Current Students

First Year Students

Aaron Kahsay Kidane
Research interests: structural biology
E-mail: akk2173@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department? My research interests in biophysics and structural biology were strongly met and the small size of the program allows for more individual attention.

Justin Williams
Research interests: structural biology
E-mail: jpw2163@cumc.columbia.edu

What attracted you to the program? The broad selection of potential thesis mentors both within the department and the university, combined with the infrastructure in place for structural biology.

Second Year Students

Panagiota Apostolou
Research interests: neurobiology, electrophysiology, dopamine release, striatum, Parkinson’s disease
PI: David Sulzer
E-mail: pa2485@cumc.columbia.edu
How as the transition to student life in NYC? I am an international student and CUIMC/GSAS was always there to answer any of my questions regarding the transition to grad school, my visa, and housing.

Pedro J. del Rivero Morfin
Research interests: electrophysiology, ion channels, cardiovascular disease
PI: Manu Ben-Johny
E-mail: pjd2138@cumc.columbia.edu
How as the transition to student life in NYC? Housing was very flexible and SHS is a great perk. The department directors, administrators, and senior students have been very supportive during this first year.

Shavonne Teng
Research interests:
PI: Nigel Bunnett
E-mail: st2741@cumc.columbia.edu
What do you do for fun in NYC? I love exploring different foods and restaurants – especially desserts.

Vijendra Ramlall
Research interests: bioinformatics, biophysics, computational biology, structural biology
PI: Nicholas Tatonetti
E-mail: vr2430@cumc.columbia.edu
Why did you choose your lab? Joining the Tatonetti lab allowed me to apply my background in proteomics to multiple fields of research using computational methods.

Third Year Students

Geli Nitzl
Research interests: cardiovascular development, genetics, embryology
PI: Kimara Targoff
E-mail: agn2123@cumc.columbia.edu
Why did you choose Columbia? I chose Columbia University because of the cardiovascular research labs and the ability to collaborate with labs outside of my department.

Sergej Borowik
Research interests: trafficking and dynamics of CaV1.2 in the heart
PI: Henry Colecraft
E-mail: sb4035@cumc.columbia.edu
What is a useful resource at Columbia? I love to go to lots of different seminars across the university – the Basic Sciences Weekly Calendar is a terrific resource for keeping track of upcoming events.

Fourth Year Students

Arden Darko-Boateng
Research interests: low voltage-activated calcium channels
PI: Henry Colecraft
E-mail: ad3378@cumc.columbia.edu
What do you do for fun in NYC? Attending the US Open Tennis championship in Queens and exploring different cultures.

Arianne Papa
Research interests: cardiovascular ion channels, electrophysiology
PI: Steven Marx
E-mail: ap3452@cumc.columbia.edu
What clubs/groups/activities have you joined at CUIMC? I am actively involved in Women in Science at Columbia, which holds monthly lunches, networking events, and volunteer opportunities to get younger girls interested in STEM.

Fifth Year Students

M. Hunter Giese
Research interests: structure and function of ion channels
PI: Wayne Hendrickson
E-mail: mhg2134@cumc.columbia.edu
What clubs/groups/activities have you joined at CUIMC? I have participated in student government, Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach(CUNO), and the Columbia Cycling Team.

Sixth Year Students

Michael V. Zuccaro
Research interests: stem cells, diabetes, ploidy, DNA replication, reproduction
PI: Dieter Egli
E-mail: mvz2108@cumc.columbia.edu
What clubs/groups/activities have you joined at CUIMC? I’ve been a part of a few clubs from theater and art to sports and student government and one of the great things about grad life here is that there is something for everyone.