top of page

Our lab welcomes scientists from all backgrounds regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic background, or other historically marginalized groups. We strive to foster an inclusive lab environment where black, brown, and underrepresented scientists will thrive in. We celebrate diversity and its power to drive the creativity needed to make innovative scientific discoveries.

NunezJames headshot.jpg

James Nuñez, PhD

Principal Investigator

James is an Assistant Professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at UC Berkeley, a Hanna Gray Fellow of HHMI, and an Investigator of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. Previously, he was a postdoc fellow with Jonathan Weissman at UCSF and earned his PhD at UC Berkeley in Jennifer Doudna's lab. James is interested in all things CRISPR and chromatin biology. Outside the lab, you will likely find James on a tennis court or outdoors on his bike or hiking boots.

contact: jamesnunez[at]


Nikita Divekar, PhD


Nikita earned her PhD from Northwestern University.

contact: nsd178[at]



Da Xu, PhD


Da earned his PhD at the University of Science and Technology of China.


Image from iOS (4)_edited.jpg

Rithu Pattali

MCB Graduate Student

Rithu is a third year PhD student in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department, jointly advised by Dr. Jennifer Doudna. She is a graduate fellow of the University of California Cancer Research Coordinating Committee and an Innovation Fellow of Bakar Labs.


contact: rithupattali[at]


Image from iOS (6)_edited.jpg

Izaiah Ornelas

MCB Graduate Student

Izaiah is a third year PhD student in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department and a recipient of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a UC Berkeley Mentored Research Award.

contact: izaiah_ornelas[at]





Anna Christenson

MCB Graduate Student

Anna is a second year PhD student in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department. 

contact: anna_christenson[at]




Carolyn Nguyen

Undergraduate Student

Carolyn is a second year studying Molecular and Cell Biology. Carolyn is a SURF Rose Hills Fellow.


contact: carolyndvn[at]

Lab photo.png

Peter Colias

Undergraduate Student

Peter is a fourth year Molecular and Cell Biology major with an emphasis on Genetics, Genomics & Development.


contact: pjcolias[at]


Jerry Roberts

Undergraduate Student

Jerry is a fourth year studying Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Molecular Therapeutics. 


contact: jerryroberts[at]



Postdoc • Graduate Student • Research Assistant • Undergraduate Student • Visiting Scholar

We accept graduate students from the Molecular and Cell Biology PhD program. Postdocs, research assistants, undergraduate students, and visiting scholars should reach out to James: jamesnunez [at] berkeley [dot] edu


Former Undergraduate Students

Anatori Prieto, Ted Llera (McNair Scholar; now PhD student at UC Berkeley), Paulina Rios (Summer Amgen Scholar; now NSF GRFP PhD Student at MIT), Michelle Adutwum (Summer UCSF SSRP/CIRM Scholar; now college student at Johns Hopkins), Lily Baulete (Summer Intern), Eric Bass (Amgen Scholar), Jason Tello (REU Summer Scholar)

Former Research Associates

Scarleth Chalen Ulloa (now PhD student at UC Berkeley)

bottom of page