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JoAnne Villagrana


Contact Information

JoAnne Villagrana


JoAnne Villagrana joined Yale University through the Biological and Biomedical Science program and is a Ph.D. candidate in Genetics. She is a member of Dr. Zachary Smith’s lab where she is interested in understanding how epigenetic regulators drive the development of the placenta and embryo proper.

Prior to starting her graduate work at Yale, JoAnne attended the University of California, Irvine (UCI) where she received her bachelors in Biological Sciences. It was here she dedicated time investigating the evolution, acquisition, and dissemination of antibiotic resistance across various natural environments in the lab of Dr. Luis Mota-Bravo. She completed a summer research position at Dartmouth College in Dr. Daniel Schultz’s lab investigating clinically prevalent antibiotic resistance common within the lung environment of cystic fibrosis patients. During her time at UCI, she was awarded positions in two NIH funded training programs, earned multiple presentation awards at national conferences, and served as a peer mentor.

JoAnne continues to pursue her passion in education and outreach by serving as an academic mentor for Yale’s Office of Educational Opportunity organizing and leading workshops in their STEM Navigators program that aims to aid first- and second-year Yale undergraduates navigate their early STEM courses, research, and other opportunities.

Education & Training

  • BS
    University of California, Irvine, Biological Sciences (2021)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
NIH T32 Training Program in GeneticsYale University2022
Gruber Science FellowshipGruber Foundation2021
NIH T34 MARC scholarUniversity of California, Irvine 2019
NIH T32 IMSD scholarUniversity of California, Irvine2018