Dr. J. Robert Macey, Director

Discussing the natural history of Thamnophis
elegans terrestris in his herpetology course
Phone: (510) 232-1764
Email: send email
Mailing address:
Genomics Program, Merritt College
860 Atlantic Avenue
Alameda, California, 94501

  • 2006- current. Director Merritt Genomics Program and Profile Genomics.
  • 2001-2005. Scientist, DOE Joint Genome Institute & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
  • 1999-2001. NSF funded Postdoctoral. Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
  • 1992-1999, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, MO, Degree August, 1999.
  • 1988, B.A. Biology, University of California at Santa Cruz.

Research foci are broad with concentration on Evolutionary Biololgy at the integration of Genomics and Plate Tectonics. My reseach is largly Asian-based having been the first western biologist to work in western China and Soviet Central Asia, as well as the first western biologist to work in Iran following the Islamic Revolution. I use unique novel samples to derive phylogenetic trees and understand the patterns of complete mitochondrial evolution. This results in better understanding mt-genomic evolution of genes, gene copies, presumed aberrations in encoded transfer RNAs, and alteration of replication origins. In addition, I have worked with Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) libraries among vertebrates.

Hank Fabian, co-director

My life has been an interesting one. I have a BA in theater, my MS is in Agronomy, and I have earned my Doctor of Arts in Biology. I've been a crop geneticist, a scholar of Native American religion, a commercial cut flower grower and most importantly a teacher. I've taught Human Anatomy and Physiology and Biology for almost twenty years. At Idaho State University, I taught a senior and graduate level anatomy course, and I have also taught a Gross Anatomy Lab at Palmer Chiropractic College in San Jose. As I teach many kinds of biology courses, I consider myself to be a generalist in the biological sciences, including many Natural History courses. As part of the Genomics program, I have been instrumental in developing the pedagogy for our courses and have handling much of the administrative end of developing this new program. Every day new opportunities arise in Genomics and we have much to achieve in the way of original student research. I am happy to be part of developing this program that promises to meet the needs of the Genomics industry while training our students to be top technicians and researchers. I am both humbled and honored to work with such an amazing group of scientists, the like of which has probably never been seen at a community college. We are entering a golden age of Genomics. I consider myself most fortunate to be part of it.

Dr. Brian Rowning, co-director
Office: Merritt College, Room D218

  • Shared Postdoctoral Scholar, 1997 – 2001, Howard Hughes Medical Institute - UW Seattle Dept. of Pharmacology, and Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) / UCSF
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 1995 - 1997 Breast Cancer Biology, LBNL
  • PhD, 1993 Molecular Biology, University of California Berkeley
  • BA, 1983 Biology, Reed College

Dr. Brian Rowning combines unique expertise in molecular, cell, developmental and cancer biology with advanced imaging skills. He is active in the Genomics, Microscopy and Histotechnology programs, and is excited about the possibilities for transforming biomedical education, strengthening regional scientific and technological capabilities, and expanding student employment opportunities. He has worked as a Scientist at LBNL and UC Berkeley, and did postdoctoral research at LBNL and U.W. Seattle/HHMI. He has published in leading scientific journals on the roles of cytoskeletal mechanisms and critical signaling pathways in cellular dynamics, body pattern formation and cancer. His research interests include comparative signaling pathways in body plan formation and disease, organelle characterization and function, the neurobiology of behavior and evolutionary genomics, and the interface between genomics and imaging technologies for assays and engineering of cells and tissues.

Doug Bruce, Laboratory Manager

Matt Stavis, Chemistry Coordinator

Research Assistants
Clayton Fischer, Senior Research Assistant
email: send email

Studied biology at UC Santa Cruz and interested in the systematics of Asia-Pacific reptiles and amphibians, using genomics as a tool to put the puzzle pieces together. Member of the IUCN Red List.

Currently working in stem cell genomics for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine through the UC Santa Cruz Genome Browser team.
Dustin DeMeo
email: send email
Charles Barbieri, Senior Research Assistant
email: send email

Originally from Florida, Charles moved to California in 2005 to pursue his career in neurobiology and medicine. He has a worked in graphic design and information technology for over 6 years and strives to integrate these skills with his scientific background.
Angela Lane, Senior Research Associate

Angela’s background includes working with Johnson and Johnson on a prototype blood glucose monitoring device. As a Research Staff Associate at UCSF Medical Center in which her capacity was to work on monitoring the increase of heat shock proteins in Surgical wound healing she contributed in development stages of treatment therapy. Her ambitions are to further her career in Biomedical Sciences with the combination of modern Genomics contributing to her long- term interests in education.
Shetal Sias
A decade of crime lab experience, with specialization in friction ridge analysis, has fueled interest in other forensic disciplines, especially DNA. Forensics is a rapidly expanding field, incorporating science as it relates to law. An active member of the International Association for Identification and California State Division IAI, Shetal is currently the Chairperson over the CSDIAI’s Science and Practices Committee.
Chris Villarreal
Working towards a BSc. in Biology, I appreciate the opportunities and experience Profile Genomics enables, and I am eager to learn about the world of Genomics as it relates to medicine.
Robin Doolin

Lab Affiliates
Crystal Trinh
Pursuing forensic science.
Senait Gebremedhin
Deniz Akgok

Advanced Students and Modified Supplement Instructors (MSIs)
Edixa Sanchez
Monsoon Pandey
Amber Robbins
Working towards a degree in biological sciences, I am excited to have the opportunity to work in this lab and gain hands-on experience through Profile Genomics.