Divya Sain


Divya Sain is a recent PhD (2013) graduate from the Stajich lab belonging to the GGB program whose dissertation project focused on using bioinformatics and wet bench techniques to study evolution of the fungal cell wall across major lineages. She has integrated phylogenomics and functional genomics approaches to study the evolutionary history of the genes involved in the biosynthesis and maintenance of the fungal cell wall as well as attempted to find novel genes having a cell wall related function by using fungus- Neurospora crassa as a model system.

In addition, she has served as a Teaching assistant for the BIOL 102 course in Winter 2012 and has  mentored undergraduates in the lab for a period of 3 years.


  • Ph.D. (Genomics and Bioinformatics)- University of California, Riverside. Dec 2013
  • Bachelors in Technology (Biotechnology)-CET-IILM-AHL (Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Lucknow, India). Sept 2007


  • Melida H, Sain D, Stajich JE and Bulone V. Analysis of cells walls in two Mucormycotina fungi reveals unique cell wall carbohydrate composition. Environmental Microbiology. Under review.
  • Sain D, Rivera L and Stajich JE. A transcriptomics-directed functional genomics screen for discovery of novel cell wall genes in Neurospora crassa. Eukaryotic Cell. Under review.
  • Sain D and Stajich JE. A Phylogenomic approach to study the evolutionary history of the cell wall polysaccharides in the early-diverging fungal lineages. In prep.
  • Sain D, Melida H, Bulone V and Stajich JE. A comparative biochemical and genomic analysis of fungal cell walls of early diverging lineages. In prep.

Awards and Honors:

  • UCR Award for Overcoming Adversity in Graduate studies- 2014
  • Klotz Memorial Travel Award- 2013
  • UCR Graduate Student Association Travel Grant- 2013
  • Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship- 2012
  • Dean’s Graduate Division Fee Fellowship- 2012
  • Klotz Memorial Travel Award- 2011
  • UCR Graduate Division Fellowship- 2008

Posters presented:

  • John Abramyan, Divya Sain, Jason E. Stajich. Bioinformatic analysis of species-specific gene family changes in the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Evolution 2010. Portland. June 2010
  • Divya Sain, Jason E. Stajich. Studying Fungal Cell Wall evolution using comparative genomics & phylogenetics. 1st Annual SoCal SysBio. Irvine. Jan 2011.
  • Divya Sain and Jason E. Stajich. Utilizing functional genomics in Neurospora crassa to identify cell wall genes. 26th Fungal Genetics Conference. Asilomar. March 2011
  • Divya Sain, Lorena Rivera and Jason E. Stajich. A transcriptomics-directed functional genomics screen for discovery of novel cell wall genes in Neurospora crassa. 27th Fungal Genetics Conference. Asilomar. March 2013

Prior projects:

  • Study of Superoxide dismutase (SOD)1 activity in humans with disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Biomantra Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.
  • Association studies of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in Human Lung Cancer. Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi.

Prior Work Experience:

  • Research Assistant- Identification of phylogenetic subgroups of Glomales within colonized roots of Sorghum Bicolor. The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi

Extracurricular activities:

  • Member of the National Honor Society- Omicron Delta Kappa.
  • An active member of Rotaract Club (Youth Branch Of Rotary Club)
  • Awarded the ‘Project leader of the year’ by Rotaract Club, Riverside (India)
  • Project Co-lead of the Art of Living Basic Course July 2012 (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)
  • Chair, GGB Graduate Student Association Seminar committee 2011-2012
  • Member of the organizing committee of Biotech National Seminar- BIOGENESIS (CET-IILM-AHL)
  • Secured 1st Position in the Biotech Dept. Poster Competition (CET-IILM-AHL)
  • Secured 1st Position in the Interbranch Quiz Competition held at (CET-IILM-AHL)

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