Lab Members

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Composition of the Shiau Lab

Andrew Burciu

Undergraduate Researcher

Who am I … Everyone comes closer and closer everyday to discovering their true identity, but at the core, I’m just a someone who loves science!

I aspire to … learn more about how, at its most stripped down principle, some cells were given signals to become immune cells and how such a collection of cells interacting give rise to such a complex immune system!!

I am most excited … to learn more about macrophages. I love learning about the immune system because of all the crazy interactions between cells to defend the host. How this came about is just astounding, and learning more about the instructions of how these cells came about is super exciting.

Besides science, I love … to read, cook, and see my friends.

Caroline Spencer

Undergraduate Researcher

Who am I … I’m from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and currently a junior Biology major at UNC.

I aspire to … develop new research skills, grow as a scientist, and later continue onto graduate school and a future career in science.

I am most excited … learning more about the immune system, discovering and studying novel genes involved, and observing the innate immune response in zebrafish.

Besides science, I love … running, ultimate frisbee, going to the beach, and playing with my dog.

Celine Rey

Undergraduate Researcher

Who am I … from Miami FL and currently a junior at UNC.

I am most excited about … the possibility of finding new novel mutations that no one has studied before.

I aspire to … continue with research throughout the rest of my undergraduate career and later apply to graduate school.

Besides science, I love … watching movies, going out with friends and traveling.

Kevin Hu

Research Assistant

Who am I… a Cornell graduate working as a research assistant.

I am most excited… about exploring the inner workings of the zebrafish as a model organism and learning new skills and techniques.

I aspire to … continue building upon my passion for research.

Besides science, I love … running, writing, golfing, and exploring the world around me. 


Matt Hamilton

Graduate PhD Student

Who am I… I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and lived in Basel, Switzerland for high school.  I received my baccalaureate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and master’s degree in the Environmental Toxicology program at Clemson University.

I am most excited about… using advanced techniques in our lab, such as genetic screens, genome editing, and in vivo imaging, to characterize new pathways that could provide insights to innate immune dysregulation.

I aspire to… use what I have learned in graduate school and will learn in the Shiau lab to conduct biomedical research.

Besides science, I love… hanging out with friends, being outside, travelling, and going to the beach.

Victoria Kwon

Research Assistant

Who am I … a true Tar Heel born and bred, I was born at UNC Hospitals and grew up in Cary, NC. I graduated from UNC in 2019 with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I decided to join The Shiau Lab during my gap years before choosing my next education path. 

Besides science, I love … cooking and baking. I love testing new recipes and learning how to cook with different ingredients. 

I am most excited … knowing that we are constantly discovering novel genes involved in innate immune functions in vertebrate development. Unexpected setbacks and challenges are to be expected in any research lab but through the process of problem solving, I am constantly learning and growing as a scientist. It makes any level of success so rewarding knowing your efforts were not wasted. 

I aspire to … while I am still unsure what the future looks like for me, I am excited to have found a love for research and wish to continue a path in science. 

Gone but not forgotten … special mentions

Alison (Earley) Rojas

PhD student and Postdoctoral Fellow 2015-2021 –> current position: Scientist at Sio Gene Therapies

Who am I … I grew up in northern New Jersey and moved to Massachusetts to study biochemistry as an undergrad. I started grad school at Boston College where I met Celia.

I am most excited about … the ability to do in vivo imaging of zebrafish and observe the innate immune response.

I aspire to … use gene-editing technologies to help people with rare genetic disorders.

Besides science, I love … to go on motorcycle rides with my husband, hangout with my cats and do jigsaw puzzles.

Victoria Hamlin

Research Assistant 2019-2020 –> current position: PhD student, University of Missouri

Cameron Dixon

Research Assistant 2017-2019- –> current position: PhD student, Boston University

Linlin Yang

Undergraduate researcher 2017-2019- –> current position: PhD student, UPenn

Maggie Cai

Undergraduate researcher 2016-2019- –> current position: PhD student, Columbia University

Oliver Yan

Undergraduate researcher/RA 2015-2016- –> current position: MD student, Boston University School of Medicine