I am interested in learning how organisms develop the sense of touch. I am specifically investigating how specialized skin cells, Merkel cells, develop and form connections with neurons. I am using zebrafish to investigate how Merkel cells form and learn more about their cellular dynamics. I am also interested in improving undergraduate biology education.
Tanya received a BS in Biology from the University of Washington with a minor in Education, Learning and Society. She worked at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center as a Molecular Geneticist in the lab of John Incardona. While at the NWFSC, she investigated the impact of oil of cardiac development in fish with a focus on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She then completed her PhD in Cell Biology, Stem Cells, and Development at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus while working in the lab of Wendy Macklin. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, she studied the development of oligodendrocytes, the myelin-producing cells of the central nervous system.