Luis Batista

Principal Investigator

Luis received his PhD from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Menck), working in close collaboration with Dr. Bernd Kaina at the University of Mainz, Germany. After his postdoctoral training with Steve Artandi at Stanford, Luis joined Washington University in St. Louis as an Assistant Professor in 2014.

When not in lab Luis enjoys playing tennis, cooking, watching soccer and spending time with his daughter!

Barbara Soares

Postdoctoral Fellow

Barbara joined the lab in 2021, immediately after completing her PhD at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). During her PhD, Barbara focused on DNA damage and repair pathways, using yeast as a primary model system. Barbara is interested in understanding the impact of telomere shortening on DNA instability and its consequences during cellular replication.

Outside the lab, Barbara enjoys paddling, dancing and drinking with friends.

Ho-Chang Jeong

Postdoctoral Fellow

Hochang received his the Department of Oriental Medicine Biotechnology at Kyung Hee University in 201. He then moved to the Department of Life Science at Sogang University (under the supervision of Dr. Hyuk-Jin Cha) where he received hi PhD in 2017in 2017. Hochang joined the Batista Lab in 2018, where he interested in deciphering the role of telomerase and telomeres during hematopoietic and hepatic development.

Outside the lab, Hochang enjoys riding his bike and watching a movie with beer.

Michael Munroe

Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael graduated from Indiana University in 2011 and from there moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received his PhD in 2018.  He joined the Batista Lab in July 2018, as a NIH-sponsored Postdoctoral fellow. Michael is adapting novel in vivo and in vitro models to be used for the study of telomerase and telomere maintenance. With novel technologies in hand, Michael plans to advance the field of telomere dysfunction induced disease and provide novel treatment options for patients afflicted with these syndromes

Outside the lab Michael enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and their dog, playing golf, and enjoying good food!

Darby Agovino

Research Technician

Darby graduated from North Park University in Chicago in May 2021, with a B.S. in Biomedical Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She joined the lab in August 2021 as a Research Technician, where she works in different projects involving human stem cells that are related to telomerase biology and human disease. Darby aims to apply to a major PhD program in the near future and from her enthusiasm we are sure she will make enormous contributions to biomedical research!

Outside of lab Darby likes to hike, read and kayak!

Ethan Cordes

Undergraduate Trainee

Ethan is a current undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, but is originally from Colorado. His work focuses on identifying therapies for diseases caused by telomerase dysfunction, such as dyskeratosis congenita. Ethan is working to identify gene targets that when modulated can increase in vivo levels of TERC. Ethan’s goal is to eventually obtain a PhD and he is specifically interested in telomerase/telomeres, epigenetics/chromatin structure, transposable elements, and cancer.

For fun Ethan enjoys to read, cook, watch TV, and spend time in the mountains hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.

Kimberly Hwang

Undergraduate Trainee

Kimberly is a current undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, originally from Taiwan. Her work focuses on identifying novel regulators of telomerase in human stem cells. Kimberly’s goal is to either pursue an MD or an MD/PhD in the future.

For fun, Kimberly likes to read science fiction, spend time with her cat, and do craft projects.


Vincent Gillespie

Alexandre Vessoni

Kirsten Brenner

Wilson Fok

Ed Zhu

Jason Colasanti

Evandro Niero

Leonardo Cruz

Marquet Minor

Gabriela (Gabby) Perez-Garcia