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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 as the Associate Chief for Faculty Affairs in the Section of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine. 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)

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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 2025

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. 

Yusuf Kayaer, MD, Visiting Scholar 

Yusuf graduated from Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine in 2023. Research and scientific studies in cell biology have always fascinated him, leading him to decide to advance his career in this direction after graduation. In his free time, he enjoys learning new languages and traveling. His career plan is to become a physician-scientist focusing on tumor cell biology.

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Filip Engstroem, Undergraduate 

Filip is a senior 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 junior 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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Urvika Gupta, Undergraduate 

Urvika is a sophomore studying Medical Science in the Seven Year Liberal Arts and Medical Education Program at Boston University. She joined the Lowery Lab in the fall of 2023, excited to learn basic cellular biology laboratory techniques and about embryonic development. Urvika is from Bridgewater, New Jersey, and loves reading, playing tennis, and spending time outside. She will be attending the Boston University School of Medicine after graduating.

Jas Senel, Undergraduate 

Jasming is a sophomore from Miami, Florida studying neuroscience and computer science at Boston University. She joined the Lowery Lab in the fall of 2023 because of her passion for genetics and to explore scientific research. In her free time, Jas likes to cook, spend time with friends, play basketball, and play piano. After graduation, she would like to attend medical school.

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Chennai Marcus, MD Student (virtual member)

Chennai is a medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She joined the Lowery lab in the summer of 2023 to help investigate the relationship between neural crest cell development and craniofacial defects. Chennai is from Brooklyn, New York City, and is a polyglot in several languages including Chinese and Japanese. She loves embracing nature, playing viola, and traveling.

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