About Korf Lab



Maxine Umeh

BMCDB Graduate Student


After graduating high school at 16, I attended a community college in Sacramento, Cosumnes River; my parents thought I was too young to move away to college. There I majored in mathematics and played Women’s Volleyball. After two years I transferred to UC Merced where I grudgingly majored in biology because the school, which had opened only two years prior, had a limited number of majors. My first few semesters as a biology major were difficult and uninteresting. But after taking Neurobiology, Developmental, and Cancer Biology classes I really began to enjoy the subject. My passion for biology really grew when I got the opportunity to do undergraduate research in a Neurobiology lab. After graduating with my B.S. in Biology and a minor in Psychology I decided to stay at UC Merced and pursue a Masters degree. My Masters research project focused on how mRNA decay was involved in development of the Drosophila embryonic nervous system. I developed a novel technique, called TU-Tagging, to 'tag' newly transcribed mRNA and follow its decay over time in intact Drosophila embryos.

In August 2013 I graduated with my M.Sc. in Quantitative and Systems Biology and started at UC Davis about one week later. Currently, I am a first-year PhD student in the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (BMCDB) Graduate Group. I am a joint student between the laboratories of Dr. Colleen Sweeney and Dr. Ian Korf. The focus of the Sweeney lab is breast cancer biology. My broad research interest includes using computational biology and bioinformatics to better understand breast cancer biology and pathogenesis. Specifically, I would like to use high throughput sequencing techniques to investigate the role of tumor-initiating cells (cancer stem cells) in breast cancer metastasis/invasion, recurrence, and chemotherapeutic resistance.

I am a previous NIH-IMSD Fellow and am currently an NIH-T32 Molecular and Cellular Biology Fellow. When I am not in lab, I enjoying playing volleyball, writing music, singing, playing the guitar and piano, and spending time with my family.

About Korf Lab

Korf Lab in the news

Jun 26, 2015: Keith Bradnam is interviewed by Frontline Genomics Magazine about his life in Bioinformatics.

Apr 8, 2015: Ian Korf is quoted in a Nature commentary article about Bioinformatics Service cores and the need for beter career paths for bioinformaticians.

Mar 16, 2015: Danielle Lemay is interviewed by the UC Davis News team about the new publication by herself, Kristen Beck (lead author), Ian Korf and others that describes new milk proteomes for human and macaque.

Apr 22, 2013: The Assemblathon 2 paper has won the 2013 BioMed Central Open Data award

Dec 10, 2013: A short piece in the UC Davis Alumni Magazine that discusses the new Genomics undergraduate major that Ian Korf co-developed.

Nov 26, 2013: Ian Korf writes a News & Views piece for Nature Methods about two new comparisons of programs that work with RNA-seq data

Nov 1, 2013: Keith B. and Kristen are both featured in a piece on Inquiring Minds as part of the new One UC Davis campaign.

More news

Contact Us

For questions or comments about the website, please e-mail:

korflab AT ucdavis DOT edu

Contact information for specific members of our lab can be found on their personal pages.