The Hurley Laboratory at


PI: Jennifer Hurley

Dr. Jennifer Hurley
Dr. Jennifer Hurley received her B.S. from Juniata College in 2004 in molecular biology. She earned her Ph.D. at Rutgers/UMDNJ with Drs. Nancy Woychik and Masayori Inouye, studying the function of Toxin-Antitoxin modules in bacteria. Jennifer worked with Drs. Jay Dunlap and Jennifer Loros during her postdoctoral fellowship, investigating the relationship between the core proteins and the output of the circadian clock in Neurospora. Jennifer's research focuses both on the fundamental mechanisms as well as the output of the circadian clock.

Graduate Students

Meaghan Jankowski
Meaghan Jankowski is a former Lab Technician for the Hurley Lab, now pursuing a PhD in Biology at RPI with the support of an NIH Training Fellowship. Originally trained in Canada, she completed a Bachelor of Science at Mount Allison University and a Master of Science at Dalhousie University, studying whale social networks. Here at RPI, she is now focused on how the circadian clock regulates the cellular output of the model organism, Neurospora crassa. Meaghan enjoys collaborating with other Hurley Lab members, as well as with scientists at Dartmouth College and the Pacific Northwest National Labs, as they pursue new ways of analyzing multi-omics data to better understand clock regulation.
Iswarya Muthukumarasamy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Hurley Lab. She joined RPI in January 2019 to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering. She earned her bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. Her undergraduate research focused on utilization of ceramic membranes to remove dye particles from textile industry waste effluents. During the later phase of her undergraduate, her focus shifted towards the field of biotechnology, which led her to be a part of my institute’s iGEM team where they worked on engineering E. coli to help reduce odor in public urinals. At RPI, her research is focused on understanding the influence of the circadian clock on the activation of NADPH oxidase enzyme in microglial cells. This might shed some light on the influence of immune cell response in the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Carmalena Cordi
Carmalena Cordi is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Biology as a member of the Hurley lab. Her research focuses on exploring the relationship between circadian regulation, the immune system, and Alzheimer’s disease. Before attending RPI, she earned her A.S. in Biology from Hudson Valley Community College then transferred to the University at Albany where she graduated with a B.S. in Biology. There, she worked to characterize the angiocrine factor profile in salivary gland regeneration and was awarded the Sorrell Chesin Award for impactful research. In her spare time, Carm enjoys drift cars, video games, and horror movies.
Lucas Sutton
Lucas Sutton is a graduate student in the Hurley lab pursuing a PhD in Biology. During his undergraduate program at the State University of New York at Geneseo, he earned a BS in Biology and a minor in Economics. Lucas was awarded the Edward Pettinella '73 Endowed Ambassadorship in Business to support researching a biological control for schistosomiasis at the University of Ghana, Legon. While attending Geneseo, he was a member of the varsity Cross Country and Track and Field programs, earning a spot in the SUNYAC Cross Country hall of fame. While at Rensselaer, he is interested in studying helicase characteristics in FRH. Lucas enjoys running, cycling, and watching Star Wars in his free time.
Sharleen Buel
Sharleen Buel, formerly a lab technician in the Hurley Lab, is now pursuing a PhD in Biology at RPI. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY and worked as a research technician at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University before coming to work at RPI. She is interested not only in how macrophages respond to antigens over the course of the circadian day, but also how differences in sex (female vs. male) affect macrophage circadian activities. Outside of the lab, she enjoys baking elaborate cakes, creating science-themed art, and knitting stuffed animals for her two children.
Noah Allen
Noah Allen is a graduate student pursing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and is co-advised by Dr. Jennifer Hurley and Dr. Elizabeth Blaber. He attended Wheaton College in Massachusetts, graduating with a degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Physics. An interest in biology and engineering lead him to RPI in the fall of 2020. His studies at RPI are supported by the NIH-NIGMS Biomolecular Science and Engineering Training fellowship. Noah’s research focuses on understanding how spaceflight risk factors such as microgravity, radiation, and circadian disruption induce liver injury. Outside of the lab Noah enjoys spending time in the Adirondack’s where he hikes and camps in the summer and skis in the winter.
Joshua Chuah
Joshua Chuah is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stony Brook University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. He is currently supported by the NIA Training Grant in Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical and Translational Research, where he is co-advised by Dr. Juergen Hahn and Dr. Hurley. At RPI, he is studying methods to validate the robustness of biomarkers and applying these techniques to age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Outside of the lab, Josh enjoys long walks on the beach and anything food related.
Naomi Falkenberg
Naomi Falkenberg is a graduate student pursuing a Biology Ph.D in the Hurley Lab. She completed her undergraduate studies at Smith College, earning a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Exercise Sports Studies and a concentration in pre-health. While at Smith, she was the starting goalkeeper for the varsity soccer program and a member of the Barresi Laboratory. Her research aimed to characterize the expression of the gene meteorin during Danio rerio embryonic development and investigate the phenotypic effects of loss of meteorin expression. Naomi’s current research focuses on understanding the role of sex differences and metabolites in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, writing, and playing video games.
Misty Zaczyk
Misty Zaczyk is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at RPI. Misty received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Union College where she researched synthetic, protein-like polymers and the impact of photochemical interactions on their nanosheet-like folded structures. In the Hurley lab, she is interested in understanding the negative arm proteins within the Circadian Clock. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, reading, and is learning how to knit.
Emmanuel Amoako
Emmanuel is a graduate student in the Hurley lab pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry. During their undergraduate program at the University of Chicago, they earned a BS in Biochemistry. While attending Uchicago, their research focused on understanding the conformational behaviors of membrane bound Ion-channels under different conditions. While at Rensselaer, they are interested in studying the electrostatic characteristics of FREQUENCY (FRQ) and the role of electrostatics in the FRQ-FRH Interaction. Emmanuel enjoys martial arts, community organizing, and writing in their spare time.

Undergraduate Students

Sowmya Srinivasan
Sowmya Srinivasan is an undergraduate student studying Computational Biology. She began working in Dr. Hurley’s lab in 2020 and specializes in analyzing the circadian clock protein FREQUENCY utilizing various computational methods. In her free time, Sowmya plays flute as part of the Symphonic Band at RPI, is trained in classical piano, and enjoys playing intramural volleyball. She hopes to pursue graduate work in the field of epigenetics or epidemiology.
Steven Hepensteil
Steven Hepensteil is an undergraduate student majoring in biology. Steven hopes to pursue a higher degree at either graduate or medical school with the ultimate goal to conduct research of his own. Steven is eager to explore what a long-term career related to research could look like for him as he continues his undergraduate studies. Outside the classroom Steven enjoys playing golf and is a member of the RPI club ice hockey team.
Ava Herzog
Ava Herzog is an undergraduate student in the Accelerated Physician-Scientist (BS/MD) Program. She joined the Hurley Lab in the fall of 2021 and is exploring the involvement of Alzheimer’s pathology and immune responses with the circadian clock. Ava is a part of RPI’s Women’s Mentoring program, Indian Student Association, Greek Life, and loves to volunteer at local hospitals and organizations.
Meghana Lanka
Meghana Lanka is an undergraduate student in the Physician-Scientist Program. She joined the Hurley Lab in the fall of 2022 and is investigating the interactions between Alzheimer's disease, circadian rhythms and immune responses. Outside of lab, Meghana is involved in RPI Rudras, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, and Indian Student Association.

Past Lab Members