Mukherjee Lab UCSF



Shaeri Mukherjee



I grew up in Calcutta, India. I started my career in Chemistry (Calcutta University), then did Biochemistry (Calcutta University), Cell Biology (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY) and finally Microbiology (Yale University, New Haven). Currently, I am interested in understanding host-pathogen interactions. My favorite bug is Legionella, it is a great model: easy to do genetics, easy to infect and study host processes. Most importantly, it manipulates several host cell processes, thus making it a really good tool to study basic cell biology. My other interest in life is photography: I especially like taking landscape shots. I am a big fan of Ansel Adams. I love working at UCSF, it is a truly great place to do science. San Francisco as a city has a great deal to offer, including its proximity to Yosemite National Park. I am currently looking to expand my laboratory. If you are interested in joining us, send me an email with your CV.


Graduate Students

Nnejiuwa Ibe

5th Year Tetrad PhD Student

During infection several of Legionella’s translocated effectors target proteins associated with the ER compartment. This targeting permits the recruitment of ER-derived vesicles and proteins to the Legionella containing vacuole (LCV) allowing Legionella to mature its own phagosomal compartment into a replicative niche. The intimate association between the ER and the LCV represents a fascinating example of inter-oganelle communication that is vastly unexplored.  As a site for many homeostatic functions within the cell, our lab has become curious as to whether & how the cell senses perturbations in ER function during infection. My work investigating the interactions between Legionella and the unfolded protein response, a major homeostatic regulator of the ER, is focused on the mechanisms of action in the branch specific targeting of ATF6. Outside of the lab, I enjoy exploring nature, the city, and coastline drives. I live an active life and love all types of team sports. I love everything that California has to offer, including great weather, good food, and craft beers. Email:

Ady SteinBach

2nd Year Tetrad PhD Student

I graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.S. in Biochemistry. As an undergrad, my research projects focused on the molecular mechanisms employed by immune cells to detect infection. As I learned more about the human immune system, I became intrigued by the clever ways in which pathogens avoid detection and reconfigure fundamental host cell pathways to promote their survival in a hostile environment. I’m excited to explore how Legionella manipulates host cell organelle function and intracellular trafficking in the Mukherjee lab. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, knitting cozy socks, good beer, and exploring San Francisco as well as the unreal natural beauty all along the West Coast.. Email:


Varun Bhadkamkar

2nd Year Tetrad PhD Student

I grew up in Palo Alto, CA, a weird little town in the San Francisco Bay Area. In search of change, I spent four years studying at Williams College in the mountains of Massachusetts, graduating with a B.A. in Chemistry in June 2017. My love for microbial pathogenesis began with a microbiology course I took during the Fall semester of my Junior year. I completed an honors thesis in the lab of Professor Amy Gehring studying antibiotic synthesis in the soil-dwelling bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor, and have now moved on to the Tetrad Program at UCSF. In the Mukherjee Lab, I will be studying ER recruitment by Legionella during infection of human cells. When I’m not in lab, you can find me biking around the city (with stops to pet various dogs), tanning in Dolores Park, hiking with friends, or being a lazy blob at home.” Email:

Steven Moss

5th year CCB PhD student - joint with Kevan Shokat

I received a B.S. in Biochemistry from American University. While at American, I spent some time synthesizing and testing small molecule antibiotics. I then worked at the NIH for two years in the lab of Dr. Kenneth Jacobson. There, I had the opportunity to learn a variety of biochemical assays, as I worked with GPCRs and small molecule inhibitors. Upon arriving at UCSF I joined the Shokat lab, and quickly formed a close collaboration with the Mukherjee lab, where I now spend about half of my time. In my free time, I enjoy reading and walking around the city. Email:



1st year Tetrad Rotation Student

Hi everyone! I'm a first year in the Tetrad program rotating in the Mukherjee Lab. Here I'll be working to understand how Legionella infection can induce changes in host organelles. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Virginia, where I worked in Eyleen O'Rourke's lab to better understand how lysosomes respond to stress. After graduating, I spent a gap year at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. There, I worked in Tzachi Pilpel's lab, where I tried to differentiate and compare mischarging vs mispairing errors in translation by manipulating the tRNA pool in E. coli, as well as understand why certain tRNA species are evolutionarily 'disallowed'. Outside of science, I enjoy cooking and baking, hiking, scuba diving, learning languages, reading, and aggressively binge-watching TV. I'm looking forward to meeting you all! Email:

Postdoctoral Scholars

Elias Taylor-Cornejo

I am interested in how Legionella effectors modulate the IRE1 branch of the host’s unfolded protein response during infection. I received my B.A. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and I earned my Ph.D. in Microbiology from UC Berkeley. As a graduate student, I studied a bacterium that makes magnetic crystals inside of intracellular membrane compartments called magnetosomes. My interest in microbiology and compartmentalization fuels my curiosity as to how pathogens modulate host pathways to create compartmentalized intracellular environments that are suitable for their growth and survival. Outside of the lab, I am a self-proclaimed chef, urban gardener, musician, friend and family man. I like camping, snow boarding, soccer and exploring the bay area’s wonders. Email:

Advait Subramanian

Joint with Peter Walter

I grew up in Chennai, a coastal city in the South-eastern part of India. I then moved to the West coast to complete my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biotechnology from Manipal University. In keeping with my migratory route further west, I completed my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Alberto Luini at the Italian National Research Council, Italy. During my PhD, we figured out that the ER exit sites are endowed with a homeostatic auto-regulatory signaling complex that senses and responds to acute fluctuations of folded cargo in the ER by activating cargo export or inhibiting protein synthesis. My fascination for homeostatic systems led me on a serendipitous journey to San Francisco where currently, as a joint post-doc in the Mukherjee and Walter labs, I aim to understand the molecular underpinnings of an intimate association between a bacterium and its host in the hope that it will provide valuable insights into basic cellular mechanisms. In times when I need a healthy distraction, I usually watch football, a movie or a TV show, read a book, listen to music or cook. P.S. I make a mean home cooked tandoori chicken :) Email:

Julia Noack

Joint with Peter Walter

I attained my Diploma in Biochemistry from Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany, and received my PhD in Cell Biology from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. During my PhD, I studied how selective autophagy re-establishes endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis after transient induction of the unfolded protein response. It has always captured my interest how intracellular pathogens subvert the host cell’s machineries to their advantage. As a joint Postdoc in the Mukherjee and Walter labs, I will now be studying how Legionella pneumophila modulates ER quality control and UPR signaling pathways. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, discovering the wonderful nature around and cooking with friends. Email:

Hana Kimura

I'm interested in learning how Legionella interacts with the host ER to establish its replicative niche. I completed my Ph.D. in the University of Tokyo Pharmacy and Life Sciences in Tokyo, Japan. Over there, I took a biochemical approach to study vesicle trafficking, ER morphological diversity, formation of lipid droplets, fusion/fission of mitochondria, autophagy and mitophagy. I hope I can take advantage of my previous background and reveal new molecular mechanisms of how Legionella manipulates the host cell. Outside of science, I like to swim, scuba dive, ski/snowboard, trek and I also love to watch soccer games and travel around the world during holidays. Email:


See an archive of our alumni and their bios!

RHOGERRY DESHYCKA - 1st year BMS rotation student (Winter 2018)

LILI KIM - 1st Year Tetrad Rotation Student (Fall 2018)

TANYA KUMAR - Summer Research Training Program Student (Summer 2018)

NATALIE WHITIS - 1st year Tetrad Rotation Student (Spring 2018)

HALEY GAUSE - Junior Lab Specialist (August 2017 - July 2018)

RAMIRO PATINO - 1st Year BMS Rotation Student (Winter 2016)

PHILIPP SCHLAERMANN - Post-Doctoral Fellow (2016-2017)

VERONICA ESCALANTE - 1st Year Tetrad Rotation Student (Summer 2016)

REBECCA LEVIN (AKA BECCA) - CCB PhD student - joint with Kevan Shokat (Graduated 2016)