Current Students

First Year Students

Jianxiang Ye
Research interests: Structural Biology, Membrane Proteins, Mechanisms of Human Diseases
E-mail: jy3241@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program?  I am amazed by the extensive funding opportunities, innovations, and collaboration environment available at the university. I believe Columbia will provide me with the tools and possibilities to explore new aspects of biochemistry research that benefit human health as a whole.

Aiyana Monae
Research interests: molecular dynamics, drug development and biotechnology
E-mail: amc2496@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program?  I choose Columbia for the opportunities offered at no other institution. The physiology department attracted me to its co-field of molecular biophysics in which computational biochemistry is heavily involved.

Second Year Students

Brenna Williams
Research interests: neurobiology, early life stress, substance-use disorders, and genomics
PI: Kevin Bath
E-mail: bw2637@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? I picked the Physiology department, in particular, for its supportive and nurturing environment that encourages diverse research interests and collaboration.

Wenjing Cheng
Research interests: structural biology and cryo-electron microsopy, protein-protein interactions, biophysical studies
PI: Chi-Min Ho
E-mail: wc2778@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? It provides a supportive and collaborative environment and also has a great structural biology set-up.

Stavros Fanourakis
Research interests: neurophysiology, pharmacology and toxicology, effects of xenobiotics on the brain, mind, and behavior
PI: David Sulzer
E-mail: sf2883@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? The impressive list of affiliated faculty, the evident diversity of research interests and the interdisciplinary nature of the program.

Yiran Caterina Cheng
Research interests: neuroscience, immunology, and metabolism
E-mail: yc3969@cumc.columbia.edu

What do you like about the department/program? The cutting-edge research, translational and innovative environment, and friendly atmosphere.

Junming Qian
Research interests: epigenetics, neuronscience, genetics
PI: Shawn-Liu and Stavros Lomavardos
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.

Third Year Students

Alexis M. Fohn
Research interests: endocrinology, physiology, pharmacology, viral vectors
PI: Lori Zelster
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
PI: Manu Ben-Johny
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
PI: Oliver Clarke and Henry Colecraft
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: cryo-electron tomography, neuroscience, Neurodegeneration
PI: Bridget Carragher / Clinton Potter and Kapil Ramachandran
E-mail: jdj2137@cumc.columbia.edu

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

Kyle Stearns
Research interests: mechanisms of disease, virology, protein-protein interactions
PI: Anne Moscona and Matteo Porotto
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
PI: Alexander sobolevsky
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
PI: Jonathan dworkin
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.

Fourth Year Students

Aaron Kahsay Kidane
Research interests: structural biology, neurodegeneration and biophysics
PI: Allie Obermeyer
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
PI: Matthias Quick
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.

Fifth 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.

Sixth 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.

Seven 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.