IU Biology welcomes new faculty members

The IU trident carved in limestone is displayed in a stone-block pillar.
IU logo in stone. Photo by James Brosher

We introduce you to our three newest faculty members: Manuel Baizabal, Cristina Landeta, and Lesley Weaver.

Manuel Baizabal

Assistant Professor Manuel Baizabal studies functional genomics of mammalian brain development, epigenetic control of neurogenesis and neuronal fate specification, and evolution of transcriptional regulation in neural stem cells. He joined the genome, cell, and developmental biology (GCDB) faculty on September 1, 2019.

Education: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Neurobiology, 2012-2019; Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Dept. of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, 2010-2012; Ph.D., Biochemical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Institute of Biotechnology, 2009.

Roots: Mexico

What you might not know about him: Baizabal plays drums. He played with the jazz ensemble “Some Nerve” (named after a second-line tune from New Orleans) in Boston for 6 years. Luckily he found a new, yet-to-be-named jazz band just three months after he moved to Bloomington! The band performed once in Bloomington at the Crazy Horse before the pandemic.

Cristina Landeta

Assistant Professor Cristina Landeta joined the department in September 2019 as an assistant scientist and became an assistant professor in the microbiology program in July 2020. Her research interests include disulfide bond formation in pathogenic bacteria and microbial communities as well as antimicrobial discovery by high throughput screening.

Education: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunobiology, 2011-2018; Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2007-2011.

Previous position: She worked for year and a half as a strain engineer scientist at enEvolv (now Zimergen).

Roots: Landeta grew up in Mexico, living in a small town in a valley near the highest mountain of Mexico.

What you might not know about her: One of her hobbies is to dance. Landeta has danced her whole life different dance styles, from Mexican folklore, middle eastern to afrobrazilian dances.

Lesley Weaver

Assistant Professor Lesley Weaver, an alum of the department, returned in July 2020 to join the GCDB faculty. She studies physiological control of reproduction through inter-organ communication.

Education: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University, 2014-2020; Ph.D., Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Indiana University, 2014.

Recent awards/honors: NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), 2018; NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 2016.

Roots: Having grown up in Marion, Indiana, Weaver is happy to be back in the Midwest and back at IU Biology to start her independent research journey.

What you might not know about her: She is a tap dancer (dancing childhood through some of her postdoc years). Weaver loves to read and listen to podcasts. She is a mom to Zoey, a miniature dachshund.