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NIH F32 Research Fellow

Glenn Foundation Research Fellow

NIH K99 Award Recipient


My experience is considerably different from the typical researcher – I come from a background in restaurant and retail management, having worked as an assistant store manager, general store manager, and district manager in well-known companies including Burger King and Starbucks, as well as independent restaurants like Menchanko-Tei. These seemingly disconnected employments have given me the complex ability to multi-task and maximize my time, which have been instrumental in my scientific career. 

While juggling multiple responsibilities in my numerous jobs, I completed my BA and MA degree in Biotechnology at Hunter College, working with Dr. Paul Feinstein in characterization of odorant receptors in mouse olfactory neurons. Subsequently, I completed my PhD at Columbia University with Dr. Liza Pon working on identification of novel actin-mitochondrial interactions in regulation of cellular health and lifespan in the yeast model organism, S. cerevisiae. Throughout my research career, I also invested my time in developing my pedagogy, working as a teaching assistant and adjunct professor at several high schools, Kaplan, Hunter College, Columbia University, and College of Mount Saint Vincent.


In the Dillin lab, I work on investigating the impact of cellular stress responses on aging and vice versa. Primarily, I am focused on dissecting how quality control mechanisms dedicated to preserving the quality of organelles change during the aging process. Specifically, I am interested in quality control machineries involved in promoting the function and integrity of the actin cytoskeleton and the endoplasmic reticulum. Through large-scale genetic screens, my team is focused on mapping out the genetic architecture of cytoskeleton and ER homeostasis, and hope to eventually tie these webs together to identify inter-organelle quality control mechanism.



Higuchi R, Vevea JD, Swayne TC, Chojnowski R, Hill V, Boldogh IR, and Pon LA (2013). Actin dynamics affects mitochondrial quality control and aging in budding yeast. Curr. Biol. 23, 2417-2422. PMCID: PMC3932488. This paper was highlighted in a “Rapid Dispatch” in Curr. Biol. 23:R107-112. It was also selected as an F1000Prime paper by the Faculty of 1000.


Higuchi-Sanabria R, Pernice WM, Vevea JD, Alessi Wolken DM, Boldogh IR, and Pon LA (2014). Damage sequestration and organelle rejuvenation promote cellular fitness and function. FEMS Yeast. 14 (8), 1133-1146. PMCID: PMC4270926.


Srivastava P, Alessi Wolken DM, Garcia-Rodriguez LJ, Higuchi-Sanabria R, Pon LA (2015). Organelle inheritance in yeast and other fungi. The Mycota.

Higuchi-Sanabria R, Charalel JK, Viana M, Garcia EJ, Koenigsberg A, Swayne  TC,  Vevea JD, Boldogh I, Rafelski S, Pon LA (2016). Mitochondrial anchorage and fusion contribute to mitochondrial inheritance and quality control in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. MBoC. PMCID: PMC4803304.


Higuchi-Sanabria R, Vevea JD, Charalel JC, Sapar ML, Pon LA. The transcriptional repressor Sum1p counteracts Sir2p in regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, mitochondrial quality control, and replicative lifespan in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (2016). Microbial Cell. PMCID: PMC5349106.


Higuchi-Sanabria R, Swayne TC, Pon LA. Live-cell imaging of mitochondria and the actin cytoskeleton in budding yeast (2016). Methods Mol Biol. PMID: 26498779.


Higuchi-Sanabria R, Swayne TC, Boldogh IR, Pon LA (2016). Imaging of the actin cytoskeleton and mitochondria in fixed budding yeast cells. Methods Mol Biol. PMID: 26498779.


Higuchi-Sanabria R, Garcia EJ, Munteanu EL, Tomoiaga D, Feinstein P, Pon LA (2016). Characterization of fluorescent proteins for three- and four-color live-cell imaging in S. cerevisiae. PLoS One. PMCID: PMC4699809.


Higuchi-Sanabria R, Frankino PA, Paul JW III, Tronnes SU, Dillin A (2018). A futile battle? Cellular quality control throughout the stress of aging. Dev. Cell. PMCID: PMC5896312.


Higuchi-Sanabria R, Paul JW III, Durieux J, Benitez C, Frankino PA, Tronnes SU, Garcia G, Daniele JR Monshietehadi S, Dillin A (2018). Spatial regulation of the actin cytoskeleton by HSF-1 during aging. Mol. Biol. Cell. PMCID: PMC6254583.


Daniele JR*, Higuchi-Sanabria R*, Durieux J, Monshietehadi S, Ramachandran V, Tronnes SU, Kelet N, Sanchez M, Metcalf MG, Paul JW III, Garcia G, Frankino PA, Benitez C, Zeng M, Esping DJ, Dillin A (2019). UPRER promotes lipophagy independent of chaperones to extend lifespan. Sci. Adv. In press. *equal contributions BioRxiv doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/471177.


Schinzel R*, Higuchi-Sanabria R*, Shalem O*, Moehle EA, Webster BM, Joe L, Bar-Ziv R, Frankino PA, Durieux J, Pender C, Kelet N, Santhosh-Kumar S, Savalia N, Chi H, Simic M, Dillin A (2019). The hyaluronidase, TMEM2, promotes ER homeostasis and longevity independent of the UPRER in metazoans. Cell. PMID: 31761535.


Anderson EC, Frankino PA, Higuchi-Sanabria R, Qiming Y, Bian Q, Podshivolova K, Shin A, Kenyon C, Dillin A, Meyer BJ (2019). X chromosome domain architecture regulates lifespan, but not dosage compensation. Dev. Cell. PMID: 31495695.


Garcia EJ, de Jonge J, Stivison EA, Sing CN, Higuchi-Sanabria R, Boldogh IR, Pon LA (2019). Reciprocal interactions between mtDNA and lifespan control in budding yeast. MBoC. PMID: 31599702.


188 Li Ka Shing Center #430, Berkeley, CA 94720      (510) 664-4951     info@dillinlab-berkeley.org