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Sean Ryder, Ph.D.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology,
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Bio: Sean Ryder graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Hampshire in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. He studied the mechanisms of RNA folding and catalysis in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, earning a Ph.D. in 2001. He performed post-doctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute, where he was awarded a Damon Runyon fellowship to study post-transcriptional regulation and RNP assembly. He joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2005. His current research focuses on the role of RNA-binding proteins in the regulation of gene expression during differentiation and development, with a focus on oligodendrocyte biology and early embryogenesis. His work couples quantitative methods, molecular genetics, and high throughput approaches to map regulatory networks at the systems level. He received a Scholar Award from the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research in 2006, and a Basil O’Connor Award from the March of Dimes in 2008.

Favorite Molecule: RNA! Of course...
How did you get into science: Isaac Asimov fiction, and then non-fiction, while a high school student.
Fun Fact: Sean plays guitar and sings in a country rock cover band.


Mennatallah (Menna) Albarqi


MennaGraduate Student
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School

B.S. Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
Joined the lab in May, 2016

Phone: 508-856-3568
E-mail: Send an email

Favorite Molecule: Caffeine. It makes me happy (may be a bit too much) and excited to work.
How did you get into science: I first got interested in science in the 8th grade when I learned about the eukaryotic cell. I thought it was really neat to see all the cell organelles work together to keep the cell alive.
What do you do for fun: Hiking and spending time with friends.


Katianna Antkowiak


KatResearch Technician
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
University of Massachusetts Medical School

B.S. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Joined the lab in August, 2016

Phone: 508-856-3568
E-mail: Send an email

Han, B., Antkowiak, K.R., Fan, X., Rutigliano, M., Ryder S.P., and Griffin, E.E., (2018) Polo-like kinase couples cytoplasmic protein gradients in the C. elegans zygote. Curr. Biol., 28(1):60-69.e8

Favorite Molecule: Serotonin. It is an interesting neurotransmitter that is found in the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system, and is thought to be involved in our feelings of well being.
How did you get into science: How did you get into science:I've been interested in science since I was a little kid, because the world we live in is amazing, and because my dad was always excited about it. I have also always had a special interest in biology, the study of life. Life is really cool and complex. I think it's amazing that life evolved from single cell bacteria to the complexity it is now, and I think its amazing that organisms have evolved to the point that they can care about each other and can interact in such a complex social level.
What do you do for fun: I love outdoor sports, especially rock climbing. I also enjoy reading and spending time with friends and family.


Peren Coskun


Graduate Student
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School


B.Sc. Sabanci University, Instanbul, Turkey
Joined the lab in October, 2016

Phone: 508-856-3568
E-mail: Send an email

Favorite Molecule: Water because water is life
How did you get into science: I used to read science and technology journals for kids when I was in primary school and got interested in science.
What do you do for fun: I read, listen to music, go to concerts and meet with my friends.



Carina Clingman, Ph.D., Graduate Student, 2009-2014, Business Owner / Entrepreneur, Recruitomics.
Brian Farley, Ph.D., Graduate Student, 2006-2012, NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship with Kathy Collins, UC Berkeley.  Brian is currently a Data Scientist at Twist Bioscience.
Ebru Kaymak, Ph.D., Graduate Student, 2009-2016, Currently a post-doc with Ollie Rando, UMMS.
Suparna Laha, Ph.D., Graduate Student, 2015, Currently faculty at Yenepoya Research Centre, Mangalore.
Lisa McCoig, research technician, 2005-2008, Lisa left my lab to become a graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill. She left graduate school before finishing due to health reasons. She worked as a research technician at Duke before she ultimately succumbed to Crohn’s disease. We miss her dearly.
John Pagano, Ph.D., Graduate Student, 2006-2010, ACS Postdoctoral Fellowship with John Lis, Cornell University. Currently employed at Bristol Myers Squibb.
Cara Weismann, Ph.D., Postdoc, 2004-2016, Completed a AAAS-sponsored science policy fellowship at the NIH.
Ruth Zearfoss, Ph.D., Research Scientist, 2006-2014, Currently employed as a Scientific Editor at Cell Reports.

Former Interns

William Flaherty: Undergraduate Intern, WPI, MQP Research, 2005–2006
David Moquin: Undergraduate Intern, WPI, MQP Research, 2006-2007
Robert Stefani: Undergraduate Intern, Brown University, 2008
Kingsley Essien: Undergraduate Intern, Providence College, 2007-2010
Samantha Hay: Undergraduate Intern / Research Technician, Syracuse University, 2010-2012
Daniel Hartman: Undergraduate Intern, WPI, MQP Research, 2010-2011
Emily Johnson: Undergraduate Intern, WPI, MQP Research, Summer 2011-2013
Charlene Pizzementi: Undergraduate Intern, WPI, 2011-2012
Alyssa Donohue: Undergraduate Intern, WPI, MQP research, 2013-2014
Cedric Lawrenz: Undergraduate Intern, U. Minnesota, Summer 2014
Cole Robert: High School Intern, Doherty, Worcester, MA, Summer 2014
Marykate Duska: Undergraduate Intern, Hampshire College, 2015
Rachel Prescott: Undergraduate Intern, WPI, MQP Research, 2015-2016
Kevin Fortier: Undergraduate Intern, Framingham State, 2015-2016
Jenna Libera: Undergraduate Intern, Clark University, 2016-2017
Michelle Heeney:  Undergraduate Intern, UMass Amherst, 2016-2017
Zahra Kahzal:  Undergraduate Intren, WPI, MQP Research, 2016-2017
Rick Metters:  Undergraduate Intern, WPI, Summer 2017
Julia Hunt:  Undergraduate Intern, UNH, Summer 2018
Hannah Snell:  Undergraduate Intern, Hampshire College, Summer 2018


Sean Ryder, Ph.D.

Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
UMass Medical School
364 Plantation Street LRB-906
Worcester, MA, 01605

Office (LRB-906)
Lab (LRB-970W,X)

Join Us!

Post-docs are welcome to apply at anytime. Please send a cover letter and a CV directly to Sean. Undergraduate students interested in summer internships should send a cover letter and a resume to Sean before February 1st. Graduate students interested in rotating in the Ryder Lab should contact Sean directly IF you are already matriculated in the GSBS program at UMass Medical School. All others should apply here