Eli Zunder received his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco, in 2009. There, he worked in Kevan Shokat’s lab studying the role of PI3K signaling in cancer and drug resistance, and discovered drug-resistant and drug-sensitizing mutations in the PI3K catalytic subunit p110a. Zunder did a postdoc in Garry Nolan’s lab at Stanford University. There, he developed a cell barcoding method for mass cytometry and applied this to study kinase inhibitor specificity across the human immune system. During his postdoc, he also developed a graph-based mapping algorithm for single-cell data sets and applied this to track iPS cell reprogramming and identify early reprogramming intermediates via single-cell mass cytometry.
In 2016, Zunder began his independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Research in the Zunder lab is focused on discovering the mechanisms that control cell fate and identifying factors that control the progression and branch points of cellular differentiation. To accomplish this, his research group builds experimental and computational tools that track cell populations as they change over time, using molecular characterization at the single-cell level. He is currently collaborating with John Lukens to identify the cellular and molecular signatures that contribute to the male-specific development of autism after maternal inflammation.