Alexandra obtained her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science an Art, and then her doctoral degree in Molecular Biophysics from The Rockefeller University. She conducted postdoctoral studies in the group of HHMI investigator, Dr. Niko Grigorieff, first at Brandeis University and later at the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus as a Damon Runyon Fellow. She is the recipient of a At the Interfaces Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute,  a Medical Research Award from The Rhode Island Foundation, a Salomon Faculty Research Award from Brown University, and awards from the German Society of Biochemistry, The International Brain Organization and Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. She is excited about structural biology, responses to stress and DNA damage, microtubules and things biochemical.

E-mail: alexandra_deaconescu[at]brown.edu

Phone: (401) 863-3215

Alexandra Deaconescu,
B.E., Ph.D.


Christiane Brugger, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate



Phone: (401) 863-6729

Christiane is a native of Austria, where she obtained both a bachelor's and master's degree in Biotechnology from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna).  She then completed her doctoral degree in structural biology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), where she worked on chromatin remodelers in the group of Thomas Schalch. Her scientific interests in the lab center on the regulation of transcription-repair coupling factors. Christiane is co-author on our papers published in Genes & Development (2019) and Protein Science (2021), and a first author on our papers in Nature Communications (2020) and Bio-protocol (2021).

Hannah Brown, B.S.

Research Assistant



Phone: (401)863-6729


I’m originally from central Massachusetts and I currently attend the University of Rhode Island where I am studying for my B.S. in Marine Biology and my B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology with a focus in Biochemistry. I have an interest in the unique molecular mechanisms present in marine organisms. In my free time I enjoy birding and drawing and I’m very excited to make contributions to the lab! 

Rebecca Kim

Undergraduate Researcher



Phone: (401) 863-6729


I grew up in both New Jersey and South Korea, and now I am studying for my ScB in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Brown University. I developed an interest in structural biology during a summer internship working in the Tsai Lab at the Baylor College of Medicine. In my free time, I like to swim, draw, and ride my cruiser! I have a strong interest in ClpXP biology.

Jacob Schwartz

Research Assistant



Phone: (401) 863-6729


Originally from Boston, Jacob earned his B.A. in Biochemistry at Carleton College in Minnesota. There, he developed a deep interest in Structural Biology, particularly that of protein-nucleic acid interactions. More broadly, he loves biological macromolecules and is excited for the opportunity to play with them every day at work! Jacob is  first author on our paper in Protein Science (2021).

Adela Herce

Undergraduate Researcher

E-mail: adela_herce[at]brown.edu

Phone: (401) 863-6729


Coming soon.

Richard Waugh

Administrative Assistant



Phone: (401) 863-7446


Originally from Fort Pierce Florida, Richard moved to Providence Rhode Island in August of 2018.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts from Florida International University.    While in Florida, he also enjoyed a career as an occasional television actor – having appeared on network shows such as The Glades, Burn Noticeand Magic City.  In the past three years, Richard has had the distinct privilege of working as an administrator for both the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and the University of Missouri Kansas City.  This wide range of experiences has provided Richard with a unique perspective of administration that he hopes to impart upon Brown University. Richard is key to the lab and we could not do without him!