Lab Members

Sue Biggins

Sue Biggins

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

Daniel Barrero

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.

Cordell Clark

Cordell Clark

Title: Research Technician

Education: B.S., University of Oregon


Cordell joined the Biggins lab during the fall of 2018. Originally from the town of Alvadore, Oregon, Cordell graduated with an honors degree in biology from the University of Oregon in the spring of 2018. During his time as a Duck, Cordell studied meiotic DNA break repair in Dr. Diana Libuda’s laboratory. His experience in Dr. Libuda’s lab inspired Cordell to pursue a career in scientific research. Cordell is currently interested in the mechanisms underlying unattached kinetochore capture. When he isn’t in lab, Cordell enjoys exploring the vast wilderness of the Pacific Northwest by taking backpacking trips, bouldering, and swimming in high alpine lakes.

Jamie Colman

Jamie Colman

Title: Lab Aide

 

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 went to grad school to follow her passion of 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. But the stint at OHSU had her longing to return to the PNW. So she 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. She is a lot of fun at parties and sushi restaurants. 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 stumbled into a career as a freelance photographer, covering everything from pets and weddings to, more recently, independent wrestling and combat sports. She is a regular ringside photographer for Seattle's 321 Battle and sometimes visits other promotions in the region. Missing her days as a marine scientist, she also was accepted to and recently completed a leg of eXXpedition where she crossed the Caribbean sea by sailboat, researching ocean microplastics and meeting with local communities along the way. In her free time, she enjoys adventure travel, boxing, and is dabbling in jujitsu; though she's not sure her body is supposed to bend like that. She spends most of her time doting on her ridiculously cute, wiggly mutt, Mako Sharkpup.

Amanda Davis-Roca

Amanda Davis-Roca

Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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

Amanda joined the Biggins lab as a post-doc in the Fall of 2018 and is interested in understanding the role of SUMOylation in kinetochore assembly and function through biochemical and biophysical techniques. She received her PhD from Northwestern in the lab of Sadie Wignall, where she studied error-detection in oocytes and SUMO-mediated meiotic anaphase progression primarily through high-resolution microscopy. Outside of lab Amanda enjoys singing, baking, eating anything related to peanut butter or pie, and hanging out with her dog Belle.

Devin Edwards

Devin Edwards

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

Sabrine Hedouin

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

Jake Herman

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.

Elizabeth Karas

Elizabeth Karas

Title: Lab Aide

Education: Current: University of Washington

Hi, I’m Elizabeth, and I am currently a Freshman at the UW. I was born and raised in San Francisco and moved to Seattle for school. For all four years in high school, I was part of the robotics team. I worked in both the mechanical, manufacturing and design department as well as in the outreach department, leading initiatives across the city to promote STEM to students from K to 12. I’m proud to say I helped my team of sixty people achieve 50% female representation! When I’m not working or studying, I love cooking, reading, and being near the ocean.

Cameron Lee

Cameron Lee

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.

Darren Mallett

Darren Mallett

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

Christian Nelson

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

Andrew Popchock

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

Donna Modrell

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 these days 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)

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)

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)