Principal Investigator

Andre Luiz Pasqua Tavares
Assistant Professor
University of Delaware
College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Office: 322 Wolf Hall
Lab: 262 Wolf Hall ​​​​

Graduate Students

Asif Ahmed
Graduate student

Matthew Smith
Graduate student

Matt is from York, Pennsylvania, the original home of the York Peppermint Patty! He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Millersville University (2014) and his Master of Science in Biomedical Forensic Sciences and Certificate of Advanced Study in Medicolegal Death Investigation from Syracuse University (2017). He is currently working toward earning his PhD in Biological Sciences with the goal of teaching and conducting research at the undergraduate level. His current research utilizes Xenopus as a model to investigate the causes of craniofacial structural birth defects. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his partner and family, playing video games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, anything related to the X-Men, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and watching TV shows like Charmed, Star Trek, Stargate, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Visnu Chowdhury
Graduate student

Visnu (pronounced as Bishnu) is from Bangladesh, a small country in south-east Asia. He studied medicine and afterward earned his master’s degree in biotechnology. His interest lies in the domain of molecular and cell biology, to find novel therapeutic targets that may help treat untreatable diseases. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in molecular biology and genetics at the University of Delaware. In his current project, he is trying to understand what the role of Six1 is in craniofacial development. Findings from this research can help find novel therapeutic targets for diseases like craniosynostosis, where the cranial bones fuse too early in young children and impair the development of their growing brains. He likes music, drawing, and calisthenics. However, his world revolves around his family.

Undergraduate Students

Jason Puza

Jason Puza is a sophomore Biological Sciences major with a minor in Medical Humanities at UD. Jason is from Dallas, Pennsylvania and holds a deep appreciation for meaningful research. Upon graduation, he plans to attend medical school. Jason enjoys staying active in his free time by working out and swimming. When he isn’t in the gym he enjoys building legos and playing video games with his friends.

John Hamour

John Hamour is a Junior Biological Sciences major with minors in Philosophy and Chemistry at UD. Originally from Egypt, John now lives in Middletown, Delaware, and he intends to join Dental School after completing his undergraduate studies. Besides his passion for being part in this research lab, John is an active member on campus, holding several leadership roles, and during his free time, he loves working out and spending quality time with his friends!