Dr. Kellee Siegfried

Principal Investigator

Kellee Siegfried received her B.S. at University of California Davis with a major in Genetics. She completed her Ph.D. in Genetics in the lab of Judith Kimble at the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2003. She then went to the Max Planck Institute of Developmental Biology to the lab of Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard where she began her post-doctoral research studying zebrafish germ cell development and gonadal sex differentiation in zebrafish. Her lab is continuing this line of research at UMass Boston.


© Kathryn Harris

Graduate Students


Jocelyn Sorell Steinfeld

Ph.D. Candidate, 2014-present

Jocelyn gained her first research experience during her undergraduate career, co-leading a mitochondrial and y-chromosomal deep ancestry data survey, and presenting the findings at the 8th Balkan Meeting on Human Genetics in 2009. She received a B.S. in Biology in 2012 at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. She worked for New England Newborn Screening Program at UMass Medical School starting in 2012, and has continued to work there per diem since beginning in the Siegfried lab in 2014. Her research focuses on investigating redundancy in the dmrt gene family, as well as identifying and characterizing the targets of Dmrt1.

Kazi Nazrul Islam

Ph.D. Student, 2016-present

Kazi completed his undergrad in Biological Sciences from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, gaining research experience while working on the antioxidant enzyme response in fish during hypoxia. In fall 2014, Kazi came to the USA to pursue an M.S. in Biology at Eastern Illinois University, joining Dr. Michael Menze’s lab. In the Menze Lab, he worked on the role of late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins in desiccation tolerance of brine shrimp. He was awarded his M.S.  in Biology in 2016, and he joined the Siegfried Lab as a Ph.D. student that same year. He is currently investigating the molecular aspects of germ cell development, as well as studying a zebrafish testicular germ cell tumor model.


Jessica MacNeil

Ph.D Student, 2017-present

Jessica began in the Siegfried lab as an undergraduate in 2015, where she worked on the generation of several transgenic dmrt1 lines. She completed an Honor’s Thesis in Biology entitled, "Identification of genes regulated by the Dmrt1 transcription factor in germ cells." She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2017. She continued her tenure in the Siegfried lab when she joined the UMass Boston M.S. program for Biology in Fall 2017. Her initial research focused on investigating Dmrt1 targets in juvenile fish as well as in mature germ cells. In November 2018, Jessica officially transitioned to the PhD track. She is currently investigating the role of telomeres in meiosis.

Kavita Venkataramani

Ph.D. Student, 2019-present

Photo Feb 14, 1 06 56 PM.jpg

Undergraduate Students

Keith Ameyaw 2018-present


Hamza Malik 2019-present

Photo Feb 14, 1 04 59 PM.jpg

Maitri Modi 2018-present


Christopher Wood 2019-present

Photo Feb 14, 1 04 43 PM.jpg

Past Members

Graduate Students

Emily Taylor, M.S. 2016

Kaitlyn Webster, Ph.D. 2018

Summer Undergraduate Students

Olivia Edens, 2014
Cristina Rivera, 2015
Yankel Karasik, 2015
Carlee Dawson, 2017
Matthew Scranton, 2017

Emma Torija, 2019

Undergraduate Students

Carina Ramos B.S. 2015
Adeeba Nahrin B.S.2016
Jessica MacNeil B.S. 2017
Heena Gandevia B.S. 2017

Jaclyn Grenier B.S. 2017
Kiloni Quiles-Franco B.S. 2018
Delaney Ingalls B.S. 2018
Ana Johnson-Escauriza B.S. 2018

Anu Ajao B.S. 2019

Allan Ordonez B.S. 2019

Mohammadreza Mojoudi B.S. 2019

Andrew Cogliano B.S. 2020

Ryan Johnston B.S. 2020