excited to continue studying neurodegenerative diseases and start studying the tau protein in the Rauch Lab.

Research Staff

Jess is originally from Maine and loves all that New England has to offer. She graduated from Hampshire College in 2021 with a B.A in Neuroscience. For her senior thesis, she studied the effects that different Alzheimer’s Disease pathologies have on the formation of stress granules in fibroblast cells and microglia. After graduation, she worked as a research tech at Mass General Hospital in Dr. Jean Augustinack’s lab studying the Entorhinal Cortex in pre-clinical Alzheimer’s Disease with her main project focusing on determining a neuronal ratio in the Entorhinal subfields. Jess joined the Rauch lab in May 2023 and is hoping to pursue a PhD in the near future. In her free time, you can find Jess hiking, crocheting, or enjoying live music.  

Undergraduate Researchers

Camryn is a junior undergraduate from Southern California and is majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She joined the Rauch Lab in Spring 2023. Outside of the lab, Camryn enjoys hiking, reading, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family

Samay is a sophomore from Westford, MA majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He joined the Rauch Lab in Fall 2023. He is a joint undergraduate student with the Hebert Lab in the BMB department. Outside of his time studying or working in the lab, he enjoys running and spending time with his friends, family, and Mini Goldendoodle.

Katy is a rising sophomore studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Psychology on the Neuroscience Track. She joined Rauch Lab in the Summer of 2023 through the Lee Science Impact Program. Outside of the lab, she enjoys ice skating, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Keira is a sophomore undergraduate from South Florida pursing a major in Neuroscience at Amherst College. She joined the Rauch Lab in the Spring of 2024. While in high school, she worked as a lab technician at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in the Stern Lab. Outside of the lab, Keira enjoys, hiking, scuba diving, photography, and running track and cross country for Amherst college.

Kaushal is a sophomore undergraduate from Grafton, MA majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on the pre-med track. He joined the Rauch lab in Fall 2024. Outside of the lab, Kaushal enjoys going to the gym, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Tau-Rex is originally from Montana, but has adapted nicely to the New England climate. As technically the oldest member of the lab, Tau-Rex is always around to offer wisdom and support to other lab members.

Rauch Lab Alumni

  • Elana Carleton (Research Fellow 2021-2022)
  • Sachliv Chana (Undergraduate Researcher 2021-2022)
  • Shannon Zhen (Undergraduate Researcher 2021-2022)
  • Jonathan Nulman (Undergraduate Researcher 2021-2023)
  • Tiffany Wong (Undergraduate Researcher 2022-2023)
  • Navya Sebastian (Undergraduate Researcher & Masters Student 2021-2023)
  • Alyssa Stainton (Undergraduate Researcher 2022-2024)
  • Samuel Drummond (Undergraduate Researcher 2022-2024)
  • Todd Yau (Undergraduate Researcher 2023-2024)

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