Sanguinet Lab Members

Current Members

Zhaslan Akhmetov.

Zhaslan Akhmetov, Ph.D. Student

Zhaslan Akhmetov graduated from Kokshetau University in 2014 with a undergraduate degree in Agronomy. In 2015, he was awarded a scholarship from the Kazakhstan Republic to study in the US at the University of California-Davis. In 2016, he graduated from the UC Davis International Center and then received an MS degree in Horticulture and Agronomy with specialization in plant breeding and genetics from UC-Davis in 2019. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in Crop Sciences at Washington State University. His research is focused on cold tolerance mechanisms in pennycress (Thlaspi arvense). In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family, go hiking, and watch movies.

Bhabesh Borphukan, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Bhabesh Borphukan received his Ph.D. degree in Plant Molecular Biology (specifically on rice genome engineering using CRISPR/Cas9 system) from ICGEB/JNU (New Delhi component) in 2020. I joined the Sanguinet Lab, at Washington State University in February 2022 as a postdoctoral research associate. My professional interest focus on plant growth and development and their interaction with the surrounding environment. I also strongly advocate the application of modern molecular biology tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 for important agronomic trait manipulation and future food safety concerning the increasing global population and changing climate. My current project focuses on studying the response of different pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) genotypes under freezing conditions and understanding the molecular mechanism in such conditions.
Luigi Peracchi holding plants.

Luigi Peracchi, Ph.D. Student, MPS

Luigi graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011 with a bachelor’s of science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. He then worked as an analytical chemist in the agricultural science industry for two years before getting accepted into the Molecular Plant Sciences program at Washington State University. He is currently working towards a PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences (MPS) studying stress-induced lignin production and deposition in root systems of both Brachypodium distachyon and Triticum aestivum.
Miguel Rosas holding a stuffed monkey.

Miguel Rosas, Ph.D. Student, MPS

Miguel Rosas received his bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University-San Marcos. As an undergraduate, he worked under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Escobar investigating nitrate induced class III glutaredoxin proteins and their regulatory role in the primary root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana. Miguel joined the Sanguinet lab in 2019 where he is currently working on characterizing the biochemical and genetic regulatory mechanisms of  BUZZ, a root-specific kinase involved in root hair development. In his spare time Miguel likes to go backpacking with friends, have bonfires at the beach, and go on hikes with his dog.
Dylan Oates looking in a microscope.

Dylan Oates, Ph.D. student, MPS

Dylan Oates holds a M.S. in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Hawai’i and currently pursuing a PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences at Washington State University. His research focus is to elucidate the interaction of vernalization with photoperiodism in winter wheat and brachypodium. To do so, he takes a molecular genetics approach to determine the underlying mechanisms to the epigenetic interactions and cold response that regulate this complex process.
Past experience working for the USDA-ARS, he realized the importance for mentorship in the STEM field. Dylan has built skills in effective science communication and outreach by becoming a big brother for BBBS, mentoring for LSAMP organization, assisting in teaching undergraduate level courses, and instructing for GENE-ius Day program focusing on students from k-12. On top of that, Dylan has continued in this pursuit by participating in graduate student organization (GSO) where he has been a part of organizing plant science symposiums and advocating for passing bills and policies beneficial to the field of science.
Mya Mackowski.

Mya Mackowski, Undergraduate Researcher

I am Mya Mackowski, an undergraduate student here at WSU  and I am originally from Seattle. While in Seattle, I earned my associates degree in arts and Science at Bellevue College. I am continuing my higher education at WSU and working as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Sanguinet’s Lab while studying biochemistry and minoring in ethics. I am involved in my community at WSU as a McNair Scholars student, Resident Advisor in the dorms, social media outreach lead for Wazzu Racing, and am an active member in both MAPS and board game club. My favorite thing to do in the lab is PCR’s, plating seeds (I think it’s really relaxing), and “spilling the tea” to all the grad students. My hobbies outside of work include baking, hanging out with friends and my cat, Keytah, dancing, and playing Minecraft.

Former Lab Members

Kalista Wales on a horse.

Kalista Wales, Undergraduate Researcher

I am Kalista Wales, currently a junior here at Washington State University where I work as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Sanguinet’s lab. I am majoring in agricultural education and am a part of the agricultural education club and the meat animal evaluation team. In high school, I was heavily involved with FFA Agriscience, and am proud to be continuing to learn in the field of agricultural research in Dr. Sanguinet’s lab. My favorite pass time is riding horses on my grandpa’s ranch and playing video games with my little brother!
KJ Fitzgerald.

K.J. Fitzgerald, Undergraduate Researcher

I am starting my senior year at WSU studying Organic Agriculture. I grew up on my family’s dairy in Southern Idaho and am passionate about local food systems and working towards global food security. I aid in several projects and focus on plant cultivation and green house management.
Rhoda Brew appiah.

Dr. Rhoda Brew-Appiah, Postdoctoral Researcher

I earned a BA in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. I then worked for a year as a research assistant at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. My doctoral research was focused on RNAi of the genes in wheat responsible for celiac disease. Currently, I work on abiotic stress genes in monocots such as wheat and barley in the Pacific Northwest, with an emphasis on root-specific expression.
Xiaochi (Max) Ma.

Xiaochi (Max) Ma, PhD Student

I started to pursue my Ph.D. in Crop Science at WSU in the Fall of 2015 and graduated in Fall 2019. My research mainly focused on the physiological and genetic responses of wine grapevines to water stress. I previously obtained my M.S. in Ecology from Nanjing Agricultural University, China and my B.S. in Ecology from Nanjing Forestry University, China.
Theil Lehman.

Dr. Thiel Lehman, Ph.D. Student

I finished my Ph.D. in Crop Science in the Sanguinet lab in May 2019. My projects examined hormonal regulation of cell wall defective mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana and root hair initiation/elongation in both A. thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon. Originally from Logan, Utah, I earned my bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Biology, with a focus in life science, from Utah State University in 2013.
Ying Wu.

Ying Wu

Ying Wu is a visiting Ph.D. student from Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China.
Alex Mojcher.

Alex Mojcher, Technician

Zara York.

Zara York, MS Student

Bikash Ghimire.

Bikash Ghimire, MS Student

Raul Arroyo.

Raul Arroyo, Undergraduate Researcher

Rachel Dannay, Rotation Student

Lydia Fields, Undergraduate Researcher

Lydia Tilley, Undergraduate Researcher

Leo Orozco, Undergraduate Researcher

Anna Pettyjohn, Undergraduate Researcher

Maggie Risher, Undergraduate Researcher

Sam Neff, Undergraduate Researcher

T’ian Tai Zemelka, Undergraduate Researcher

Rachel Silverthorn, Upward Bound High School Intern, Summer 2016

Andrea Picardel, Upward Bound High School Intern, Summer 2017

Luis Vasquez, Upward Bound High School Intern, Summer 2018

Garrett Wilson, Upward Bound High School Intern, Summer 2019