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Laura Anne Lowery, PhD, Principal Investigator 

Laura grew up in the San Fernando Valley outside of Los Angeles. She discovered her love of academia and biomedical research while an undergrad at the University of California, San Diego. In the lab of Dr. Bill Schafer, she studied the neural circuitry underlying worm egg-laying behavior. In 2008, Laura received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in the lab of Dr. Hazel Sive at the Whitehead Institute, where she pioneered research studying early brain ventricle morphogenesis. Laura then did post-doctoral research in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, in the labs of Dr. David Van Vactor and Dr. Gaudenz Danuser, where she became fascinated by the inner workings of the neuronal growth cone. She began as an Assistant Professor at Boston College in 2014, she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018. Laura moved to Boston University Medical Center as an Associate Professor at Boston University in 2020. Laura has served on federal and international review committees, authored more than 40 publications, and presented more than 70 seminars and talks. Laura also serves at the section for Hematology and Medical Oncology Racial Equity Champion and Wellness Champion. In addition to loving her job, Laura enjoys watercolor painting, dancing, playing board games, and spending time with her 2 children and her dog. Laura also has a blog. Contact her at lalowery at

Laura's CV (current as of March 2022)


Gavin Slattery, Lab Manager and Research Assistant


Gavin graduated from Tufts University in May 2022 with a B.S. in Biopsychology. During his undergraduate career, Gavin has been particularly interested in life science and healthcare, and has spent much of his time working in a psychopharmacology lab at Tufts as well as volunteering with the American Red Cross. Gavin has also been involved in his school’s newspaper as a copy editor, and is a member of groups on campus such as Tufts GlobeMed as well as Tufts Students for Environmental Action. While working as an undergraduate research assistant, Gavin became confident in his passion and desire to continue working in a biological laboratory research setting. He is excited to transition his focus from the macro study of behavior and the brain to the smaller scale study of cell biology, as well as gain more hands-on specific research experience. Outside of academia, Gavin enjoys hiking, playing the piano, as well as cooking and traveling with friends and family. He plans to attend graduate school in Fall 2024. 

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Chiedza Sibanda, Research Assistant


Chiedza graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.S. in Biochemistry and molecular biology in May 2022. There, she had the opportunity to work in hands-on molecular biology and biochemistry labs, growing her appreciation and love for being part of a lab and its processes.  Chiedza joined the Lowery lab to apply the knowledge she learned in classes and gain more research experience in cell biology. She is from Harare, Zimbabwe, and outside of academics, she enjoys drawing, playing cello, and outdoor activities with friends. She hopes to attend medical school in Fall 2024. 

Burcu Erdogan, Postdoctoral Researcher 

Burcu received her PhD in the Lowery Lab at Boston College in 2019. She then did postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University in the Whited lab. She came back to the Lowery Lab in January 2023 to help us with some important experiments and train new people, while she plans her next steps in her career. 

Ainsley Hutchison, Undergraduate 

Ainsley is a junior studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Boston University. She joined the Lowery Lab in the spring of 2021 in order to gain a deeper understanding of cell biology and genetics. Ainsley is from Boulder, Colorado, and she enjoys cooking and crafting. She also spends a lot of time with friends and her roommate in her free time. After graduation, Ainsley hopes to attend medical school.

Mina Nguyen, Undergraduate 

Mina is a senior studying human physiology at Boston University. She joined the Lowery Lab in the fall of 2021 because of her research interest in craniofacial deformities as well as gaining more wet lab skills. She is from Sai Gon, Vietnam, and enjoys painting and playing tennis in her free time. She also loves going to the gym and staying fit. After graduation, Mina hopes to attend dental school. 

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Janez James, Undergraduate 

Janez is a senior studying biochemistry and molecular biology at Boston University. She joined the Lowery Lab in the spring of 2022 in order to gain research experience and explore cell biology outside of the classroom. Janez is from Montgomery, New Jersey, and in her free time, she enjoys reading and painting. After graduation, Janez hopes to attend medical school.

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Tara O'Brien, Undergraduate 

Tara is a senior studying Biology with a specialization in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics at Boston University. She joined the Lowery Lab in the spring of 2022 to explore her passion for cell biology, and to gain research experience. During her free time, Tara enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with friends. After graduation, Tara plans on attending graduate school and wants to continue doing research.

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Filip Engstroem, Undergraduate 

Filip is a junior studying human physiology and psychology at Boston University. He joined the Lowery Lab in fall 2022 to gain practical lab experience and learn more about the role of genetics in embryonic development. He is from Stockholm, Sweden, and spends his free time solving puzzles and training martial arts. After graduation, Filip hopes to attend medical school.

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Olivia Perry, Undergraduate 

Olivia is a sophomore studying Biology with a specialization in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics at Boston University. She joined the Lowery Lab in the fall of 2022 because of her passion for cell biology and interest in research as a method to improve patients’ quality of life. Olivia is from Waynesville, Ohio, and in her free time, she loves trail running and trying new cuisines. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school.

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Bengisu Gur, Visiting Scholar

Bengisu is studying medicine at Istanbul University. She joined the Lowery Lab in Summer 2021 in order to gain research experience and lab skills. Bengisu loves traveling, exploring new restaurants and new cuisines. She also enjoys doing pilates, playing the piano and reading. In addition, she is an editor at the Turkish Medical Students Journal (TMSJ). After getting her MD degree, Bengisu hopes to contribute to medicine both in clinical and research fields.

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