Dr. Kausik Chakrabarti, Principal Investigator


Dr. Chakrabarti is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Chakrabarti’s Lab currently focuses on genomics and molecular mechanism of RNA function in human parasites. Chakrabarti lab uses wide arrays of cutting-edge tools to understand conformational changes that occur within the RNA in a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex and essential RNA-protein interactions that are important for biological functions of pathogens. The long-term goal is to utilize this information for developing RNA-based therapeutics to target human unicellular pathogens.

Justin Davis, Ph.D Student


Justin was born and raised in North Carolina. He graduated from UNC Charlotte majoring in Biology (BS). Before joining Chakrabarti group, he studied different enzymes in the biochemical pathway for the assembly of the capsular polysaccharide of the aquatic bacterium Vibrio vulnificus in the UNC Charlotte Dept of Chemistry. In Chakrabarti Lab, he focuses on biochemical characterization of Telomerase RNA-protein interactions in Trypanosma brucei.

Tiffany Barwell, Ph.D Student


Tiffany joined Chakrabarti Lab in January 2019 as an undergraduate intern working on RNA processing. During summer 2019, she worked as an NSF-REU student. Tiffany is now a Ph.D student in Chakrabarti Lab working on mRNA processing. Her primary focus is to understand the cross-talks between mRNA splicing and RNA surveillance pathways in human diseases.

Kaitlin Klotz image

Kaitlin Klotz, Ph.D Student


Kaitlin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics. While completing her master’s degree, she interned for the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) researching the regulation of metabolic pathways through tissue-enriched microRNA target genes. Following completion of her MS, Kaitlin worked in the Cancer Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics research group at Levine Cancer Institute. In Chakrabarti Lab, Kaitlin focuses on understanding in-cell structural rearrangements of RNA molecules with particular focus on telomerase RNA in Trypanosoma brucei.

Carli Camporeale, Ph.D student


Carli was a 2023 graduate from Pace University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Organic Chemistry. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked with Mycobacterium bovis to assess host redox responses. In addition, she worked to determine possible biofilm formations in Caenorhabditis elegans as a result of food source and temperature manipulation. In Chakrabarti lab, Carli works on gene regulatory networks in malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum.

Saina sadat, Masters student


Saina received her Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology – Microbiology from the Islamic Azad University of Tehran Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Her long standing interest is in long noncoding RNAs. In Chakrabarti lab, Saina focuses on understanding the unique aspects of the telomerase catalytic activity in Trypanosoma brucei.

Dr. Ruchi Singh, Research Associate


Ruchi have a Bachelor’s degree in Biological sciences and Master’ degree in Biotechnology. In her PhD research work she focused on determining antineoplastic activity in HIV protease inhibitors, and to design and develop HIV PIs folic acid functionalized PLGA nanoparticles for their selective delivery in cancer cells. In Chakrabarti Lab She works on Plasmodium falciparum RNA processing and genome integrity as Research Associate.

Prashant Jha, Honors Student


Prashant is a Biology major and an undergraduate researcher working on Telomerase regulation in Trypanosoma brucei. He is working on post-translational modification of telomerase as as part of the Honors research program.

Aarti Jinwala, Undergraduate Student Researcher


Aarti is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science as a Biology Major and Biotechnology Minor. Her work in Chakrabarti lab is on Telomerase RNA processing in Trypanosoma brucei as an undergraduate research intern.

Past Members

  • Daniel Faraj (Honors Student)
  • Anastasia Lozneva (Honors Student)
  • Abhishek Dey (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Dipendra Gautam (Research Associate)
  • Arundhati Mohanta (Masters Student)
  • Diana Alvarez (Honors student)
  • Sarah Paschall (NSF-REU)
  • Alejandra Ospina (Research Technician)
  • Bo Zheng (Research Technician)
  • Isabella Hamm (OUR Scholar)
  • Ali Hariri (Honors student)
  • Blake Pereira (Masters Student)
  • Chioma Osakwe (Undergraduate Trainee)
  • Cassandra Catacalos (Research Trainee)
  • Lidnsey Newsome (Undergraduate Researcher)