Lab Philosophy


We have built a space where we can work together to do the best science while being rigorous, having fun, and being helpful to others inside and outside the lab. Beyond doing amazing, cool science, our mission is to help train the next generation of scientists.


Open science: Open science allows us to move faster, be more collaborate, and waste less effort. For the sake of science, we share our data freely, develop reproducible and accessible protocols, post preprints immediately upon submission, share our plans with our scientific fields, present unpublished data when possible at conferences, and teach others how to use our technologies.

Collaboration: The big questions of science are too big for any one lab and we relish the opportunity to work with others outside of our lab to broaden our expertise and tell more satisfying and comprehensive stories. Within the lab we together as a tream while also maintaining independent projects. This approach provides opportunities to learn but also many opportunities to contribute without concern for competition between lab members. In general, we aim to minimize competition as it slows down science and makes this marvelous pursuit less fun!

Rigor: With the amount of effort and resources that we put into science, it is important that our results are robust and rigorous. To be as rigorous as possible we avoid over interpreting data, consider our work in the context of the broader scientific literature, apply robust statistics, collaborate with expert in areas unfamiliar to us, we follow where the data leads us and look forward to unanticipated findings.

Accountability: We try to embrace our mistakes and use them as opportunities to learn. If and when we as a lab are wrong or make mistakes, we will be immediately accountable for our actions. Willow expects lab members to be accountable for their mistakes so we can maintain an extremely high level of rigor and transparency.

Flexibility: Ideally our lab’s science and the personal life of trainees are well aligned, however sometimes there are family emergencies, personal health challenges, or a lab member is ready to move on. In all cases needs and well-being of lab members always come before the interests of the lab. We encourage and expect lab members to enjoy and develop their personal lives and find the balance that will lead to long-term happiness and satisfaction, which contributes to a positive research environment. It is important to help people move on when it makes the most sense for their personal and professional life. Beyond this flexibility, Willow looks forward to the day when a lab member’s research program matures to the point where they can start their own lab. Lab members will be empowered to ‘take’ their research programs with them to maximize their success as they start independent careers.

Diversity: UCSF and its research labs should better resemble the communities in which it sits. Adding more diversity to our lab provides us the opportunity to have new perspectives and creative solutions to the problems we face. We aim to build a socially and scientifically diverse team in which we can work together to tackle the hardest problems we can while growing as people as we learn about different cultures. With this goal in mind we welcome folks regardless of background, family obligations, or identity.

Joy: Science can be challenging at times but at it’s core we get to follow our interests and ask questions. We strive to have fun and take a joyful approach to science while we take on hard problems, generate beautiful data, and learn how to detangle challenging problems. If this sounds appealing and fun, come do science with us, and join our wonderful team!