Meet the Lab

Dr Samantha Morris in the lab

Samantha Morris, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Samantha Morris, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Genetics and Developmental Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, and Allen Distinguished Investigator. Dr. Morris trained as a Developmental Biologist at the University of Cambridge. In Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz’s group, she investigated mechanisms of cell fate decision-making in the earliest stages of development. She then joined the laboratory of George Daley at Harvard Medical School, where she focused on the analysis of gene regulatory networks to dissect and engineer cell identity. In 2015, she established her independent research group. In 2017, Dr. Morris was named a Vallee Foundation Scholar. In 2019, she was awarded the St. Louis Academy of Science Innovation Award and was named an Allen Distinguished Investigator. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Society for Developmental Biology, serves on the editorial boards of Development, Cell Systems, and Developmental Cell, and is an Associate Editor at Development.



Dr Xuming Tang

Guillermo Rivera-Gonzalez, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Guillermo is originally from Mexico and earned his undergraduate degree from the Mexican National Autonomous University. He received his PhD from the University of York, UK and underwent initial training as a postdoctoral associate at Yale University. In the Morris lab, Guillermo will be studying the role of different factors during the process of cell reprogramming. He will also use single-cell sequencing as a tool to understand adult stem cell heterogeneity and its biological implications.


Dr Xuming Tang

Kenji Kamimoto, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Kenji Kamimoto earned his Ph.D. from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Bioscience, University of Tokyo, Japan. During his Ph.D., he worked in the lab of Dr. Atsushi Miyajima. In the Atsushi Lab, he studied the mechanism of mouse liver proliferation using both computational analysis and molecular biology techniques. In the Morris Lab, he will utilize computational modeling and machine learning methods to dissect the dynamics of cell reprogramming.


Brent Biddy

Brent Biddy

DBBS Graduate Student, Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program

Brent Biddy received his degree from East Central University. Brent’s project focuses on the application of single-cell technologies to dissect mechanisms of direct lineage reprogramming.


Sarah Waye

Sarah Waye

DBBS Graduate Student, Developmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology Program

Sarah Waye received her degree in Neurobiology from Georgetown University in 2015. During her years as an undergraduate, she was a Georgetown Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar working in the lab of Dr. Christopher Albanese. In the Albanese Lab, Sarah studied the effects of tumor suppressor p53 on chemotherapeutic responses in prostate cancer and medulloblastoma. In the Morris Lab, she will be developing in vitro differentiation models for tracking induced hepatocyte (iHep) identity through maturation. She is a member of the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program.


Sarah Waye

Wenjun Kong

DBBS Graduate Student, Computational and Systems Biology Program

Wenjun Kong received her degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2016. She is a member of the Computational and Systems Biology Program. In her undergrad, Wenjun carried out research on variable screening via complete least squares and distance correlation in ultrahigh dimensional datasets.


Sarah Waye

Emily Butka

DBBS Graduate Student, Computational and Systems Biology Program

Emily received her degree in Biology and Mathematics from St. Olaf College in 2018. At St. Olaf, she worked with Professor Steve Freedberg to model sex biases in organisms with environmental sex determination. In the Morris lab, Emily will focus on the development of new computational tools that better integrate experimental lineage tracing to reconstruct reprogramming trajectories from single-cell data.


Sarah Waye

Sadie VanHorn

DBBS Graduate Student, Developmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology Program

Sadie VanHorn received her degree in Molecular Biology from Ohio Northern University in 2018. In Dr. Jamie Sider’s laboratory at Ohio Northern, Sadie studied the role of CASK protein in polar cell migration during Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis. Her first experience at WashU was in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Haswell, studying MSL expression and localization in Arabidopsis thaliana while participating in the AMGEN Scholars Program. Currently, she is in the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology program. In the Morris lab, Sadie will be developing methods to track cellular history in reprogramming models and intestinal organoids to probe the relationships between stem cell, progenitor, and terminally differentiated cell populations.


Sarah Waye

Kunal Jindal

DBBS Graduate Student, Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program

Kunal Jindal received his degree in Biology and Electronics engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, India in 2017. During his undergrad, he spent a year in Dr. George Church’s lab at Harvard Medical School on developing in situ sequencing technologies. Later he worked as a research assistant in Dr. Manfred Claassen’s lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland on developing computational tools to analyze time-course RNA seq data. He is currently enrolled in the Molecular Genetics and Genomics program at Washington University.


Sarah Waye

Xue (Snow) Yang

DBBS Graduate Student, Developmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology Program

Xue (Snow) Yang received her degree in biological science from East China Normal University in 2018. During her years as an undergraduate, she worked in the lab of Dr. Yuan Wang, studying the interaction of transcription factors and microRNAs during hematopoiesis. In the Morris lab, Snow will be studying the role of transcription factor binding during lineage reprogramming. She is a member of the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program.


Sarah Waye

Christy Hoffmann

DBBS Graduate Student, Human and Statistical Genetics Program

Christy received her degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2016. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied the diverse transcriptional profiles of skeletal muscle in the lab of Dr. Michael Hughes. In the Morris Lab, she will use gene regulatory networks, machine learning, and live cell imaging to elucidate mechanisms driving cell fate during reprogramming. She is a member of the Human and Statistical Genetics program.


Sarah Waye

Cady Fu


Cady joined the lab in early 2018.


Sarah Waye

Darwin Waye

Honorary Lab Member

Small and furry. Has an advanced degree in hiding brownies in the sofa. His cell culture skills are a bit ruff. Internet famous, though:

Lab Alumni

Tao Sun, Ph.D.

Former Staff Scientist. Tao is currently an Instructor at Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, California.

Molly Ahern

Former Siteman Cancer Center, Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program Student. Molly is currently a Medical Student at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Xuming Tang, Ph.D.

Former Postdoc. Xuming is currently a Postdoc at Weill Cornell, New York.

Chuner Guo

Former MSTP Student. Chuner is currently at Wash U medical school.

Catie Newsom-Stewart

Former research technician. Catie is currently a graduate student at Wash U.

Current Positions


Morris lab is hiring

We are hiring!

Ph.D. Students

We will welcome inquiries for rotation projects from any Washington University Ph.D. students enrolled in any of our 12 Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. programs.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Please e-mail your CV, including bibliography, to: s.morris{at}

Research Technicians

Please e-mail your CV to: s.morris{at}

Undergraduate Students

We welcome inquiries for research and training opportunities during the academic year and summer.