Primary Investigator: Stephane Dissel

I graduated from University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France. As an undergraduate student, I joined the laboratory of Dominique Ferrandon studying the immune response of Drosophila. This experience led me to pursue a PhD at the University of Leicester, U.K., working on the fruit fly circadian clock. My PhD thesis was centered around the role of the circadian photoreceptor Cryptochrome in the clock. During my PhD, I became increasingly interested in sleep and joined the laboratory of Paul Shaw at Washington University in St Louis as a postdoc in 2012. After spending 6 years in St Louis (Go Cards) I started my own laboratory at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in January 2018.

Graduate Student: Joseph “Dave” Jones

I graduated from Drury University with a dual major in biology and chemistry and a minor in music in 2013. I then spent some time in industry working with poultry vaccines before entering the Ph.D program at UMKC. My time in the lab has focused on the lab’s Split-GAL4 screen, aiming to uncover the neurons in the fly that are responsible for sleep and sleep related behaviors.

Graduate Student: Brandon Holder

I joined the Dissel lab as a PhD student in 2021. I was drawn to this lab because of cutting-edge research, the family environment, and the focus on sleep and memory, which have always been my desired areas of research. Before joining the lab, I obtained undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from UMKC, a master’s degree in earth and environmental science, and taught high school science for five years. I am originally from the Kansas City area and in my spare time, I enjoy golfing, playing with my three dogs, fossil hunting, and reading.

Technician: Jen McEllin

I joined the Dissel lab in May 2018. As the lab technician I do whatever needs to be done to help the lab run smoothly. I maintain fly stocks, oversee undergraduate student workers, and order supplies. I also fabricate and build apparatuses for experimental assays and work on the projects requiring computer programming. Before working in the Dissel lab, I received a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD from the University of Illinois-Chicago. When not in the lab I train in karate, play games, read and try to keep up with my 3 huskies.

Lab alumni


Alex Vogt- Currently a graduate student in the Molecular Biophysics Training Program at Northwestern University

Ally Elder- Graduated from UMKC with a B.S. in 2020

Adriana Velarde- Currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois-Chicago