Lab Team

Principal Investigator

Alison Paquette, PhD

Principal Investigator, Seattle Children's Research Institute

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Primary Appointment: Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetic Medicine, School of Medicine

Secondary Appointment: Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health

Dr. Paquette is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine (CDBRM) at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Paquette's primary research interest is to use ‘omics data generated from the placenta to better understand the developmental origins of health and disease, with a particular focus on relationships between prenatal environmental exposures and spontaneous preterm birth. Dr. Paquette has experience analyzing and integrating transcriptomic and epigenomic data in complex human datasets and in-vitro systems. 


Current Team

Samantha Lapehn, PhD

Post Doctoral Fellow 

Samantha joined the Paquette Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2021. Her research uses toxicological and epidemiological methods to evaluate the placental transcriptome in response to environmental exposures. Samantha completed her PhD in Toxicology at University of Michigan and also holds a MS in Environmental Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a BA in Biological Sciences from Cornell University.

Mariana Parenti, PhD

Post Doctoral Fellow 

Mariana is a postdoctoral fellow in the Paquette Lab investigating the relationships between prenatal nutrition and environmental exposures, placental gene expression, and birth outcomes. She holds a BS in Clinical Nutrition and a PhD in Nutritional Biology from the University of California, Davis.

Gina Huynh

Masters Student, Epidemiology

Gina is a first-year Epidemiology Master of Public Health student at the University of Washington. In the Paquette Lab she studies the association between environmental contaminants and spontaneous preterm birth through changes in the placental transcriptome and disruptions in biological pathways. Gina holds a BA in Biochemistry from the University of Washington. She enjoys going on walks and taking Zumba classes.

Evan Firsick

Research Technician III & Lab Manager 

Evan is a Research Technician III in the Paquette Lab where he studies how phthalates and other chemicals alter placental function using different placental cell lines. He received his BS in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Oregon State University and holds a MA in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University Chicago. 

Anika Rajput

Undergraduate Researcher

Anika is senior at the University of Washington where she is majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Environmental Health. Currently, she is learning how to use computational biology approaches to investigate the prenatal environment. For fun, she likes to play tennis, bike, and make puzzles. 

Siddharth Nair

Undergraduate Researcher

Sid is a senior at the University of Washington, graduating in 2024. Sid is majoring in microbiology, with an interest in going to medical school one day. In the Paquette Lab, Sid analyzes expression data for a variety of placental cell lines, in order to aid the lab in different projects, with the ultimate goal of studying how the prenatal environment affects the placenta.