About Us

We specialize in long-read sequencing technologies. We mostly serve as a central laboratory for the Vertebrate Genomes Project. Our expertise spans multiple fields including sample collection and preparation (e.g. High-Molecular Weight DNA isolation), sequencing data production, genome assembly, and comparative genomics. We host several sequencers in our lab ( PacBio Sequel IIe, Oxford Nanopore PromethIon) and an optical mapping instrument (Bionano Saphyr). We enjoy pushing technological limits and we strive to constantly improve ourselves. But above all, we are biologists and are passionate about biodiversity and uncovering the genetic basis of traits.

Vertebrate Genome Laboratory

The Rockefeller University

1230 York Avenue, Box 366

New York, NY 10065

Tel: (212) 327-8217

Fax: (212) 327-8276

Email: vgl@rockefeller.edu

Twitter: @genomewarriors


The main reason why I decided to create the VGL is to push Genomics forward. In my life time, I want to see perfect genome assemblies of all living vertebrates. Not only I want to witness this achievement but I also want to be a major player.

Erich D. Jarvis, Founder and co-director of the VGL

Olivier Fedrigo


Olivier is a computational biologist interested in in molecular mechanisms underlying organism adaptation.


Jennifer Balacco

Lab operation lead

Jen is a molecular biologist and expert in isolating ultra-High Molecular Weight DNA and in many long read technologies such as PacBio and Bionano.


Giulio Formenti

Bioinformatics lead

Giulio is a bioinformatician interested in genome assembly. He has developed several methods for genome assembly, polishing, and evaluation.


Kathleen Horan

Project manager

Kathleen is our Project Manager. She facilitates samples exchange between institutions and coordinates new genomic projects.


Melanie Couture


Melanie is a field biologist specialized in bird capture. She has an extensive knowledge of sample collection, import, and export permits.


Nivesh Jain

Research scientist

Nivesh is a molecular biologist specialized in ultra-High Molecular Weight DNA isolation, Bionano, and Oxford Nanopore.


Tatiana Tilley

Research scientist

Tatiana is a molecular biologist specialized in ultra-High Molecular Weight DNA isolation, Hi-C, Oxford Nanopore and PacBio.


Linelle Abueg

Research scientist

Linelle is a bioinformatician specialized in genome assembly. She is passionated about biodiversity and loves popcorn more than anything.


Nadolina Brajuka

Research scientist

Nadolina is a bioinformatician specialized in genome assembly and curation. She is interested in the intersection between data science, computation and -omic research.


Sabrina Burmeister

Visiting professor

Sabrina is a visiting professor from UNC Chapel Hill. She uses an integrative approach that combines behavioral, anatomical, and molecular biology techniques to discover the neural mechanisms of the behavior of natural animals with a focus on social and spatial cognition.


Patrick Traore

Research Scientist

Patrick is a molecular biologist specialized in ultra-High Molecular Weight DNA isolation.

Cassidy Jonhson

Graduate Student

Cassidy is a PhD student at Rockefeller University. She is interested in genome assembly methods and is currently rotating at VGL.

Mac Gooder

Visiting student

Mac is interested in genome assembly and bioinformatics.


Bettina Haase

Research scientist

Jackie Mountcastle

Research scientist

Farooq Al-Ejli

Visiting scientist

Simona Secomandi

Visiting scientist

Brian O'Toole

Research scientist

Alexandra Denisova

Visiting student

Angelo Brajuka

Visiting student

Suziane alves barcellos

Visiting scientist