About Us

The Kruglyak Lab conducts experiments in model organisms, as well as computational analyses, aimed at understanding how changes at the level of DNA are shaped by molecular and evolutionary forces, and how these changes lead to all the observable differences among individuals within a species.

Dr. Kruglyak has also been an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) since 2008, working towards understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic variation in species.

Latest News

  • September 2019: We are pleased to announce that Stefan Zdralejic, Ph.D., will be joining our lab as a Postdoctoral Scholar. Stefan received his doctoral degree in Biological Sciences at Northwestern University and his B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Santa Cruz. His primary doctoral research focused on the study of variable drug responses in Caenorhabditis elegans; his thesis was entitled, "Genetic and molecular mechanisms of phenotypic variation in the Caenorhabditis elegans species." We look forward to working with Stefan!

  • August 2019: We are pleased to announce that Connie (Liangke) Gou successfully passed her dissertation defense, "Understanding the connection between genotypes and phenotypes using linkage analysis and CRISPR genetic engineering." Congratulations, Dr. Gou! Connie has accepted a position as a Principal Biostatistician at Novartis in New Jersey state.

  • August 2019: Congratulations to Matthieu Delcourt who is starting a new position at the University of Ottawa.

  • August 2019: Congratulations to Elise Pham who will soon start an MS program in Boston.

  • July 2019: Welcome to our new grad student Noah Alexander.

  • January 2019: Welcome to our new postdoc Oliver Brandenberg who will use genetic engineering towards microbial plastic degradation.

  • September 2018: Congratulations to Alejandro Burga Ramos who will soon start his own lab at IMBA in Vienna, Austria.

  • September 2018: Congratulations to Meru Sadhu who will soon start his own lab at NHGRI.

  • June 2018: Gene Chaser -- Leonid Kruglyak Steps into UCLA Magazine Spotlight.

  • June 2017: A genetic signature of the evolution of loss of flight in the Galapagos cormorant published in Science was recently highlighted:

  • June 2017: We are pleased that Longhua Guo, Ph.D., will be joining our laboratory this summer. His research will focus on quantitative genetic analysis in the sexual planarian, Schmidtea mediterranea, a free living freshwater flatworm.

  • May 2017: Chair Dr. Leonid Kruglyak and two of his postdoctoral fellows Eyal Ben-David and Alejandro Burga were featured by Bioscience Technology "Worm Study Reveals Selfish Genes Encode Toxin and its Antidote" and ScienceNews "Selfish Genes Hide Decades Plain-sight Worm Geneticists" for their recent findings on the existence of a "selfish genetic element" in a strain of roundworms. This research further supports the previously controversial but more and more commonly found idea that a gene could behave selfishly.

  • May 2017: Chair Dr. Leonid Kruglyak and postdoctoral fellow Alejandro Burga were authors on a publication in Science investigating the genetic mechanisms behind the evolution of the flightless Galapagos cormorant bird and how it relates to similar genetic mutations in humans suffering from bone-development disorders. Their research has been featured in this UCLA Newsroom article here "How the Galapagos Cormorant Lost its Ability to Fly" and this video interview.

  • May 2017: Science News - Selfish genes hide for decades in plain sight of worm geneticists. By poisoning offspring and providing the antidote, the genes spread spookily fast through the population. Read more here.
  • This article was recently highlighted:


  • May 2017: UCLA Newsroom - Study of worms reveals ‘selfish genes’ that encode a toxin – and its antidote. Read more here.

  • April 2017: CRISPR tweak speeds up gene-editing process. Interesting Engineering (Scientists Make CRISPR Breakthrough to Speed-up Genomic Editing) and Science and Technology Research News (Scientists Tweak CRISPR Tool to Accelerate Genomic Editing) reported on how UCLA geneticists tweaked the powerful gene-editing tool, CRISPR, which enabled them to monitor the outcome of tens of thousands of gene edits in the time it currently takes to analyze a few. Senior study author Leonid Kruglyak, chair of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and first author Meru Sadhu, a postdoctoral researcher in human genetics, were quoted.

  • June 2016: We are pleased to announce that Dr. Leonid Kruglyak has been appointed Chair of the Department of Human Genetics, effective July 1, 2016. The news announcement can be read here.