• Irina De la Huerta

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

    Irina De la Huerta obtained her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University. In addition to her medical degree, she received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard. She completed her ophthalmology residency at the University of California, San Francisco, followed by a fellowship in retinal and vitreous surgery at the William Beaumont Hospital. In her clinical practice, she cares for adults and children with vitreoretinal conditions. She is an NIH-funded physician scientist whose laboratory is focused on the roles of retinal neurons in retinal vascular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity and age-related macular degeneration.

  • Jacob graduated with a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2020. He is currently a member of the De la Huerta lab, joining in 2021. He studies the roles of retinal photoreceptors in pathological angiogenesis and vascular permeability. In his free time he enjoys golfing, reading, and playing video games.

  • Sebastian Bujoi


    Sebastian is an undergraduate at Vanderbilt, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He joined the lab in 2022. He is studying the role of photoreceptors in inflammation related to age-related macular degeneration. Sebastian grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, filming, and cooking.


  • Jorge Nunez

    Research Assistant I

    Jorge graduated with a B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Yale University in 2020. He was a member of the De la Huerta lab from 2020 - 2022 and he worked on animal models of diabetic retinopathy. He is currently a second year MD PhD student in the joint MSTP program between Weill Cornell, Rockefeller Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. 

  • Devyn Zaminski


    Devyn was an undergraduate at Vanderbilt who majored in Medicine, Health and Society. She was the first member of the De la Huerta lab and she was part of the team from 2019 – 2021. She studied the effect of high glucose on retinal photoreceptors in vitro. She is now a medical student at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

  • Emily Chen

    Research Assistant I

    Emily earned her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 2020 with a double major in Biochemistry and Chemical Biology and Medicine, Health and Society. She was part of the team from 2020-2021. She worked primarily on in vivo experiments in mouse models of diabetic retinopathy, and helped to keep everything in the lab running smoothly. She is now a medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center.

  • Varun Reddy

    Research Assistant I

    Varun graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Neuroscience. He joined the De la Huerta Lab in 2021, and his research focused on studying the how photoreceptors are impacted by the C2 isoform of the transcription factor NFAT. He now attends Rutgers New Jersey Medical School as a medical student. 


  • Hanan Fakhruddin

    Medical Student

    Hanan graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts in Medicine, Health, and Society; Child Development in 2021. She is currently a medical student at UTHSC College of Medicine. She joined the lab in 2023 with funding from the Diabetes Research and Training Center for a summer project on diabetic retinopathy in animal models of type 1 diabetes.