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Rachel Roberts-Galbraith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Cellular Biology

Rachel grew up in rural Kentucky, where she collected planarians with her dad.  She earned a B.S. from Emory University, majoring in biology and minoring in religion.  She then completed her doctoral training at Vanderbilt University, working with Kathleen Gould to study cytokinesis in fission yeast.  Next, she moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and switched gears from fission yeast to fissioning worms.  Her postdoctoral research, in the lab of Phillip Newmark, focused on regeneration of the brain in Schmidtea mediterranea (our model planarian). Rachel was supported by the National Science Foundation during her graduate studies and by the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research during her postdoctoral fellowship.

In August 2017, Rachel launched her new laboratory in the Department of Cellular Biology at the University of Georgia (faculty website here).  She is a member of the Developmental Biology Alliance, the Regenerative Bioscience Center, and the Biomedical & Health Sciences Institute, where she is affiliated with the Neuroscience Program.  She accepts graduate students through the Integrated Life Sciences program.  

email: robertsgalbraith at uga.edu

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britessia smith

Research Technician III

Originally from Athens, Georgia, Britessia returned to her hometown after receiving her B.S. in Neuroscience from Agnes Scott College. In addition to being a Research Technician at the University of Georgia, she is also a part-time student working toward her second degree in computer science. In her free time she enjoys drawing, meditating, building furniture and spending time with family.


Bidushi (Tulip) Chandra

Graduate Student, Cellular Biology

Tulip is a Cellular Biology graduate student from Johns Creek, GA. She received her Bachelor's in Genetics (minor in Public Health) from University of Georgia. She chose to attend graduate school based on her interest in signaling pathways (which began during her undergraduate research experience in the Eggenschwiler lab) and her experience as part of UGA's iGEM synthetic biology research team.  Outside of lab, Tulip enjoys reading, photography, painting, and traveling. 

email: bc11341 at uga.edu


jennifer jenkins

Graduate Student, Cellular Biology

Jennifer is a Cellular Biology graduate student from Saint Simons Island, GA. She earned a Bachelor's Degree from the College of Coastal Georgia, majoring in Biological Sciences with a Coastal Ecology concentration. Her inspiration to attend graduate school stemmed from a summer undergraduate research program at Georgia Southern University, where she performed organic synthesis experiments. Jen was a theater kid in high school, so she likes to support the arts in her free time. However, she is also happy with a good football game/tailgate.

email: jennifer.jenkins at uga.edu


Yamini chavan

Undergraduate (Class of 2020), Cellular Biology

Yamini is a fourth-year undergraduate from Milton, GA and a cellular biology major. She plans to attend medical school to be an ob/gyn after graduation. Yamini joined the lab in Spring 2018 and has completed 3 semesters of undergraduate research. She has been supported by the CURO assistantship and presented her work at the CURO symposium in 2018 and 2019. Outside of the lab, she is a musician and plays the keyboard, flute, and alto saxophone. 

email: yamini.chavan25 at uga.edu


Rachel Grimes 

Undergraduate (Class of 2022), Cellular Biology

Rachel is a second-year cellular biology student from Atlanta, GA. She hopes to attend medical school and continue researching after graduation. Rachel joined the lab in Summer 2019 and has received the CURO assistantship and funding from the Experiential Learning program. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends, and playing with her dog.


Sara Anne McCOmmon

Undergraduate (Class of 2020), Psychology (USC-Aiken, NSURE Program)

Sara Anne is a rising senior Psychology major with a concentration in Neuroscience from Aiken, SC. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school to receive an MD-PhD and practice neurosurgery with an emphasis in holistic medicine. In her free time, she enjoys painting, doing yoga, and baking with her mom.


Olabamibo (Labo) Olajuwon Oke

Undergraduate (Class of 2021), Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Labo is a third-year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major with a minor in sociology from McDonough, Georgia. He is on the pre-medicine path and in the short term plans to engage his research experience, graduate and matriculate to medical school. He intends to become an orthopedic surgeon with an emphasis on spinal surgery and continue his research in some realm of regenerative medicine. In his free time, he enjoys sport activities and learning. 


Raag Patel

Undergraduate (Class of 2022), Psychology

Raag is an undergraduate studying psychology with an area of emphasis in Neuroscience. He aspires to attend medical school after graduating and become a psychiatrist. He is from Lilburn, GA and attended Brookwood High School. Raag joined the lab Summer 2019, with funding from a CURO assistantship, and plans to continuing researching for the lab for three more semesters. In his free time, Raag loves to read and spend time with his friends.

Email: raag.patel at uga.edu


Jada Summerville 

Undergraduate (Class of 2020), Cellular Biology

Jada was born in Italy and raised in Virginia before moving to Georgia.  She is a fourth-year cellular biology major who plans to attend graduate school after taking a gap year.  Jada joined the lab in Summer 2018 and has completed 3 semesters of undergraduate research. She recently presented her work at the CURO symposium (2019). She spends most of her free time writing and reading comics or novels.

email: jada.summerville25 at uga.edu

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Lauren thompson

Undergraduate (Class of 2020), Cellular Biology

Lauren is a fourth-year cellular biology student from Evans, Georgia. Lauren joined the lab in Spring 2018 and has been with us for 3 semesters (and part of a summer!). She presented at the CURO symposium in 2018 and 2019 and was also the recipient of a CURO assistantship. After she graduates, she hopes to attend medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. In her free time, she likes to spend time outdoors doing things such as hiking and kayaking.

email: let61146 at uga.edu

Previous Lab Members


Princess Dikko

Undergraduate (Class of 2020), Cellular Biology

Princess is a fourth-year cellular biology student from Marietta, GA with a minor in Japanese. Princess completed three semesters of laboratory research from Summer 2018-Spring 2019. She presented her work on the planarian peripheral nervous system at the CURO Symposium in 2019. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue research and apply to graduate school.

email: psd50775 at uga.edu

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Alicia May

Undergraduate (Class of 2020), Biology

Alicia is a third-year biology major from Dublin, GA. She hopes to attend medical school to become an anesthesiologist. Alicia completed laboratory research in Summer/Fall 2018 and was supported by Peach Tree LSAMP. She presented her work on planarian glia in 2019 at the Emerging Researchers National conference and at the CURO symposium.

email: am47157 at uga.edu


Garrett Medley

Graduate Student, Cellular Biology

Garrett received his bachelors degree in biology from Georgia College & State University in 2018. Garrett spent Spring 2019 in the lab before leaving to pursue other career options. He presented his work on planarian regeneration at the 2019 Developmental Biology Symposium.


Mark (Christian) Adams

Undergraduate (Class of 2020), Biology

Christian is a third-year Cognitive Science major from Peachtree Corners, GA. Christian completed laboratory research in Spring 2018 and was supported by CURO. He also presented his work at the CURO symposium in 2018.

Former rotation students:

Kendall Clay (UGA) - NSURE 2019
Ivy Khevali (Del Mar College) - NSURE 2019
Kathy Bui - ILS Fall 2018
Jeremy Burton - ILS Fall 2018
Benjamin Luttinen - ILS Fall 2018
Christina Sabin - ILS Fall 2018
Theresa Melendez - ILS Fall 2017