Our Team

Meet the team at Cai Lab. Our members represent Caltech’s programs in engineering, life sciences, physical sciences, and computing sciences. We're always looking for new members to join us in our mission to uncover the molecular mechanisms of life and encourage inquiries from those with diverse backgrounds and research interests.

Principal Investigator 

Long Cai

Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering

A.B./A.M. Harvard College 2001
Ph.D. Harvard University 2006

Publications
lcai@caltech.edu
Tel: (626) 395-6570

Image Credit: Caltech

 

Postdoctoral Scholars

Elsy Buitrago-Delgado

Elsy Buitrago-Delgado

Postdoc

Ph.D. Molecular Biology, Northwestern University 2018

Elsy is interested in using seqFISH to answer general developmental biology questions. Besides science, she is also passionate about orchids, kites, folk music and hiking in tropical forests.

elsycris@caltech.edu
Image Credit: Caltech

 

 

Maulik Jani

Maulik Jani

Postdoc

M.Sc. Biochemistry, MSU – Baroda
Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Chicago

Besides developing technologies for single-cell biology, Maulik enjoys reading (geopolitics, language learning, and more science), traveling, photography, and PC gaming (action adventure, RPGs and MOBAs), probably in that order.

Publications
mjani@caltech.edu

Michael Lawson

Michael Lawson

Postdoc

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University
Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UCSB

Publications
mlawson@caltech.edu

Michal Polonsky

Michal Polonsky

Postdoc

B.S. Biology, BGU – Israel
Ph.D Immunology, Weizmann Institute
of Science – Israel

Michal is fascinated by the way cellular interactions influence the behavior of individual cells. Outside the lab, she enjoys spending time with her family and going to the gym. Michal enjoys hiking in SoCal’s beautiful mountains, reading, and cooking.

Publications
michalp@caltech.edu

 

Carsten Tischbirek

Carsten Tischbirek

Postdoc

Ph.D. Technical University Munich

During his Ph.D. with Arthur Konnerth in Munich, Carsten worked with two-photon microscopy and electrophysiology to study neuronal activity in vivo. Besides neuroscience, he likes to explore the many restaurants in our area – and enjoys hiking to balance all the great food they offer.

Publications
cht@caltech.edu

 

Graduate Students

Arun Chakravorty

Arun Chakravorty

Graduate student

B.A. Cornell University

As an MD-PhD candidate, Arun hopes to explore fundamental aspects of genetics that are tied to pathology. Outside of lab, he really enjoys music and spend time jamming with friends – he sings, and plays piano/guitar. More recently, he’s been learning to surf.

Publications
chakra@caltech.edu
626-395-2617

Chee Huat (Linus) Eng

Chee Huat (Linus) Eng

Graduate student

 B.S. Chemistry, Binghamton University 2015

Other than science, Linus is a fan of animal crossing right now! By the way, he just wants to graduate. 

Publications
ceeng@caltech.edu
626-395-2617

Lincoln Ombelets

Lincoln Ombelets

Graduate student

B.S. Chemistry, Northeastern University 2018

Lincoln is interested in expanding the capability of multiplexed imaging to learn about the spatiotemporal dynamics of biological systems. Lincoln enjoys reading about philosophy of science and linguistics as well as topics in math and algorithm development. His hobbies include hiking, PC gaming, bike rides, golf, and live music.

Publications
lombelets@caltech.edu

James Park

James Park

Graduate student

B.S. Chemical Biology, UC Berkeley 2019

jjpark@caltech.edu

Yodai Takei

Yodai Takei

Graduate student

B.S. University of Tokyo 2012
M.S. University of Tokyo 2014

Yodai is interested in developing new tools and understanding gene regulation inside the nucleus with spatiotemporal information.

Publications
ytakei@caltech.edu

Jonathan White

Jonathan White

Graduate student

B.A. Biophysics, Swarthmore College

Jonathan is passionate about quantitative biology and cooking.

Publications
jawhite@caltech.edu

Yujing Yang

Yujing Yang

Graduate student

Clinical Medicine, Sichuan University 2019

yy4ng@caltech.edu

Research Staff

Jose David Aguirre

Jose David Aguirre

Research Technician

M.Sc. Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jose is interested in Astrobiology and life in extreme environments. He is always listening to music and outside the lab, enjoys practicing Kendo.

jdaguirr@caltech.edu

Christopher  Cronin

Christopher Cronin

Fluidics and Mechanical Engineer

B.S. Mechanical Engineering,
Carnegie Mellon University

Chris is half of the engineering team, along with “other Chris”. Outside of lab, he’s currently fascinated by radio propagation and Modern Monetary Theory, among other distractions.

Publications
cjc@caltech.edu

Nina Dar

Nina Dar

Research Technician

B.Sc. Brain Science, Tel Aviv University, Israel
M.D. Tel Aviv University, Israel

ninadar@caltech.edu

Chris Karp

Chris Karp

Fluidics and Mechanical Engineer

B.S. Chemistry, Florida State University
M.S. Chemistry, Caltech

This Chris is the “other” Chris that the other “other” Chris speaks of. The current pandemic-influenced hobbies of this Chris include cycling fairly long distances, painting (currently working on graffiti art), and learning bass guitar. Go Dodgers!

Publications
ckarp@caltech.edu

Nico Pierson

Nico Pierson

Research Technician

B.S. Bioengineering, University of California Santa Cruz 2012

nicogpt@caltech.edu

Nick Rezaee

Nick Rezaee

Computational Biologist

B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz

Nick is interested in combining computer science and biology to find high impact solutions. He primarily works on the machine learning and data engineering side of seq-FISH. When he’s  not coding, you can find him running, hiking, or cooking new foods.

nrezaee@caltech.edu

Simone Schindler

Simone Schindler

Research Technician

Simone is interested in developmental biology and histology. Outside the lab she likes to hike and enjoy nature.

Publications
sschindl@caltech.edu
626-395-2617

Sihui Yang

Sihui Yang

Research Technician

Ph.D. Cellular and Molecular Biology

Sihui is interested in how cellular materials obtain temporal and spatial organization over the course of development – within a cell and between cells. Outside of lab, her newly developed hobby is to feed the spoiled squirrels and turtles on campus.

sihui@caltech.edu

Jina Yun

Jina Yun

Research Technician

 

Unlike at the lab, Jina is very shy outside of work and she loves to spend her time looking at cute puppy pictures.

jina@caltech.edu
(626)395-2617