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 paper in Nature Communications (2020).

Jonghyeon Son, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate


Phone: (401)863-6729


Jonghyeon Son finished his bachelor's and integrated doctoral degree in Structural Biology at the Korea University (South Korea), where he studied the structure of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) with the group of Prof. Kwang Yeon Hwang. In 2019, he joined Deaconescu lab to study regulation mechanisms of transcription in response to a variety of stress. He is interested in the regulation of RpoS degradation by the ClpXP machine. Jonghyeon is co-author on our paper published in Protein Science (2021), 

Julienne Chaqour

Undergraduate Researcher



Phone: (401) 863-6729

Lab Picture.png

Julienne is a first year undergraduate student at Brown University, and is originally from central New Jersey. Before coming to Brown, she was involved in cell biology research on angiogenesis and gene expression. In her free time, Julienne enjoys writing and designing for Catalyst magazine, fundraising for Student Philanthropy Council, and volunteering at Hope High School. She is eager to learn and excited to contribute to research in the Deaconescu Lab!

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).

Lisa Schulmeyer

Undergraduate Researcher

E-mail: lisa_schulmeyer[at]brown.edu

Phone: (401) 863-6729


Originally from Austin, TX, Lisa is in her Junior year at Brown, studying Chemical Biology. She has experience in clinical research at BronxCare Hospital in New York, where she studied patient outcomes from Platelet Rich Plasma injections for knee osteoarthritis and the use of patient-reported BMI in a clinical orthopaedic setting. Lisa is now excited to be able to apply her Chemistry background to research in the Deaconescu Lab. Outside of research, Lisa likes to spend her time on campus singing in the Beauty and the Beats a capella group, volunteering at Hope High School as a math tutor, and serving on the executive board of Alpha Chi Omega. 

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!