The Bryant Lab is part of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UW Seattle. We opened January 2023. 

Astra S. Bryant, PhD
Principal Investigator

Pronouns: she, hers

Astra is a sensory neuroethologist and a parasitologist. She entered the fields of nematode neuroscience and parasitology as a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Elissa Hallem at UCLA. She received her B.A. in Biology from Bryn Mawr College, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University.

Outside of the lab, Astra enjoys cycling, playing softball, and painting the Pacific Ocean. Astra is aromantic and asexual; she usually describes her orientation as "a hard nope." 

Link to CV.
Link to publications.

Ben Gregory
Lab Manager (Research Scientist/Engineer I)

Pronouns: he, his

As the lab manager for the Bryant Lab, Ben pokes a lot of worms and provides moral support to Dr. Bryant. His interest in nematode research started while earning his marine biology degree at the UW and has since skyrocketed as he catches up on every C. elegans and Strongyloides study to date.

Before moving indoors to work in the Bryant Lab, Ben was a member of the Team USA at the 2018 Sprint Canoe Kayak Junior World Championships. He also attended high school in a zoo. He now spends his time trying new recipes, practicing Mandarin, and bouldering at SBP.


Mariam Desouky
Undergraduate Researcher

Pronouns: she, hers

Mariam is a biology major who loves exploring the diversity of life forms. After going through some wild adventures working at a psychiatric hospital, she decided to take a break from humans and work with worms. The complexity of parasitic life cycles and the potential for developing interventions has captured her attention, as she hopes to work in the medical field some day. 

In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, coaching soccer, and hitting the slopes to ski. She also loves traveling.

Yi Zhang
Rotating Graduate Student (Spring 2024)

Pronouns: she, hers

Yi is a graduate student in the Neuroscience PhD program. She started with a BS degree in psychology from UW and is now interested in behavioral neuroscience. Being new to the nematode neuroscience field, she is looking forward to studying everything there is to learn.

You won’t catch Yi in the wild out of the lab. She is probably staying at home with her cats, doing crafts or baking.

Lab Alumni

Jaidyn Slaughter
High School Student Researcher

Jaidyn joined the Bryant Lab as a 2023 summer intern through the BRIGHT-UP program.

Sabrina Cheng
Graduate Student

Pronouns: she, hers

Sabrina’s always learning something new and her journey is full of surprises. She’s been involved with neutrino research since her first year at MIT, pursued a playful design internship in France, and took 12 language classes in 6 languages. Now in her second year of physics graduate school she’s exploring neuroscience. Oh the places she’ll go.

Her other passion is traveling to meet new people and try local cuisine, but her plans took a turn when she adopted a puppy. Now she shares her love of language (and spends most of her time) training her dog, Kaiyu. 

Rachel Oaks-Leaf
Rotating Graduate Student (Winter 2024)

Pronouns: she, hers

Rachel is a student in the graduate Neuroscience program. She is interested in the encoding and processing of sensory information. She's had the opportunity to focus on various types and fields of research, from neurodevelopment to clinical research for neurotechnology. 

When not in the lab, Rachel can be found hiking, kayaking, and exploring the Seattle music scene. 

Princess Tarabishi
Rotating Graduate Student (Spring 2024)

Pronouns: she, hers

Princess is a student in the graduate Neuroscience program and is interested in studying neural circuits underlying natural behavior. She has previously worked with zebrafish and fruit flies, but is excited to learn about the world of nematode research!

When not in lab, Princess enjoys hiking, cooking, and hanging out with her cat.

Kyle Thieringer
Rotating Graduate Student (Winter 2024)

Pronouns: him, his

Kyle is a lover of invertebrates hailing from the gorgeous garden state of New Jersey. His neuroscience journey started while doing undergrad research at Northeastern University. Now he is a rotation student in the Neuroscience PhD program and is excited to learn what nematology is all about!

When not in the lab, you can find Kyle exploring the PNW through hiking, climbing, and apprehensively polar plunging.