Lab Members

 Head shots/portraits for faculty and staff in the College of Science at Virginia Tech.

Silke studied medicine, but then discovered that research was more exciting. She joined Jan-Michael Peters' lab at the IMP in Vienna, and then Yoshinori Watanabe's lab at the University of Tokyo. From 2005 on, she had her own group at the Max Planck Institutes in Tuebingen, from where the lab moved to Virginia Tech in 2014. Apart from being passionate about research, Silke enjoys beautiful design, modern dance and Japanese culture. 



Drisya joined the lab after her PhD at the Indian Institute of Science where she studied pre-mRNA splicing using fission yeast as the model. She is currently working on understanding the mechanisms which regulate the temporal co-ordination between different mitotic events. She likes reading about historical civilizations and now invests free time in improving her cooking skills.

Drisya Vijayakumari



Varun Gopala Krishna




Varun finished his undergraduate degree in Bangalore (India) and completed his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Nottingham. His PhD project involved the purification and characterisation of a novel ubiquitin modification. He has recently joined the Hauf lab and seeks to better understand the ubiquitination of APC/C substrates and the consequences with respect to regulation of sister chromatid separation and mitotic exit. In addition, Varun is a recovering Cricket (the sport, not the insect) addict and spends a lot of his time observing the local wildlife at the nearest Walmart.

Jessie began her doctoral research in the Hauf lab in 2019 after completing her undergraduate degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Liberty University. She is in the first cohort of the MCB graduate program. Her general research interests include cell biology, epigenetics, and cancer research. In the Hauf lab, Jessie will be working to better understand the expression of several mitotic checkpoint genes. Outside of lab, Jessie enjoys the outdoors, ice skating, and spending time with her family and friends.


Jessie Rogers

Ph.D. student



Tatiana Boluarte

Lab Manager / Research Specialist


Tatiana is from Cusco, Peru - right where Machu Picchu is! She studied Agronomy and has a Masters in Plant Breeding and Genetics. She worked at the International Potato Center and the University of Oklahoma before getting her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at Virginia Tech. She taught genetics a EARTH University in Costa Rica, and has worked with several plant molecular genetics research groups at Virginia Tech. She has recently been appointed Adjunct Professor of Horticulture. She joined our lab in August 2014. As good Peruvian, she loves potatoes, and enjoys plants, music, drawing and painting. 

Doug joined the lab in 2017 after completing a M.Sc. degree at the University of Miami, and having worked as an Editor for the Journal of Caribbean Ornithology. He has lived all over the US, and abroad, and is an amazing molecular biologist with super attention to detail.  

Douglas Weidemann

Research Specialist




Eric Esposito

Research Assistant


Eric has been doing undergraduate research in the lab since 2017, and just graduate from Virginia Tech after only 3 years. He is now continuing his research in the lab full time before moving on to a an M.D./Ph.D. program. When not in the lab (which is rare), Eric enjoys running, hiking, and traveling. 


Kaysha Perrin

Research Specialist

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Erod Baybay (Physics)

Wendi Williams (Biochemistry)

High school student researcher

Claire Morton

Group pictures and lab outings