Huising Lab

Laboratory of Dr. Mark O. Huising, UC Davis


My group brings together a talented and dedicated group of passionate students and researchers who bring together a combination of expertise in islet biology, electrophysiology, microscopy, gene editing, and computational biology. Together we unravel how pancreatic islets work, in order to devise therapeutic strategies to fix them when they break down in diabetes.

Dr. Mark O. Huising

Mark obtained his Masters degree in Biology at  Wageningen University in The Netherlands. He went on to conduct his PhD research on the evolution of endocrine and immune systems at the the  Radboud University Nijmegen, work for which he received the Zoology prize from the Royal Dutch Zoological Society. From here he went on to join the group of Wylie Vale at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California as a postdoctoral fellow. It was there that Mark started to work on the pancreas and laid the foundations for his current research program, which he moved to UC Davis in the fall of 2014. When not teaching or conducting research, he likes to go out for a long trail run. He also tries to find time for hikes or road trips with family or friends in beautiful California and beyond.

Dr. Talitha van der Meulen

Talitha received her PhD in developmental biology studying muscle development in zebrafish at  Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She then made the jump across the big pond to study cell signaling in the biochemistry lab of Dr. Peter van der Geer at San Diego State University. She joined the lab of Dr. Wylie Vale at the Salk Institute in La Jolla at the beginning of its transition into diabetes research and moved with Mark to UC Davis. Here she pursues questions relating to beta cell maturation and development and is in charge of undergraduate training, lab finances and lab organization. In her spare time, Talitha enjoys her family, baking, camping, hiking and exploring California.


Dr. Michael R. DiGruccio







Glyn M. Noguchi

Glyn is a graduate student in the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology (BMCDB) Ph.D. program at Davis. He graduated from Georgetown University in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology of Global Health, after which he spent two years doing research at Duke University in the lab of Dr. Dennis Thiele. Having grown up in California, he was thrilled to return to the West Coast and attend UC Davis. He is particularly motivated by science with translational implications in human health, which drove him to join the Huising Lab. While he enjoys the rigors of research, he tries to find time for hanging out with friends, cooking and traveling.


Alex M. Mawla

Alex is a graduate student in the Integrative Genetics & Genomics (IGG) Ph.D. program at UC Davis. He realized his passion in combining translational health research with computational biology after graduating with a Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior B.S. and a minor in Quantitative Biology & Bioinformatics from Davis. Outside of lab, he enjoys playing guitar, cooking and trying new foods, and spending time with his family and friends.



Jessica L. Huang

Jessica is a graduate student in the BMCDB Ph.D. program at Davis. She graduated with a B.S. in Molecular Biology from UC San Diego, where she had the opportunity to study microRNAs in Amy Pasquinelli's lab. Although RNA will always have a place in her heart, she is very excited about the research being done on diabetes and islets in the Huising Lab. In her free time, she likes jogging, baking, and singing when nobody can hear her. Occasionally, she takes pictures of and with her stuffed sheep Doufu.



Sharon Lee

Sharon is a graduate student in the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology​Ph.D. program at UC Davis. She earned her B.S. from UCLA where she was exposed to the amazing world of scientific research. There, she had the opportunity to work with fruit flies, sea urchins, and zebrafish. Her research interests lie in stem cell fate changes, which led her to join the Huising Lab to learn more about the plasticity and transdifferentiation of pancreatic islet cells. Apart from research, Sharon enjoys checking items off from her bucket list such as riding a hot air balloon, eating exotic dishes, and traveling to all seven continents!


Mohammad Pourhosseinzadeh

Mohammad is a recent graduate of UC Davis with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. While a student at UC Davis, he gained an interest in research studying meiotic recombination in yeast. His interest in research and its applications in medicine drove him to join the Huising lab. In his free time he enjoys watching Netflix and reading.




Richard Van

Richard is a second year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at UC Davis. His curiosity in diabetes research led him to the Huising Lab, where he hopes to gain experience and carry them on to a career in medicine or research. In his free time, Richard enjoys playing tennis and spending time with friends in Davis.




Mira Mastoras

Mira is a second year Cell Biology major and Computer Science minor at UCD. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 13, she is excited to learn about the disease in further detail while working in the Huising lab. In the future she hopes to pursue diabetes research as a career. In her free time Mira enjoys running, swimming, cycling, skiing, cooking, and spending time with friends.



Marcus Flisher

Marcus is a third year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at UC Davis. As a type one diabetic, he became interested in the study of biology and appreciative for scientific discoveries, such as insulin, that have saved his life and millions of others. He is excited to have joined the Huising Lab and to be able to learn about pancreatic islet dynamics. In his free time, Marcus enjoys exploring new places, playing sports, and going to the beach.




Hansen Dang

Hansen is a third year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major at UC Davis. His interest in the study of chronic diseases led him to Huising Lab, where he hopes to learn more about the molecular processes that could lead to a cure for diabetes. In his free time, Hansen enjoys exercising, hiking, and spending time with friends.




Riya Bansal

Riya is a second-year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major. She became interested in Dr. Huising's lab through to her desire to learn more about the molecular basis of diabetes, and she hopes to use what she learns in her future career as a physician. In her free time, Riya likes to paint, go on adventures, and volunteer.




Justin Huynh

Justin is a second year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major at UC Davis. While exploring his options as a freshman, he stumbled upon Dr. Huising's seminar on diabetes and its effects in the past, present, and future. Inspired, he joined the Huising Lab where he hopes to gain a deeper understanding about the pancreas and the biological processes that cause diabetes. In the future, Justin hopes to take what he has learned in lab and pursue a career in medicine or research. If he has any free time, he enjoys going to the beach, visiting museums, playing tennis, and most importantly, taking "power naps."



Supraja Saravanakumar

Supraja is a second year Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior major at UC Davis. Her interaction with diabetes patients at Willow Clinic motivated her to do research at Huising Lab. She is planning to pursue a career in medicine. In her free time, Supraja enjoys reading books, watching movies, running and spending time with her family and friends.




Jaresley Guillen

Jaresley is a second-year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at UC Davis. She became interested in working in Dr. Huising’s Lab after taking his seminar on diabetes. She hopes to gain a deeper understanding of what controls the performance of pancreatic islets and the causes that drive diabetes. In her free time, she enjoys visiting new places, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.



Rosie Ou

Rosie is a fourth-year Nutrition Science (Nutritional Biology) major at UC Davis. While furthering her interest in bodybuilding, she learned the significant impact of diet on the state of our bodies and health. This led her to Huising Lab, where she hopes to learn more about the physiological aspects of food uptake and their feedback loops, including those involved in diabetes. Rosie hopes to either go on to pursue a PhD or to conduct research on products for increasing ease of access to proper nutrition. In her free time, Rosie enjoys hitting the gym, training her puppy, and taking naps.


Ashley DeLong

Ashley is a third year Genetics and Genomics major at UC Davis. She has had type 1 diabetes for 15 years, and her experience with this condition is what led her to the Huising lab. In the future, Ashley plans on pursuing a career in medicine, specializing in neonatology. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, reading books, and volunteering for an animal rescue.



Andre Codner

Andre is a second year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major at UC Davis. After auditing one of Dr. Huising lectures, Andre went up to him to talk about how great of a professor he was, which lead him to Huising Lab. After his undergradate degree, he plans on attending medical school. In his free time, Andre enjoys learning Spanish, critiquing movies with friends, and volunteering at various organizations.



Rebecca Harris

Rebecca is a third year Genetics and Genomics major with a minor in Professional Writing. She values the research experience she is gaining in Dr. Huising’s lab and hopes it will help her become involved in research when she graduates. Eventually she hopes to attend graduate school for Genetics or a closely related field. Outside of the lab, Rebecca enjoys traveling and reading a good book in a coffee shop.



Yvonne Lee

Yvonne is a third year Biological Sciences with an Emphasis in Neurology, Physiology, and Behavioral Sciences major at UC Davis. She is interested in the field of pharmacy, and plans on attending pharmacy school in the future. Outside of lab , she enjoys watching creative films, learning about Vietnamese history and culture, and spending time with family and friends in Davis and San Jose.




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