David Schneider

David is the lab director and mentor of the excellent team of scientists listed below. David received his BS in Microbiology and Genetics from the University of Georgia in 1998. He completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin in 2003, and postdoctoral training in Biomolecular Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine in 2007. Since then he has served as a member of the faculty in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at UAB. In addition to pursuit of knowledge in the lab, David is passionate about science education and mentorship. He teaches several courses, he mentors students and junior faculty, and he serves as director of the Graduate Biomedical Sciences PhD Program and Senior Associate Dean of Graduate and International Education.

Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie Cooper is Ph. D. Candidate in the P3 theme of GBS. Her research focuses on the kinetics of nucleotide addition by Mycobacterial RNA polymerases. Her work seeks to identify the enzymatic characteristics unique to Mycobacterium tuberculosis RNAP with comparison to the non-pathogenic model system Mycobacterium smegmatis RNAP, as well as eukaryotic Pol II.

Kaila Fuller

Kaila Fuller is a doctoral candidate in the department of chemistry who is co-mentored by both Dr. Aaron Lucius and Dr. David Schneider. She has performed studies to quantitatively determine the identity of the rate-limiting step in the nucleotide addition cycle for both WT Pol I and ΔA12 Pol I, which is a Pol lacking the A12 subunit responsible for exonuclease activity. In addition, she has worked to determine how the nucleotide addition cycle changes as Pol I incorporates each nucleotide, and more. After graduate school, she plans to pursue an industry position.

Ruthie Jacobs

Ruthie is a postdoctoral trainee whose research focuses on defining the divergent enzymatic properties of the three eukaryotic RNA
polymerases. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2017. She joined the GBS program in 2018 after working as a lab technician for a year. In Spring 2023, she earned her doctorate from the GBS Biochemistry and Structural Theme.

    Abby McConahay

    Abby is a staff scientist and lab manager in the Schneider group. Prior to joining the UAB research community, Abby graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She entered the GBS program at UAB in 2017, and joined the Schneider lab in February 2018. Abby completed her doctoral training in the Microbiology Theme of the GBS program in 2023. Her research is focused on using a genomics technique, Native Elongating Transcript Sequencing (NET-seq), to investigate regulatory mechanisms that govern transcription by RNA polymerase I.

    Jinger Yang

    Jinger is a staff research scientist in the Schneider lab. Jinger joined the Schneider lab in 2017 and her work initially focused on drug development and characterization in human cancer cell models. Recently, she has changed her focus to include bioinformatics analyses of RNA polymerase occupancy (NET-seq and PRO-seq) using mammalian and yeast cells.

    Catarina Mendes Felgueira

    Catarina is a predoctoral student from the Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics Theme in the GBS program. She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and immediately entered the GBS program at UAB. Her research interests led her to join the Schneider lab in January of 2021, where she currently investigates regulatory mechanisms of transcription by RNA polymerase I and ribosome biogenesis, with a focus on potential antifungal compounds.

    Ryan Requijo

    Ryan Requijo is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry who is co-mentored by both Dr. Aaron Lucius and Dr. David Schneider. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from UAB in 2019 and decided to return to pursue his PhD in 2020. His research focuses on the effects of transcription factor IIS (TFIIS) on the kinetics of Pol II nucleotide addition and exonuclease activity. Ryan plans on pursuing his own career in academia after graduating.

    Ebenezer Oni

    Ebenezer received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria in 2018, he is currently a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, and his research focuses on investigating the kinetic mechanism of nucleotide addition by eukaryotic RNA polymerases.

    Adrian Martinez

    Adrian is a UAB PREP Scholar who is working as a graduate research assistant in the Schneider Lab. In May 2023, he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry at Rollins College. Shortly after, Adrian joined the PREP Scholars program at the University of Alabama, Birmingham during the summer of 2023. His current work within the Schneider lab focuses on determining the mechanism of anti-fungal compound, PE, on the eukaryotic system of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. He hopes to continue his work uncovering detailed biochemical mechanisms and looks forward to merging that passion with translation research.

    Lauren Clark

    Lauren is a doctoral candidate in the Biochemistry and Structural Biology theme and is co-mentored by Dr. David Schneider and Dr. Chad Petit. Her research broadly focuses on examining gene transcription during influenza infection. A large part of this project uses a novel nuclear run-on technique that allows genome wide sequencing of nascent RNA concurrently being transcribed by host RNA polymerases and the influenza RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase throughout infection. Prior to joining the GBS Ph.D. program Lauren worked as a research assistant at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio studying the relationship between various host single nucleotide polymorphisms and HIV, followed by a position as a research assistant at The University of Alabama at Birmingham where she began influenza research. Lauren was also involved with undergraduate research studying liposomal antibiotic delivery in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection at The University of Texas at Tyler where she graduated with her B.S. in Biology in 2012.

    Sudarshan Shanmugasundaram

    Sudarshan is a Ph.D. student and a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Chemistry co-mentored by Dr. Aaron Lucius and Dr. David Schneider. He received both his undergraduate and Master’s graduate degree in Biotechnology. His research focuses on the characterization of E. coli RNA polymerase enzyme kinetics at single and multi-nucleotide resolution. His work explores on establishing an evolutionary relationship among the three domains of cellular life – bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic RNA polymerases.


    The Schneider lab has benefited from many exceptional collaborations over the years. An attempt to list all of these colleagues would be futile. However, three collaborations have become particularly close and symbiotic:

    Dr. Aaron Lucius, UAB Department of Chemistry: Aaron and David are scientifically married through their mutual interests in biophysical and biochemical characterization of RNA polymerases. They share several research grants and co-mentor multiple students.

    Dr. Marikki Laiho, Johns Hopkins Department of Radiation Oncology: Marikki is an expert in drug discovery and cancer cell biology. Marikki and David have worked together for several years defining the cellular “checkpoint” that monitors the integrity of transcription by RNA polymerase I.

    Dr. Corinne Augelli-Szfran, Southern Research: Corinne is a medicinal chemist who leads the collaboration between the Schneider lab and many people at SR. Together, this group has discovered two new series of compounds that are being developed to control cancer cell growth and proliferation.