Current Students

First Year Students

Alexis M. Fohn
Research interests: endocrinology, physiology, pharmacology, viral vectors
E-mail: amf2287@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? I chose Columbia University for the innovative research and the welcoming atmosphere of both students and faculty.

Allen Hsu
Research interests: structural biology and cryo-electron microscopy, protein structure and function, protein biophysics
E-mail: alh2224@cumc.columbia.edu

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

Emmanuel Afriyie
Research interests: structure and function of membrane proteins, biophysical studies
E-mail: ea2941@cumc.columbia.edu

What attracted you to the Physiology department? I was intrigued by the caliber of revolutionary and ground-breaking research projects spearheaded by top-notch and high-profile scientific experts.

Jake Johnston
Research interests: membrane protein structural biology, neuroscience, glutamate transmission
E-mail: jdj2137@cumc.columbia.edu

What did you choose Columbia? Columbia has a great a structural biology set-up with a wealth of knowledge in the field.

Junming Qian
Research interests: epigenetics, neuronscience, genetics
E-mail: jq2323@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? I chose Columbia because of the excellent groups conducting cutting-edge research in my fields of interest.

Kyle Stearns
Research interests: mechanisms of disease, virology, protein-protein interactions
E-mail: ks3352@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? I enjoy the challenges and opportunities at Columbia and the diversity of the research topics and approaches being applied.

Laura Yen
Research interests: structure and function of membrane proteins, signaling
E-mail: lyy2104@cumc.columbia.edu

Why did you choose Columbia? I chose Columbia because of the extroadinary level of engagement and collaboration between departments, labs, PIs and graduate students.

Molly Hydorn
Research interests: molecular machines, structure-function analysis, biogeochemistry
E-mail: mah2347@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? Columbia has a great networks of collaborations and the smaller program allows a more personalized experience.

Second Year Students

Aaron Kahsay Kidane
Research interests: structural biology, neurodegeneration and biophysics
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, pathophysiology and phylogenetics
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.

Third Year Students

Panagiota Apostolou
Research interests: neurobiology, electrophysiology, sodium channel, schizophrenia
PI: Joseph Gogos
E-mail: pa2485@cumc.columbia.edu
How was 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
Why did you choose Columbia? I chose Columbia because of its world-class faculty and the flexibility to tailor my grad school experience to my future career prospects.

Shavonne Teng
Research interests: endosomal signaling, GPCR, chronic pain, nano particles
PI: Nigel Bunnett and Kam Leong
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.

Fourth 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.

Kookjoo Kim
Research interests: molecular and structural pharmacology of RyR1
PI: Oliver Clarke
E-mail: kk3220@cumc.columbia.edu
What do you do for fun in NYC? I like going to art galleries and concerts. I also like trying new foods with friends from different countries.

Sergej Borowik
Research interests: trafficking and dynamics of CaV1.2 in the heart
PI: Henry Colecraft
E-mail: sb4035@cumc.columbia.edu
Why did you choose Columbia? I chose Columbia because of the strong cardiovascular research, particularly in the ion channel field, and the strong sense of community within the department.

Fifth 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.

Sixth 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.

Seventh Year Students

Michael V. Zuccaro
Research interests: stem cells, diabetes, ploidy, DNA replication, reproduction, genome stability
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.