Current Lab Members


 Valerie Horsley, Ph.D.


Originally from the Southeast, Valerie graduated from Furman University with her B.S. and from Emory with her Ph.D.  She joined the faculty at Yale after finishing her postdoctoral work with Elaine Fuchs at Rockefeller University.

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Postdoctoral Fellows

Guillermo Rivera, Ph.D.


Guillermo is from Mexico and received his Ph.D. from the University of York. His work in the Horsley lab will be focusing on how adipocytes act within the stem cell niche.

Brett Shook, Ph.D.


Brett is from Pennsylvania and received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. He is a postdoc in the lab investigating interactions between the stem cell niche and immune cells during wound healing.


Maria Fernanda Forni, Ph.D.
Nanda is from Brazil and received her Ph.D. from the University of São Paulo.  She is a visiting postdoctoral fellow and her main interests are metabolism, skin stem cells, and aging.  Her work in the Horsley Lab will focus on how caloric restriction coordinates adipocytes and epidermal cells to affect lifespan.  

Abigail Zieman, Ph.D.


Abby is originally from Iowa and received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. She is a postdoc in the Horsley lab and will be investigating the mechanisms that control skin development and homeostasis with an emphasis on mechanical regulation. When she isn’t in the lab, Abby likes to read books, binge watch shows on Netflix, and bake cookies.

Graduate students


Rachel Zwick


Rachel is a graduate student researching adipocytes and their involvement in mammary gland developmental processes.  A California native, after graduating from Connecticut College she worked at Weill Cornell Medical College where she  studied changes in the pulmonary airways that lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Gabriella Grisotti


Gabriella is a general surgery resident and a graduate student in the Investigative Medicine Program studying lymphangiogenesis in wound healing.  She is originally from NYC and obtained her MD from SUNY Downstate.  Gabriella was a high school student when she first met Dr. Horsley, who at the time was a post-doc in the Fuchs Lab. 


Renee Wasko


Renee is a graduate student investigating how particular subpopulations of immune cells mediate wound healing.  She is a Connecticut native and earned her B.S. from the University of Connecticut, where she conducted research at a biotechnology incubator company that develops therapeutic and commercial applications for stem cell-derived chondrocytes.


Olivia Justynski


Olivia is a graduate student researching the role of adipocytes in wound healing and fibrosis.  She is originally from Rhode Island and graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where she studied mathematical modeling of infectious disease.

  Elizabeth Caves