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Principal Investigator: Saskia Neher

I attended college at the University of Oregon where I worked in  Dr. Diane Hawley’s lab. During graduate school I worked in Tania Baker’s lab at MIT using proteomic methods to study substrate selection by the ClpXP protease. During my postdoc in Peter Walter’s lab at UCSF, I studied SRP-dependent protein targeting. While there, I started a new project aimed at understanding how interacting factors affect the folding and activity of a group of mammalian lipases.

My lab continues these studies at UNC Chapel Hill. I am an associate professor in Biochemistry and Biophysics. I am a member of the McAllister Heart Institute, the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and the graduate program in Cell Biology.

Lab Manager: Ming Jing Wu


Ming earned her undergraduate degree from National Chung Shing University. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from NCSU. Ming has extensive experience working in Biochemistry labs.

In her spare time she performs with a dance troupe.

Postdoctoral Researcher: Kathryn Gunn

Kathryn joined the Neher lab in July 2017. She received her PhD in Biological Sciences from Northwestern University where she worked in Alfonso Mondragon’s lab. During her graduate work she created an orthogonal single-molecule technique combining magnetic tweezers and fluorescence, which she used to study type IA topoisomerases. Kathryn is currently using a variety of techniques to investigate inhibitors of lipoprotein lipase.

Postdoctoral Researcher: Nikea Pittman

Nikea received her PhD from the University of Florida, where she used single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to study parvoviruses in Mavis Agbandje-McKenna’s lab. She joined the Neher lab in 2019 to study the DoxD clan of membrane proteins, with a special focus on bacterial resistance to reactive chlorine species. Nikea also loves teaching and is excited to mentor undergraduate students both inside & outside of the classroom as SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellow.

Graduate Student: Anna Wheless

Anna earned her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Microbiology from the University of Houston – Downtown. She joined the lab in April 2020 and is studying the inhibition of LPL by ANGPTL4.

Graduate Student: Uriel Luccene Jean-Baptiste

Uriel earned his B.S in Biochemistry from the Florida State University (FSU) in May 2018. He participated in an NIH funded PREP program (STAR-PREP) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore where he studied in the lab of Alex Poulopoulos. In the Neher lab, Uriel will study the mechanisms the kinetics of Endothelial Lipase (EL) inhibition by ANGPTL3. In his free time, Uriel enjoys exercising, specifically playing soccer.

Undergraduate Assistant: Jacob Goodman


Undergraduate Assistant: Jake Wrobel

Undergraduate Assistant: Najla Ward-Conyers