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Principal Investigator

Jacqueline Kimmey

Jacqueline Kimmey, PhD 

Assistant Professor, METX (2019 - present)


Fun fact: if all the cars break down, you'll find her commuting on horseback. 

Area of focus: all the areas!

Jacqueline began her career at UCLA where she studied heme acquisition in Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lab of Marcus Horwitz, MD. She did her graduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis with Christina Stallings, PhD studying autophagy-independent functions of ATG5 in controlling neutrophil mediated susceptibility to M. tuberculosis. As a postdoc she worked with Victor Nizet, MD at UCSD exploring how host responses dictate outcome of acute bacterial infections such as those caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Group A Streptococcus (GAS), Group B Streptococcus (GBS), and Staphylococcus aureus. Jacqueline's training has been generously supported by various training and mentorship programs including UC LEADS, MARC, NSF GFRP, and UC PPFP. In 2019, she was honored on the Forbes' 30 under 30 list (Science). 

jkimmey <at> ucsc.edu

Twitter: @jkimmey

Instagram: @KimmeyLab

Graduate Students

Raina Sacksteder.png

rsackste <at> ucsc.edu

Raina graduated from Reed College in 2020 with a B.A. in Biology. She completed her undergraduate thesis in the Cerveny Lab, where she studied the gene targets of retinoic acid during retinal neurogenesis in the developing zebrafish eye. A summer position in the Ott Lab at UCSF sparked her passion for host-microbe interactions, which lead her to pursue a PhD in Microbial Biology and Pathogenesis at UCSC and join the Kimmey Lab in 2021. Her research uses zebrafish to understand how infection alters the circadian clock. 

Raina Sacksteder

PhD Student, METX (Joined lab 03/2021)

Fun Fact: She runs the Etsy shop FrogsOnSwings!

Area of focus: mechanism of circadian clocks in zebrafish, impact of Spn exposure 

Ask me to help with: zebrafish, Tol2 transgenesis, circadian clock

Catherine Palmer.jpeg

caspalme <at> ucsc.edu

Catherine graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi in 2020 with a B. S. in Biology. She completed her undergraduate thesis in the Sadler Edepli Lab, where she studied fatty liver disease in zebrafish. Her research focused on how similar environmental conditions (both toxicological and microbiologic) can lead to differential disease outcomes. Her interests led her to pursue a PhD in the Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology program at University of California Santa Cruz where she joined the Kimmey Lab in 2021. Her research focuses on the regulation of innate effectors and pathogenesis.

Catherine Palmer

PhD Student, METX (Joined lab 03/2021)


Fun Fact: probably has sand in her shoes

Area of focus: time of day differences in innate immunity and pneumonia 

Ask me to help with: Spn animal infection models, microscopy, flow cytometry

TT bridge.jpg

tthisner <at> ucsc.edu

Tiffany started her career at CSU Monterey Bay where she earned her B.S. in Biology in 2017. Her research in biology spanned marine to molecular, from studying marine ecology of Haliotis rufescens in the Barry Lab to molecular evolution of KRAB Zinc Finger Proteins in the Haussler Lab. After graduating, she worked as a Research Associate in a microbiology lab where her love for all things tiny grew. She then went on to pursue her PhD in the Molecular Cellular Developmental program at UC Santa Cruz and in 2020 joined the Kimmey Lab! Her research focuses on host-pathogen interactions and their role in infection variability. 

Tiffany Thisner

M.S. Student, METX expected graduation June 2022

Research in Kimmey lab 03/2020 - 03/2021


Fun Fact: Clean in lab, but will likely find acrylic paint stains on her clothes 

Area of focus: drivers of differential progression of invasive infection (sepsis)

Undergraduate Students

Ziad Kedkad.jpg

zkedkad <at> ucsc.edu

Ziad Kedkad is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is majoring in Molecular Cell Development Biology and is an aspiring research surgeon with strong desires of innovating medicine of tomorrow. He is a jack of all trades with diverse passions - he owns a clothing company called Naeem Clothing and makes music under the alias CXC Mel! 

Ziad Kedkad

Undergraduate Student, MCD (class of 2023)

Joined the lab 08/2021

Fun Fact: Continuously trying to find the shortest path to my classes

Area of focus: circadian rhythms in zebrafish

Nathan Boucher.jpg

nboucher <at> ucsc.edu

coming soon

Nathan Boucher

Undergraduate Student, MCD (class of 2023)

Joined the lab 01/2022

Fun Fact: Speaks French but never met anyone from France

Area of focus: pathogenesis of Streptococcus

Lab Alumni