Join the Sharp Lab

The lab is an inclusive and safe space. Members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. Science is for Everyone!

The lab is currently accepting graduate students through the following graduate training programs:

Genetics Graduate Training Program

Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program (CMB)

Integrative Biology Graduate Program

Microbiology Doctoral Training Program (MDTP)


Nathaniel Sharp

Position title: Assistant Professor

Nathaniel earned his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, and trained as a postdoc at the University of British Columbia. He is broadly interested in evolutionary genetics, and particularly the causes and consequences of mutation.

Denise Smith

Position title: Research Specialist

Denise earned a B.S. degree in biology (UW-La Crosse) and a master’s degree in Plant Pathology (UW-Madison). She has worked with fungal and viral plant pathogens of many plant species, but predominantly pathogens of trees. She is interested in evolution of fungal resistance to fungicides and how fungi evolve to maintain pathogenicity. In her spare time, Denise likes to garden, hike, and cross-country ski.

Kevin Bao

Position title: PhD student

Kevin is a Genetics graduate student interested in studying the impact of mutation on fitness and more generally in understanding the mechanisms of evolution. He has a background in both population genetics and organismic biology having done work on characterizing surface protein evolution in the malaria parasite P. falciparum under Dr. Dan Hartl and understanding elusive elements of the life history of parasitic ascomycota Laboubeniales with Dr. Don Pfister. Kevin is also extremely interested in STEM outreach and education and in his spare time coaches local students for the Science Olympiad Competition.

Numair Ali

Position title: Undergraduate Researcher

Numair is a third year undergraduate majoring in Genetics and also working towards a certificate in Computer Science. He wants to combine the two fields together to pursue a career in bioinformatics.

Madison Castle

Position title: Undergraduate Researcher

Madison is a sophomore majoring in Genetics and getting a certificate in Health and the Humanities. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field one day that combines what she learns in medical school with her degree in Genetics. She is involved in campus with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children and is a certified EMT.

Lauren Delisi

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Lauren is a senior majoring in Genetics and Genomics with a certificate in Gender and Woman Studies. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to become a Physicians Assistant. Aside from school, Lauren spends her time with friends, is at the dance studio, or outdoors. Lauren is a part of AMWA on campus, and is also a certified CPT.

Atharva Dhamale

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Atharva is a sophomore majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He wants to peruse a career in the field of Quantum Biology.

Gregory Driscoll

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Gregory is a fourth-year undergraduate majoring in genetics and obtaining a certificate in computer science. He loves spending time with his family and being outdoors. He is pursuing a career in bioinformatics.

Aaron Esker

Position title: Undergraduate Researcher

Aaron is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Genetics and Genomics along with a Certificate in Business. Outside of studying, Aaron is an active member in the Undergraduate Genetics Association and loves to be outdoors. After college, he plans on pursuing a career in the biotechnology industry.

Molly Fjalstad

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Molly is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Biology and is pursuing a certificate in Global Health. She is involved in Wisconsin Pre-Medical Society and is a certified CNA. She hopes to have a career in the medical field.

Caitlin Kestell

Position title: Undergraduate Researcher

I’m a sophomore studying Genetics and Environmental Science. I hope to someday earn my PhD and work in research and academia. I’m a member of the Distinguished Lecture Series here on campus and I love cats.

Brant Strayer

Position title: Undergraduate Researcher

Brant is a third year undergraduate majoring in Genetics and Life Sciences Communication. He wants to pursue a career in research or genetic counseling.

Kexin Sun

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

My name is Kexin Sun. I am a senior student at UW Madison, majoring genetics and genomics. I am interested in genetics and bioinformatics. I hope I can pursue a career that both related with genetics and bioinformatics in the future. I am the leader of the student organization—Mad News, which presents news to local Chinese students and native Chinese community. Besides leading the student organization, I am also fond of outdoor activities in my spare time.

Maryn Ugolini

Position title: Undergraduate Researcher

Maryn is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Genetics and Genomics and is pursuing a certificate in Global Health. She is involved on campus with the Undergraduate Genetics Association, MEDLIFE, and Badger Volunteers. She hopes to have a career in genetic counseling.

Kate Vickerman

Position title: Undergraduate Researcher

Kate is a sophomore double majoring in Genetics and Genomics and Life Sciences Communication with a Certificate in Global Health. She is involved on campus in the Association of Women in Agriculture, Undergraduate Genetics Association, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Swim Club, and Badger Dairy Club.

Shaelyn Mullins

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Elizabeth Makovec

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Elizabeth is a sophomore undergraduate student double majoring in Psychology and Genetics & Genomics. She is involved in NAMI-UW. She aspires to have a career in either genetic counseling or genetics research.

Joshua Kercher

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Kayla Janke

Position title: Undergraduate researcher

Alexandra Chan

Position title: Undergraduate researcher