Lab Members

Sue Biggins (she/her)

Sue Biggins (she/her)

Title: Principal Investigator, Sr. VP & Director
Phone: 206.667.1351

Education: B.S., Stanford University; 
Ph.D., Princeton University

Sue started at Fred Hutch in 2000 after completing post-doctoral work in Dr. Andrew Murray's lab at UCSF. She was trained as a geneticist but will use any technique necessary to answer a scientific problem. Although her major interests are the cytoskeleton, cell cycle and chromosome biology, she keeps an eye out for an interesting scientific problem. She enjoys mentoring and wants everyone in the lab to achieve their personal goals. When she is not in the lab, she enjoys hanging out with her family (i.e. carpooling) or running with their hyperactive mini-Aussie.  

Daniel Barrero (he/him)

Daniel Barrero (he/him)

Title: Graduate Student

Education: B.S., University of Redlands


Daniel joined the Biggins lab in 2019, and is co-advised with the Asbury lab at UW. As an undergraduate he studied signaling pathways that drive preterm birth using murine models, but discovered a love of structural biology and biophysics while working as a technician in the Puglisi lab at Stanford studying HIV reverse transcription. For his graduate work, Daniel is interested in using biochemical, structural, and biophysical tools to investigate how the architecture of the kinetochore allows both for its unique function, and for that function to be tuned through out the cell cycle. When he’s not busy pipetting tiny volumes of clear liquids into other clear liquids, Daniel enjoys practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, listening to podcasts, and slowly accruing house plants until his apartment becomes a jungle.

Jamie Colman (she/her)

Jamie Colman (she/her)

Title: Lab Aide

Education: B.S., Goucher College


Jamie joined the lab in Fall, 2019. As an undergrad she studied biology at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. After a stint at OHSU working in neuroanatomy, she earned her MS in marine toxicology at College of Charleston in S. Carolina. While there, she studied the mechanistic effects of marine biotoxins on embryonic fish development with NOAA's Biotoxins lab, then transferred to NOAA Ocean Services in Seattle where she studied the mechanistic impacts of anthropogenic contaminants ranging from estrogens in waste water to petroleum particulates on embryonic fish development. One more transfer to NOAA's Fishery Service resulted in a couple of years working in age and growth, supporting the Alaska Groundfishery. In 2016 she switched into freelance photography, covering everything from pets and weddings to, wrestling and protests. She recently completed a leg of eXXpedition, sailing across the Caribbean and researching ocean microplastics. In her free time, she enjoys adventure travel, boxing, movies and doting on her dog Mako.

Devin Edwards (he/him)

Devin Edwards (he/him)

Title: Staff Scientist

Education: B.A., Colgate University; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Devin moved to Seattle and joined the Biggins lab as a staff scientist in the summer of 2020. Devin received his PhD in experimental physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he developed magnetic resonance techniques to study biomolecular structure. For his postdoctoral work, he joined the Perkins lab at University of Colorado, Boulder studying protein folding using AFM-based single molecule force spectroscopy. Outside of lab Devin has only just started exploring Seattle and the surrounding area looking for places to hike, bike, and run.

Sabrine Hedouin (she/her)

Sabrine Hedouin (she/her)

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education: M.S., Paris Diderot Univeristy;
Ph.D., Paris Diderot University

Sabrine joined the Biggins lab as a post-doc in early 2017 and is interested in understanding the role of centromere transcription and non-coding RNAs in the regulation of kinetochore assembly and function. Originally from France, she received her PhD from Paris Diderot University in the lab of Claire Francastel, where she studied the interplay between the DNA damage response and centromeric chromatin in murine cells. Outside of lab Sabrine enjoys baking, traveling and playing soccer on rainy Sunday mornings.

Jake Herman (he/him)

Jake Herman (he/him)

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education: B.S., Western Washington University;
Ph.D., Colorado State University

Growing up in small-town WA, Jake started his scientific career as a way to avoid playing on sports teams - in the intervening years it grew to be a passion. He began studying kinetochore biology during his graduate work at Colorado State University where Jake worked in Dr. Jennifer DeLuca’s Lab. In 2015 he returned to the NW and started a postdoc at Fred Hutch, where Jake aims to understand the fundamental mechanisms by which cells detect and correct errors in kinetochore-MT attachments and to exploit that understanding for therapeutic development. He collaborates with the Paddison Lab to leverage CRISPR technology to identify kinetochore activities specifically required for survival of cancers. His work utilizes yeast, mouse, and human experimental systems.

Mengqiu Jiang (she/her)

Mengqiu Jiang (she/her)

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education: B.S., Sun Yat-sen University;
Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Mengqiu joined the Biggins lab as a postdoc fellow in the summer of 2021. During her graduate studies in Junjie Zhang’s lab at Texas A&M, she focused on utilizing Cryo-EM and various biochemical tools to study the invading mechanism of the human pathogen Clostridium difficile. After completing her Ph.D., Mengqiu (recklessly) decided to step out of her comfort zone and into the wonderland of eukaryotic cell biology. Particularly, she found the structural basis of the kinetochore assembly is mysterious and captivating. Outside the lab, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and trying out all kinds of Chinese cuisine recipes.

Cameron Lee (he/him)

Cameron Lee (he/him)

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education: B.S., University of Arizona;
Ph.D., Stanford University

Cameron joined the Biggins lab as a postdoc in October 2018. During his PhD in Michael Bassik’s lab at Stanford University, he investigated retrotransposon-silencing mechanisms in human cells in collaboration with Joanna Wysocka. In Sue’s lab, Cameron is interested in identifying novel regulators of the spindle assembly checkpoint. Outside of lab, Cameron can be found at any number of coffee shops. Originally from Arizona (Bear Down!), Cameron doesn’t yet know how to handle the near constant rain.

Nairita Maitra (she/her)

Nairita Maitra (she/her)

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education: B.S., Presidency College;
Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Hi, I am Nairita. I joined the Biggins Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the summer of 2021. I completed my Ph.D. from Michael Polymenis lab at Texas A&M. My graduate work focused on the translational control of lipid synthesis during the cell cycle of budding yeast. Cell division has always fascinated me. I decided to pursue postdoctoral research in Sue’s lab to learn more about chromosome segregation and the army of proteins that enable the process. Currently, I am interested in the assembly of the inner kinetochore proteins and identifying post-translational modifications that facilitate both the assembly and function of this giant megadalton protein complex. Outside of the lab, I love traveling to different food places (especially the Indian ones).

Darren Mallett (he/him)

Darren Mallett (he/him)

Title: Graduate Student

Education: B.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Darren joined the Biggins lab in 2020 as a graduate student. During his undergraduate, Darren majored in biology and was a teaching assistant for introductory and advanced cell and molecular biology courses. He then joined the Bezanilla Lab at Dartmouth College, where he worked as a technician for 2 years studying the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton in plant cells, as well as improving current genome editing methods in plants. When he’s not in lab, he enjoys making electronic music with his collection of synthesizers, writing new software, hiking & camping, and finance.

Christian Nelson (he/him)

Christian Nelson (he/him)

Title: Staff Scientist

Education: B.A., Whitman College; Ph.D., UC Santa Cruz

Christian loved working in the Biggins Lab so much that he joined for a second time in the Spring of 2019 as a Staff Scientist. He previously worked in the lab as a Research Technician from 2007-2010, before completing his PhD at UC Santa Cruz in Needhi Bhalla’s lab. Throughout Christian’s time in science, he has studied the mechanisms underlying faithful chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, focusing on understanding how molecular checkpoints monitor and respond to chromosome behaviors to help prevent aneuploidy. Outside of the lab, Christian loves the outdoors, running, and spending time with his young daughter, Zelda.

Andrew Popchock (he/him)

Andrew Popchock (he/him)

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education: B.S., Washington State University;
Ph.D., Oregon State University

Hi my name is Andrew Popchock and I am a post-doc in Sue’s lab. I grew up on a small ranch in eastern Washington and studied Biophysics at Washington State University. I received my Ph.D. from Dr. Qiu at Oregon State University, where I studied molecular motors using single-molecule microscopy. Outside the lab, I spend my time playing basketball (when my knees and back permit) or enjoying the outdoors of the PNW and I try to get up to the mountains when the snow flies. I joined Sue’s lab first and foremost to do great science and am currently interested in the role of phosphorylation during kinetochore assembly. 

Donna Modrell (she/her)

Donna Modrell (she/her)

Title: Research Administrator
Phone: 206.667.7478

Education: B.A., University of Washington


Like many in the Pacific Northwest, Donna is a graduate from the University of Washington. In 2012, she joined Fred Hutch’s Philanthropy department. After a couple years working with amazing philanthropic donors, she decided that being closer to the science and scientist working toward finding cures was the place for her. In addition to supporting the Biggins lab, she supports several other labs in the Basic Sciences Division. Outside of work, Donna enjoys activities that allow her to create – cooking, crafts, painting, gardening, photography. Most of her time is spent working with her husband on never-ending house projects.


Former Lab Members

Grad Students

  • Stephanie Buvelot (2000-03)
  • Ben Pinsky (2001-05)
  • Kim Collins (2001-06)
  • Chitra Kotwaliwale (2003-07)
  • Bungo Akiyoshi (2005-10)
  • Prerana Ranjitkar (2006-12)
  • Tessie Ng (2006-12)
  • Nitobe London (2009-15)
  • Erica Hildebrand (2011-16)
  • Jackie Lang (2012-18)
  • Lori Koch (2013-18)
  • Abraham Gutierrez (2015-20)

Postdocs

  • Andrea Castillo (2001-03)
  • Suzanne Furuyama (2003-07)
  • Leigh Ann Higa (2007-10)
  • Gary Deyter (2010-14)
  • Amitabha Gupta (2012-18)
  • Anna de Regt (2015-19)
  • Matthew Miller (2013-19)
  • Amanda Roca (2018-21)

Technicians

  • Sean Tatsutani (2001-05)
  • Chris Breed (2005-06)
  • Christian Nelson (2007-10)
  • Shane Gonen (2009-11)
  • Nicole Duggan (2010-12)
  • Steven Ceto (2011-13)
  • Laura Leland (2013-14)
  • Aimee Littleton (2014-16)
  • Julia Torvi (2015-18)
  • Rena Evans (2016-19)
  • Adrienne Barber (2015-19)
  • Cordell Clark (2018-21)

Undergraduate Researchers

  • John Goldmark (2003)
  • Jennifer Sterling (2005)
  • Mantissa Johnson (2006)
  • Siri Nystul (2006)
  • Nicholas Nwoke (2008)
  • Sarah Gabel (2013)
  • Alex Chan (2016)
  • George Chrisafis (2016)
  • Eliana Griego (2017)
  • Robin Rounthwait (2017)
  • Marlisa Hall (2018-20)

High School Interns

  • Andres Mendoza (2009)
  • Lorena Hernandez (2010)