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Caiti Smukowski Heil, PhD

Asst. Professor, NC State University

Prior to my gig as a new Assistant Professor at NC State, I was a PhD student at Duke University with Mohamed Noor and a postdoc at the University of Washington with Maitreya Dunham. Outside of the lab, you can find me hanging out with my family and my cats, Monkey & Business. I like listening to podcasts, yeast fermentations, and exploring the great outdoors.



Nathan Brandt

Lab Manager



Jessica McNeill

Lab Technician

Jessica joins the lab as a Research Technician and an NC State alumna, having graduated from the university in 2019 with a B.S. in Human Biology, a B.A. in Anthropology, and a passion for evolutionary science. Her current work supports research on the effects of environmental factors such as temperature on meiotic recombination in Saccharomyces yeasts. Outside the lab, Jessica enjoys doodling in her sketchbook, participating in public science outreach at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and exploring cool new places with her husband Morgan. 



Enrique Schwarzkopf, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Enrique is a dry lab biologist interested in the role of recombination in the evolutionary process. Before joining the Heil lab, he was a PhD student at Washington State University in Omar Cornejo's lab.



Margot Ruffieux

PhD Student, Functional Genomics

Margot is studying domestication in Saccharomyces 


Undergraduate Researchers

Olivia Caruso

Oliva is a junior working on the evolution of yeast in bread dough.

You? We are recruiting PhD students! 


Former Lab Members

Amani Petway, Undergraduate Researcher, 2023-24

Nico Sevier, Undergraduate Researcher, 2022-23

M. Elizabeth Moore, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, 2021-23

Alexxis Gutierrez, Undergraduate Researcher, 2021-22

Lauren Bailey, M.S. in Functional Genomics, 2020-22

Mili Jimenez, Undergraduate Researcher, 2021-22

Anna Cormack, Undergraduate Researcher, 2019-21

Amilcar Rodriguez, Undergraduate Researcher, 2019-21

Caiti Lahue, Technician in Dunn and Heil labs, 2019-21

Musa Malik, Undergraduate Researcher, 2019-20

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