current members

Joe Bondy-Denomy
Principal Investigator

Joe went to the University of Waterloo for his undergrad in Biology (Microbiology specialization) and spent time as a co-op student in labs at Western University (London, ON) and McGill University (Montreal, QC). Joe then attended the University of Toronto to complete his PhD in Alan Davidson's lab where he studied interactions between bacteriophages and their host bacteria, focusing on the effects of lysogeny and the CRISPR-Cas immune system. In the spring of 2015, Joe started his lab at UCSF as a Faculty Fellow. In November of 2017, Joe will continue at UCSF as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology.

The lab is currently focused on studying the roles of CRISPR-Cas immune systems in their host organisms, discovering novel CRISPR-Cas functions and identifying ways in which these systems interact with bacteriophages. When not working, Joe will definitely be found watching baseball.

Adair Borges

PhD Candidate (BMS)

Adair is a graduate student in the Bondy-Denomy lab. Originally from Montana, Adair graduated from University of Pittsburgh in 2014 with a degree in Microbiology. As an undergraduate, she studied the role of gene duplication and locus expansion in the evolution of Toxoplasma gondii pathogenesis with Dr. Jon Boyle. She is now a BMS grad student, where she continues to study microbial genetics and evolution. Adair is studying all things anti-CRISPR in Pseudomonas, including striving to understand how they work and discovering more! When not in lab, Adair can be found biking around the greater San Francisco area or swimming in the (cold) ocean.

Bardo Castro

Junior Specialist

Bardo is a technician in the Bondy-Denomy lab. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis and is currently studying the regulatory pathways that govern CRISPR-Cas expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bardo will be heading to graduate school at UC Davis in the Fall of 2017. 

Lina Leon

Graduate Student (Tetrad)
Lina is a TETRAD graduate student in the Bondy-Denomy lab. She is from Bogota, Colombia and is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Chemistry. Lina joined the lab in 2016 and passed her qual exam to become the second PhD candidate in the lab! Lina is using the minimal Type I-C CRISPR-Cas system to understand how the most common CRISPR effector nuclease in the world (Cas3) does its job. 

Joel Berry

Associate Specialist
Joel is a biochemical geneticist with broad scientific interests. To put it bluntly, he loves science. He earned his BA in biochemistry at Mississippi State University before traveling to College Station, home of Texas A&M University, to gain his PhD, in you guessed it, biochemistry. In addition to the biochemistry degrees, Joel has also focused on practicing phage and microbial genetics. His graduate work under Dr. Ry Young was key to identifying the first phage-encoded membrane fusion system, i.e., cool science. After the PhD, Joel spent two years catching and characterizing novel phages at the Center for Phage Technology (CPT) and also co-instructed a practical and science packed course on phage genomics and biology at TAMU. Paris was calling so Joel then filled a postdoctoral position at the Institut Pasteur under Ivo G. Boneca. While fumbling his way through the French language, he was also employing ‘omic’ methodologies to search for clues as to how bacteria regulate peptidoglycan metabolism under stress. Joel has now joined the Bondy-Denomy lab as an associate specialist in order to discover and characterize novel mechanisms of CRISPR-cas evasion and he is also helping to develop methodologies to apply CRISPR-cas technology outside of the laboratory. Otherwise, Joel is never far from his Kindle and you may also find him roaming the wonderful national and state parks of California. That is if he is not unraveling the mysteries of biology at the bench and having fun doing it. You may also locate him riding his bike around SF and the surrounding hills or perhaps running in those very same places.

Bettie Osuna

Graduate Student

Jenny Zhang

Undergraduate Student

Bettie is a TETRAD graduate student in the Bondy-Denomy lab. She is from Southern California where she earned a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Bettie is studying anti-CRISPR function in Listeria monocytogenes. Outside of doing dope science, you can find Bettie dancing (or at least trying to) at all kinds of shows in the city.





Jenny is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley pursing a degree in Molecular Cellular Biology working in the lab both during the school year and over the summer. Under the supervision of Adair, Jenny is studying anti-CRISPR evolution and mechanism. Outside of lab and school, she can be found exploring the city with friends, going to art museums, and watching sitcoms and scary TV shows.

Senén Mendoza

Rotation Student (Tetrad)
Senén Mendoza is a TETRAD graduate student in the Bondy-Denomy lab. He was raised in Miami, Florida where he earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Miami. In the BD Lab, Senen is studying the ways that bacteria regulate their defense systems. His life on the west coast consists of science, food, and music. 



former members

Ben Rauch


Chris Waters

Postdoctoral Scholar
Current: Scientist, Zymergen
Tetrad Rotation Student
Fall 2017
Current: Graduate Student, UCSF

Veronica Escalante

Tetrad Rotation Student
Fall 2016
Current: Graduate Student, UCSF

Ry Young

Director, Center for Phage Technology
Sadie Hatfield Professor,
Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M

Salvador Alcaire

Summer Student, 2016
Current: Dentist

Tina Solvik

Rotation Student, spring 2016 (BMS)
Current: Graduate Student, UCSF

Yuliya Birman

Rotation Student, spring 2016 (iPQB)
Current: Graduate Student, UCSF

Kelsey Hickey

Rotation Student, 2015 (Tetrad)
Current: Graduate Student, UCSF