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The Rubin Lab (2022-2023)

Ben Rubin standing in front of a green background
Ben surfing on a wave!
Ben Rubin, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator |

As a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Jennifer Doudna's lab, Ben and colleagues created technologies that enable CRISPR-Cas editing of microbiomes. The Rubin lab continues to develop this platform while working with collaborators to apply microbial community editing tools to various microbiomes, such as those residing in human guts, cow rumens, and plant roots. Ben is also a co-founder of the non-profit Science Corps and, when not in the lab, tries to spend as much time in the Pacific Ocean as possible. 

Leo Song standing in front of an ocean background
Leo scuba-diving
Leo Song

Lab Manager & Research Associate |

Leo Song received his B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology, with an emphasis in Genetics, Genomics, and Development, from the University of California, Berkeley. After joining the lab in the summer of 2022, Leo worked to set up the Rubin Lab space as well as to initiate research activity and manage operation of the lab. He is currently working to advance and optimize CRISPR-Tn based editing technologies for diverse microbial communities. During his spare time, Leo can be found drawing, photographing wildlife and nature, or planning his next backpacking or scuba diving trip.

Amanda Alker in front of a green background
Amanda hiking!
Amanda Alker

Postdoctoral Associate | | Website

Amanda received a PhD in Biology at San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego in 2022, where she developed modular genetic tools to study diverse marine bacteria and applied them to study bacteria-stimulated metamorphosis in tubeworms and corals. In the Rubin Lab, Amanda will join the BiomeForge project to work on microbiome editing with support from the Joint BioEnergy Institute. During her postdoc, she will apply microbial community editing techniques to lignin degrading bacterial communities from plant-root microbiomes. Furthermore, she will improve the maintenance and enrichment of successfully edited microbes in this system by developing methods for positive metabolic selection. Outside of the lab, Amanda likes to travel and enjoy outdoor activities like running, surfing, camping and seeing live music.

Sara Smith standing in front of a blue background
Sara taking a picture with Oski!
Sara Smith

Undergraduate Researcher | | LinkedIn

Working with samples at the benchtop from DNA extraction through library prep, quality control, and sequencing, then data analysis through a bioinformatics pipeline written in R and Python. Helping with data storage and organization. Outside of lab, I am very involved in school spirit as a campus tour guide and member of the UC Rally Committee!

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Abby Wang standing in front of greenery
Abby taking a picture with a Van Gogh painting
Abby Wang

Undergraduate Researcher & Graphic Designer |

Abby is a first-year intended Molecular and Cell Biology major with interests in all-things biology, neuroscience, philosophy, and graphic design. At the Rubin Lab and BiomeForge, Abby performs tasks related to design (including designing and managing this website!). Outside of her studies, she enjoys tackling her reading list, museum hopping, and picking up niche hobbies.

Audrey Glynn, Ph.D.

Senior Program Manager |

Audrey Glynn received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Tulane University, completed her post-doctoral studies with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, and entered the programmatic side of research during a 2-year AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship with the Office of Naval Research Global. She went on to work for Strategic Analysis, Inc, through which she provided over 8 years of direct support to the DARPA Biological Technologies Office, helping to de-risk and bring novel medical countermeasures to the clinic. Since joining the IGI in late 2021, Audrey provides programmatic and strategic support across multiple IGI projects, including BiomeForge, the Affordability Task Force, and the Sickle Cell Initiative. When not supporting BiomeForge and other IGI activities, Audrey can be found in the yoga studio, in the kitchen whipping up vegan cuisine, or anywhere reading a good book and sipping a glass of rosé.

Audrey Glynn standing in front of a green background
Audrey doing yoga
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