Current

Guoyan Zhao, PhD

Guoyan Zhao, PhD

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis, USA
M.S. Peking University, P.R. China
B.S. Peking University, P.R. China

More about Dr. Zhao


Kevin Boyer, B.S.

Kevin Boyer, B.S.

Bioinformatics Research Analyst

B.S. in Psychology, DePaul University Chicago, Illinois

Current work: single-cell multiomic analysis of human DRG to identify cells, genes, and pathways involved in chronic pain

I have a passion for data and analysis, and getting the opportunity to apply this passion in Dr. Zhao’s lab using cutting edge technologies and developing new pipelines to further the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases as well as transcriptional gene regulatory networks has been an incredible learning experience.

In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my dog (Bruno), playing new board games with friends, and practicing my newest hobby, golf.

Tassia Mangetti Goncalves, PhD

Tassia Mangetti Goncalves, PhD

Instructor

Ph.D, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
M.S. University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP
B.S. University of São Paulo, Pirassununga, SP

Current work: Transcriptional regulation

I am passionate about science and got my undergraduate’s degree in Animal Sciences at University of São Paulo (USP). In my Master’s program study at USP, I learned new skills in molecular biology, systems biology, and statistical analysis to understand molecular mechanisms that control meat quality. During my PhD study at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I performed gene expression and network analysis to better understand how drug addiction and immune challenge affect gene co-regulation patterns in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression-like behavior, respectively. I joined Dr. Guoyan Zhao’s laboratory in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in 2019. In my training under Dr. Zhao supervision, I developed a computational algorithm to identify cis-regulatory modules in the mammalian genome. I am also a member of Med Masters Toastmasters International Club, where I served as the President for 2 years. I really enjoy cooking, gardening, learning how to play guitar, and playing with my dog.

Wei Feng, Ph.D.

Wei Feng, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Ph.D, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
M.S. , Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
B.S. , Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Current work: microglia and neurodegenerative diseases

My current research focuses on utilizing pseudotime analysis to discover the upregulation and downregulation of genes during the activation process of microglia in neurodegenerative diseases, thereby identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in these diseases. My early research involved cohort studies and imaging research, where I used various statistical models, machine learning, and deep learning to identify factors influencing the occurrence and progression of diseases. Later, I was fortunate to join Zhao Lab after completing my Ph.D., which allowed me to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying disease development and conduct single-cell sequencing analysis. Throughout my research, I have recognized my own shortcomings in terms of knowledge and skills. However, thanks to this lab-friendly atmosphere and the help and knowledge sharing from everyone, I have chances to improve myself.

Outside of research, I enjoy watching movies, hiking, appreciating the scenery, exploring different cuisines, and staying fit through exercise.

Bijesh George, Ph.D.

Bijesh George, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

PhD, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India
BS, Kannur University, Kerala, India

Current work: spatial proteomics analysis of human dorsal root ganglia in chronic pain

Huma Naz

Huma Naz

Postdoctoral Research Associate

PhD, The University of the Punjab
MPhil., University of the Punjab
BSc.(Honors), University of the Punjab

Current work: Microglia in aging and rejuvenation

My research interest focuses on the role of microglia in aging and rejuvenation, specifically using single-cell genomic technologies to identify potential markers, pathways, and regulatory factors that contribute to the molecular mechanisms of these processes in neurodegenerative diseases. By utilizing single-cell RNA sequencing and computational models, I am investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the aging and rejuvenation of microglia. My research has the potential to advance my understanding of the complex interplay between microglia, aging, neurodegeneration, and genetics and could lead to the development of new therapies to improve the health and function of the aging brain.

Ibrahim Olabayode Saliu, Ph.D.

Ibrahim Olabayode Saliu, Ph.D.


Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellow

Ph.D, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
M.Tech. Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
B.Tech. Federal University of Technology, Nigeria

Current work: astrocyte and neurodegenerative diseases

I obtained my B.Tech., M.Tech., and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Biochemistry from the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Nigeria in 2010, 2015, and 2021, respectively. I was a recipient of the 2016 DBT-TWAS Postgraduate Sandwich Fellowship, and I also won the 2021 DBT-UNESCO-TWAS postdoctoral fellowship award. I am passionate about studying and understanding brain function, especially the crosstalk between the cell types of the brain, and the relationship between the cell types and brain regions in physiological and pathological conditions. I like hanging out with my family and watching movies and soccer in my free time. I am currently the treasurer of the Washington University in St Louis Black Postdoctoral Association, an association that aims to enhance the experience of black postdoctoral fellows by establishing an interdisciplinary community that will serve as a cultivating and supportive environment while providing opportunities for career development and peer-to-peer mentorship. Presently, I am using computational and experimental approaches to gain an in-depth understanding of the role of astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases with a view to finding possible therapeutic targets.


Alumni

Yoayi Dai

Yoayi Dai

Graduate research assistant

Bachelor of Engineering
M.S., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis

Current position:
PhD candidate, Baylor College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Louis Jing Li

Louis Jing Li

Undergraduate research assistant

Current position:
undergraduate student at Brown University

Sam Liu

Sam Liu

Northwestern University Undergraduate Student

Ben Anthony Lopez

Ben Anthony Lopez

Visiting Researcher

MD, PhD in Molecular Medicine, University of the Philippines
BS in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of the Philippines

Project: cross-species single-nucleus transcriptome comparison of striatal neurons

Benedict Ridore

Benedict Ridore

WashU Undergraduate student

EnTER (Engaging Trainees in Early Research) Program Scholar

Current work: Transcriptional regulation

Yiming Shi

Yiming Shi

Graduate Research Assistant

B.S., Fudan University, P.R.China
M.S., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis

Current position:
DBBS PhD candidate, Washington University School of Medicine

Yizhe Song

Yizhe Song

Graduate research assistant

M.S., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis
Master of Public Health, Tsinghua University & Peking Union Medical College
B.M. Shandong University, P.R.China

Current position:
DBBS PhD candidate, Washington University School of Medicine

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Harry Wang

Undergraduate research assistant

current position: UMSL Undergraduate Student

 

Shinnosuke Yamada, Ph.D.

Shinnosuke Yamada, Ph.D.

Visiting Researcher

Ph.D. , Nagoya University, Japan
MS, Meijo University, Japan
BS, Meijo University, Japan

Current work: single-nucleus transcriptomic comparison of AD, PD, PDD, and DLB

I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of human diseases in the central nervous system. My research journey began with human gene association studies and proteome analysis of human blood cells from schizophrenia patients. These studies provided several candidate markers for schizophrenia. To understand the impact of genetic mutations in schizophrenia, I performed a comprehensive behavioral analysis of Disc1-mutated mice. In addition, to identify environmental influences and factors in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, I conducted a secretome analysis of astroglia and functional analysis of neuronal development under innate immune activation. I am currently conducting single cell RNA-seq analysis of postmortem brain samples from patients with neurodegenerative diseases, and am very interested in what new discoveries may be brought about by this new technology.

Outside of research, I like to fish, drive, and play with my children.