Hillary Mahon, LATG Zebrafish Laboratory Manager
Work That Matters

Staff Spotlight: Hillary Mahon, LATG

Before coming to CHLA, Hillary spent nearly five years working in a large zebrafish research facility at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. When a friend sent her an application for a new zebrafish facility at CHLA, she was intrigued.

“I’d been a system lead and a trainer, but I hadn’t had a chance to run a facility,” she explains. “This seemed like a great place to come and expand my experiences.”

Since arriving in March 2021, Hillary has been busy getting the new Alfred E. Mann Family Foundation Zebrafish Laboratory up and running—ordering supplies, setting up rooms, hiring and training a technician, writing standard operating procedures and much more. The facility will support the labs of James Amatruda, MD, PhD, Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien, PhD, and future researchers who use zebrafish as models for diseases. It eventually will house 120,000 zebrafish.

The first of those fish have arrived and are currently in quarantine rooms to ensure they are healthy and free of pathogens. “They’re swimming around; they’re relaxing to watch,” she says. “It’s very soothing. Sometimes I talk to them, too!”

Hillary grew up in New Jersey, right across the river from New York City. She is on the hunt for an L.A. climbing gym, so if you have a recommendation, send it her way. In her free time, she likes to crochet and explore the outskirts of Los Angeles, especially Castaic Lake.

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