Ellen Leffler

Assistant Professor of Human Genetics

Helena Hopson

Ph.D. Student

Paige Eberle

Ph.D. Student

Nereyda Martinez

Summer student (GSRM)


We are recruiting postdocs and graduate students.



Ellen completed a BA in Biology at Amherst College and an MPhil in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. She then spent a year studying Mandarin in Lanzhou, China before pursuing a PhD in Human Genetics at the University of Chicago with Molly Przeworski. She worked with Chris Spencer and Dominic Kwiatkowski at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral fellow. In February 2020, she began her position at the University of Utah, where she holds a Mario Capecchi endowed chair. Outside the lab, she enjoys spending time with her family and experiencing varied Utah landscapes.



Helena studied Biomedical Science and Geography at Texas A&M University as an undergraduate before joining the Department of Human Genetics as a graduate student in 2020.  Her research interests include evolutionary processes, host-pathogen interactions, and comparative genomics. In her free time, she likes to enjoy all of the outdoor activities Utah has to offer, play board games, and explore SLC. 



 Paige received her BS in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Oklahoma City University. During her time at OCU, she did two and a half years of research in the Mullen lab studying synaptic transmission in C. elegans. In August of 2019, she moved to Utah to pursue a Ph.D. in Genetics. When she is not working in the lab or studying, she likes to spend her time rock climbing, skiing, or hiking.  



Nereyda is a rising senior studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is a summer intern through the GSRM program and is researching gene essentiality in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Her research interests include infectious disease genomics and central nervous system related disorders. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and baking