Che-Ping grew up in a small island – Penang, Malaysia and graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. Prior to joining the Verdin lab in 2013 she studied microglia and genetic modifiers of Huntington disease. In addition to managing the Verdin lab, she is currently working on SIRT1 related research. Che-Ping loves animals, especially dogs, and is an avid coffee-holic and foodie. She really enjoys engaging in outdoor activities (especially photography) with her husband.
Anthony J. Covarrubias, PhD
Anthony is currently exploring the links between inflammation and aging. He came to the Verdin lab in Spring 2016 after getting his PhD from the Biological Sciences program at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has a particular interest in how the innate immune system utilizes nutrients and came to the Verdin lab because they were among the first to show that endogenous changes in metabolites can affect gene function. His project in the lab is focused on understanding how metabolites impact the innate immune system during aging. Anthony grew up in Los Angeles and got his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from UCLA. He is glad to be back on the West Coast. He is new to San Francisco and enjoys exploring the city, visiting breweries, and cheering for the Dodgers when they are in town!
Andrew Cruz, BS
I grew up in Long Beach, California. I earned my B.S. in Molecular Cell Biology from California State University, Long Beach. In my undergraduate lab, I probed structural aspects of Gα -interacting vesicle-associated protein, a signaling protein which plays a role in regulating cell migration and promoting cell survival. I am currently in the Biology of Aging PhD program between University of Southern California and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. I joined the Verdin lab in May, 2018. I am interested in the factors that regulate nucleolus size and longevity I enjoy reading, eating at new restaurants and learning new songs on the ukulele.
Herb Kasler, PhD
Staff Scientist, Flow Core Director
I did my undergraduate work in biology at Duke University, and got my PhD in immunology from UC Berkeley, working on the regulation of cell death in T cell development in the laboratory of Dr. Astar Winoto. Since joining the Verdin lab, my main area of focus has been elucidating the immunobiology of histone deacetylase 7, an epigenetic regulator with an essential role in the maintenance of immune self-tolerance. With other members of the immunology group, I’m working to define the molecular mechanisms whereby the TCR-dependent nuclear export of HDAC7 mediates both negative thymic selection and the differentiation of agonist-selected innate-like T cell populations. By understanding the important role of HDAC7 in T cell development, we hope to gain new insights into the regulation of immune self-tolerance, and also to identify novel molecular pathways that can be targeted in autoimmune disease. When I’m not pushing back the frontier of human knowledge one miniprep at a time, I like to cook fabulous food for my friends and family, hike through the many splendid landscapes surrounding the Bay Area, and play at being a suburban farmer.
Oishika Panda, PhD
I joined the Verdin lab in February, 2018, right after my PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. I grew up in Kolkata and Delhi in India, so one can imagine how delighted I am with the Bay Area weather after battling the harsh Ithaca winters! I am interested in applying my analytical chemistry skills to study the regulation of posttranslational acylations of proteins by endogenous metabolites, and their signaling functions. In my spare time, I enjoy trying out new cheesecake recipes, playing with dogs, and discussing Harry Potter and Middle Earth trivia with whoever wants to listen!
Rosalba Perrone, PHD
Rosalba joined the Verdin lab in January 2017 as a postdoctoral fellow. She earned her Ph.D in Biomedicine at the University of Padua in Italy studying innovative therapeutic targets at the HIV proviral level. In the Verdin lab, her first interest for HIV biology meets her new and exciting interest for aging. She’s working to investigate and elucidate mechanisms that link HIV infection and aging since increasing evidence supports accelerated aging in HIV-positive patients. Science is not her only big passion, she loves creative arts for expressing herself, primarily with belly dancing. She loves everything from her home country, Italy, especially the good Italian food and music. Her first goal in life is to always be passionate, curious, and happy. Her motto is: “Resolve to be the sun!”
Tugsan Tezil, PhD
Tugsan grew up in Izmir, Turkey. He has a B.Sc. on Molecular Biology & Genetics; he got his Ph.D. on Biological Sciences & Bioengineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul. Then, he moved to Italy to work on mitochondrial metabolism in cancer. After a 3-year post-doc training in the National Cancer Institute of Italy, he came to San Francisco to work in Verdin Lab in 2016. He is currently focusing on epigenetic regulation of aging process in model organisms like C. elegans and mouse, as well as cultured mammalian cells. He is investigating the effect of potential compounds that change the activity of histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases. He enjoys singing, cooking and creating molecular gastronomy recipies in his kitchen.
Olga Bielska, PhD
Olga obtained her BSc and MSc degrees in Biochemistry from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in Ukraine. Then she moved to Germany to study Regenerative Biomedicine at the DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD). She conducted her Master thesis work in the US at the University of Florida and worked there for a year after her graduation from TU Dresden. She moved back to Europe to pursue her PhD degree in the Iargest research unit of France - Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC) affiliated with the University of Strasbourg. There she studied the signaling pathways that regulate mitochondrial dynamics during mitotic progression. Her passion to mitochondrial biology brought her to the lab of Eric Verdin in 2019. In the Buck, she studies how mitochondrial metabolism and function affect aging process in humans and mice. She likes gardening, photography, NBA games and interior design.
Marius Walter, PhD
Marius grew up in the south of France and received a M.Sc. at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. His PhD work at the Institut Curie in Paris focused on transposable element regulation during embryonic development. Marius joined the Verdin lab in September 2016 and has been working on using CRISPR genetic screens to uncover new mechanisms that regulate the establishment of HIV latency. He is also developing new therapeutic strategies against Herpesviruses, and has been particularly interested in Cytomegalovirus. When not in the lab, Marius can be found in various part of California, either climbing, skiing, biking or backpacking. His diet also consists almost exclusively of Avocado, Pringles and Clementines.
Ran Zhang, PhD
Ran grew up in Tongling, China. He joined Verdin Lab in September 2017. He has a Bachelor degree in Clinical Medicine; then, he got his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College. He is currently interested in epigenetic regulation of metabolism and aging. Ran enjoys hiking and cooking.
Rachid Boutoual, PHD
Rachid grew up in Agadir, Morocco. He joined the Verdin lab in October, 2018, following his PhD in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Abdelmalek Essaadi, faculty of Sciences, Tetouan, Morocco. Rachid completed the majority of his studies for his Ph.D. work in the laboratory of Dr. Maria Eugenia Armengod at Principe Felipe Research Center, Valencia, Spain. His doctoral dissertation was focused on the understanding the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial diseases associated with defects in the post-transcriptional modification of mitochondrial tRNAs catalyzed by the proteins TRMU, MTO1 and GTPBP3. Rachid is currently interested in the role of mitochondrial sirtuins, protein acylation and epigenetic regulation in aging. If time permits, he enjoys playing sports, especially football and swimming, long walks on the beach and of course as he is new to San Francisco, he enjoys exploring this city.
Ik-Jung Kim, PhD
Dr. Kim is originally from South Korea. After earning an undergraduate and a master’s degree at Sogang university, he moved to the United States for a PhD training in the field of cellular microbiology. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he worked in Dr. Steven Blanke’s lab to study human infection with Helicobacter pylori, which he found manipulates host metabolism, resulting in a global metabolic shift from a biosynthetic to a catabolic state. As growing older, his deep interest in human metabolism stretched to aging biology and finally drew him to the Buck Institute. Since joining Verdin lab in February, 2019, he strive to understand how the levels of NAD+, a central metabolite involved in energy production and healthspan, are systemically regulated, using in vitro and in vivo models. Outside of the lab, he can be found exploring the beautiful nature in Northern California, or, pampering his hedgehog pets.